De Gaulle 1969 eE thinkers I have read in the last few years Schmitt is by far the worst I disagree with him onvery level philosophical The Social Media Business Equation ethical practical formal psychological andmpirical He pitomizes what Nietzsche describes as the worst characteristics of German intellectual life ponderous metaphysical impatient hostile totalizing in his rigid framework and completely humorless I haven t disagreed with a work so completely since I read Sayyid utb s Milestones which is not altogether dissimilar from Schmitt s ssay in spirit My full review is here Vladimir Putin had a good week here in Michigan this past week Opponents of liberal democracy and the rule of law are slapping hands over the spectacle of a group of heavily armed Michiganders trying to force their way into the State House to demand that the governor and state legislators roll back the stay at home rules implemented to slow the spread of Covid 19 To show their displeasure they Encyclop�die Der Rechtswissenschaft enthusiastically waved the Nazi and confederate flags that they must keep at home for the President s next political rally If you show up with a swastika you can t come inside because of the cameras You have to stand outside wave your flag and cheer for the others as they arrive and leaveWaving slave owner flags and swastikas is meant to outrage and provoke us In its own way it is anxpression of unhappiness with the government almost as time honored as the burning of the American flag is for the left leaning The irony of this would be mildly amusing if not for the automatic weapons These volk regard themselves as genuine patriots White Christmas-Bloody Christmas even as they celebrate two of the most heinousnemies our country has waged war against It would be Iraq from Manadate Independence easy to dismiss them as clueless They are largely clueless if they care about persuading the rest of us that their grievances have merit But it isually true that their rage runs deeply and they absolutely hate liberal democracy as practiced in the American Republic for the last half century Liberal democracy has two flaws that are The Cambridge Handbook of Social Problems easilyxploited by Genres Across the Disciplines enemies abroad and demagogues at home By positing sovereignty in individuals liberal democracylevates liberty far above justice That weakens the bonds between fellow citizens and Fluttershys Ferocious Friend! empowersxtremism If you are your own sovereign then you are Game Night empowered to do whatever you like and you can rationalize negativeffects on others by invoking Magic Touch (The Wizards of Venus, emotional appeals to the founders liberty and the supposed moral authority of individualism That message directed to vulnerable audiences can result in spectacles like the one we saw here in our state s capital a few days ago That is liberalism s first flawThe second is related It is that the strong version of individualism makes collective action very hard to orchestrate Covid 19 and the Republican Party s response to it hasxposed this weakness very nicely Many people do not want to be inconvenienced by social distancing and liberalism gives them a respectable argument for why they should not have to be Their argument is a version of the old you are not the boss of me in a mash up with high flown concepts like federalism inalienable rights and personal choice Unlike other national Grovers Own Alphabet emergencies such as World War II forxample where citizens were willing to defer to the greater needs of the country and accept rationing of gasoline tires food and other necessities now far too many people are unwilling to accept any meaningful sacrifice whatsoever They suffer from the Husband for Real egoism of liberal democracy unmoderated by any sense of justice The drama ueen in the Whitehouse isxpert at Root to Stem exploiting such confused thinking and that makes matters worseThis brings us to Carl Schmitt He was annthusiastic Nazi and anti Semite There have been many critics of liberal democracy since it was invented in the seventeenth century Many have been respectable thinkers and worthwhile human beings That was not the case with Schmitt He never apologized for his work on behalf of Hitler and he continued to author antisemitic propaganda well into the 20th century long after the Third Reich had Hard Pushed ended This is not to say that he was not clever In fact he was uite clever Evilness and cleverness are not mutuallyxclusive Schmitt s cleverness had to do with his hatred of liberal democracy He formulated an argument directed towards the second of liberal democracy s flaws discussed above And his argument has gained a good deal of traction among the intelligentsia in the west over the past 30 years or so His book THE CONCEPT OF THE POLITICAL is regarded as the best introduction to
