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samedi, 23 juillet 2011

Carl Schmitt: Total Enemy, Total State & Total War

Total Enemy, Total State, & Total War


Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com/

 Translated by Simona Draghici

Editor’s Note:

The following translation from Carl Schmitt appears online for the first time in commemoration of Schmitt’s birth on July 11, 1888. The translation originally appeared in Carl Schmitt, Four Essays, 1931–1938, ed. and trans. Simona Draghici (Washington, D.C.: Plutarch Press, 1999).


cs.jpgIn a certain sense, there have been total wars at all times; a theory of the total war, however, presumably dates only from the time of Clausewitz who would talk of “abstract” and “absolute” wars.”[1] Later on, under the impact of the experiences of the last Great War, the formula of total war has acquired a specific meaning and a particular effectiveness. Since 1920, it has become the prevailing catchword. It was first brought out in sharp relief in the French literature, in book titles like La guerre totale. Afterwards, between 1926 and 1928, it found its way into the language of the proceedings of the disarmament committee at Geneva. In concepts such as “war potential” (potentiel de guerre), “moral disarmament” (désarmement moral) and “total disarmament” (désarmement total). The fascist doctrine of the “total state” came to it by way of the state; the association yielded the conceptual pair: total state, total war. In Germany, the publication of the Concept of the Political has since 1927 expanded the pair of totalities to a set of three: total enemy, total war, total state. Ernst Jünger’s book of 1930 Total Mobilization made the formula part of the general consciousness. Nonetheless, it was only Ludendorff’s 1936 booklet entitled Der Totale Krieg (The Total War) that lent it an irresistible force and caused its dissemination beyond all bounds.

The formula is omnipresent; it forces into view a truth whose horrors the general consciousness would rather shun. Such formulas, however, are always in danger of becoming widespread nationally and internationally and of being degraded to summary slogans, to mere gramophone records of the publicity mill. Hence some clarifications may be appropriate.

(a) A war may be total in the sense of summoning up one’s strength to the limit, and of the commitment of everything to the last reserves.[2] It may also be called total in the sense of the unsparing use of war means of annihilation. When the well-known English author J. F. C. Fuller writes in a recent article, entitled “The First of the League Wars, Its Lessons and Omens,” that the Italian campaign in Abyssinia was a modern total war, he only refers to the use of efficacious weapons (airplanes and gas), whereas looked at from another vantage point, Abyssinia in fact was not capable of waging a modern total war nor did Italy use its reserves to the limit, reach the highest intensity, and lead to an oil blockade or to the closing of the Suez Canal, because of the pressure exerted through the sanctions imposed by the League of Nations.

(b) A war may be total either on both sides or on one side only. It may also be deliberately limited, rationed and measured out, because of the geographical situation, the war technique in use, and also the predominant political principles of both sides. The typical 18th-century war, the so-called “cabinet war,” was essentially and deliberately a partial war. It rested on the clear segregation of the soldiers participating in the war from the non-participant inhabitants and non-combatants. Nevertheless, the Seven Years War of Frederick the Great was relatively total, on Prussia’s side, when compared with the other powers’ mobilization of forces. A situation, typical of Germany, showed itself readily in that case: the adversity of geographical conditions and the foreign coalitions compelled a German state to mobilize its forces to a higher degree than its more affluent and fortunate bigger neighbors.[3]

(c) The character of the war may change during the belligerent showdown. The will to fight may grow limp or it may intensify, as it happened in the 1914–1918 world war, when the war trend on the German side towards the mobilization of all the economic and industrial reserves soon forced the English side to introduce general conscription.

(d) Finally, some other methods of confrontation and trial of strength, which are not total, always develop within the totality of war. Thus for a time, everyone seeks to avoid a total war which naturally carries a total risk. In this way, after the world war, there were the so-called military reprisals (the 1923 Corfu Conflict, Japan-China in 1932), followed by the attempts at non-military, economic sanctions, according to Article 16 of the Covenant of the League of Nations (against Italy, autumn 1935), and finally, certain methods of power testing on foreign soil (Spain 1936–1937) emerged in a way that could be correctly interpreted only in close connection with the total character of modern warfare. They are intermediate and transitional forms between open war and true peace; they derive their meaning from the fact that total war looms large in the background as a possibility, and an understandable caution recommends itself in the delineation of the conflictual spaces. Likewise, it is only from this point of view that they can be grasped by the science of international law.


The core of the matter lies in warfare. From the nature of the total war one may grasp the character and the whole aspect of state totality; from the special character of the decisive weapons one may deduce the peculiar character and aspect of the totality of war. But it is the total enemy that gives the total war its meaning.[4]

The different services and types of warfare, land warfare, sea warfare, air warfare, they each experience the totality of war in a particular way. A corresponding world of notions and ideas piles on each of these types of warfare. The traditional notions of “levée en masse” (levy), “nation armée” (nation in arms), and “Volk in Waffen” (the people in arms) belong to land warfare.[5] Out of these notions emerged the continental doctrine of total war, essentially as a doctrine of land warfare, and that thanks mainly to Clausewitz. Sea warfare, on the other hand, has its own strategic and tactical methods and criteria; moreover, until recently, it has been first and foremost a war against the opponent’s trade and economy, whence a war against non-combatants, an economic war, which by its laws of blockade, contraband, and prizes, drew neutral trade into the hostilities, as well. Air warfare has not so far built up a similar fully-fledged and independent system of its own. There is no doctrine of air warfare yet that would correspond to the world of notions and concepts accumulated with regard to land and sea warfare. Nonetheless, as a consequence of air warfare, the overall configuration sways in the main towards a three-dimensional total war.

The “if” of a total war is beyond any doubt today. The “how” may vary. The totality is perceptible from opposite vantage points. Hence the standard type of guide and leader in a total war is necessarily different. It would be too simple an equation to accept that the soldier will step into the centre of this totality as the prevailing type in a total war to the same extent as in other kinds of wars previously.[6] If, as it has been said, total mobilization abolishes the separation of the soldier from the civilian, it may very well happen that the soldier changes into a civilian as the civilian changes into a soldier, or both may change into something new, a third alternative. In reality, it all depends on the general character of the war. A real war of religion turns the soldiers into the tools of priests or preachers. A total war that is waged on behalf of the economy becomes the tool of economic power groups. There are other forms in which the soldier himself is the typical model and the ascending expression of the character of the people. Geographical conditions, racial and social peculiarities of all kinds, are factors that determine the type of warfare waged by great nations. Even today it is unlikely that a nation could engage in all the three kinds of warfare to a degree equal to the three-dimensional total war. It is probable that the centre of gravity in the deployment of forces will always rest with one or the other of the three kinds of warfare and the doctrine of total war will draw on it.[7]

Until now the history of the European peoples has been dominated by the contrast of the English sea warfare with the Continental land warfare. It is not a matter of “traders and heroes” or that sort of thing, but rather the recognition that any of the various kinds of warfare may become total, and out of its own characteristics generate a special world of notions and ideals as its own doctrine and also relevant to international and constitutional law, particularly in the assessment of the soldier’s worth and of his position in the general body of the people. It would be a mistake to regard the English sea warfare of the last three centuries in the light of the total land warfare of Clausewitz’s theory, essentially as mere trade and economic but not total warfare, and to misinterpret it as unconnected with and markedly different from totality. It is the English sea warfare that generated the kernel of a total world view.[8]

The English sea warfare is total in its capacity for total enmity. It knows how to mobilize religious, ideological, spiritual, and moral forces as only few of the great wars in world history have done. The English sea warfare against Spain was a world-wide combat of the Germanic and Romance peoples, between Protestantism and Catholicism, Calvinism and Jesuitism, and there are few instances of such outbursts of enmity as intense and final as Cromwell’s against the Spaniards. The English war against Napoleon likewise changed from a sea war into a “crusade.” In the war against Germany between 1914 and 1918, the world-wide English propaganda knew how to whip up enormous moral and spiritual energies in the name of civilization and humanity, of democracy and freedom, against the Prussian-German “militarism.” The English mind had also proved its ability to interpret the industrial-technical upsurge of the 19th century in the terms of the English worldview. Herbert Spencer drew an extremely effective picture of history that was disseminated all over the world, in countless works of popularization, the propagandistic force of which proved its worth in the 1914–1918 World War. It was the philosophy of mankind’s progress, presented as an evolution from feudalism to trade and industry, from the political to the economic, from soldiers to industrialists, from war to peace. It portrayed the soldier essentially as Prussian-German, eo ipso “feudal reactionary,” a “medieval” figure standing in the way of progress and peace. Moreover, out of its specificity, the English sea warfare evolved a full, self-contained system of international law. It asserted itself and its own concepts held on their own against the corresponding concepts of Continental international law throughout the 19th century. There is an Anglo-Saxon concept of enemy, which in essence rejects the differentiation between combatants and non-combatants, and an Anglo-Saxon conception of war that incorporates the so-called economic war. In short, the fundamental concepts and norms of this English international law are total as such and certainly indicative of an ideology in itself total.

Finally, the English constitutional regulations turned the subordination of the soldiers to the civilians into an ideological principle and imposed it upon the Continent during the liberal 19th century. By those standards, civilization lies in the rule of the bourgeois, civilian ideal which is essentially unsoldierly. Accordingly, the constitution is always but a civil-bourgeois system in which, as Clemenceau put it, the soldier’s only raison d’être is to defend the civilian bourgeois society, while basically he is subject to civilian command. The Prussian soldier state carried on a century-long political struggle on the home front against this bourgeois constitutional ideal. It succumbed to it in the Autumn of 1918. The history of Prussian Germany’s home politics from 1848 to 1918 was a ceaseless conflict between the army and parliament, an uninterrupted battle which the government had to fight with the parliament over the structure of the army, and the army budget necessary to make ready for an unavoidable war, that were determined not by the necessities of foreign policy but rather by compromises regarding internal policy. The dictate of Versailles, which stipulated the army’s organization and its equipment to the smallest detail, in an agreement of foreign policy, was preceded by half a century of periodical agreements of internal policy between the Prussian-German soldier state and its internal policy opponents, in which all the details of the organization and the equipment of the army had been decided by the internal policy. The conflict between bourgeois society and the Prussian soldier state led to an unnatural isolation of the War Office from the power of command and to many other separations, consistently rooted in the opposition between a bourgeois constitutional ideal imported from England either directly or through France and Belgium, on the one hand, and the older constitutional ideal of the German soldiery, on the other.[9]

Today Germany has surmounted that division and achieved a close integration of its soldier force.[10] Indeed, attempts will not fail to be made to describe it as militarism, in the manner of earlier propaganda methods, and to hold Germany guilty of the advent of total war. Such questions of guilt too belong to the totality of the ideological wrangles. Le combat spirituel est aussi brutal que la bataille d’hommes (spiritual combat is as brutal as the battles of men). Nonetheless, before nations stagger into a total war once more, one must raise the question whether a total enmity truly exists among the European nations nowadays. War and enmity belong to the history of nations. But the worst misfortune only occurs wherever the enmity is generated by the war itself, as in the 1914–1918 war, and not as it would be right and sensible, namely that an older, unswayed enmity, true and total to the Day of Judgment, should led to a total war.

Translator’s Notes

Originally published in Völkerbund und Völkerrecht, vol. 4, 1937, this essay was reproduced in Posirionen und Begriffe im Kampf mit Weimar-Gent-Versailles, 1929–1939, (Hamburg, 1940), pp. 235–239.

1. General Carl von Clausewitz (1780–1831) is best known for his book Vom Kriege, never finished and published posthumously, which incidentally has been translated into English under the title On War. There are numerous versions available in print.

2. Carl Schmitt’s own political principles of “will” and “energy,” components of his qualitative concept of total state, derive from this characteristic feature of “total war”: collective determination to assume a cause considered worthwhile and unreserved commitment to its fulfillment. As a generalized rallying around and enthusiasm for a cause and a particular course of action, it is a frequent phenomenon of social psychology, yet its usually ephemeral character makes it unfit as a durable basis of any social structure. I remember the enthusiasm with which in 1982, to a man, the Argentines, for instance, rallied to the idea of going to war to free the Maldives and hurried to put it into practice, and the accompanying hatred which grew against the British. The enthusiasm cooled off quickly, but not the hatred, which lingered on. To perpetuate the enthusiasm, a plethora of other factors have to be brought in, of which, in the case of Germany at the beginning of the ’thirties, Carl Schmitt actually had not a clue.

3. The “lesson” is in keeping with the Hitlerite Frederician cult and legitimating tradition and does not claim to be historically accurate. Although a digression that seems out of place, it has a certain significance for the time it was made. In the autumn of 1936, Hitler circulated a memorandum revealing his expansionist intentions. Then in 1937, the organization of the nation to serve those intentions began, a process which coincided with the rise of the SS state. In November of the same year the German media were ordered to keep silent about the preparations for a “total war.” Bearing all that in mind, Schmitt’s short digression reads more as a warning of danger than a point of military strategy.

4 . What is interesting here is his insistence on the existential essence of the phenomenon, which is consonant with his earlier definition of the political and at the same time renders the distinction between the professional soldier and the civilian meaningless. Moreover, total enmity with its implicit elimination of the adversary excludes any prospect of a peace treaty, as the war is to go on until one of the belligerents is annihilated.

5. Das Volk in Waffen (The Nation in Arms) happens to be the title of a work on total war by Colmar von der Goltz (1843–1916), published in 1883, and which is an important stepping stone in the reflection on modern warfare that led to Ludendorff’s book.

6. At the beginning of February 1938, Adolf Hitler became commander in chief of the German armed forces, appointing General Keitel his assistant at the head of the High Command of the Armed Forces, as the War Ministry was dissolved.

7. Eventually only the Soviet Union came closest to Carl Schmitt’s expectations, while the United States waged a fully-fledged three-dimensional war, dictated by its geographical position and sustained by its vast economic and technical resources most of which remained outside the battle zone.

8. For a broader treatment of the subject-matter see Carl Schmitt’s Land und Meer, which as Land and Sea is available in an English translation (Washington, D.C.: Plutarch Press, 1997).

9. The conflict between the civil society and the military in Germany was the subject-matter of a longer essay by Carl Schmitt, published in Hamburg in 1934 under the title Staatsgefüge und Zusammenbruch des Zweites Reiches. Der Sieg des Burgers über den Soldaten (The State Structure and the Collapse of the Second Reich. The Burghers’ Victory Over the Soldiers).


10. Röhm, the ideological soldier, had been eliminated in 1934, at the same time as the political soldiers, the Generals von Schleicher and von Bredow. Furthermore, as already mentioned in note 6 above, the War Ministry ceased to exist at the beginning of 1938, while the Commander in Chief, Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg was removed from his post for having compromised himself by marrying a “lady with a past,” and his prospective successor, General von Fritsch was forced to resign on a trumped-up Charge of homosexuality. At the same time, sixteen other generals were retired and forty-four were transferred. Göring who had been very active in carrying out this “integration” got for it only the title of field marshal, as Hitler kept for himself the supreme military command.


