Professor Shadia Drury and the late Leo Strauss

The politics of deception and manipulation in changing economic structures:
Saskatchewan politics, Professor Shadia Drury and the Bush's Straussians

Nipawin - Thursday - October 30, 2003 - by: Mario deSantis

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This Free Market theology along with the rise of the neo-uber-alles of the United States has created such a state of dishonesty that we can no longer tolerate the status quo, that is, the continuation of fragmenting the issues to their smallest entities, so that their solutions are either "black or white."




There is no black and white solution when our realities have been hijacked by the lies of politicians and their corporate friends.




In my latest writing I expressed the feeling to dump the New Democratic Party (NDP) Saskatchewan government since they have had a history of lying, of wasting governmental money and of serving their friends. My frustration got the best of my politeness and I labeled this government a Jerk. Then yesterday I watched a portion of the debate between the leaders of the three political parties and I realised the puerility of their issues: privatisation and taxes.



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Nobody seems able to face the reality that the social and economic structures have changed in the last 40 years or so. NDP leader Lorne Calvert accused Saskatchewan Party leader Eldwin Hermanson of wanting to privatise the crown corporations (for cutting taxes) and Hermanson called Calvert a hypocrite since the same NDP government was studying the feasibility of partnering with private companies.




What I heard from every leader was that there is not much money around; the lack of money has become the gospel of the Free Market and so the fight against the deficit. In an unequal world I really believe that rather than talking about privatisation and tax cuts we have to talk about extending the provision of educational and health services as much as possible.




Our leaders are forgetting that between 1960 and 1980 Canada's real per capita income grew by 95% and that per capita income increased by only 35% between the year 1980 to 2000. They are also forgetting that in 1950, personal and corporate taxes each contributed roughly 20% of federal revenues; and in 1998 the personal tax share was around 46%, while the corporate share was 6%. It is my contention that the structural changes in the tax and economic systems have shifted the burden of taxes to people at large and that is why privatisation and the fight against the governmental deficit have been the hidden agenda of politicians and their corporate friends.




This situation has created the widening gap between the rich and the poor; as a consequence, politicians have been selling their souls to the highest corporate bidders and in so doing, they have been lying to each other and at the expense of people and at the expense of democracy.




A strong voice about our lack of democracy has come lately from Shadia Drury, professor of political science at the University of Regina. I had heard of Shadia Drury before, but I had not read anything attentively about her work until today. It has been a breath of fresh air I tell you, and it was worthwhile. In her interview on October 28 with the CBC, Drury mentioned that lies have become the rule of politics and that such lies are affecting the electoral campaigns of the NDP and Saskatchewan Party. Drury has stated
"By not being completely forthright and honest they actually diminish political debate... Both parties want to manipulate us. And they see politics as a game of manipulation.. manipulating public opinion rather than raising the level of public debate."




But the work of Shadia Drury has an international resonance. What I found very interesting about Drury is that she explains the current lying and manipulation of the Bush administration as flowing from the doctrines of the political philosopher Leo Strauss. Strauss believed that societies should be hierarchical, divided between an elite who should lead, and the masses who should follow; therefore, it is consequential for Straussians, argues Drury, that deception and perpetual wars are the norm in political life. Among the Straussians attached to the Bush administration are: Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, 'Weekly Standard' editor William Kristol, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Stephen Cambone, a number of senior fellows at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and Gary Schmitt, the director of the influential Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which is chaired by Kristol.




The Straussian world order is described in Drury's words
"When Lilliput was on fire, Gulliver urinated over the city, including the palace. In so doing, he saved all of Lilliput from catastrophe, but the Lilliputians were outraged and appalled by such a show of disrespect."
The disclosure of the Strauss doctrines has cost Drury many hostilities and since she taught in Calgary before joining the University of Regina she was dubbed by some Canadian Straussians as "the bitch from Calgary" but I must say that it is better to be called a truthful bitch than a liar. Lilliput's allusion to the Straussian world order is metaphorically repeated by the Bush administration in Iraq. The Iraq war was based on propaganda and manipulation, and now that Iraq is on fire the administration is saving this country with the flooding of the Free Market. God save us all from the Straussians and the Bushits!



Mario deSantis


  Pertinent articles published in Ensign
  deSantis, Mario Is this NDP Saskatchewan Government a Jerk? The hiring of SAIC and the protecting of Police Superintendent Brian Dueck October 28, 2003 Ensign
  Cook, Tim Saskatchewan's leaders debate October 28, 2003 Canoe,
  Cepr PER CAPITA GDP GROWTH, 1960-2000
  Dale, Bob OPINION: Life Among the Econ: A Canadian Perspective Progressive Economics Forum
  University of Regina Shadia Drury: Canada Research Chair in Social Justice and Professor in the Departments of Political Science and Philosophy
  CBC Saskatchewan Election fibbing jeopardizes democracy, says prof October 27, 2003
  Lobe, Jim Leo Strauss' Philosophy of Deception May 19, 2003 AlterNet,
  Postel, Daniel Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neo-cons, and Iraq (Danny Postel interviews Shadia Drury) October 16, 2003 Open Democracy,


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