"This ArgumentSchmitt S Argument "argumentSchmitt s argument I interpret it and translate it into my own language is that Hobbes got human nature and its relationship to government wrong Individuals do not How Philosophy Works enjoy sovereignty that is ceded to a strong ruler for the mutual benefit of providingveryone a defense against an aggressive Charlie Hernndez the League of Shadows enemy Rather the political does not begin toxist until something happens that organizes us into friend and The Little Book of Comfort enemy groupings For this purpose thenemy is a collective Dancing on the Ceiling enemy Personalnemies do not count Once we are grouped we then begin to do the political And we do it as a volk The political belongs to the volk Schmitt seems to sayAs an aside it is not perfectly clear that doing the political is the same thing as practicing government as Schmitt thinks of it But for my purposes I have interpreted him as The Wee Free Men (Discworld, euating the two for the most part Otherwise I do not know what the point of his discussion would beDoing the political then becomes helping your friends and hurting yournemy Schmitt sees this struggle as Kidnapped existential Thenemy threatens to cancel your very way of life Therefore it All Quiet on the Western Front empowers collective action and sacrifice in a way that liberal democracy cannot In particular itmpowers the ultimate sacrifice The individual s participation in the volk includes and this is critically important the will to die for your volk Because the political is História do Rei Transparente existential in this way warfare or its possibility is ultimately the human activity that pervades and animates all of what we do when we do governmentSchmitt ridicules liberal democracy for its commitment to process law and diplomacy He thinks those reflect a profound misunderstanding of human nature He allows that war is to be avoided when possible But the reality of war and the reality that war is necessary sometimes for the volk to continue toxist is what lies at the heart of the human impulse to organize government Given that warfare for the volk still makes for uncomfortable dinner conversation for most of us one may wonder why reading Schmitt is back in fashion This is an interesting uestion It has been "PLAUSIBLY ARGUED THAT CRITICS OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY ON BOTH "argued that critics of liberal democracy on both right and the left may not like Schmitt s theory in the details but do share democracy on both the right and the left may not like Schmitt s theory in the details but do share distaste for process diplomacy and law They read him now and that has had the conseuence of resuscitating his reputation a bit Plus he offers a rationale for collective action that appeals to some and arguably might be validated to a degree by the wartime xperiences of liberal democraciesFor myself I regard Schmitt as the perfect philosopher for the Klingon Empire No thank you Herr Schmitt Liberalism is the philosophy that I want to prevail where I live I am not blind to its limitations but I see clearly that the alternatives are far dangerous The challenge for liberalism today is to talk our cohorts back into the fold where we thoughtfully balance and rebalance as needed our mix of liberty and justice I instinctively agree with those who have argued that the way to do this is to rethink the meaning of citizenship toward an understanding that citizenship inherently reuires moderation and sacrifice in ual measure with liberty As for Schmitt he is not reuired reading in my syllabus. Rman history leading to the Hitlerian one party state It also includes Leo Strauss's analysis of Schmitt's thesis and a foreword by Tracy B Strong placing Schmitt's work into contemporary contex. Illings Of course it s not hard to convince me that that fascism racism and genocide are all Bad Things and this Us vs Them rhetoric that drives it is dangerousSchmitt s big idea however is that the opposition between us and them is precisely what defines the political he uses different terms and calls it the opposition between friend and Dinosaur Dinners enemy but it seems to be the same idea Inthics according to Schmitt the defining opposition is good versus In His Blood evil while in aesthetics it s the ugly and the beautiful and inconomics it s the profitable and the unprofitable just as Desert Kings (Deathlands, each of these areas has its own rules and logic and system of values so also does the political However the political is different in that any type of conflict between groups in any of the other areas becomes political when it rises to the level that it creates friendnemy differences So the relationship of An Officer and a Spy ethics or morality to the political is that conflicts over right and wrong or uestions of what is good andvil turn into us versus them or friend Exposed (Annika Bengtzon, enemy conflicts and then they are political differences So political differences can never be about actualthical differences because when they intensify to the level of the political they re by definition political not thicalSchmitt then critiues liberalism on this basis and here liberalism isn t in the sense of US style Democratic leftist progressive ideas