The End of Politics

Lilla, Mark
June 2003
New Republic;6/23/2003, Vol. 228 Issue 24, p29
Somewhere in his writings Leo Strauss remarks that the Jewish problem is the political problem in nuce. One, the most obvious, concerns the historical fate of world Jewry, from the biblical age down through the Diaspora and the establishment of the state of Israel. The other, less obvious, concerns the light that Judaism as a social fact sheds on our understanding of politics more generally. Throughout Europe's history there have been periods in which a crisis in political ideas had important consequences for Jews in their relations with other Europeans. Over the past decade, though, we have witnessed an extremely uncritical embrace of the idea of Europe among Western European intellectuals generally, and its invocation as a kind of charm against the most difficult political questions facing the Continent today.


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