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/07/total-enemy-total-state-and-total-war/

mardi, 31 mai 2011


Ex: http://rezistant.blogspot.com/
Die Wertlehre feiert in der Erörterung der Frage des gerechten Krieges ihre eigentlichen Triumphe. Das liegt in der Natur der Sache. Jede Rücksicht auf den Gegner entfällt, ja sie wird zum Unwert, wenn der Kampf gegen diesen Gegner ein Kampf für die höchsten Werte ist. Der Unwert hat kein Recht gegenüber dem Wert, und für die Durchsetzung des höchsten Wertes ist kein Preis zu hoch. Hier gibt es dann infolgedessen nur noch Vernichter und Vernichtete. Alle Kategorien des klassischen Kriegsrechts des Jus Publicum Europaeum - gerechter Feind, gerechter Kriegsgrund, Verhältnismässigkeit der Mittel und das geordnete Vorgehen, der debitus modus - fallen dieser Wertlosigkeit hoffnungslos zum Opfer. Der Drang zur Wertdurchsetzung wird hier ein Zwang zum unmittelbaren Wertvollzug.

Carl Schmitt, Die Tyrannei der Werte, 1960.

samedi, 19 février 2011

La politique actuelle d'un point de vue schmittien


Ex: http://agoradedroite.fr/

Chronique de Julien Rochedy

Nous le savons, Carl Schmitt est un politologue controversé : ne lui furent pas pardonnées ses accointances avec le national-socialisme triomphant en Allemagne, son pays, même s’il fut, à la fin, surveillé par la SS ; ou même s’il fut, avant 33, un opposant à Hitler. Qu’on le prenne avec des pincettes ou non, il reste un des plus grands spécialistes de la sociologie politique du XXe siècle, digne héritier de Max Weber et écrivain extrêmement prolixe, dans de nombreux domaines, qui vont du droit constitutionnel à la polémologie.

Nous le savons aussi, la définition de Schmitt de la « politique », au sens strict, a de quoi surprendre par son apparence violente : la politique, ce serait pour lui le lieu du conflit, le domaine dans lequel naitrait et vivrait une opposition caractérisable par une dialectique ami/ennemi. En somme, un groupement politique comme un parti doit nécessairement se fixer un ennemi, et toute son idiosyncrasie à son encontre doit être d’une humeur belliqueuse, conflictuelle, afin qu’il soit, à proprement parler, politique.

Regardons donc notre politique actuelle avec des yeux schmittiens, et tâchons de saisir les différentes oppositions ami/ennemi qui doivent, normalement, la constituer. La gauche et la droite semblent être toujours les deux adversaires principaux, les deux parties au conflit qu’est la politique. Cependant, lorsque nous regardons le PS et l’UMP, il est difficile d’appréhender l’ennemi que chacun détermine pour son camps ; précisons : il y a fort à parier qu’en demandant aux cadres respectifs de ces deux grands partis quel serait leur ennemi, ils répondent chacun de manière floue, car idéologiquement parlant, ces deux comparses sont sur la même ligne, s’échangent même parfois les ministres grâce au principe de « l’ouverture », et mènent, peu ou proue, une politique semblable, pour la simple et bonne raison qu’ils ont tous deux les mêmes amis : l’Union Européenne, la mondialisation, les Etats-Unis, la politique libérale, etc. Ayant les mêmes amis, comment, dès lors, discerner une opposition réelle entre eux ? Comment croire que « l’ennemi », dans la dialectique qui fonde le politique, soit pour eux, dans le même temps, l’ami de leurs amis ? C’est donc que cette opposition est biaisée ; or, si cette dialectique est défaillante, c’est qu’il n’existe plus en eux, chez eux, de politique à proprement parler. Par conséquent, Le PS et l’UMP, si l’on s’arrêtait à leur conflit d’apparat, ne feraient en vérité plus de politique.

Mais puisque ces deux partis majoritaires sont dans le jeu politique, le dominent et le mènent, il faut bien tout de même qu’ils aient des ennemis, même s’ils ne sont pas officiels. Quoique, là encore, un peu de perspicacité, quelques coups d’œil et un brin de probité permettent de découvrir que leur ennemi principal se trouve être, en vérité, celui qui remet en cause le système libéral dont ils sont à la fois les gérants et les humbles exécutants. Officiellement, ils ne disent pas tout à fait cela, surtout à gauche où l’on s’accommode parfaitement du système, mais pas encore du mot (libéral). Comme ersatz rhétoriques, ils disent combattre « l’intolérant », le « fanatique » ou « l’extrémiste », qui est en fin de compte, presque à chaque fois, qu’un simple opposant à ce système.

Les partis dits « extrémistes », l’extrême-gauche et l’extrême-droite, seraient donc les seuls à assumer complètement, dans une vraie transparence, la dialectique ami/ennemi. Car autant pour l’un que pour l’autre, c’est le système libéral mondialiste qui est l’ennemi, et eux ne se partagent pas les amis (sauf pour l’extrême-gauche, qui coltine parfois avec les partis au pouvoir dans tout ce qui a trait aux conséquences du libéralisme mondialisé : la révolution des mœurs, l’immigration etc.). La logique du conflit étant plus prégnante chez eux, l’opposition étant plus claire, plus assumée, plus nette – c’est à croire que la politique, au sens schmittien, n’existerait réellement que chez eux. Seuls les partis que l’échiquier en vigueur placerait aux extrêmes feraient, en somme, de la politique. Le reste ne serait que du secrétariat.

Ce point de vue schmittien de la politique, s’il est original et sans doute pas tout à fait valable à cent pour cent, a au moins le mérite de nous faire réfléchir et de remettre en cause l’idée que la politique ne serait faite que par ceux qui seraient véritablement aux manettes, les autres n’ayant qu’une fonction tribunicienne, et qui devraient toujours souffrir du reproche de leur soi-disant inutilité. En effet, combien de fois avons-nous entendu des membres de l’UMP dirent à ceux du Front National qu’ils ne servaient à rien, si ce n’est râler, sous prétexte qu’ils n’obtenaient jamais le pouvoir ? Et de même aujourd’hui pour le PS à l’égard du Front de gauche de Mélenchon ?

Mais si, en fait, il n’y avait plus qu’eux qui faisaient de la… politique ?

The horizontally totalitarian future-world

The horizontally totalitarian future-world

Ex: http://majorityrights.com/

robot_A.jpgLast February, by way of an introduction, I put up a post about the great German jurist Carl Schmitt.  He is a highly useful guide to the ways of Power.  His elucidation of the theoretics of state power in extraordinary times established the framework employed by many, and probably most, thinkers in this, let’s say, increasingly topical field.  In particular, Schmitt’s concepts of the decision and the state of exception open up the operation of total power for examination like a dead butterfly on a display board.


As Tom Sunic wrote in Homo Americanus: child of the postmodern age:-

Carl Schmitt ... realized an age old truth; namely, political concepts acquire their true meanings only when the chief political actor, i.e. the state and its ruling class, find themselves in a sudden and unpredictable state of emergency. Then all former interpretations of “self-evident” truths become obsolete. One could witness that after the terrorist attack of 9/11 in America — an event that was never fully elucidated — the ruling class in America used that opportunity to redefine the legal meaning of the expressions “human rights” and “freedom of speech.” After all, is not the best way to curb real civic rights the adoption of abstract incantations, such as “human rights” and “democracy”?

What just about everyone with a triple-digit IQ understands is that the events of 11th September 2001 and the subsequent War on Terror have been ruthlessly exploited throughout the West to advance a profoundly undemocratic and disturbing domestic security agenda.  Whether a true state of exception ever existed is highly doubtful.  But Power decides what is moral and what is, in a vulgar sense, true.  It has decided that its officers shall usurp the legal code at will, and shall stipulate on their own authority the terms under which its citizens go about their business.

I happen to live under the most abusive of any Western government in this respect.  The UK authorities have the Civil Contingencies Act already, and a growing DNA database to which it is intent upon adding us all, and on top of that it is constructing the complete surveillance society.  But the trend is appearing everywhere.

What this amounts to is an impressively uniform and aggressive war on the defence of civic liberties which have informed Western legal codes for centuries.  Its significance is vast and unmistakable: the foundations are being laid for a different kind of political regime, to be conducted in a permanent state of exception.  The Executive is strengthening and freeing itself as a body empowered, but in no way constrained, by ad hoc procedural law subject only to official decision.

The big question is: what structure of global/local government will emerge out of this new strength and freedom?

In local, day-to-day terms, it will decide for domestic policy blandness and irrelevance - the towering racial injustice of an anti-white MultiCult make that inevitable.  Meanwhile, the moral duty of government and public alike will be directed to far-flung places where “profitable problems” require corporate-military intervention.

To all intents and purposes, this will be a totalitarianism or dictatorship, if only because it must regulate more and more social relations in the interests of racial panmixia in order to resolve the problem of the European natives.  But I can’t see how any form of world-wide imperial police state can emerge from the new dispensation, even given the coming of global economic unity. 

If one assumes, as I do, that this dispensation represents the deepest political convictions of a diverse, internationalist power elite, and not only the will of bankers and mega-corporations, it is apparent that there is no “centre” capable of, or needful of, global government through a totalitarian vertical heirarchy.  Schmitt holds the key.  A permanent, global state of exception and the distribution of decision are enough.  The governing class will operate as it does today, patronised and informed of its obligations by the higher elites without those elites ever comprising a structured global government themselves.

In a word, the deracinated, de-sovereignised, and legally denuded post-nation ...

“There is no place in modern Europe for ethnically pure states. That is a 19th-century idea, and we are trying to transition into the 21st century, and we are going to do it with multi-ethnic states.”
Wesley Clark, to a CNN reporter in 1999

“The president believes the world will be a better place if all borders are eliminated—from a trade perspective, from the viewpoint of economic development and in welcoming [the free movement of] people from other cultures and countries.”
Tom Hogan, president of Vignette Corporation, speaking after a convseration with Bill Clinton in Australia in 2001

... can be governed by a structure no different than the one that governs it now.

The future will, then, continue to be plural, and yet will be totalitarian.  Our lives will be free in the ways that we are required to live them, but will be regulated in every other.  We shall have “nothing to fear if we are innocent” from a non-law that is subject wholly to the decision of the, of course, always benign official.

Leviathan will command a near borderless world of super-diversity filled with national symbols.  And we WILL be happy, although it will be as impossible to struggle for happiness as it will for political freedom.

lundi, 07 février 2011

Mircea Eliade über Carl Schmitt und René Guénon

Mircea Eliade über Carl Schmitt und René Guénon

Ex: http://traditionundmetaphgysik.wordpress.com/

Er [Carl Schmitt] sagt mir, er sei ein Optimist in Bezug auf die Zukunft Europas. Nationalismus wie Internationalismus sind gleichermaßen überholte Modelle.
(Eintrag vom Mai 1944, S. 108)

eliadeJP.jpgDie State University of New York Press hat die englische Übersetzung des „portugiesischen Tagebuchs“ (Jurnalul portughez) von Mircea Eliade – er war von 1941-45 rumänischer Botschafter in Lissabon – veröffentlicht:

Mircea Eliade: The Portugal Journal. Translated with a preface and notes by Mac Linscott Ricketts. SUNY Press, 296 Seiten, Hardcover/Paperback, Neu-York 2010.
(Rumänische Ausgaben:

Ernst Jünger hatte in den „Strahlungen“, seinem Kriegstagebuch, Carl Schmitts Bericht von Eliades Besuch in Berlin wiedergegeben (Eintrag vom 15.11.1942, über Jüngers Gespräch mit Schmitt über Eliade wird dieser wiederum am 27.12.1942 informiert, siehe S. 54). In Eliades Tagebuch findet sich nun sein Bericht über die Begegnung, demzufolge Eliade von Schmitts Werk nur „Die romantische Politik“ [recte: Politische Romantik] kenne, die in Rumänien großen Einfluß auf Nae Ionescu und dessen Kreis ausgeübt habe. Aber Schmitt zeigt kein Interesse, das Gespräch in diese Richtung lenken zu lassen, lieber spricht er über die Politik der Regierung Salazars. Allerdings noch mehr lebt Schmitt zu dieser Zeit im symbolischen Gehalt des „Leviathan“ auf (vier Jahre nach Erscheinen des Buches, aber sicher vor allem auch im Hinblick auf die im Jahr 1942 erscheinende weltgeschichtliche Betrachtung „Land und Meer“), erwähnt selbstverständlich „Moby Dick“ und wünscht sich von Eliade entsprechende Literatur über Mythen und Symbolik, insbesondere „Zalmoxis“. Und nun unsere Übersetzung des restlichen Eintrags, der nur auf „Berlin, September [1942]“ datiert ist:

Was mich an Schmitt beeindruckt, ist sein metaphysischer Mut, sein Nonkonformismus, die Weite seiner Sicht. Er bietet uns eine Flasche Rheinwein an und bedauert, daß ich morgen bereits nach Madrid abreise. Er sagt, der interessanteste lebende Mensch ist René Guénon (und er ist erfreut, daß ich ihm zustimme).
(S. 32)

In „Der Leviathan in der Staatslehre des Thomas Hobbes. Sinn und Fehlschlag eines politischen Symbols“ (1938, Nachdruck Köln 1982) erwähnt Schmitt bekanntlich Guénons „La crise de la monde moderne“ aus dem Jahr 1927 in einer Fußnote auf S. 44 mit dessen Feststellung daß

„die Schnelligkeit, mit der die ganze mittelalterliche Zivilisation dem Vorstoß des 17. Jahrhunderts unterlag, unbegreiflich sei, ohne Annahme einer rätselhaften, im Hintergrund bleibenden ‘volonté directrice’ und eine ‘idée préconçue’.“

Die von Schmitt zitierte Stelle lautet in der deutschen Übersetzung „Die Krisis der Neuzeit“ (Köln 1950), S. 33:

Wir wollen uns hier nicht unterfangen, den gewiß sehr verwickelten Beweggründen nachzugehen, die sich zu diesem Wandel vereinigten. So grundstürzend war er, daß schwerlich anzunehmen ist, er habe ganz von selbst eintreten können ohne das Eingreifen einer lenkenden Willensmacht, deren wahres Wesen notwendigerweise rätselhaft genug bleibt. Es gibt da Umstände, die im Hinblick darauf doch recht sonderbar sind: Dinge, die in Wirklichkeit längst bekannt waren, werden zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt der Allgemeinheit zugänglich gemacht und dabei als neu entdeckte hingestellt; bis dahin waren sie um gewisser ihrer Nachteile willen, die ihre Vorteile aufzuheben drohten, in der Öffentlichkeit unbekannt geblieben.