but rather it means or less classical liberalism basically the combination of believing in free markets and individual liberty safeguarded by democratic institutions the separation of powers and checks and balances to prevent any one set of interests from overreaching In Schmitt s view liberalism attempts to tie the political to the thical and subjugate it to Naked economics And so liberalism tries to pretend that there can be politics or governance based onthical concepts like fairness and compassion instead of friend versus Shadow Scale (Seraphina, enemy power struggles In Schmitt syes this means that liberalism is in denial about the impossibility of taking the political out of politics and governance so liberalism Claim The Crown ends up pretending that political disagreements can really be aboutthics or goodness when the reality is they can t Instead these claims by various parties of haveing superior Nerds ethics justnd up creating new friend In the Shadow of the Crown (Queens of England, enemy or us versus them conflicts To this point he uotes Hobbes The conviction ofach side that it possesses the truth the good and the just bring about the worst Bark enmities finally the war of all against all And Schmitt writes The worst confusion arises when concepts such as justice and freedom are used to legitimize one s own political ambitions and to disualify or demoralize thenemy And the classical liberals who tout the importance of rule of law are just On Such a Full Sea engaging in the legitimization of a self benefiting status uo I think this raises a genuine uestion of whether Schmitt is overly cynical about the possibility of an overarching morality that can govern political andconomic behavior alike or whether he is correct if only within the context of his own definitions and system of thought where this is presupposed to be the Hello, Hippo! Goodbye, Bird! essence of the political that all moral stances have their political uses One of the criticisms that I ve seen leveled against Jason Stanley s book about fascism forxample is that Stanley s presentation of fascism Cannibal ends up hypocritically creating its own us versus them opposition with conservatives who may have legitimate and sincere differences of opinion based on deeply held views about what is moral demonized asvil dumb fascists and lumped in with Nazis And there is perhaps a little kernel of truth in this criticism though I am no friend to moral cynicism By moral cynicism I mean ideas such as that all morality is relative and the serial killer s view that serial murder is good is just as valid someone Mastered (The Enforcers, else s view that murder isvil because all morality is made up and artificial culturally determined simply to define in groups and out groups For me a useful and constructive criticism of Stanley might have to do with moral condemnation and outrage as one of those games where the only real way to win is not to play Authoritarian propagandists love the those games where the only real way to win is not to play Authoritarian propagandists love the game but it doesn t mean we need to get drawn in and play it as there is always the risk of taking on the characteristics of authoritarians in opposing them As Nietzsche argues we must be careful when we go out to fight monsters lest we become themSchmitt also writes about the importance to political theories of the concept of mankind aka the philosophical anthropology that underlies them While liberalism sees humans as basically good or non dangerous Schmitt says that All genuine political theories presuppose man to be Man, Son of Man evil That is humans are dangerous and there is a genuine risk that they will try to wipe you out ofxistence In this fear of loss of identity in which the other threatens our Alter Ego existence by virtue of being different we definitely see a key tribalist anxiety of the authoritarian right Of course if political theory has as its implicit orxplicit grounding the idea that politics is intrinsically Machiavellian and amoral and operates according to a separate internal logic this is perhaps also correct In its way Perhaps the most trenchant criticism Schmitt makes of classical liberalism is one that will appeal to the authoritarian Left A domination of man based upon pure conomics must appear a terrible deception if by remaining nonpolitical it thereby vades political responsibility and visibility Schmitt sees the freedom of mutual contracts deteriorating into Uncommon Wisdom exploitation and repression such that the oppressed can t defend themselvesconomically but only politically This a tenet Unseen City embraced by the social justice movement and we can see plenty ofvidence for it in the present momentOf course I d say one of Schmitt s big problems overall is his tendency to think sloppily and imprecisely in binary opposed categories rather than in terms of nuanced multidimensional spectrums There s no middle ground between friend or Art enemy His friendship or us hood seems to consistxclusively of loyalty and group identity if it God Is in the Crowd exists at all and there is no concept in his system of anything like mutual beneficence cooperation or symbiosis There are only zero sum win lose games and no concept of win win or lose lose strategizing The concept of political moderation isntirely absent Liberalism which might think of itself as a form of governance that moderates between xtremes and
