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American ConservatismNOMOS LVI$
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Sanford Levinson, Melissa Williams, and Joel Parker

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479812370

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479812370.001.0001

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Leo Strauss and American Conservative Thought and Politics

Leo Strauss and American Conservative Thought and Politics

(p.381) 11 Leo Strauss and American Conservative Thought and Politics
American Conservatism

Nathan Tarcov

NYU Press

This chapter determines Leo Strauss’s own stance toward American conservative thought and politics. Strauss addresses American conservatism most explicitly and extensively in his preface to Liberalism, Ancient and Modern. He notes that liberalism and conservatism have a common basis in liberal democracy and therefore share an antagonism to Communism. Elsewhere in that book, Strauss affirms that the most important concern for political scientists in his time would not be the opposition between liberalism and conservatism but “the qualitative difference which amounts to a conflict, between liberal democracy and Communism.” Nonetheless, he discerns a profound difference between liberal and conservative opposition to Communism. The chapter then studies the possible implications of his thought for American conservative thought and politics.

Keywords:   Leo Strauss, American conservative thought, American conservatism, liberalism, conservatism, liberal democracy, Communism

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