Schmitt erwähnt dies im Zusammenhang mit den rosenkreuzerischen Verbindungen des offiziellen Vaters der Neuzeit, René Descartes. Interessanterweise hat Schmitt gerade, wie wir seit Mehrings Biographie wissen, in dem Jahr der Enstehung des „Leviathan“ häufiger Julius Evola getroffen (ebenso Johann von Leers, der eine Besprechung des „Leviathan“ für den „Weltkampf“ verfaßt und ironischerweise in den Fünfziger Jahren – wie Guénon – nach Kairo übersiedeln und sich zum Islam bekennen wird.)

eliade_portugal_journal.jpgEvola hat 1942 „Il filosofo mascherato“, die Besprechung eines Buches von Maxime Leroy über Descartes’ deviantes Rosenkreuzertum und seine Rolle im Rahmen der Gegeninitiation, in „La Vita Italiana“ veröffentlicht. (Deutsche Übersetzung: Der Philosoph mit der Maske, in: Kshatriya-Rundbrief, Nr. 7, 2000) Schmitts „Leviathan“ besprach Evola bereits 1938 in „La Vita Italiana“ (nachgedruckt in zwei weiteren wichtigen italienischen Zeitschriften). Evola kommt im übrigen in Eliades Tagebuch laut Index nicht vor.

Am 17. Februar 1943 trifft Eliade jedenfalls den Pariser Korrespondenten der „Kölnischen Rundschau“, Dr. Mário, der einst für den „Cuvântul“ geschrieben hat und sich als Freund von Nae Ionescu bezeichnet.

Wir sprachen eine lange Zeit. Er ist gerade aus Paris gekommen. Er scheint kein großer Anhänger von Hitler zu sein. Er ist der Überzeugung, daß René Guénon die interessanteste Person unserer Zeit sei. (Ich glaube das nicht immer, tue es aber oft. Obwohl ich Aurobindo Ghose für „verwirklichter“ halte.)
(…) Ich berichte ihm über mein Gespräch mit Carl Schmitt im Sommer vergangenen Jahres. Er ist überrascht, daß Schmitt Guénon schätzt.

Selbstverständlich finden sich in Eliades Tagebuch zahlreiche Eintragungen über Nae Ionescu, Emil Cioran, Constantin Noica, und im Westen weniger bekannte Vertreter dieses Kreises, und auch über den eigenständigen Religionsphilosophen Lucian Blaga (in dessen Raumkonzeption Schmitt interessante Aspekte zu finden hoffte, den er aber in Bukarest nicht treffen konnte, S. 108).

Zum Kontext des Kreises der „Generaţia nouă“ um ihren Lehrer Nae Ionescu und „Cuvântul“ siehe:

Corneliu Codreanu und die „Federn“ des Erzengels
Constantin Noica, der letzte große Metaphysiker

Cristiano Grottanelli hat das Gespräch Eliade/Schmitt über den abwesenden Guénon bereits zum Thema eines Aufsatzes gemacht:

Mircea Eliade, Carl Schmitt, René Guénon, 1942.

Jurnalul portughez si alte scrieri, Bukarest 2006, Jurnalul portughez, Bukarest 2010)

samedi, 05 février 2011

De lo politico en el pensamiento de Carl Schmitt



De lo político en el pensamiento de Carl Schmitt

Dick Tonsmann Vásquez

Vamos a comenzar esta parte con la definición de Schmitt de lo político. Como se verá, se trata de un concepto sustancialista asociado al origen de las naciones y a la posibilidad de la guerra. En esta marco, hablaremos del sentido o sinsentido que tendría hablar de una guerra contra la humanidad y, sobre ello, nos referiremos al ‘enemigo absoluto’ desde la distinción entre régimen y Estado. Y esto nos llevará finalmente hacia algunas conclusiones del tipo de la filosofía práctica para los sucesos contemporáneos de la política peruana.

Para comenzar, la definición de Schmitt sobre lo político se basa en el criterio de distinción amigo – enemigo, de la misma forma que la moral requiere de la distinción entre el bien y el mal, y la estética posee el criterio de la distinción entre lo bello y lo feo. Una comparación analógica que no debe significar en ningún caso una equiparación entre lo bueno y el amigo o entre lo malo y el enemigo, de la misma manera que lo bello tampoco puede identificarse ni con lo bueno ni con el amigo. Además, es importante indicar que lo político no se reduce a una identificación con lo estatal, pues en las sociedades democráticas contemporáneas el Estado no tiene el monopolio de lo político sino que ámbitos tales como la religión, la cultura o la economía misma, que son instancias sociales, dejan de ser neutrales y se vuelven potencialmente políticas. Así, el Estado tal y como lo conocemos ya no puede ser considerado como un ámbito distintivo de lo que llamamos precisamente ‘lo político’.

Las razones de un conflicto pueden ser religiosas, culturales o económicas, pero lo que las hace eminentemente políticas es el carácter mismo de conflicto que subyace a la lucha política en cuanto tal. Esto significa que la autonomía de tal criterio no supone necesariamente una independencia en la realidad pero sí supone un diferente modo de ser constitutivo de lo humano. Lo que ocurre es que la manifestación del conflicto en esas otras áreas es sólo la expresión de una naturaleza más originaria del hombre y del Estado. Así, esta concepción esencialista de la política subyace al origen de las naciones cuya naturaleza es entendida desde una perspectiva romántica en tanto que apela a la idea de una especie de sentimientos originarios puros. Desde esta perspectiva es que se afirma que los pueblos se definen en tanto que se agrupan como amigos y por negación de sus enemigos.

Ahora bien, el surgimiento de las nacionalidades y de los Estados – nación es un hecho que, generalmente, tendemos a ubicar en la Reforma Luterana. Sin embargo, el carácter conflictivo de la naturaleza política en su sentido óntico parecería estar inscrito en todo individuo si nos ceñimos a la concepción sustancialista de Schmitt. Por lo tanto, los Estados – nación que conocemos no serían sino una de las últimas expresiones de este concepto de lo político. Estados que, incluso, al ser invadidos por la sociedad civil, como se ha señalado, no suponen ya una identificación simple con el hecho político.

De la misma forma, este carácter esencial de la distinción amigo – enemigo también se puede referir a las diferencias partidarias que se producen en el interior de un Estado. Así, no se entienden como simples discusiones sino que la “lucha partidaria” conlleva necesariamente la idea de “lucha hostil”, entendida ésta como posibilidad eventual siempre presente dada su naturaleza existencial. Por ello, desde esta perspectiva, el nivel máximo de la enemistad encuentra su cumplimiento en la guerra, ya sea como guerra externa o como guerra civil. Esto no hay que entenderlo en el sentido de Clausewitz, para quien la guerra no era sino la continuación de la política por otros medios. Sino que ha de comprenderse en el sentido de que la guerra es el presupuesto de la política en tanto que es una posibilidad real siempre presente a partir de la cual se origina la misma conducta política.

Así, se puede considerar que Schmitt no tiene propiamente un discurso belicista mi militarista pues asume que, incluso, una actuación políticamente correcta en contra de la guerra presupondría la distinción amigo – enemigo. También la neutralidad conlleva la posibilidad de que el Estado neutral pueda aliarse con otro Estado como amigo en contra de otro que considera como enemigo. Esto significa un concepto esencialista de la política pero que no resulta determinante de una realidad concreta sino que permite diversas formas de realización existencial. Aunque la definición de Schmitt de lo político no significa por sí mismo un criterio valorativo, puede permitir pensar de manera valorativa la acción política. Una tal valoración a posteriori no anula la descripción a priori ni viceversa. Tampoco debemos entender el principio sustancial de la relación amistad – enemistad como un principio zoológico a la manera de Hobbes, quien repetía la famosa sentencia homo homini lupus, sino que la determinación existencial sobre quién en concreto es el amigo y quién el enemigo procede invariablemente de la libertad del hombre que le es consustancial. Por lo cual, la sentencia latina antes señalada resulta ser cambiada por la afirmación de que “el hombre es el hombre para el hombre”.

Aunque la definición del enemigo depende del ejercicio de dicha libertad en el marco de las agrupaciones políticas, tal libertad no puede llegar razonablemente al punto en que se pueda pensar en una lucha de la humanidad toda en su conjunto pues, entonces, ¿quién sería el enemigo? Ni siquiera el enemigo deja de ser hombre de modo que no hay aquí ninguna distinción específica”.

Si pensamos en la humanidad como el conjunto de todos los seres humanos es imposible pensar en un enemigo de tal humanidad de forma que toda ella pueda agruparse frente a un enemigo común en el sentido de otra agrupación o pueblo de hombres.

Sería posible pensar en un enemigo de la humanidad en el sentido de alguien que desee exterminar la raza humana por considerarse un ser superior más que humano. Sin embargo, Schmitt podría responder que esta última disquisición no tiene que ver con su criterio teórico en tanto que principio distintivo de carácter óntico, sino que podría explicarse como una retórica política que pretende justificar una guerra apelando a un conjunto de nociones alteradas de la idea propia de humanidad. En ese sentido, también aquellos que actuarían en las guerras posteriores bajo la idea de que están defendiendo tal humanidad, lo que en realidad hacen, por contrapartida, es convertir al enemigo en un ser inhumano por razones morales y proclamar su necesario aniquilamiento. Se trata, en este último caso, de la utilización de un criterio moral en un área distinta de la suya, subsumiendo lo político de tal forma que el enemigo termina siendo degradado a la condición de criminal. Una intromisión de discursos que, en realidad, se podría entender como una manipulación del discurso moral para justificar una agresión de carácter hegemónico o en pro de un imperialismo económico. De esta manera, el concepto de humanidad no sólo se impondría acríticamente eliminando el significado de lo político mismo, sino que, además, se convierte en uno de los tantos conceptos ideológicos antifaz hechos para justificar lo injustificable.

Si pensamos estrictamente en una reducción de lo político a categorías morales tal como lo entiende Schmitt, se ha convertido al enemigo en criminal de guerra. Pero habría que diferenciar si se trata de una ideologización previa (como cuando Bush hablaba de la “libertad infinita”), con lo cual la intromisión de lo moral en lo político resulta ser simplemente tendenciosa e hipócrita; o si se trata de la consecuencia de la violación de los usos de la guerra del Derecho Internacional establecido. Una cosa es un gobierno genocida y otra cosa es una unidad política cuya existencia va más allá de un régimen eventual y pasajero. No era lo mismo combatir a los nazis que luchar contra Alemania ¿o acaso correspondió el holocausto con una forma de ser de la unidad política alemana? Por consiguiente, la criminalización del enemigo no puede significar la criminalización de todo un país o una nación. Una absolutización del concepto de enemigo que sí ha ocurrido en la retórica del caso de Irak con la estigmatización del Islam y, en consecuencia, con la criminalización de tal religión.

Por otro lado, en la obra El concepto de lo político, redactada en el período de entreguerras, se criticaba a la liga existente en aquellos años por confundir lo interestatal con lo internacional. El primero de estos conceptos se refiere a la garantía del status quo de las fronteras nacionales por parte de la Liga. Pero el concepto de internacional, como en el caso de la Internacional Socialista, supone una sociedad universal despolitizada al responder a la tendencia imprecisa de buscar el Estado único como un postulado ideal. Para Schmitt queda claro que sólo un Estado ideal apolítico, es capaz de dar tal paso y convertir el enemigo en un criminal.

Sin embargo, tal Estado es para Schmitt una imposibilidad práctica, aunque se preconice teóricamente. Las tendencias hacia esta situación vienen del lado de un liberalismo individualista que, buscando eliminar todo lo que puede coaccionar su libertad (incluyendo el propio Estado y su correspondiente monopolio organizado de la violencia legítima), termina por entronizar el imperio de lo económico y poniendo el aspecto ético – espiritual en la dinámica de una eterna discusión. Precisamente por el lado de lo económico es que tal Estado único resulta ser tan sólo una ficción pues lo que ocurre, en realidad, es que la economía se vuelve en un hecho político al desarrollar nuevos tipos de oposición que llevarían claramente a la guerra, aunque ésta no deba ser entendida necesariamente en el sentido de la lucha de clases marxista. Lo mismo ocurre bajo la idea de declarar una “guerra contra la guerra”, pues ello haría dividir la humanidad entre dos agrupaciones políticas y el criterio amigo – enemigo seguiría siendo la distinción específica de lo político. Ningún autoproclamado Estado universal podría anular lo que es una naturaleza de carácter óntico. Sólo podrá haber el intento de una agrupación de países de apropiarse del derecho a la guerra estructurando el Derecho Internacional bajo sus propios intereses. Así se entiende a la ley positiva como la búsqueda de la legitimación de una situación en la que los interesados sólo pretenderían encontrar estabilidad para su ventaja económica y poder político aunque lo disfracen de discursos moralistas.

Para Schmitt, a pesar de la voluntad de los juristas internacionales de que esto no sea así, ningún sistema de leyes puede evitar la diferenciación sustancial entre enemigos que presupone la guerra. Esto no significa que no se deba trabajar en beneficio de un nuevo orden que establezca “nuevas líneas de amistad” entre los pueblos, al margen de la eficacia o ineficacia de la actual ONU. Para Schmitt, el error está en que el organismo surgido de la Segunda Guerra Mundial fue una construcción de los vencedores que creyeron que su victoria era la victoria definitiva y ello los incapacitaba para poder plantear nuevas respuestas a los Challenges de la historia. ¿No son los sucesos contemporáneos, además de un nuevo Challenge, una nueva llamada de atención sobre la futilidad de un modelo liberal de carácter monista? Schmitt vislumbró que el orden futuro del mundo se convertiría en un pluralismo multipolar y que, aquello que marcará el desarrollo de los grandes espacios, dependerá de la fuerza en que una agrupación de pueblos o de naciones puede mantener el proceso de desarrollo industrial siendo fieles a sí mismos y no sacrificando su identidad por el carácter tecnológico de dicho desarrollo, “no solamente por la técnica, sino también por la sustancia espiritual de los hombres que colaboraron en su desarrollo, por su religión y su raza, su cultura e idioma y por la fuerza viviente de su herencia nacional”.

En otras palabras, que el orden del globo dependerá de un comunitarismo amplio de mundos de la vida fuertes ante toda racionalización sistémica dominante de la techne y el progreso.

Ahora bien, las consecuencias de esta reflexión para la comprensión de los sucesos políticos contemporáneos que nos impelen directamente deberían ser más que evidentes. Tanto si hablamos de los sucesos de Bagua, como de la situación del VRAE o de las relaciones entre el Perú y los demás Estados en los momentos de una aparente carrera armamentista. Una vez que el Estado peruano ha sido invadido por la Sociedad Civil, se pierde paulatinamente el principio del monopolio de la violencia. ONGs, movimientos políticos de naturaleza anarquista con características delictivas, así como partidos de carácter revanchista que estigmatizan al Estado colaboran para la destrucción de cualquier tipo de unidad sustancial o espiritual nacional que debería personalizar nuestro sistema político. Así se termina haciéndole el juego al liberalismo económico y político internacional cuyo resultado no puede ser otro que la crisis mundial.

El ideal de nuestro Estado ha de ser que las formas políticas expresen nuestra herencia cultural y ello no parece haber ocurrido precisamente a lo largo de nuestra república en todo sentido. El desprecio por comunidades andinas o del oriente peruano de parte de un régimen que, por ejemplo, se dedica principalmente a Tratados de Libre Comercio, significa, a la larga, una destrucción física y moral que justificaría una lucha constante contra este sistema. Ello, por supuesto con las salvedades apropiadas: no se justifica ninguna intervención extranjera ni tampoco el terrorismo indiscriminado porque eso precisamente destruye las comunidades que pretendemos defender.