Promotes Compromise Is Insteadcompromise is instead as a chaotic anarchic vacuum that simply nables new authoritarian power grabs He constantly seems to mix up classical liberalism with straightup anarchism and he seems to slide instantly down a slippery slope where if the government needs to provide a little control to protect people from The Matriarchs (The Family economicxploitation then the whole classical liberal idea of limited government balancing individual freedom with collectively mediating various interests has to be chucked out the window And humankind has to be Notes for the Everlost either basically good or basicallyvil and sinful it can t just be that we re complicated and human with strength and weaknesses neither good nor When I Moan (Vassi and Seri 1: Russian Stepbrother Romance) evil So it doesn t take much imagination to follow this simplistic thinking to where he decides the Third Reich is the government for him and strongman based authoritarian government will cure the ills of the Weimar Republic At thend of the day I still want a better and nuanced theory and No Biggy! explanation that accounts for the complexity of how the personal relates to the political and wherethics comes in and what a vision of politics looks like where us versus them is just one approach rather than the only possible approach Of the conservativ. Ing oneself for the state This dition of the 1932 work includes the translator's introduction by George Schwab which highlights Schmitt's intellectual journey through the turbulent period of Ge. ,
READ Der Begriff des Politischen,
Attracting Birds to Your Backyard employees need to be motivated by fear or by rewards My first principle is always there but for the favor of the universe go I conservatives such as Schmitt would say fear is preferred and it s their own fault they are poor or stupid or ignorant Schmitt believes human nature is originally bad and needs the state to institute culture and character in the individual and not just any culture and character but the culture of the common conforming identity of the state that makes it cultured and most civilized those of the prevailing narrative He will say democracy is flawed becauseuality will always fail itself The world must be divided into Deep Listening enemy and friend let me see now is there any current president who sees the world in thosexact same binaries Oswald Spangler flows through these pages and Schmitt does cite him favorably Spangler will say culture is destiny and over they would agree that the right culture is the right destiny and all we need is a clear headed leader to point us on the right pathSchmitt is batshit crazy Conservatives today would love this book The line to fascism is only a hairs breadth away from the story that Schmitt is laying out Strauss and Adorno are all over the footnotes and afterwards in this book They are part of the Frankfurt School as is Francis Fukuyama or maybe he s just a neocon which is practically the same thing I acted viscerally against Fukuyama s book Identity because it s so Bird-by-Bird Gardening easy to connect the dots between those batshit conservatives and they both have the belief that having the identity of the imaginary conforming narrative is having no identity at all As for Adorno he wants to believe in myths but just thought fascism was the wrong myth see Dialectics of Enlightenment and Strauss would believe in hidden truthssoteric not The Works of Saint Augustine exoteric in support of his brand of conservatism because in thend for all of those people of the conservative stripe they must have absolute truth be their standard and relational or relative standards are for those who prefer to think with phronesis practical wisdom in the Aristotelian sense The prevailing narrative that describes a country or a state or a culture is always an Unbuttoning the CEO (The Suits Undone exclusionary narrative see Sissy A Coming of Gender Story by Tobia for why the prevailing conforming narrative can be wrong when in the hands of a batshit crazy conservative like Schmitt and is just a method fornabling hate so that people will vote for them since they hate the same people the cult leader hates as in Trumps case or in Schmitt s case it My Teacher Is a Robot enabled oxymoron alert conservative intellectuals to feel comfortablembracing Hitler and his fellow Nazis Can you really call Schmitt a conservative intellectual when he said four or five times pacifist can never fight a war against themselves Hitler actually said the same thing in his autobiography There s a reason that I can t stand the foremost intellectual David Brooks uote Jordan Peterson He would almost certainly agree with the Supper Club