As stated in the previous post, Leo Strauss was one of the fathers of the modern neo-Conservative movement, who based his manifesto on three basic principles: Deception, religious fervour and unbridled patriotism.
Strauss argued that the common people were not capable of making important decisions, so it was up to the elite of society to make those decisions for them. Of course, in a democracy where the will of the majority must prevail, the task for the 'elite' was to manipulate the masses, into making the 'right' decisions.
We saw this with Preston Manning and the Reform Party. He stated that his was a populist party, when it fact it became painfully clear to the membership that it was actually run by what they called the 'Calgary Clique'; which included Stephen Harper, Manning's lieutenant.
The Fraser Institute, a right-wing think tank, and part of the infrastructure for the right-wing revolution, also follows Strauss's theories, and selected speakers help to reinforce their views. One regular was the late Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan's economic advisor; and he is pretty clear when it comes to the notion of democracy:
The above video of Leo Strauss, is only to give you a visual, and some idea of his philosophy. The rest of that lecture can be found on YouTube, if the first one hasn't put you to sleep.
"The (Fraser) institute's relentless pursuit of free-marketeering has also demonstrated a distinctly anti-democratic component. Milton Friedman's startling intervention at the 1986 institute sponsored 'Freedom, Democracy and Welfare' forum - protesting the statement that 'democracy is an ultimate value' - led to a fascinating series of exchanges.
Friedman declared, 'You can't say that majority voting is a basic right ... That's a proposition I object to very strenuously.' The institutes's senior economist, Walter Block, agreed. Why does it follow that we should have an equal right to vote in the political process?'
"Friedman followed up his thoughts in a Fraser Forum article which concluded, 'One of the things that troubles me very much is that I believe a relatively free economy is a necessary condition for a democratic society. But I also believe there is evidence that a democratic society, once established, destroys a free economy.' Not content to stop there, he suggested that it was the pursuit of wealth that was the ultimate social value, while the pursuit of justice would lead to total ruin'." (Hard Right Turn: The New Face of neo-Conservatism in Canada, Brooke Jeffrey, Harper-Collins, 1999, ISBN: 0-00 255762-2, Pg. 423)
Donald Gutstein wrote an excellent article on Strauss and Stephen Harper's attachment to the neo-Conservative movement; giving us some idea of waht a Harper majority might look like.
What do close advisors to Stephen Harper and George W. Bush have in common? They reflect the disturbing teachings of Leo Strauss, the German-Jewish émigré who spawned the neoconservative movement. Strauss, who died in 1973, believed in the inherent inequality of humanity. Most people, he famously taught, are too stupid to make informed decisions about their political affairs. Elite philosophers must decide on affairs of state for us.
In Washington, Straussians exert powerful influence from within the inner circle of the White House. In Canada, they roost, for now, in the so-called Calgary School, guiding Harper in framing his election strategies. What preoccupies Straussians in both places is the question of "regime change."
Strauss defined a regime as a set of governing ideas, institutions and traditions. The neoconservatives in the Bush administration, who secretly conspired to make the invasion of Iraq a certainty, had a precise plan for regime change. They weren't out to merely replace Saddam with an American puppet. They planned to make the system more like the U.S., with an electoral process that can be manipulated by the elites, corporate control over the levers of power and socially conservative values ....