Por otra parte, así como las Convenciones por sí solas no son suficientes para evaluar la justicia en la Guerra, la terquedad en aferrarse a leyes positivas es una ingenuidad jurídica, además de ser un abandono de las experiencias humanas morales que están a la base de cualquier sistema de Derecho. Las relaciones entre personas son más primigenias que las relaciones jurídicas y esto es algo que se ha olvidado tanto en el ámbito internacional como en el ámbito de nuestro país. Asimismo las políticas de la amistad no pueden ser tan ingenuas como para creer que no va a haber conflicto porque nos sometemos a los Tratados

Es en esta línea en que se debe plantear la cuestión de los Derechos. Tan malo es una imposición jurídica de Derechos entendidos en sentido liberal moderno a la manera norteamericana, como el desprecio por la vida y la libertad. Así, la defensa de la comunidad debe verse como defensa de la riqueza cultural, alimentada por la naturaleza material propia. Ni la salvaguarda de un modelo liberal ni la repetición de rebeliones de países vecinos resulta auténtica.

Bagua, el VRAE o lo que se venga en las relaciones internacionales es y será precisamente el resultado de este conflicto irresoluble sintéticamente entre la globalización y la defensa de la comunidad. Así, hemos asistido, y probablemente seguiremos asistiendo, a conflictos sociales con el peligro de que devengan en cosas mayores; y todo es y será el resultado tanto del eterno y dinosáurico paternalismo económico que, no solo está fuera de nuestras fronteras, sino que está dentro y que, incluso, nos gobierna, así como de la marginación y el caos burocrático. Razón que nos lleva a repetir una vez más, junto con las encíclicas sociales de la Iglesia Católica que “No habrá paz sin una verdadera justicia social”.


dimanche, 19 décembre 2010

The Return of Carl Schmitt

The Return of Carl Schmitt

 Scott Horton


"Woe unto him who has no enemy, for at the Last Judgment I shall be his enemy."
- Carl Schmitt, Ex Captivitate Salus (1950)


Schmitt_nomos_de_la_terre-23a63.jpgA recent study points to 108 deaths in detention in the War on Terror, with a substantial part clearly linked to the Bush Administration’s controversial new coercive interrogation practices. Some of the most egregious cases involve the CIA. In this week’s New Yorker, Jane Mayer takes a close look at one case – that of Manadel al-Jamadi. Approximately two years ago, Jamadi died at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. His death was quickly ruled a homicide, a CIA investigation found clear indicia of criminal wrongdoing, and with that the matter was placed in the hands of Paul McNulty – the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and now the Bush Administration’s new nominee to serve as Deputy Attorney General. Since that time, from all appearances nothing has been done – the file has languished “in a Justice Department drawer,” in the words of one of Mayer’s informants.

Mayer, whose earlier writings have greatly contributed to the public understanding of the detainee abuse scandal, astutely recognizes the wide-ranging significance of the case. Justice in a homicide case is important enough, but this case raises another and potentially far more troublesome question: Has the Department of Justice been corrupted by its “torture memoranda”? Would a prosecution expose indelible links between the crime and the highest echelons of the Department of Justice? The question is not far-fetched. Indeed, its potential to rock the Bush Administration dwarfs that of the Plamegate scandal. As Marty Lederman established in a lengthy series of posts, the “torture memoranda” served a concrete double function: they overcame Agency objections that certain interrogation techniques violated the law (by furnishing an Attorney General opinion that they were lawful), and they offered effective impunity to CIA agents who uses these techniques. I caution that this is the function they were intended to serve. Whether memoranda of the Office of Legal Counsel can actually shield those who rely on them from prosecution is doubtful.

Let us assume that the techniques employed on Jamadi – including the likely fatal “Palestinian hanging” approach – were within the scope of the torture memoranda. Were charges to be brought against the agent who had custody of Jamadi and used the fatal technique, he would certainly plead the torture memoranda as an affirmative defense. Confronted with such claims, a truly independent prosecutor would have to consider the possibility that the authors of these memoranda counseled the use of lethal and unlawful techniques, and therefore face criminal culpability themselves. That, after all, is the teaching of United States v. Altstötter, the Nuremberg case brought against German Justice Department lawyers whose memoranda crafted the basis for implementation of the infamous “Night and Fog Decree.” Who can imagine Paul McNulty, now nominated to serve as Alberto Gonzales’ deputy, undertaking such an investigation of his boss? Hence, McNulty’s dilemma is understandable, but his failure to act should not be lightly dismissed.

Mayer’s article raises fair and compelling questions about McNulty’s handling of the Jamadi homicide case – and about the role of the Department of Justice in the investigation of detainee homicides generally.

But Mayer’s article is significant for another reason. It sheds new light on one of two of the “torture memoranda” which is not yet in the public domain, but has long been viewed as critical to understanding the inhumane practices that became commonplace in Iraq beginning in the fall of 2003.

A March [14], 2003, classified memo was “breathtaking,” the same source said. The document dismissed virtually all national and international laws regulating the treatment of prisoners, including war-crimes and assault statutes, and it was radical in its view that in wartime the President can fight enemies by whatever means he sees fit. According to the memo, Congress has no constitutional right to interfere with the President in his role as Commander-in-Chief, including making laws that limit the ways in which prisoners may be interrogated. Another classified Justice Department memo, issued in August, 2002, is said to authorize numerous “enhanced” interrogation techniques for the C.I.A. These two memos sanction such extreme measures that, even if the agency wanted to discipline or prosecute agents who stray beyond its own comfort level, the legal tools to do so may no longer exist. Like the torture memo, these documents are believed to have been signed by Jay Bybee, the former head of the Office of Legal Counsel, but written by a Justice Department lawyer, John Yoo, who is now a professor of law at Berkeley.

As has been noted in this space before, the March 14, 2003 Yoo memorandum has assumed a “Rosetta Stone” quality. It was transmitted to the Department of Defense as advice at a critical juncture – as the Iraq War moved off the drawing boards and into reality, and questions were repeatedly raised about how the Geneva Conventions were to be applied. But that's not all. Mayer's article now suggests the existence of other advice which explicitly addressed the situation in Iraq:

By the summer of 2003, the insurgency against the U.S. occupation of Iraq had grown into a confounding and lethal insurrection, and the Pentagon and the White House were pressing C.I.A. agents and members of the Special Forces to get the kind of intelligence needed to crush it. On orders from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, General Geoffrey Miller, who had overseen coercive interrogations of terrorist suspects at Guantánamo, imposed similar methods at Abu Ghraib. In October of that year, however—a month before Jamadi’s death—the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion stating that Iraqi insurgents were covered by the Geneva Conventions, which require the humane treatment of prisoners and forbid coercive interrogations. The ruling reversed an earlier interpretation, which had concluded, erroneously, that Iraqi insurgents were not protected by international law.

SCHMITT_HamletHecuba_MED.gifDocuments which have circulated in connection with the Fay/Jones and Taguba Reports made clear that following the issuance of high-level legal advice outside normal Department of Defense channels, command authorities in Iraq no longer considered the Geneva Conventions to restrain them in their handling of detainees. Internal email traffic among military intelligence units is consistent: Once you label the insurgent detainees as “terrorists,” “they have no rights, Geneva or otherwise.” It seems highly improbable that officers carefully trained in the Geneva rules would suddenly discard them on their own initiative. To the contrary, it is reasonably clear that instructions to that effect were transmitted from a very high source. The Yoo memoranda are critical to understanding what happened, and the March 14, 2003 combined with the initial OLC advice concerning treatment of insurgents in Iraq are likely the most significant pieces of the puzzle not yet in place.

But where exactly did Yoo come up with the analysis that led to the purported conclusions that the Executive was not restrained by the Geneva Conventions and similar international instruments in its conduct of the war in Iraq? Yoo’s public arguments and statements suggest the strong influence of one thinker: Carl Schmitt.

The Friend/Foe Paradigm
Perhaps the most significant German international law scholar of the era between the wars, Schmitt was obsessed with what he viewed as the inherent weakness of liberal democracy. He considered liberalism, particularly as manifested in the Weimar Constitution, to be inadequate to the task of protecting state and society menaced by the great evil of Communism. This led him to ridicule international humanitarian law in a tone and with words almost identical to those recently employed by Yoo and several of his colleagues.

Beyond this, Yoo’s prescription for solving the “dilemma” is also taken straight from the Schmittian playbook. According to Schmitt, the norms of international law respecting armed conflict reflect the romantic illusions of an age of chivalry. They are “unrealistic” as applied to modern ideological warfare against an enemy not constrained by notions of a nation-state, adopting terrorist methods and fighting with irregular formations that hardly equate to traditional armies. (Schmitt is, of course, concerned with the Soviet Union here; he appears prepared to accept that the Geneva and Hague rules would apply on the Western Front in dealing with countries such as Britain and the United States). For Schmitt, the key to successful prosecution of warfare against such a foe is demonization. The enemy must be seen as absolute. He must be stripped of all legal rights, of whatever nature. The Executive must be free to use whatever tools he can find to fight and vanquish this foe. And conversely, the power to prosecute the war must be vested without reservation in the Executive – in the words of Reich Ministerial Director Franz Schlegelberger (eerily echoed in a brief submission by Bush Administration Solicitor General Paul D. Clement), “in time of war, the Executive is constituted the sole leader, sole legislator, sole judge.” (I take the liberty of substituting Yoo’s word, Executive; for Schmitt or Schlegelberger, the word would, of course, have been Führer). In Schmitt’s classic formulation: “a total war calls for a total enemy.” This is not to say that in Schmitt’s view the enemy was somehow “morally evil or aesthetically unpleasing;” it sufficed that he was “the other, the outsider, something different and alien.” These thoughts are developed throughout Schmitt’s work, but particularly in Der Begriff des Politischen (1927), Frieden oder Pazifismus (1933) and Totaler Feind, totaler Krieg, totaler Staat (1937).

A Practical Guide to Evasion of the Geneva Conventions
Given this philosophical predisposition, how was a lawyer then to evade the application of the Geneva and Hague Conventions? Here an answer can be drawn not from Schmitt’s academic works, but from a series of determinations by the German General Staff which quite transparently reflected the influence of the then-Prussian State Councilor Carl Schmitt. A careful review of the original materials shows that the following rationales were advanced for decisions not to apply or to restrict the application of the Geneva Conventions of 1929 and the Hague Convention of 1907 during the Second World War:

(1) Particularly on the Eastern Front, the conflict was a nonconventional sort of warfare being waged against a “barbaric” enemy which engaged in “terrorist” practices, and which itself did not observe the law of armed conflict.
(2) Individual combatants who engaged in “terrorist” practices, or who fought in military formations engaged in such practices, were not entitled to protections under international humanitarian law, and the adjudicatory provisions of the Geneva Conventions could therefore be avoided together with the substantive protections.
(3) The Geneva and Hague Conventions were “obsolete” and ill-suited to the sort of ideologically driven warfare in which the Nazis were engaged on the Eastern Front, though they might have limited application with respect to the Western Allies.
(4) Application of the Geneva Conventions was not in the enlightened self-interest of Germany because its enemies would not reciprocate such conduct by treating German prisoners in a humane fashion.
(5) Construction of international law should be driven in the first instance by a clear understanding of the national interest as determined by the executive. To this end niggling, hypertechnical interpretations of the Conventions that disregarded the plain text, international practice and even Germany’s prior practice in order to justify their nonapplication were entirely appropriate.
(6) In any event, the rules of international law were subordinated to the military interests of the German state and to the law as determined and stated by the German Führer.

The similarity between these rationalizations and those offered by John Yoo in his hitherto published Justice Department memoranda and books and articles is staggering. It is of course possible that John Yoo came upon all of this on his own, like a scholar laboring in some parallel universe unaware of the work of others. Possible. But not probable.

It is more likely that Yoo’s work is a faithful, through crude and occasionally flawed interpretation of Schmitt. I say "crude" principally because Schmitt expresses from the outset the severest moral reservations about his concept of "demonization." It is, he fears, subject to "high political manipulation" which "must at all costs be avoided." The use of this technique, he writes, may only be available when "the survival of the people is at stake." Der Begriff des Politischen, pp. 20-33. Yoo expresses no comparable hesitation, preferring simply to place all confidence in the Executive, and justifying this implausibly in the writings of the Founding Fathers.

But Yoo's conclusions are rendered even more inexplicable by another point. After World War II was over and the full horror of what the Axis Powers had done was apparent, a consensus was reached to overhaul the Geneva Conventions with the express intention of repudiating the German evasions of the Conventions listed above. So, while these positions may have been arguable with respect to the two 1929 Geneva Conventions, they hardly could be invoked with respect to the 1949 Conventions. But Yoo continues to cite them, oblivious to the shifts in text and commentary that occurred in 1949.

So how does Yoo come by the work of Carl Schmitt, and why does he fail to acknowledge it in his publications? Yoo is currently a scholar in residence at the American Enterprise Institute, the center stage of the American Neoconservative movement. That movement traces itself back to Leo Strauss, the political philosopher who lived and taught for many years in Chicago. Though a Jew forced to flee Nazi Germany, Strauss was a lifelong admirer of Carl Schmitt, a scholar and teacher of his works. Moreover, Strauss’ early work in Germany played a key role in development of the Begriff des Politischen, and Schmitt’s intercession helped Strauss obtain a key scholarship that made his escape from Germany possible. Though arrested by the Americans and accused of complicity in Nazi crimes, Schmitt achieved a partial rehabilitation late in his life - thanks in large part to Leo Strauss. Indeed, Schmitt emerged as an essential part of the Neocon canon, and his work – including all the relatively obscure works cited here – were translated into English and published by the University of Chicago Press (also Yoo’s publisher). It is therefore hardly plausible to suggest that Yoo would be unfamiliar with the writings of Carl Schmitt. On the other hand, it is easy to surmise why he would fail to acknowledge his reliance on such a highly stigmatized writer. After all, Schmitt was a notorious antisemite best known for crafting the legal cover for Hitler's Machtergreifung.

Why Carl Schmitt Hates America
Carl Schmitt was a rational man, but he was marked by a hatred of America that bordered on the irrational. He viewed American articulations of international law as fraught with hypocrisy, and saw in American practice in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a menacing new form of imperialism (“this form of imperialism… presents a particular threat to a people forced in a defensive posture, like we Germans; it presents us with the greater threat of military occupation and economic exploitation” he writes in 1932 – at a time of almost unprecedented American isolationism)(Die USA und die völkerrechtlichen Formen des modernen Imperialismus, p. 365). He saw in the peculiarly American notion of consensus-democracy an unsustainable foolishness, and in the Jeffersonian vision of small government with a maximum space for individual freedom a threat to his peculiar Catholic values.

Today, President Bush has again defended his indefensible treatment of detainees and claimed for himself rights that all his predecessors firmly disavowed. As president, he has cast aside the values of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower – values on which the country was founded and built – and embraced instead those of Carl Schmitt, the lawyer who prostituted his genius to the cause of Fascism and fervently prayed for America’s destruction. What a great irony.

