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Between War and PoliticsInternational Relations and the Thought of Hannah Arendt$
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Patricia Owens

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199299362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199299362.001.0001

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Beyond Strauss, Lies and the War in Iraq: A Critique of Neoconservatism

Beyond Strauss, Lies and the War in Iraq: A Critique of Neoconservatism

(p.111) 7 Beyond Strauss, Lies and the War in Iraq: A Critique of Neoconservatism
Between War and Politics

Patricia Owens (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Arendt articulated the dangers of moralism in the political realm that avoids realist cynicism. She is better placed to challenge the neoconservative vision of international affairs, ideological conviction, and their relationship to democratic society. Reading Arendt against Leo Strauss suggests that the fundamental problem with neoconservative ideology concerns its understanding of the place of philosophy in the public realm, the relationship between political thought and practice, ideas, and action. This sheds light on contemporary neoconservative claims about the power of ideas to change the world (through the invasion and occupation of Iraq), and widespread, but misguided, claims about their propensity to condone political lies. There is always a temptation to lie in politics because the lie is an intervention into the common world. This is only made worse by ideological thinking. Neoconservatives may be experts at selling wars but seem less adept at winning them.

Keywords:   Arendt, Leo Strauss, noble lie, ideology, neoconservatism, Iraq War, realism, moralism, philosophy

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