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Extra resources for Secrets and Democracy: From Arcana Imperii to WikiLeaks

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It is in this necessity that the need for inexactness in political or moral matters is partly founded. (Strauss, 1953, p. 153)21 Perhaps these quotations (there are many similar examples) are sufficient to take from Strauss’s writing the general thrust of his opinion. ’ The vulgar demos would be satisfied with myth and illusion, palliatives and pacifiers that ensured their base contentment and, most importantly, political obedience and stability. This is political theory in the grand style for some, philosophical numerology for others.

First, you’ll be exhilarated by some of this new information, and by having it all – so much! Incredible! – suddenly available to you. But second, almost as fast, you will feel like a fool for having studied, written, talked about these subjects, criticized and analyzed decisions made by presidents for years without having known of the existence of all this information, which presidents and others had and you didn’t, and which must have influenced their decisions in ways you couldn’t even guess.

His hope was that states would recognize that war amongst them was the abnormal condition and that they should always have an eye on the proper and peaceful regulation of international relations, so that anything that might hamper the rapid return to such normal relations should be avoided. Unfortunately, attaining this understanding was likely to be hampered by the quality of political leadership. This is where the role 38 Secrets and Democracy of ‘theorist as conscience’ makes an appearance, albeit one hidden from view.

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