Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Political Philosophy

Get Schmitt (and Strauss, too)

AEI's Gary Schmitt (no relation, as he takes pains to note) disagrees with Mark Lilla's description of Chinese intellectual fascination with political philosopher Leo Strauss and Nazi apologist Carl Schmitt: 

Now, I have no way of knowing if what Lilla reports is accurate about Chinese views regarding Schmitt and Strauss.  However, my own experience has been somewhat the same but also somewhat different. Only a few years ago, I had dinner in China with some the leading "leftist" intellectuals.... [T]hey were reading Strauss and Schmitt as in line with each other: anti-democratic, anti-liberal and, in the case of Strauss' work on Plato and Machiavelli, as in favor of thought-infused dictatorship. What China needed was philosopher kings and a prince to guide it into better rule....

In other words, the Chinese intellectuals Gary Schmitt met were looking for western justification for their tyranny.

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