Read Textbooks The Concept of the Political By Carl Schmitt –

The Concept of the Political 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 sacrificing oneself for the state This edition of thework includes the translator s introduction by George Schwab which highlights Schmitt s intellectual journey through the turbulent period of German 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 context

About the Author: Carl Schmitt

Carl Schmitt s early career as an academic lawyer falls into the last years of the Wilhelmine Empire See for Schmitt s life and career Bendersky 1983 Balakrishnan 2000 Mehring 2009 But Schmitt wrote his most influential works, as a young professor of constitutional law in Bonn and later in Berlin, during the Weimar period Political Theology, presenting Schmitt s theory of sovereignty, appeared in 1922, to be followed in 1923 by The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy, which attacked the legitimacy of parliamentary government In 1927, Schmitt published the first version of his most famous work, The Concept of the Political, defending the view that all true politics is based on the distinction between friend and enemy The culmination of Schmitt s work in the Weimar period, and arguably his greatest achievement, is the 1928 Constitutional Theory which systematically applied Schmitt s political theory to the interpretation of the Weimar constitution During the political and constitutional crisis of the later Weimar Republic Schmitt published Legality and Legitimacy, a clear sighted analysis of the breakdown of parliamentary government Germany, as well as The Guardian of the Constitution, which argued that the president as the head of the executive, and not a constitutional court, ought to be recognized as the guardian of the constitution In these works from the later Weimar period, Schmitt s declared aim to defend the Weimar constitution is at times barely distinguishable from a call for constitutional revision towards aauthoritarian political framework Dyzenhaus 1997, 70 85 Kennedy 2004, 154 78.Though Schmitt had not been a supporter of National Socialism before Hitler came to power, he sided with the Nazis after 1933 Schmitt quickly obtained an influential position in the legal profession and came to be perceived as the Crown Jurist of National Socialism R thers 1990 Mehring 2009, 304 436 He devoted himself, with undue enthusiasm, to such tasks as the defence of Hitler s extra judicial killings of political opponents PB 227 32 and the purging of German jurisprudence of Jewish influence Gross 2007 Mehring 2009, 358 80 But Schmitt was ousted from his position of power within legal academia in 1936, after infighting with academic competitors who viewed Schmitt as a turncoat who had converted to Nazism only to advance his career There is considerable debate about the causes of Schmitt s willingness to associate himself with the Nazis Some authors point to Schmitt s strong ambition and his opportunistic character but deny ideological affinity Bendersky 1983, 195 242 Schwab 1989 But a strong case has been made that Schmitt s anti liberal jurisprudence, as well as his fervent anti semitism, disposed him to support the Nazi regime Dyzenhaus 1997, 85 101 Scheuerman 1999 Throughout the later Nazi period, Schmitt s work focused on questions of international law The immediate motivation for this turn seems to have been the aim to justify Nazi expansionism But Schmitt was interested in the wider question of the foundations of international law, and he was convinced that the turn towards liberal cosmopolitanism in 20th century international law would undermine the conditions of stable and legitimate international legal order Schmitt s theoretical work on the foundations of international law culminated in The Nomos of the Earth, written in the early 1940 s, but not published before 1950 Due to his support for and involvement with the Nazi dictatorship, the obstinately unrepentant Schmitt was not allowed to return to an academic job after 1945 Mehring 2009, 438 63 But he nevertheless remained an important figure in West Germany s conservative intellectual scene to his death in 1985 van Laak 2002 and enjoyed a considerable degree of clandestine influence elsewhere Scheuerman 1999, 183 251 M ller 2003.Unsurprisingly, the significance and value of Schmitt s works

10 thoughts on “The Concept of the Political

  1. Brad Lyerla Brad Lyerla says:

    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

  2. Matthew W Matthew W says:

    Carl Schmitt, like Martin Heidegger, has the scary Nazi stain permanently covering his philosophical legacy Despite his tainted reputation, The Concept of the Political is still regarded by those on the right and left , as one of the best overviews on how politics work orlike how they don t work Schmitt brings up such things as how whenever the leaders of a country want to go and mass murderer a b

  3. Justin Evans Justin Evans says:

    Two ways to make a big deal of a book make sure its author was momentarily a Nazi, and, by the logical principle of contagion, follow the logic author was a nazi book is certainly nazified reader reader book reader becomes a nazi Bam This is the most dangerous book you ll ever read Except it s barely political in that sense at all, and isof an essay than a book The thought process is clear and not u

  4. Barnaby Thieme Barnaby Thieme says:

    Of the conservative thinkers I have read in the last few years, Schmitt is by far the worst I disagree with him on every level philosophical, ethical, practical, formal, psychological, and empirical He epitomizes what Nietzsche describes as the worst characteristics of German intellectual life ponderous, metaphysical, impatient, hostile, totalizing in his rigid framework, and completely humorless I ha

  5. TR TR says:

    A frank explanation of politics, and the fact of an ever present adversary in some form No political science is really science, and most political theory is nonsense, but Schmitt seems to be saying things that match up with reality here I need to read this again.

  6. Victor Victor says:

    A fantastic political piece of work on the nature of politics, or as Schmitt puts it the political Schmitt fundamentally describes politics as a realm whereby groups of people with shared characteristics compete for collective power over other groups with opposing characteristics Schmitt is the political theorist who famously coined the friend enemy distinction, meaning that within the realm of politics,

  7. Therese Therese says:

    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 theory political 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

  8. Leopold Benedict Leopold Benedict says:

    Carl Schmitt 1888 1985 is most recognised for his idea of friend foe distinction The ability of a group of people to define their enemies and friends constitutes the political The ultimate consequence and litmus test of this this process is war I find it interesting, that the friend foe distinction is not the result of his thought process, but its starting point He postulates the friend foe distinction as the

  9. Fedor Egede Fedor Egede says:

    In the book Schmitt describes the necessary methodological concepts for studying the political which is the friend enemy distinction The idea is basically that the world consists in nodes of power and these nodes are composed of people These nodes are political entities They are necessarily potentially antagonistic because if they weren t, they wouldn t be distinct entities Political entities converge and disso

  10. Gary Beauregard Bottomley Gary Beauregard Bottomley says:

    The conscience of a conservative is laid bare for the world to see in this book Their foundational assumptions are laid out by this author Yes, the author is writing as a conservative and not as a fascist, but the difference as he expresses his views are only of degrees not of kind The line between his version of conservatism and fascism is very fine I won t argue politics because it always comes down to first pr

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