John Yoo and his colleagues present their critique of international humanitarian law as a validation of the sovereigntist tradition of the American Founding Fathers. That such claims can be taken seriously reflects a failure of critical thought in contemporary America. Yoo’s views on international humanitarian law have absolutely nothing to do with the Founding Fathers. They are a cheap, discredited Middle European import from the twenties and thirties. Viewed this way, it becomes increasingly clear where they would lead us.

mercredi, 01 décembre 2010

Un grand catholique: Carl Schmitt

Un grand catholique : Carl Schmitt

par Rémi Soulié

Ex: http://stalker.hautetfort.com/ 

Série: (Infréquentables, 6) - Tous les infréquentables.

Le texte de Rémi Soulié, ci-dessous légèrement amendé, a paru dans le numéro spécial de La Presse littéraire consacré aux écrivains infréquentables.

«Je tiens Carl Schmitt pour un profond penseur catholique…»
Jacob Taubes.

carl_schmitt9999.jpgAucun bricolage néo-kantien ne pourra longtemps masquer le nihilisme démocratique et la vacuité moderne – d’autant moins d’ailleurs que cet excellent lecteur de Kant que fut Jacobi diagnostiqua parmi les premiers la maladie nihiliste que les trois Critiques incubèrent fort peu de temps avant qu’elle ne se déclare. L’Europe, c’est-à-dire très exactement la chrétienté selon Novalis, ne pourra réagir qu’en opposant son antidote souverain : le catholicisme. On peut prendre la question dans tous les sens, ce n’est qu’en réactivant l’interrogation théologico-politique, comme l’ont compris Joseph de Maistre, Donoso Cortès, Carl Schmitt, mais aussi Leo Strauss et Jacob Taubes d’un point de vue juif, donc, en dernière analyse, chrétien, que l’on pourra faire rendre gorge au néant. L’adhésion très temporaire de Carl Schmitt au NSDAP (après d’ailleurs qu’il a mis tout Weimar en garde, dès 1932, sur le danger national-socialiste et l’urgence à interdire, par l’article 48 de la Constitution, les partis communiste et nazi) ne s’explique là encore que par la mystique au sens de Péguy – et non la politique: le catholique conséquent croyant en l’existence de l’univers invisible et donc des mauvais anges peut être abusé par les ruses et les séductions de l’Ennemi (au sens schmittien, d’une certaine façon, nous y reviendrons) jusqu’à prendre des vessies pour des lanternes et le point culminant du nihilisme actif (et non passif, celui-ci relevant de la juridiction démocratique) pour le paroxysme de la vérité. À la lettre oxymorique, il côtoie toujours les cimes des abîmes, comme un abbé Donissan ou un curé d’Ambricourt et à la différence de n’importe quel démocrate-chrétien. Les enfileurs de perles et les analystes du rien, hommes du ni oui ni non, font aujourd’hui écran au théologien politique, homme des affirmations absolues et des négations souveraines fidèle à l’Évangile («Que votre oui soit oui, que votre non soit non», Mt 5, 37) alors que ce dernier est évidemment requis par la tiédeur infernale. Le libéralisme, hostile à toute forme de vision, ne voit bien entendu se profiler aucune eschatologie à l’horizon de sa myopie : il rassemble l’alpha et l’oméga de l’Histoire – formule inadéquate quoique révélatrice de la parodie – dans l’alternance, le marché, l’hédonisme, le sentimentalisme et l’humanitarisme (ce que Schmitt appellera, non sans mépris, «la décision morale et politique dans l’ici-bas paradisiaque d’une vie immédiate, naturelle, et d’une «corporéité» sans problèmes» ou «les faits sociaux purs de toute politique»). Qui décidera de l’état d’exception en cas de guerre civile ? Le souverain, soit, personne (l’anti-personne démoniaque – en ceci, le désespoir demeure en politique une sottise absolue, puisque aussi bien le diable porte pierre).

Né en 1888 dans une famille catholique de Rhénanie lointainement originaire de Lorraine, le jeune Carl Schmitt se définit ainsi : «J’étais un jeune homme obscur, d’ascendance modeste […]. Je n’appartenais ni aux couches dirigeantes, ni à l’opposition […]. La pauvreté et la modestie sociale étaient les anges gardiens qui me tenaient dans l’ombre. C’était un peu comme si, me tenant dans un noir total […] j’avais depuis mon poste observé une pièce vivement éclairée […]. La tristesse qui me remplissait me rendait plus distant et suscitait chez les autres distance et antipathie. Pour les couches dirigeantes, quiconque ne vibrait pas à l’idée de les côtoyer était un corps étranger. Il s’agissait de s’adapter ou de se retirer. Je demeurai donc à l’extérieur.» Il poursuit : «Pour moi, la foi catholique est la religion de mes ancêtres. Je suis catholique non pas seulement par confession, mais par origine historique, et si j’ose dire, par la race» (où l’on notera, avec ce dernier terme, l’influence de Péguy).
Lecteur de L’Action Française, francophile, classique, latin, Carl Schmitt s’inscrit également dans la lignée des penseurs qui refusèrent l’absolutisation de la raison trop humaine aux côtés du Karl Barth commentateur de l’Épître aux Romains dans le domaine protestant ou de Martin Buber dans les études juives, fussent-elles hétérodoxes. Si, comme il l’affirme, tous les concepts fondamentaux de la théorie moderne de l’État sont des concepts théologiques sécularisés – ainsi, par exemple, de l’état d’urgence pensé en analogie avec le miracle puisque dans l’un et l’autre cas, la législation naturelle ou politique est rompue par ceux-là mêmes qui l’ont instituée –, seule la théologie permettra de cerner la vérité des sociétés qui croient s’être affranchies de l’une et de l’autre. Le libéralisme nie l’essence de la haute politique qui suppose, en termes schmittiens, un ennemi c’est-à-dire un conflit (chez les pères de l’Église et saint Augustin en particulier, l’Ennemi, c’est le Mauvais, ce qui peut être également le cas chez Schmitt dès lors que la dramaturgie historique oppose in fine le Christ et l’Antéchrist). En niant l’immortalité de l’âme ou en renvoyant cette croyance dans la sphère privée – ce qui revient au même –, le libéral tente de remplacer la tragédie par le vaudeville. La haute politique présuppose la croyance dans le péché originel, la discrimination de l’ami et de l’ennemi qu’elle induit, la dénonciation des leurres de l’Antéchrist – paix perpétuelle, harmonie universelle, gouvernement mondial («Vous savez vous-mêmes que le Jour du Seigneur arrive comme un voleur en pleine nuit. Quand les hommes se diront : Paix et Sécurité ! c’est alors que tout d’un coup fondra sur eux la perdition, comme les douleurs sur la femme enceinte, et ils ne pourront y échapper» (I Thessaloniciens, 5, 2-3) -, l’acceptation de notre condition de créature, donc d’être limité voué à la mort voire au «sérieux» du sacrifice, la décision, enfin, dont l’infaillibilité pontificale pourrait être l’un des modèles. Avec Donoso Cortès, Carl Schmitt considère que le libéralisme et la démocratie consistent soit à ne pas répondre à la question «le Christ ou Barrabas ?» en multipliant les motions de renvoi en commission ou, mieux, en créant une commission d’enquête, soit à y répondre nécessairement par la libération de Barabbas, comme Hans Kelsen en convient d’ailleurs mais pour s’en féliciter, c’est-à-dire par la mise à mort de Dieu – ou, dirait Benny Lévy d’un point de vue juif donc chrétien, par le «meurtre du Pasteur». (L’établissement de la République, en France, releva encore partiellement du domaine politique et donc non libéral puisque les républicains avaient désigné en l’Église catholique l’ennemi «schmittien», et c’était de bonne guerre cela va de soi; la «lutte millénaire entre le christianisme et l’islam» (La Notion de politique ) en est un autre exemple).
Comme aucun discours véridique ne peut être proféré sans que son auteur ne subisse d’une manière ou d’une autre la persécution de ceux-là mêmes à qui il s’adresse ou qu’il défend – toute l’histoire biblique l’atteste –, Schmitt, à l’instar de Maurras, souffrit par l’Église catholique. Sur un coup de tête, il épouse à Munich, pendant la Grande Guerre, une affreuse mythomane originaire de Bohême, Paula Dorotic, qui s’enfuit peu de temps après avec, comble de l’horreur, une partie de sa bibliothèque. Le mariage est annulé civilement le 18 janvier 1924 mais la «bureaucratie de célibataires» que peut être aussi la sainte Église catholique, apostolique et romaine refuse par deux fois d’annuler cette union malencontreuse. Schmitt se résout à se remarier et fut ainsi privé des sacrements jusqu’en 1950, date de la mort de sa seconde épouse. Voilà un signe supplémentaire attestant de son élection.
Excellent papiste, il prend la défense de l’Inquisition, même s’il déplore qu’elle ait été hélas pervertie par l’usage de la torture : «Ce fut une mesure terriblement humaine que la création du «droit inquisitorial» par le pape Innocent III. L’Inquisition fut sans doute l’institution la plus humaine qu’on puisse imaginer, puisqu’elle partait de l’idée qu’aucun accusé ne pouvait être condamné sans aveux […]. En termes d’histoire du droit, l’idée d’Inquisition ne peut guère être contestée, même aujourd’hui» (1).
(On ne s’étonnera pas qu’il argumente une fois encore dans des termes voisins de ceux de Péguy, dans un ordre comparable : «La politique de frapper les têtes (les mauvaises têtes) est une politique d’économie, et même la seule politique d’économie […]. Rien n’est humain comme la fermeté. C’est Richelieu qui est humain – et c’est Robespierre qui est humain. C’est la Convention nationale qui est en temps de guerre le régime de douceur et de tendresse. Et c’est l’Assemblée de Bordeaux et le gouvernement de Versailles qui est la brutalité de la brute et l’horreur et la cruauté. [… ] Tout mon vieux sang révolutionnaire me remonte et […] je ne mets rien au- dessus de ces excellentes institutions d’ancien régime, qui se nomment le Tribunal Révolutionnaire et le Comité de Salut Public et même je pense le Comité de Sûreté Générale… […] et je ne mets rien au-dessus de Robespierre dans l’ancien régime»).

Car Schmitt défendra bien entendu le Grand Inquisiteur contre l’orthodoxe Dostoïevski. En ces temps qui sont les derniers, autrement dit en régime apocalyptique, il écoute les derniers prophètes : «Remarquez-le bien, il n’y a déjà plus de résistances ni morales ni matérielles. Il n’y a plus de résistances matérielles : les bateaux à vapeur et les chemins de fer ont supprimé les frontières, et le télégraphe électrique a supprimé les distances. Il n’y a plus de résistances morales : tous les esprits sont divisés, tous les patriotismes sont morts […]. Il s’agit de choisir entre la dictature qui vient d’en bas et la dictature qui vient d’en haut : je choisis celle qui vient d’en haut, parce qu’elle vient de régions plus pures et plus sereines. Il s’agit de choisir, enfin, entre la dictature du poignard et la dictature du sabre : je choisis la dictature du sabre, parce qu’elle est plus noble».
Une chose est sûre : «Le monde avance à grands pas vers l’établissement du despotisme le plus violent et le plus destructeur que les hommes aient jamais connu […]. Je tiens pour assurer et évident que, jusqu’à la fin, le mal triomphera du bien et que le triomphe sur le mal sera, en quelque sorte, réservé à Notre Seigneur. Il n’est donc aucune période historique qui ne soit destinée à s’achever en catastrophe.»
Ainsi s’exprimait Donoso Cortès au parlement espagnol le 4 janvier 1849 dans son Discours sur la dictature. À Ernst Jünger, Schmitt confiera qu’il considère ce texte comme «le plus extraordinaire discours de la littérature mondiale sans excepter ni Périclès et Démosthène, ni Cicéron ou Mirabeau ou Burke».
Carl Schmitt continue de lire Dostoïevski, Sorel, Bloy, pour qui il a de la «vénération» – c’est lui qui introduit d’ailleurs Jünger à la lecture du Belluaire. Il saluera plus tard «la magnifique confrontation d’un Allemand avec Léon Bloy» dans le Journal de Jünger, qui est «le plus grand document de la spiritualité européenne contemporaine.» Comme tout homme bien né, Schmitt attend donc les Cosaques et le Saint-Esprit, soit, la Rédemption – d’où son influence sur Benjamin, qui lui envoie ses Origines du drame baroque allemand et l’assure de l’influence méthodologique de La Dictature sur ses propres réflexions esthétiques mais aussi de sa dette à l’endroit de sa «présentation de la doctrine de la souveraineté au XVIIe siècle», sur Leo Strauss également ou sur l’«archijuif» – comme il se définissait lui-même – Jacob Taubes. Une étude sérieuse des relations entre Carl Schmitt, les Juifs et le judaïsme, que l’on attend toujours (2), devrait également intégrer la notion cardinale de Nomos : si Schmitt se refuse de la traduire par «loi», ce qui pourrait être hâtivement interprété comme une oblitération du judaïsme, il la comprend à partir des trois catégories fondamentales qui y sont incluses – prendre, partager et paître – ce dernier terme engageant certes le Bon Pasteur christique mais également… David ou Moïse (3). Sans mythe structurant, les agnostiques modernes, eux, collaborent pendant ce temps à la damnation du monde tout en jacassant.
Mais c’est surtout par l’analyse de la figure essentielle du katékhon que Carl Schmitt manifeste une hauteur de vue et un sens aigu de l’Histoire toujours sainte dont la pertinence demeure bouleversante. Pour la comprendre, il faut se reporter à un passage particulièrement difficile de la deuxième Épître aux Thessaloniens de saint Paul concernant ce qui précèdera la parousie : «Il faut que vienne d’abord l’apostasie et que se révèle l’Homme de l’impiété, le Fils de la perdition […]. Et maintenant, vous savez ce qui le retient [tò katékhon], pour qu’il ne soit révélé qu’en son temps. Car le mystère de l’impiété est déjà à l’œuvre; il suffit que soit écarté celui qui le retient [ho katékhon] à présent. Alors se révèlera l’Impie, que le Seigneur Jésus détruira du souffle de sa bouche» (2, 3-9). Qui est ce Katékhon, ce «Rétenteur» ou «Retardateur» dont le rôle est ambigu puisqu’à la fois il empêche la survenue des catastrophes finales mais en même temps retarde d’autant la seconde venue du Christ en gloire et donc de la fin de l’histoire puis du Jugement ? Est-il personnel ? Impersonnel ? Saint Jérôme et saint Jean Chrysostome l’identifièrent avec l’Empire romain; dans la terminologie schmitienne, ce rôle semble tenu successivement par le dictateur commis ou souverain, le défenseur de la Constitution ou le Léviathan, ceci étant révélateur de sa propre hésitation entre la nécessité de conserver partiellement ce qui est et sa non moins nécessaire liquidation partielle ou totale (où Bloy s’impatiente, Schmitt temporise). Voilà pour l’interprétation positive. Sur un plan mystique, ce thème manifeste la nécessité de maintenir ouverte la brèche qui déchire la terre, monte au ciel et plonge en enfer, pendant le règne vermineux du dernier homme (règne possiblement antéchristisque, ce qui infirmerait la pérennité de l’action katékhontique). En elle est serti le roc de Pierre, le Corps visible de Jésus-Christ que cette tension ne parvient pas à écarteler. La mission katékhontique relève peut-être de l’Église catholique, et en particulier de l’ordre jésuite, comme Schmitt le suggère dans son Glossarium : elle seule détiendrait le pouvoir mystérieux de prononcer en même temps le «Marana Tha» de l’Apocalypse – «Viens, Seigneur Jésus !» – et la demande d’un délai de grâce (Schmitt sait que le temps n’est pensable qu’en terme de délai, comme tous les Juifs conséquents). D’une manière énigmatique, comme il convient d’évoquer ces questions, il écrit à Pierre Linn en 1932 : «Vous connaissez ma théorie du katékhon. Je crois qu’il y a en chaque siècle un porteur concret de cette force et qu’il s’agit de le trouver. Je me garderai d’en parler aux théologiens, car je connais le sort déplorable du grand et pauvre Donoso Cortès. Il s’agit d’une présence totale cachée sous les voiles de l’histoire». Jacob Taubes, grand interlocuteur de Schmitt, comprend simplement le katékhon, dans sa Théologie politique de Paul, comme une tentative de dominer le chaos par la forme.
À ceux qui prétendent que l’Église catholique a désamorcé la charge évangélique, Schmitt répond que la juridisation est la réalisation : «Car qu’est-ce que le droit ? La réponse de Hegel est : le droit est l’Esprit se rendant effectif. […] L’Église romaine est réalité historique». Théodore Paléologue a donc raison de considérer que «la politisation schmittienne du katékhon répond à la conviction que l’Esprit doit se rendre effectif et que toute idée chrétienne est une idée incarnée».
«Homme de contemplation», comme il se définissait lui-même, dont «le centre inoccupable» de la pensée «n’est pas une idée, mais un événement historique, l’Incarnation du Fils de Dieu», grand démystificateur des impuissances libérales et de leur juridisme – lequel ne serait que ridicule s’il n’était enclin au totalitarisme – Carl Schmitt a dénoncé le misérable «affect anti-romain» sous la domination duquel nous survivons. Comme Heidegger, dit Jacob Taubes, il a posé des questions fondamentales, en ceci précisément intolérables au libéralisme (qui ne tolère que les insignifiantes), d’où son éviction et la «récitation» obligatoire, dit toujours Taubes, de «l’ABC démocratique» qui doit s’en suivre. Schmitt définit «la clé secrète de toute [son] existence spirituelle et de toute [son] activité d’auteur» comme «le combat pour la radicalisation authentiquement catholique», laquelle constitue sans doute aussi le «savoir intègre» qu’il appelait de ses vœux, au service de la «pensée concrète de l’ordre». Une certitude néanmoins : «Jusqu’au retour du Christ, le monde ne connaîtra pas l’ordre».

