Quite of a few of the most prominent neoconservatives struck me as as sociopathic. In fact, their hero, Leo Strauss, seemed like a psychopath himself to me. Strauss supported the Nazi regime until it started to go after the Jews. What most do not know is that many German Jews were incipient Nazis and they supported the Nazis until they went after their own kind.
Some of Strauss’ most famous works were written almost like crossword puzzles. They were supposedly analyses of Plato or other major philosophers, but they were written in this sort of “code” in which there was another, usually sinister, reading deep down inside. The Straussians were a cult of grad students and later professors who formed a Straussian “cult” whereby they were the “keepers of the Straussian flame” who had “access to the sacred Straussian texts,” and so were in a sense in on a big secret known only to themselves. Almost like Masons with their secret handshakes.
Strauss of course was a Jew, and many of the Straussians were Jews. Paul Wolfowitz was a prominent Straussian. Straussians are at heart nasty, fascist-like people who believe like Nazis that “the masses are asses,” are too stupid to govern themselves and therefore must be led by an aristocratic ruling class. Straussians are quite clear that the aristocrats must rule the peons (you, me and everyone not an aristocrat). Hannah Arendt, another much more humanistic Jewish philosopher, famously took Strauss to task over his views and more or less accused him of promoting fascism.
Along the same lines, Straussianism can be summed up as “the strong must rule the weak,” because the masses, in addition to being idiots, are also weak people. Society can only be ruled by the strong and not by the weak. If the weak rule, moral rot sets in along with cultural decay and what Straussians would call “too much democracy,” which is synonymous with the lack of aristocratic rule.
Straussians actually believe that the aristocratic rulers of society must start wars every now and then in order to keep the people strong-minded and to keep weakness and moral rot from setting in. They also believe that the people must be distracted with “bread and circuses” which the masses, being weak-minded idiots, will of course fall for, which will leave the aristocratic rulers of society to do as they please. In these senses, especially in the democracy causing weakness and moral rot and the need to start wars now and again to prevent this, Strauss resembles modern European philosophers like Kojeve.
Straussians also believe in “the necessity of the lie.” This is dressed up in moral clothing by calling it “the necessity of the noble lie,” but if you see the sort of things that Straussians push for, it’s clear that a lot of the lies that they tell are not so noble. Aristocrats love to dress up their self-serving and anti-Democratic policies in moral language because it makes them feel better about what they are doing, and it makes their program go down easier with the masses.