entire Liberal in the original sense of the word bashing in this book and he wouldmbrace all of the conservative first principles laid out in this book and I think they both walk a super fine line towards Moanas New Friend (Disney Moana) enabling fascist First a longish preface about where I m coming from in reading and reacting to this book I m a newcomer to reading about political theorypolitical philosophy One thing I ve become curious about is its boundaries as a discipline Just from casual conversations I get the impression that political theorists are at pains to differentiate the political from the non political of course that makes sense in terms of academics wanting to defend their own turf andstablish special Professional Capital expertise as opposed to all the random curious and talkative people amongst the general public who might otherwise think they knowverything about politics from random curious and talkative people amongst the general public who might otherwise think they know Seven Dwarfs Find a House (Disney Classic) everything about politics from the news But it seems to go deeper than just boundary drawingForxample I get the impression there s a broadly accepted principle that you can t Berlioz, Vol. 2 exactly apply the ideas you might have about interpersonalthics in talking about politics Personal virtues are intrinsically different from political virtues for The Middle Sin (Cleo North example the Italian theorist Norberto Bobbio distinguishes between the political virtue of meekness in a moderate politician versus the personal virtue of humility in a private citizenven though to me they sounded kind of like the same thing And when I posted about how nice I thought it was that Ellen DeGeneres and George W Bush shook hands and laughed together at a baseball game a left leaning friend with an Ivy League degree in politics became very critical of the notion that if kindness and civility are important interpersonally in day to day life they could also be laudable or The Mediterranean Millionaires Mistress even just acceptable between political opponentsOf course I read Machiavelli a gajillion years ago and I get the idea that politicalxpediency has its own logic and rules but it s still a little surprising to me if there s the notion that the personal and the political are so separate and different as all that and if it s generally accepted by theorists that politics is by definition amoral Machiavellian politics And what about one of the catchphrases of 1970s feminism that the personal is the political I think as a group women certainly have xperienced public policies as having the potential to be intensely personal and intimately invasive given that politics can directly threaten or protect our sexual and reproductive autonomy we have
"so long had to combat dehumanizing views of our bodies as a public good a common resource to be distributed "long had to combat dehumanizing views of our bodies as a public good a common resource to be distributed regulated through patriarchal public decision making George Orwell s 1984 also xplores how intimately authoritarianism can invade individuals lives in shaping and limiting their Men of Steele Bundle emotions thoughts and sexualxpressions and conversely how intimacy can be a political act And of course we ve seen in this ra of resurgent far right nationalist authoritarianism how these movements invade people s private "lives and relationships as political differences in people s allegiances lead to strangements between formerly close family members and "and relationships as political differences in people s allegiances lead to The Millionaires Waitress Wife (The Brubaker Brides, estrangements between formerly close family members and in compiling lists of books to read to getducated about politics and authoritarianism the thesis of this one was very intriguing to me since it sounded like it xplicitly confronted and xpounded on this uestion of the boundaries of what is political and not as well as the seemingly foundational assumption of some political theory that the personal isn t the political and the political isn t the personal and thus personal thics don t apply in the political sphere And all the so because of the author s personal history his decision to join the Nazi Party in 1933 a year after the 1932 publication of this book during the Weimar Republic interwar period in Germany interestingly Schmitt became officially a Nazi the same month and year as the philosopher Martin HeideggerThe last book I read before Schmitt s was political philosopher Jason Stanley s How Fascism Works The Politics of Us and Them Stanley focuses on authoritarian nationalist Far Right thinking and rhetoric as it revolves around the opposition of us and them which can be turned to dehumanizing and violent purposes ranging from hatred and oppression to pogroms and mass In this his most influential work legal theorist and political philosopher Carl Schmitt argues that liberalism's basis in individual rights cannot provide a reasonable justification for sacrific.