Carl Schmitt est mort le dimanche de Pâques 7 avril 1985.

(1) En 1936 (N.d.a.), Schmitt s’inscrit ici dans la lignée de Joseph de Maistre pour qui «L’inquisition est, de sa nature, bonne, douce, conservatrice».
(2) Je ne méconnais pas l’étude de Raphaël Gross, Carl Schmitt et les Juifs (PUF, 2005, préface d’Yves-Charles Zarka, traduction de Denis Trierweiler) mais elle est hélas exclusivement à charge.
(3) Voir, à nouveau, le très beau livre de Benny Lévy, Le Meurtre du Pasteur (Grasset, 2002) mais, également, Rémi Soulié, Avec Benny Lévy (Le Cerf, 2009).

Bibliographie succincte
- Carl Schmitt, Théologie politique (Gallimard, 1988).
- Heinrich Meier, Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss et la notion de politique. Un dialogue entre absents (Julliard, 1990).
- Sous la direction de Carlos-Miguel Herrera, Le droit, le politique. Autour de Max Weber, Hans Kelsen, Carl Schmitt (L’Harmattan, 1995).
- Jacob Taubes, La Théologie politique de Paul. Schmitt, Benjamin, Nietzsche et Freud, Seuil, 1999 et En divergent accord. À propos de Carl Schmitt (Payot, 2003).
- Théodore Paléologue, Sous l’œil du Grand Inquisiteur. Carl Schmitt et l’héritage de la théologie politique (Cerf, 2004).
- David Cumin, Carl Schmitt. Biographie politique et intellectuelle (Cerf, 2005).
- Gopal Balakrishnan, L’Ennemi. Un portrait intellectuel de Carl Schmitt (Éditions Amsterdam, 2006).

Rémi Soulié, né en 1968 en Rouergue. Essayiste, critique littéraire au Figaro Magazine, il a récemment consacré un essai à Benny Lévy (Le Cerf, 2009) et prépare une étude, De l'Histoire sainte : Joseph de Maistre, Donoso Cortès, Carl Schmitt.

dimanche, 07 novembre 2010

A Forgotten Thinker On Nation-States vs. Empire

A Forgotten Thinker On Nation-States vs. Empire

Paul Gottfried

Ex: http://www.freespeechproject.com/

Carl_Schmitt_-_The_Enemy_bigger_crop.jpgGerman legal theorist Carl Schmitt (1888-1985[!]) has enjoyed a widespread following among European academics and among that part of the European Right that is most resistant to Americanization. In the U.S. it is a different matter. Outside of the editors and readers of Telos magazine, which has heavily featured his work, Schmitt's American groupies are becoming harder and harder to find.

My intellectual biography of this thinker, which Greenwood Press published in 1990, has sold rather badly. An earlier, much denser biography, by Joseph W. Bendersky, put out by Princeton in 1983, obtained a broader market. In the eighties, academically well-connected commentators, including George Schwab, Ellen Kennedy, Gary Ulmen, and Bendersky, built up for Schmitt a scholarly reputation on these shores by trying to relate his thought to then-contemporary political issues. This caused so much concern among American global democrats that The New Republic (August 22, 1988) published a grim tirade by Stephen Holmes against the Schmittian legacy. An echo could be found in the New York Review of Books (May 15, 1997), in a screed by another neoconservative, Mark Lila. Though the Schmitt scholars sent in responses, the New York Review would not publish any of them. Apparently the political conversation in Midtown Manhattan is not broad enough to include non-globalists.

Schmitt is properly criticized for having joined the Nazi Party in May 1933. But he clearly did so for opportunistic reasons. Attempts to draw a straight line between his association with the Party and his writings of the twenties and early thirties, when he was closely associated with the Catholic Center Party, a predecessor of the Christian Democrats, ignore certain inconvenient facts. In 1931 and 1932, Schmitt urged Weimar president Paul von Hindenburg to suppress the Nazi Party and to jail its leaders. He sharply opposed those in the Center Party who thought the Nazis could be tamed if they were forced to form a coalition government. While an authoritarian of the Right, who later had kind words about the caretaker regime of Franco, he never quite made himself into a plausible Nazi. From 1935 on, the SS kept Schmitt under continuing surveillance.

There are two ideas raised in Schmitt's corpus that deserve attention in our elite-decreed multicultural society. In The Concept of the Political (a tract that first appeared in 1927 and was then published in English in 1976 by Rutgers University) Schmitt explains that the friend/enemy distinction is a necessary feature of all political communities. Indeed what defines the "political" as opposed to other human activities is the intensity of feeling toward friends and enemies, or toward one's own and those perceived as hostile outsiders.

This feeling does not cease to exist in the absence of nation-states. Schmitt argued that friend/enemy distinctions had characterized ancient communities and would likely persist in the more and more ideological environment in which nation-states had grown weaker. The European state system, beginning with the end of the Thirty Years War, had in fact provided the immense service of taming the "political."

The subsequent assaults on that system of nation-states, with their specific and limited geopolitical interests, made the Western world a more feverishly political one, a point that Schmitt develops in his postwar magnum opus Nomos der Erde (now being translated for Telos Press by Gary Ulmen). From the French Revolution on, wars were being increasingly fought over moral doctrines - most recently over claims to be representing "human rights." Such a tendency has replicated the mistakes of the Age of Religious Wars. It turned armed force from a means to achieve limited territorial goals, when diplomatic resources fail, to a crusade for universal goodness against a demonized enemy.

A related idea treated by Schmitt is the tendency toward a universal state (a “New World Order”?). Such a tendency seemed closely linked to Anglo-American hegemony, a theme that Schmitt took up in his commentaries during and after the Second World War.

German historians in the early twentieth century had typically drawn comparisons between, on the one side, Germany and Sparta and, on the other, England (and later the U.S.) and Athens - between what they saw as disciplined land powers and mercantile, expansive naval ones. The Anglo-American powers, which relied on naval might, had less of a sense of territorial limits than landed states. Sea-based powers had evolved into empires, from the Athenians onward.

But while Schmitt falls back, at least indirectly, on this already belabored comparison, he also brings up the more telling point: Americans aspire to a world state because they make universal claims for their way of life. They view "liberal democracy" as something they are morally bound to export. They are pushed by ideology, as well as by the nature of their power, toward a universal friend/enemy distinction.

Although in the forties and fifties Schmitt hoped that the devastated nation-state system would be replaced by a new "political pluralism," the creation of spheres of control by regional powers, he also doubted this would work. The post-World War II period brought with it polarization between the Communist bloc and the anti-Communists, led by the U.S. Schmitt clearly feared and detested the Communists. But he also distrusted the American side for personal and analytic reasons. From September 1945 until May 1947, Schmitt had been a prisoner of the American occupational forces in Germany. Though released on the grounds that he played no significant role as a Nazi ideologue, he was traumatized by the experience. Throughout the internment he had been asked to give evidence of his belief in liberal democracy. Unlike the Soviets, in whose zone of occupation he had resided for a while, the Americans seemed to be ideologically driven and not merely vengeful conquerors.

Schmitt came to dread American globalism more deeply than its Soviet form, which he thought to be primitive military despotism allied with Western intellectual faddishness. In the end, he welcomed the "bipolarity" of the Cold War, seeing in Soviet power a means of limiting American "human rights" crusades.

A learned critic of American expansionists, Schmitt did perceive the by-now inescapably ideological character of American politics.

In the post-Cold War era, despite the irritation he arouses among American imperialists, his commentaries seem fresher and more relevant than ever before.    

Paul Gottfried is Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College, PA. He is the author of After Liberalism and Carl Schmitt: Politics and Theory.  

mercredi, 03 novembre 2010

Il tramonto del Leviathan statunitense

Il tramonto del Leviathan statunitense


Ex: http://www.centroitalicum.it/


uncle-sam-cartoon-pelosi-reid-obama.jpgNel libro Terra e Mare (1) il grande giurista e teorico dello Stato Carl Schmitt interpreta la storia del mondo alla luce della centralità dello scontro geostrategico tra l’elemento tellurico e l’elemento marino, dai quali discendono due diverse concezioni della politica, del diritto e della civiltà. Lo scontro tra questi due elementi ha origine con la storia dell’uomo, basti pensare alla rivalità tra Roma e Cartagine, ma è solo con l’avvento della modernità che l’elemento marino, fino ad allora sottomesso a quello tellurico sembra essere in grado di fronteggiarlo alla pari e anche di avere la meglio su di esso.
L’Inghilterra, conquistando le terre al di là dell’oceano ed esercitando la supremazia sui mari, si è affermata come potenza marittima mondiale: essa è il Leviathan, che si oppone alla potenza terrestre (Behemoth) rappresentata dagli Stati continentali, fondati sull’identità collettiva della nazione e sulla difesa della patria e dell’integrità territoriale.
Con il tramonto della potenza inglese sono gli Stati Uniti a prenderne il posto, rivendicando non solo l’egemonia sulle Americhe con la ‘dottrina Monroe’, ma anche la supremazia negli oceani, attraverso la forza aeronavale, e tramite quest’ultima il dominio globale. Nell’affermazione di questa egemonia marittima mondiale si nasconde, secondo Schmitt, il germe della rovina, perché conduce alla trasformazione del diritto fra gli Stati in diritto privato internazionale, cioè in diritto commerciale, e introduce una forma di moralismo universalistico, politicamente pericoloso, perché fa appello al concetto discriminatorio di guerra giusta. Sicché il forte radicamento tellurico caratteristico del Vecchio Mondo (Eurasia e Africa) si confronta con il Nuovo Mondo, il luogo dell’universalismo indistinto e delocalizzato, ricettacolo di progetti messianici e mondialisti. Di qua una visione imperiale tellurica, di là una talassocrazia che mira all’egemonia mondiale; di qua il nomos della terra, di là la ‘tirannia dei valori’, il relativismo e il nichilismo assoluto che derivano dallo sradicamento e dal primato dell’economia sulla politica. Si tratta quindi di due concezioni geopolitiche, giuridiche e spirituali radicalmente opposte. Tale percezione di uno scontro fatale tra due opposte visioni del mondo si giustifica anche con il vissuto contingente e le posizioni assunte da Schmitt, basti pensare che alla fine degli anni Trenta questi applaudì al Patto Ribbentrop-Molotov ed al contempo riconobbe nell’Occidente, Gran Bretagna e Stati Uniti, l’avversario irriducibile dell’Europa.
Gli Stati Uniti infatti, fin dalla loro fondazione, si sono basati su un costrutto ideologico che postula la loro unicità come luogo della giustizia e della pace (Occidente) in contrapposizione all’Europa (Vecchio Mondo) luogo dell’oscurantismo e della tirannia. Tale forma di ideologia con venature messianiche trova il suo fondamento nel calvinismo professato dai Padri Pellegrini fuggiti dal Vecchio Continente per approdare sulle coste dell’America con l’intento di costruire la ‘Nuova Gerusalemme’. Riassumendo gli Stati Uniti si possono definire, per dirla con Damiano, «una nazione ideocratica, ‘aiutata’, nel suo ‘tracciato’ espansionista, da una costellazione iniziale di favorevoli circostanze geostoriche, quali, l’immenso spazio a disposizione; l’isolamento geografico; l’assenza di potenti vicini; una forte immigrazione di popolamento; la conflittualità europea, specie nei primi decenni dopo l’indipendenza; il predominio inglese sui mari. A ciò va aggiunta la circostanza storica probabilmente più importante, ossia la “deriva suicidaria dell’Europa”, a partire dalla prima guerra mondiale» (2).

