Carl Schmitt: The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy and The Concept of the Political (2155 words)

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Outline of Topics: Carl Schmitt:
A. Carl Schmitt, The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy (1923)
The Enemy: The Soviet Union (the Anti-Christ, anti-religious, materialist, technological rationality, bureaucracy)
Liberalism = what?
Representative Democracy versus Mass Democracy: what?
Parliamentarism: representative, based on principle of discussion, openness, division of powers, rule of law. (Weaknesses of: dominance of (economic) parties, politics of personalities, amateurishness, banality of debate, obstructionism, etc.)
Relation between Parliamentarism and Democracy
Liberal (economic) notion of Representation versus True (substantive) Representation
Constitutional Separation of Powers (the Rechtsstaat) v. Dictatorship
Idea of Sovereignty (vs Rule of law, Parliamentarism)
Critique of Marxist Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Social Theory of Myth
The Energy of Nationalism

B. Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political (1932)
The State: what?
‘The Political’ (Friend-Enemy distinction)
Sovereignty & the Exception
Public enemy (Hostis) versus Private Enemy (Inimicas)
War and Jus Belli
The Protection-Obedience Axiom (protego ergo obligo) p. 52
The Normal State
Concept of Humanity (& war in the name of)
The League of Nations
Conclusions on the Liberal State

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The Enemy: The Soviet Union (the Anti-Christ, anti-religious, materialist, technological rationality, bureaucracy)
Schmitt sees the Soviet Union as the enemy because the Soviet Union does not only embody economic rationality and socialism but also anarchism. He sees the Soviet Union as state that represents an irrational revolt against form and order; Soviet Union for Schmitt is just a formal, mechanical and a lifeless state commanded by technological rationality and bureaucracy; In addition Soviet Union is classified as having satanic (Anti-Christ) quality and being a threat to Europe. Furthermore Soviet Union, according to Schmitt, is a home of anti-western spirit.
Liberalism = what?
At first, Schmitt is one of the most influential critics of liberalism which can be seen in his understanding of the political. Schmitt thinks it is rather essential that liberalism must be understood as a consistent and comprehensive metaphysical system and that discussion is central focus of liberalism. He believes that in liberalism, search for the answers, and search for the truth is represented as a dialogue where there is no act of force and where reasons, arguments and persuasions are dominant. Therefore liberalism is a theory which has the central focus on an assumption that every political conflict can be transformed into discussion. Schmitt claims that liberal political theory tends to deny the need for making genuine political decision. Liberals share a belief that every conflict among individuals can be solved through advancement of technology or societal organization or settled peacefully with everyone gaining from that settlement. According to Schmitt, all mentioned above proves that liberalism can’t provide or build an effective political identity which is basis for true political decisions thus liberalism in the name of protection of individual freedoms fails to constitute a permanent political community.
Representative Democracy versus Mass Democracy: what?
For Schmitt democracy was separated from parlamentarism and representation as the people as citizens are heterogeneous, but as active participants of democracy, the citizens are identical with the state...

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