Carl Schmitt and the Impossibility of Escape From Political Theology - the Temptation of Totalitarianism in Liberal Society
Title: Carl Schmitt and the Impossibility of Escape From Political Theology - the Temptation of Totalitarianism in Liberal Society
Author: LADEUR, Karl-Heinz
Citation: Politische Vierteljahresschrift, 1996, 37, 4, 665-&
The debate on Carl Schmitt in the past has been characterized by a fixation on National Socialism. That is why the indeterminacy inherent in his publications of the 1920ies and 1930ies has been reduced ''teleologically'' in the light of the political regime to come. The ambivalent character of the expectation of the ''Other'', of the ''fight without hope'', which intentionally escapes from conceptual reflection has consequently been shifted into the background. New publications on Carl Schmitt's ''Political Theology'' allow for a productive link to his political theory on sovereignty, and open up a new perspective on ''Carl Schmitt's problem'', the impossibility of a normative self-constitution of democracy. The alternative to a pragmatic reduction of this problem could consist in the recognition of the inescapable lack of rationality of a symbolic order, which, at the risk of self-destruction, can only be overcome by a ''decision''.
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