The Principles of the Right

For those interested, my first post over at The Josias, Have the Principles of the Right Been Discredited? Leo Strauss’s Rome and Ours,” is now up and available for your perusal. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow The Josias on Facebook and on Twitter: @Josias_Rex


  1. A very interesting article. I am very interested in Strauss, though I can’t say I yet have a suitable grasp of his “thought.” Some texts of his that I’ve read thus far have been very stimulating.You cite the letter to Karl Löwith. The quote ultimately feels Nietzschean. You’re probably aware, but in case you were not, Strauss also wrote to Löwith that: “Nietzsche so dominated and charmed me between my 22nd and 30th years that I literally believed everything I understood of him.” Was it perhaps in the same letter?

    At any rate, how far Strauss after his 30th year remained “dominated and charmed” by Nietzsche, I wonder. It sounds as though, in 1933, something of the spell might have remained. Other writings of his might suggest the spell was lifted, or that he learned to answer for it, or that it was countered by the magic of Plato.

    1. I think Strauss was out of the Nietzsche shadow by 1933, but he still remained within the orbit of what would have been the European Right of the early 20th C. I am not entirely sure why, however. By at least 1932, in his review of Carl Schmitt’s The Concept of the Political, one can see Strauss beginning to disengage from the type of moral critique of liberalism that certain German intellectuals had been engaged in since the late 19th C. Strauss goes into that topic a bit more in his unpublished lecture, “German Nihilism.” (You can find a copy of it in the archives at Interpretation.) If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that Strauss’s attachment to what he calls the “principles of the Right” had more to do with his disdain toward liberalism more than anything else.

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