chapter  19
10 Pages

Weber and the Straussian Charge of Relativism

The aim in this chapter is to underline the ‘ignorance’ of Strauss’s rash, trans-

cultural judgments and his critique of the ‘inability’ or unwillingness of social

sciences to make judgments of that sort. This kind of Straussianism is still alive

in academia (Behnegar 2005)4 but it has also jumped species to reverberate in

nativist rants of right wing talk show hosts. We are not calling Leo Strauss ignorant

in the usual sense of the word-for not even his enemies deny his erudition in the

Western tradition. Borrowing from African American activists, we use ‘ignorance’

as a stand in for careless, reckless, libelous and Eurocentric view of other cultures.

We are charging Strauss and some of his followers with sliding down a ladder