L’espansionismo statunitense, che ha avuto diverse fasi, arriva al suo culmine nel ventesimo secolo, quando Washington decide di superare la dottrina Monroe di egemonia continentale per passare alla fase ulteriore dell’egemonia globale imponendosi come agente di ‘sovversione’ mondiale (con, a partire dal 1948, Israele quale sub-agente di destabilizzazione regionale nel Mediterraneo e Vicino Oriente). Si badi bene che l’opera di ‘distruzione creativa’ messa in atto dagli Stati Uniti, parte essenziale del suo moto espansionistico, ha agito ed agisce ancora in tutti i campi: economico, culturale, giuridico, spirituale, ma soprattutto a livello politico e geopolitico.
A partire dal 1945, l’emisfero occidentale, coincidente fino a quel momento con le Americhe secondo l’originaria formulazione della dottrina Monroe, si espande fino ad includere prima l’Europa occidentale ed il Giappone, sconfitti ed occupati militarmente, poi, con il crollo dell’Unione Sovietica, il mondo intero. La fine del bipolarismo est-ovest ha, difatti, prodotto un vuoto nel continente eurasiatico che, data l’estrema debolezza e mancanza di obiettivi degli Stati europei, gli Stati Uniti, come unica superpotenza rimasta, hanno cercato velocemente di colmare prima che nuovi attori sorgessero a contrastarla. All’interno di questa strategia americana rientra il fenomeno della globalizzazione, esso non rappresenta altro che il tentativo estremo da parte degli Stati Uniti di estendere al mondo la propria Ordnung. Nasce, infatti, proprio in questa fase il Project for the New American Century (PNAC, Progetto per il Nuovo Secolo Americano), un think tank americano, fondato nel 1997, che delineerà la politica americana negli anni successivi. Tra i fondatori del PNAC, in prevalenza ebrei americani, ci sono personaggi che durante i due mandati presidenziali di Bush Jr. assumeranno incarichi di governo, basti pensare a Donald Rumsfeld e Paul Wolfowitz. Il PNAC non è altro che un progetto scaturito dal filone neoconservatore che, preso il sopravvento nella seconda metà degli anni ’90, fa l’esaltazione fanatica e millenarista dei predetti miti fondatori degli Stati Uniti e del ‘destino manifesto’ quale missione affidata da Dio di civilizzare il mondo, uniti alla crociata ideologica trockista per l’‘esportazione della democrazia’ e la ‘guerra permanente’. Proprio negli anni ’90 si assiste ad una politica estremamente aggressiva e unilateralista di Washington che tuttavia nel mentre continua attivamente a stimolare negli altri Paesi, specialmente in Europa, il multilateralismo e l’interconnessione finanziaria, da utilizzare come leve per indebolire ulteriormente la loro sovranità. Tuttavia la ‘fine della storia’ pronosticata da Francis Fukuyama e il trionfo definitivo del capitalismo di stampo americano che avrebbe portato la globalizzazione e l’americanizzazione del mondo, non si sono verificati.
La fase unipolare dell’espansionismo americano, iniziata approssimativamente nel 1991 e terminata approssimativamente nel 2001, rappresenta non l’inizio del “Nuovo Secolo Americano”, come auspicato dagli americanisti di tutte le risme, ma bensì la sua conclusione, il tentativo estremo da parte degli Stati Uniti di preservare l’egemonia globale e frenare la nuova fase multipolare subentrante. A ben vedere il momento di massimo unipolarismo americano ha coinciso con il culmine della globalizzazione.
Il processo della globalizzazione, le cui origini risalgono al periodo 1944-1947 (Istituzione degli accordi di Bretton Woods, creazione del Fondo Monetario Internazionale, Banca Mondiale e accordi GATT), rappresenta la proiezione mondiale del sistema statunitense in una logica unipolare egemonica. Si può delimitare la fase ascendente della globalizzazione propriamente detta nel periodo che va dai primi anni ’80 (1980: elezione di Reagan, 1982: morte di Brezhnev) al 1995, quando raggiunge il suo culmine con la creazione dell’OMC ovvero l’Organizzazione Mondiale del Commercio, attestando l’apparente trionfo dell’ideologia liberista che necessita della libera circolazione di capitali, beni e persone.
Non è un caso che proprio in questo breve periodo di trionfo statunitense avviene quella che per Vladimir Putin è stata «la peggior tragedia geopolitica del XX secolo », ovvero il crollo e lo smembramento dell’Unione Sovietica. Un’altra ‘tragedia geopolitica’ avverrà in piena Europa con la dissoluzione della Jugoslavia nel 1991, la conseguenti guerre separatiste e l’apice dell’aggressività anti-europea statunitense raggiunto nel 1999, con i bombardamenti sulla Serbia dietro il paravento della NATO. Tuttavia oggi possiamo affermare che il culmine del ‘momento unipolare’ degli Stati Uniti raggiunto negli anni ’90 piuttosto che rappresentarne il trionfo ne segna già l’inizio della discesa nel baratro.
Al volgere del Terzo Millennio gli USA erano in forte difficoltà sul piano politico-economico, entrando in una vera e propria recessione dopo circa 10 anni di crescita economica forzata e drogata, sorretta da un fortissimo indebitamento interno, da un grande passivo della bilancia dei pagamenti con forte indebitamento esterno, da una tendenza fortemente al ribasso sulla quota imputabile di commercio internazionale. Anche sul piano internazionale la loro egemonia era messa in discussione dall’emersione del potenziale polo geopolitico e geoeconomico rappresentato dall’Unione Europea. La recessione ed il declino della superpotenza USA, la fine delle forme specifiche della globalizzazione, stavano, infatti, avvenendo da diversi anni prima dell’11 settembre 2001, ed evidenti ne erano i segnali. La situazione interna degli USA, già dagli inizi degli anni ’90, presentava dei problemi: basti ricordare che nel 1992 il debito nazionale generale era di oltre 4.000 miliardi di dollari (3), l’assistenza sanitaria era carente e una gran parte della popolazione americana si ritrovava a non avere una minima protezione sociale, il livello degli investimenti e dei risparmi erano inferiori a quelli dei paesi europei, e dal punto di vista produttivo vi era una bassa competitività con minimi tassi di crescita di produttività. La distanza esistente tra ricchi e poveri negli USA è aumentata a dismisura negli ultimi 30 anni; se nel 1969 infatti, l’1% della popolazione possedeva il 25% di ricchezza nazionale, nel 1999 questa percentuale è salita a circa il 40%, mentre l’indebitamento finanziario interno è passato da 12 a 22 trilioni di dollari tra il 1995 e il 2000. Se a ciò si aggiunge l’enorme indebitamento degli USA nei confronti del resto del mondo, coperto da appena il 4% delle riserve di valuta, e il sempre più alto disavanzo commerciale, si comprende quanto diventano forti le debolezze dell’economia americana negli anni ‘90, in piena era della globalizzazione. Inoltre, l’eccedenza degli investimenti attuati da un esagerato afflusso di capitali esteri e da una politica monetaria troppo espansiva ha portato a valori artificialmente gonfiati in Borsa con la conseguente crisi che ne è seguita; i livelli di profitto sono scesi, così come i consumi, ed è evidente che gli Stati Uniti erano in una seria fase di difficoltà economica, ben nascosta dai media e dalle istituzioni internazionali compiacenti, fino a giungere alla recessione, molto prima dei tragici eventi dell’11 settembre.
Un falso grande boom americano sostenuto da un decennio in cui le famiglie e le imprese hanno speso molto di più di quanto guadagnavano e un indebitamento non più sostenibile che, con la successiva moderazione dei comportamenti economici, porta ad un forte rallentamento dell’economia, fino alla recessione. Ecco quindi che, nella seconda metà degli anni ’90, attraverso la guerra del dollaro contro l’euro, la crisi petrolifera a guida americana e la gestione della New Economy nel contesto generale della finanziarizzazione dell’economia, gli Stati Uniti hanno cercato di nascondere la loro crisi ed hanno giocato le loro carte per soffocare le mire di affermazione ed espansionistiche innanzitutto del nuovo polo dell’Unione Europea e in misura via via maggiore anche degli altri poli geopolitici mondiali emergenti. Il gioco del caro dollaro e del caro petrolio si accompagna, quindi, alla ‘bolla finanziaria’ sui titoli della “Net Economy”; questo è uno specifico aspetto del modello complessivo neoliberista imposto dalla globalizzazione americana, una speculazione finanziaria che fa sì che società con scarso fatturato, o appena quotate, nel giro di un mese triplichino, quadruplichino il loro valore. Una globalizzazione finanziaria che da una parte crea forti condizioni e aspettative di guadagno facile e dall’altra determina in continuazione paure di disastrosi crolli. Un NASDAQ, il mercato azionario dei titoli tecnologici, continuamente sbalzato fra eccessi rialzisti ed eccessi ribassisti. E questi terremoti del NASDAQ trovano i loro mandanti proprio negli Stati Uniti, capaci di attirare attraverso i titoli della Net Economy enormi capitali europei sottoposti poi al rischio di continui ed improvvisi crolli. Tuttavia nemmeno la guerra contro l’Euro, l’imposizione del neoliberismo globale e la finanziarizzazione dell’economia sono riusciti ad impedire il declino della potenza americana e l’ascesa di poli geopolitici alternativi, già percepibile all’inizio del terzo millennio. A questo punto, persa la partita per imporre ‘con le buone’, attraverso la globalizzazione dei mercati e la finanziarizzazione speculativa, il loro dominio sul mondo e la ‘fine della storia’, gli Stati Uniti sono costretti a ricorrere ‘alle maniere cattive’, alla guerra, ultima risorsa per uscire dalla crisi sistemica. Dal cilindro viene tirato fuori Bin Laden e il terrorismo islamico, diviene vitale per evitare il disastro che sarebbe anche solo il rallentarsi dei movimenti di capitale verso New York, un attacco al cuore dell’Eurasia con il pretesto della “guerra infinita contro il terrorismo”.

La fase finale e irreversibile del declino americano inizia nel 2001, volendo fare riferimento ad un evento spartiacque si può prendere l’attacco alle torri gemelle av- venuto l’11 settembre del 2001 come simbolo del ‘crollo’ del ‘sogno americano’ e della fine del dominio assoluto della sola superpotenza fino a quel momento.
L’estrema aggressività e l’avventurismo di Washington nel periodo 1995 – 2001 sono stati una disperata reazione alla consapevolezza della fine della fase unipolaristica che ha subito un colpo mortale grazie a due eventi fondamentali: l’adozione dell’Euro nel 1999 e l’elezione di Vladimir Putin alla presidenza russa nel 2000. Come detto in precedenza, tramontato il sogno di egemonia mondiale non restava che la guerra quale extrema ratio per impedire o ritardare l’avvento del multipolarismo. Il periodo 2001 – 2003 è il colpo di coda dell’unipolarismo morente, nel quale gli USA camuffandosi dietro una riesumata NATO si impadroniscono dell’Afghanistan e mettono piede nel Kirghisistan e dell’Uzbekistan, per poi passare all’occupazione dell’Iraq. Nel frattempo la NATO si espande all’inverosimile e attraverso le ‘rivoluzioni colorate’ finanziate da Soros in Ucraina e Georgia arriva a minacciare i confini della Russia. In questo periodo la dottrina della ‘stabilità’ politico-economica internazionale diventa elemento propagandistico prioritario nel tentativo di aggressione all’Eurasia e di dominio manu militari del mondo, dominio imposto attraverso il nuovo ruolo dell’ONU depotenziato e sostituito in pieno dalla NATO. In questo periodo la situazione interna degli USA si aggrava. La disoccupazione ha registrato un notevole aumento, dall’inizio del 2001 si sono avuti oltre 1 milione e 200.000 di disoccupati in più ed il tasso di disoccupazione nell’agosto di quell’anno è arrivato al 4,9%; si è registrata una diminuzione nei consumi di oltre lo 0,5% mentre il PIL nel secondo semestre del 2001 cresce solo dello 0,2%, e il terzo trimestre è addirittura negativo (-0,4%) segnalando, anche ufficialmente, la fase recessiva. Negli anni successivi la situazione si aggrava a causa del drammatico legame fra disoccupazione e logiche liberiste di precarizzazione del vivere sociale. Si aggiunga un mercato di capitali ‘pompato’, dove anche i rialzi e le piccole riprese sono imputabili ai giochi a sostegno dei titoli delle imprese meglio proiettate nei nuovi scenari di economia di guerra post-globale. Si decide di marciare secondo i parametri del sostenimento della domanda e della produzione attraverso una sorta di keynesismo militare come tentativo di risolvere, o almeno gestire, la crisi; per questo l’economia di guerra dell’era Bush Jr. aveva carattere strutturale, cioè ampio respiro e lunga durata sostituendo il Warfare al Welfare, con continui tagli al sistema pensionistico, alla sanità e allo Stato sociale. Dopo l’iniziale apparente successo dell’avventurismo militare americano, nel periodo 2001 – 2003, dovuto all’incertezza internazionale che caratterizzava l’alba della nuova fase multipolare e alla disorganizzazione delle nazioni emergenti, il successivo periodo 2004 – 2009 sancisce la definitiva sconfitta del modello Bush–neocon di attacco al cuore dell’Eurasia quale misura estrema per uscire dall’impasse della crisi. Nel 2006 il PNAC chiude i battenti, attestando il fallimento del progetto di egemonia mondiale.
La guerra russo-georgiana del 2008 o, meglio, la fallita aggressione alla Russia perpetrata per il tramite dell’esercito georgiano armato da Israele e Stati Uniti, ha definitivamente posto la pietra tombale sull’unipolarismo statunitense ed ha sancito e reso effettivo il sistema geopolitico multipolare.

In un saggio del 2007 il giornalista Luca Lauriola afferma che l’attuale crisi dell’egemonia americana va imputata ad una molteplicità di cause quali: il ridimensionamento geopolitico del ruolo USA dovuto alla crescita economica e tecnologica dei poli rivali russo, cinese ed indiano; la crisi economica e finanziaria degli USA dovuta a cause sistemiche e non reversibile perché connaturata alla forma del capitalismo americano; il castello di menzogne su cui si basa la strategia di dominio americana per legittimare il proprio espansionismo ha ormai oltrepassato la soglia di tollerabilità ed è sul punto di crollare; le condizioni di vita di gran parte della popolazione statunitense sono simili a quelle di molti paesi sottosviluppati; il ruolo politico sempre maggiore ricoperto dalla lobby sionista.
Per quanto riguarda l’aspetto economico e finanziario, esaminando il periodo 2001 – 2010 praticamente non c’è un solo dato che non indichi una crisi irreversibile del sistema americano. Basti dire tra il 2005 ed il 2010 il numero di disoccupati in USA è praticamente raddoppiato così come, tra questi, è più che quadruplicato il numero di quelli a lungo termine (6 mesi o più) (4). Giova ricordare che gli americani hanno già rischiato la bancarotta e la dissoluzione come entità statale nel 2008 con lo scoppio della ‘bolla immobiliare’ dalla quale si sono salvati in extremis solo grazie all’intervento di Giappone e Cina, timorosi di perdere il mercato di sbocco principale per i loro prodotti. Ma i dati che illustrano in maniera devastante la crisi americana sono quelli del debito pubblico e della bilancia commerciale. A cominciare dagli anni ‘80 (durante l’amministrazione Reagan) gli Stati Uniti hanno iniziato ad avere sia un grande debito pubblico sia un disavanzo commerciale. Il debito pubblico era intorno ai 50-75 miliardi di dollari alla fine degli anni ‘70 e crebbe a oltre 200 miliardi nel 1983. Il disavanzo della bilancia commerciale era attorno allo zero all’inizio degli anni ‘80 ma superò i 100 miliardi di dollari nel 1985. Oggi analizzando il disavanzo commerciale dei vari Paesi gli USA si situano all’ultimo posto della lista con un disavanzo che è piu’ del doppio rispetto a quello della Cina che è in surplus e si situa al primo posto.
Inoltre, il debito pubblico americano ha superato la quota record dei 12 mila miliardi di dollari e non accenna a diminuire risultando essere il più alto al mondo. Ma come mai gli Stati Uniti dopo un ventennio di apparente prosperità, nel quale hanno guidato il processo di globalizzazione, sono oggi sul punto di collassare? Come mai gli Stati Uniti non sono stati in grado di imporre la propria Ordnung al mondo intero? La risposta, più che nell’economia, va ricercata nella natura e nella geopolitica degli USA: « Gli Stati Uniti d’America – potenza talassocratica mondiale – hanno sempre perseguito, fin dalla loro espansione nel subcontinente sudamericano, una prassi geopolitica che in altra sede abbiamo definita “del caos”, vale a dire la geopolitica della “perturbazione continua” degli spazi territoriali suscettibili di essere posti sotto la propria influenza o il proprio dominio; da qui l’incapacità a realizzare un vero ed articolato ordine internazionale, quale ci si dovrebbe aspettare da chi ambisce alla leadership mondiale» (5).
La natura talassocratica degli USA e l’incapacità di governare e amministrare il territorio sono l’origine del loro declino, perciocché non è dato loro il potere di esercitare una funzione regolatrice ed equilibratrice dei vari popoli ed etnie che vivono in un territorio delimitato e di fornire quel senso di unità spirituale basato sulla coscienza di appartenere ad una medesima ecumene, quali invece sono i tratti caratteristici di un impero propriamente detto.


