Rights and slavery, race and racism: Leo Strauss, the Straussians, and the american dilemma*: Richard H. King

Modern Intellectual History 5 (1):55-82 (2008)
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Abstract

My interest here is in the way Leo Strauss and his followers, the Straussians, have dealt with race and rights, race and slavery in the history of the United States. I want, first, to assess Leo Strauss's rather ambivalent attitude toward America and explore the various ways that his followers have in turn analyzed the Lockean underpinnings of the American “regime,” sometimes in contradistinction to Strauss's views on the topic. With that established, I turn to the account, particularly that offered by Harry Jaffa, of how slavery and race comported—or did not—with the Straussian account of the political foundations of the new nation and how latter-day followers of Strauss have dealt with the persisting topic of race and racism in America. Overall, I want to make two large points. First, the Straussian commitment to superhistorical standards provides the Straussians with a moral perspective on slavery, race, and racism. Second, though race and slavery have been less than central among the concerns of most followers of Strauss, the contributions of Jaffa and others have significantly shaped the present American conservative position on race, including the idea of color-blindness.

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Citations of this work

Race and the Early American Conservative Movement (1955-1970).David Sarias Rodriguez - 2021 - Res Pública. Revista de Historia de Las Ideas Políticas 24 (2):223-236.

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References found in this work

Natural Right and History (Chicago, 1953).Leo Strauss - 1953 - The Correspondence Between Ethical Egoists and Natural Rights Theorists is Considerable Today, as Suggested by a Comparison of My" Recent Work in Ethical Egoism," American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (2):1-15.
From Pragmatism to Natural Law.John Patrick Diggins - 1991 - Political Theory 19 (4):519-538.
Ii.John G. Gunnell - 1985 - Political Theory 13 (3):339-361.
Ethnicity and the Problem of Equality.Kenneth Blanchard Jr - 1993 - Interpretation 20 (3):309-324.

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