Gottfried, Strauss, and Jewish Ethnocentrism

The excellent Paul Gottfried, a retired professor of humanities, is that most rare specimen in intelligentsia: a jew who is honest and forthright about jewish ethnocentrism and its historical suppression of Protestant ethnocentrism.

Having written the recent book Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America, Gottfried reviews Claes Ryn’s essay “Allan Bloom and Straussian Alienation“. Gottfried has previously commented on the conspicuous sociological correlation of jewish neoconservatives with Strauss (“Almost all prominent neoconservatives, starting with the Podhoretzes and Kristols, claim some kind of Straussian derivation for their ideas.”)

Of Straussian figures like Allan Bloom (author of the hugely influential The Closing of the American Mind), Gottfried echoes Kevin MacDonald’s thesis on Straussians:

Bloom and other Straussians have a tendency to read their own preferred view of the America’s founding principles, as understood by themselves and their mentor, into long dead authors…

Ryn raises the question of why Straussian doctrines have caught on among self-described conservatives. His answers here do not surprise me, since for many years the two of us discussed this puzzling matter and reached similar conclusions.

Conservatism Inc. has been so totally infiltrated from the Left that those ideas that used to define the Left—abstract universalism, the rejection of ethnic differences, the moral imperative to extend equality to all human relations—has spread to the official Right. The political debate in America now centers on Leftist propositions. Accordingly, someone like Bloom, who could barely conceal his animus against what remains of a traditional Western world based on what Ryn rightly calls a “classical and Christian” heritage, could be featured in the late 1980s as an American patriot and cultural traditionalist…

Ryn also observes that Catholic intellectuals gravitate toward Straussian teachings…

But the Catholic goyim love the Straussians because they yap on about “morals” and “civic virtue.” They even occasionally, while blatantly ignoring the facts, try to identify Strauss and his disciples with medieval scholastic thought.

Even more importantly, says Ryn, Catholics recognize in Straussians figures who share their own “alienation” about living in a predominantly Protestant country. As Canadian philosophy professor Grant Havers documents in a forthcoming book about the studied avoidance by Straussian interpreters of America’s Protestant heritage, Straussians provide a narrative about the American founding that make ethnic Catholics feel secure about their Americanness.

According to the Straussians, America was founded on secular, materialist and democratic principles, but in no way on Protestant ones. Thus, if the Straussians try to de-Christianize and de-ethnicize America, they also conveniently cover up the Protestant aspects of a specifically American tradition.

Catholic Straussians (of whom there are many in Conservatism, Inc.) feel safe living in a “propositional nation” and “global democracy” in which they don’t feel threatened by the real American Protestant (and/or Northern European) American past, extending back to the colonial period. It’s more convenient to jettison such associations for the vision of a constantly changing hybrid society that is held together by universal, egalitarian propositions.

With refreshing candor, Gottfried appraises Ryn through a lens waxed judaic:

Ryn is quite good on these points . But (alas) he falls down on the job when it comes to naming the most obvious recruits to the Straussian persuasion. He hints at identifying them, but may have recoiled from the implications of being extremely candid. As a Jew, I shall do it for him.

Straussianism is unthinkable without the rise of American Jewry to journalistic and academic importance. The “alienation” from the gentile historic and cultural heritage that Ryn is analyzing applies with particular relevance to Jews; and the construction of a Straussian ideology, like Cultural Marxism, may be unthinkable without the critical Jewish contribution. Moreover, the puff pieces about the Straussians’ deep intellectuality that have periodically appeared in the NYT, Washington Post, National Review, Wall Street Journal and Weekly Standard fully reflect the rise to prominence achieved by the group that typically produce the panegyrics to Straussian wisdom as well as Straussian doctrines.

Jewish ethnocentrism within modern ideological movements (from marxism to neoconservatism) and its concomitant suppression of anglo ethnocentrism is the Elephant In The Room That Cannot Be Discussed.

Gottfried writes:

I shall lay my cards on the table. I am outraged at how the usual suspects kept my book from being discussed. Despite my well-known views on certain delicate subjects, I tried to produce a fair study of a difficult topic and bent backward in showing sympathy for the movement’s founder and at least some of his disciples. The successful attempt to white out my work has annoyed me no end.

But, having made that clear, I don’t think I’m simply reacting to being further marginalized by a predominantly Jewish intellectual Establishment and its obliging gentile drones.

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