“Discontent is likely to be highest when misery is bearable; when conditions have so improved that an ideal state seems almost within reach. A grievance is most poignant when almost redressed.” - Eric Hoffer, The True Believer
'While modern liberalism had stressed the pursuit of individual liberty as its highest goal, (Leo) Strauss felt that there should be a greater interest in the problem of human excellence and political virtue. Strauss taught that liberalism in its modern form contained within it an intrinsic tendency towards extreme relativism, which in turn led to two types of nihilism:
The first was a “brutal” nihilism, expressed in Nazi and Marxist regimes. In On Tyranny, he wrote that these ideologies, both descendants of Enlightenment thought, tried to destroy all traditions, history, ethics, and moral standards and replace them by force under which nature and mankind are subjugated and conquered. The second type - the “gentle” nihilism expressed in Western liberal democracies was a kind of value-free aimlessness and a hedonistic “permissive egalitarianism”, which he saw as permeating the fabric of contemporary American society.’
How does the libertarian ideal of liberty differ from that of classical liberalism?