Ricapitolando, l’ultimo ventennio del XX secolo (1980 – 2001), ha visto la potenza degli Stati Uniti raggiungere il suo picco massimo. Quella che oggi viene definita ‘era della globalizzazione’, che ha raggiunto il suo culmine nella metà degli anni ’90, non è stata altro che il tentativo di egemonizzare il mondo, attraverso gli strumenti della finanza speculativa e del soft power (diffusione dei concetti di ‘esportazione della democrazia’, ‘diritti umani’, liberismo, utilizzando anche Hollywood, la musica pop-rock e i ‘nuovi media’, internet in testa), messo in campo dagli USA nel loro ‘momento unipolare’.
Fallito il tentativo di imporsi come soggetto egemone a livello mondiale attraverso l’esportazione dei propri ‘valori’ gli USA nel periodo 2001 – 2008 hanno deciso di puntare tutto in un attacco disperato all’Heartland con tutto il volume di fuoco di cui sono stati capaci, ma anche questa mossa dopo una iniziale serie di successi viene bloccata dalle potenze continentali emergenti. Sempre più si profila all’orizzonte il conflitto aperto, multipolare, tra la ormai ex superpotenza in declino degli USA e i nuovi poli emergenti costituiti dal BRIC (Brasile, Russia, India, Cina) con in più l’Iran in crescita strepitosa.
Non bisogna però sottovalutare l’attuale potenza degli USA ne la residua capacità di reazione al declino in corso, per due ordini di motivi: come detto all’inizio la natura dell’espansionismo talassocratico americano non si basa sulla sovranità e sul controllo del territorio, perché questo avviene sospinto da forze non-statali, finanziarie ed economiche, che ne costituiscono il vero motore. Sono forze ‘liquide’ come liquido è il mezzo che storicamente hanno prediletto per espandersi, cioè il mare. Questa ‘liquidità’ che contraddistingue l’impalcatura economica e geopolitica degli USA comporta una seria difficoltà a batterli sul loro terreno, che è quello, in senso fisico, dei mari e dei cieli, in senso lato, della finanza e del soft power. In secondo luogo gli USA sono riusciti negli anni addietro ad acquisire posizioni di predominio nel settore finanziario (attraverso il controllo di organismi quali lo SWIFT), in quello della sicurezza mondiale e nel controllo dei ‘nuovi media’, internet in testa.
Dal punto di vista militare la NATO, strumento di accerchiamento della massa eurasiatica, è ancora vitale ed in grado di esercitare la sua funzione antieuropea e antieurasiatica, inoltre restano le centinaia di basi militari e avamposti che gli statunitensi sono riusciti a installare in giro per il mondo e attraverso i quali sono in grado di esercitare ancora una capacità di deterrenza e di controllo sugli Stati ‘ospitanti’. In conclusione pur se in una fase di declino gli Stati Uniti sono ancora capaci di esercitare una residua forma di egemonia, soprattutto nelle zone sotto la loro influenza diretta (Europa e Giappone, in quanto ‘colonizzati’ a tutti gli effetti), piuttosto l’attuale fase è da ritenersi potenzialmente più pericolosa della precedente fase unipolare perché è proprio quando l’animale è ferito mortalmente che la sua reazione diventa più sconsiderata e furente, come dimostrano l’avventurismo in Georgia e le recenti esplicite minacce di attacco nucleare nei confronti di Iran e Corea del Nord.
Tali minacce saranno scongiurate solo da una decisa azione di concerto tra le potenze del blocco eurasiatico e quelle dell’america indiolatina.

1) C. Schmitt, Land und Meer. Eine weltgeschichtliche Betrachtung, Reclam, Leipzig 1942, trad. it. Terra e mare, Adelphi, Milano 2002.
2) G. Damiano, L’espansionismo americano, un «destino manifesto»?, Edizioni di Ar, Padova 2006, pp. 14-15. Il termine ‘ideocrazia’ riferito agli Stati Uniti è stato coniato da Costanzo Preve, cfr. C. Preve, L’ideocrazia imperiale americana, Settimo Sigillo, Roma 2004.
3) Da questo punto in avanti e dove non specificato diversamente si tratta di dati ufficiali del governo americano. Cfr. http://www.whitehouse.gov/ e http://www.cbo.gov/
4) Fonte: Bureau of labor statistics, http://www.bls.gov/
5) T. Graziani, America indiolatina ed Eurasia: i pilastri del nuovo sistema multipolare, “Eurasia – Rivista di Studi Geopolitici”, XV, 3/2008, p. 7.

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mercredi, 20 octobre 2010

Carl Schmitt, pensador liberal

Carl Schmitt, pensador liberal: a modo de introducción

por Giovanni B. Krähe

Ex: http://geviert.wordpress.com/

Una de las tesis consolidadas en los estudios schmittianos es el anti-liberalismo de Carl Schmitt. Conservadores, monárquicos, católicos, filo-schmittianos “de Weimar”,  anti-schmittianos de wikipedia, ocasionalistas pro-dictadura, antifascistas etc., todos, en familia, están de acuerdo con esta tesis: Schmitt fue un anti-liberal. En este preciso punto, ambos bandos de apologetas y anti-schmittianos se demuestran de acuerdo. La pregunta que queremos poner en este post es: ¿Pero de cuál liberalismo señores? ¿contra cuál liberalismo Schmitt desarrolla su crítica? A continuación retomanos una respuesta que se dió en este blog a modo de introducción sumaria al tema.

Entre revolución nacional y religión: las cuatro tradiciones de la Sonderweg alemana

En Alemania se desarrollan cuatro diferentes tradiciones políticas: conservadora, liberal, católica y socialista. Todas nacen y se desarrollan mucho antes de la fundación del Reich alemán por Bismark (1871). Las cuatro tradiciones poseen un curioso elemento pre-estatual, pre-societario, comunitario y anti-contractualista. Estas características no las convierten en tradiciones “prematuras” o “tardías” (H. Plessner) en relación a la formación de los Estados en USA, Inglaterra o Francia. Muy al contrario. En efecto, a las características mencionadas se añaden otros dos factores históricos muy interesantes que se desarrollarán transversalmente a las cuatro tradiciones mencionadas. Estos dos factores determinarán la denominada “vía particular” (Deutscher Sonderweg):  la revolución nacional y la religión. Siempre a modo de sinopsis, mencionaremos una diferencia curiosa ulterior: el denominado “absolutismo iluminado” de los prusianos (S. XVIII). Los prusianos introducen reformas estructurales a diferentes niveles (la tolerancia religiosa por ejemplo) que la “reina de las revolución continental”, la revolución francesa, conocerá tan sólo posteriormente. Se puede notar entonces un Estado alemán de facto, ya maduro en diferentes frentes, que le faltaba únicamente la forma política del aparato estatal en su sentido moderno con soberanía única, monopolio de la fuerza y territorio unificado. Mientras en los demás casos nacionales europeos los primeros partidos asumirán el rol de la socialización política, en Alemania, en cambio, los primeros agentes de socialización política no son “partidos”, sino asociaciones (Vereine) de creyentes, dado que no hay “Estado” como unidad política hasta 1871. El fenómeno de las asociaciones (religiosas) alemanas es un fenómeno europeo  de tipo cooperativo-comunitario muy interesante para los estudios de historia comparada.

Socialización política entre imperio y reino: los movimientos nacionales de creyentes

Estos agentes de socialización política serán más bien movimientos religiosos y nacionales, en parte “aglutinados” bajo una identidad negativa (el enemigo francés), pero curiosamente forjados a partir de una sutil “ambigüedad” constitutiva muy particular: una continuidad latente con el Sacro Romano Imperio Germánico. Debido a esta continuidad, al interior de las cuatro tradiciones mencionadas todos los agentes desarrollarán un visión fuertemente a favor del modelo del Reich como unidad indivisible y fuertemente pro-unitaria. Esto último se explica en parte debido a la ausencia misma de una forma estatal. No se olvide que el Sacro Romano Imperio era casi una “forma federal” sui generis, por lo tanto las “partes” hacen referencia a un imperio, no a una forma de estados relativamente autónomos, como afirmaría la actual teoría federal por ejemplo. Tal caracter pro-unitario y pro-imperio no será, entonces, unitario únicamente en terminos de la unidad del “Estado-nación” (que no existía), sino de cada uno de estos agentes en relación a sí mismo y al Reich.  En efecto, la etimología de la palabra alemana “partido” (Partei), tuvo siempre un significado íntimamente negativo para todos los agentes que entraban por primera vez en la area política de la revolución nacional. En esta revolución nacional, no se podía ser egoísticamente “de parte” frente a la comunidad. Se cumple, según las máximas de la ética prusiana de la época, un preciso rol, se brinda un preciso servicio (Dienst), según una precisa llamada (Beruf, profesión), para ejercer una función en un preciso ámbito (Be-Reich) al interior de la comunidad espiritual del Reino (Reich). Estos agentes que las cuatro tradiciones ideológicas canalizan a través de la idea de nación y religión, generarán ese futuro sistema de partidos fuertemente orientado al formato imperial de la comunidad del Reich. Será también la misma peculiaridad que llevará a la fuerte polarización inter-partidaria que se verá después de la Primera guerra Mundial, cuando el modelo configurante del II Reich desaparece.

Esta tendencia religiosa nacional-comunitaria, basada en la defensa del Estado como principio, la comunidad política y la identidad colectiva, no es únicamente una peculiaridad de la tradición alemana católica y conservadora, como se podría imaginar rápidamente. Será también un rasgo emblemático de las otras dos familias idelógicas, la liberal y la socialista, incluída la radicalización posterior de esta última, la comunista (en su ala no internacionalista atención). Esta curiosa convergencia se debió a la tendencia general pro-unificación del Estado en su sentido moderno, que era un objetivo y tendencia transversal a las cuatro familias ideológicas. Sólo el comunismo, variante externa y espuria del socialismo alemán, asumirá una contratendencia crítica a través del internacionalismo (por lo tanto será visto como el primer enemigo). Con la derrota de la primera Guerra, los partidos que representaban estras cuatro tradiciones ideológicas (más la novedad comunista) se verán, entonces, tal cual por primera vez, es decir en términos modernos: simplemente “partidos”, organizaciones “de parte” dentro de un Estado democrático frágil. La respuesta será insólita: Ese elemento partidario fuertemente inclusivo y pro-Reich (más aún en el revanchismo de la  derrota) regresará otra vez con el totalitarismo monopartidario del Nacionalsocialismo. El temor que Schmitt ya habia previsto venir desde antes de la primera Guerra, es decir, la completa eliminación de la distinción entre Estado y cuerpo social, se cumple finalmente. Nuevamente re-emerge, entonces, de sus cenizas la tendencia pro-Reich perdida. Este perfil fuertemente de estado-partido – mutatis mutandis – no desaparecerá después de la guerra. Es el caso del denominado “Estado-de-partidos” del sistema político alemán. Este sistema posee una fuerte hegemonía de coaliciones inter-partídarias (2 partidos centrales+3 satélites) excluyentes (se habla de Alemania actual como una “democracia blindada”).

Pietismo y Reforma

Estos agentes de socialización política se irán forjando entonces al interior de una tradición política nacional-religiosa madura, cuya mencionada “ambigüedad” constitutiva se continuará reflejando especularmente ya sea a nivel de la Liga alemana (1815-16) como del pacto militar de la liga “alemana del norte” (1866), oscilante entre “liga de estados” y el “Estado unitario”. Al interior del elemento religioso mencionado no podemos olvidar un factor histórico decisivo muy anterior obviamente, pero no menos incisivo, no sólo en Alemania: los efectos políticos de la Reforma. A esta se añadirá otro factor silencioso dentro de la Reforma misma, no menos decisivo, sobre todo a nivel de los mencionados agentes de socialización política nacional-religiosos, transformados en el tiempo en  movimientos “nacional-sociales”, en cuanto agentes de socialización política . Esto último debido al increiblemente rapido proceso de modernización industrial (casi a la par sino superior a Inglaterra). Tal factor silencioso interno no menos decisivo es el Pietismus, movimiento de creyentes evangélicos anti-iluministas y anti-dogmáticos que desarrollan una mística comunitaria transversal a la Reforma, en el tiempo convertida en “religión de Estado”. El Pietismus fue una corriente evangélica “transversal”, fuertemente comunitaria (fundaban ciudades (!) de creyentes) al dogma reformista. Su núcleo más íntimo es exquisítamente místico.

El nacional-liberalismo alemán de Carl Schmitt

Dados estos elementos histórico-ideológicos weltanschaulich, se puede deducir entonces que  la tradición del liberalismo alemán que surge de este contexto es una tradición con fuertes elementos religiosos en sus primeras formas sociales, y nacional-comunitarios en su vínculo con el Estado. Este liberalismo alemán no será, por lo tanto, confundido con el liberalismo anglosajón (tal vez con la tradición conservadora whig). No hay ni un “individuo” por defender ni libertades negativas por asegurar ante un Estado (no existía tal cual). Luego de la fundación del Reich (1871) el vínculo del nacional-liberalismo alemán a favor de la forma estatal aumentará más aún: En efecto, la peculiaridad del nacional-liberalismo alemán no es la defensa del individuo, sino la defensa de la relación entre la comunidad política y el Estado. En la historia del liberalismo europeo, el liberalismo alemán será sucesivamente catalogado como una “idealización” (Sartori), a través de Hegel, del Estado moderno. Este liberalismo alemán será considerado finalmente como un modelo “estado-céntrico”, para diferenciarlo del liberalismo inglés (que sería individualista-utilitarista). Bajo esta precisa tradición nacional-liberal se formará Schmitt, no menos que Max Weber. El joven Schmitt recibirá además la influencia del mencionado Pietismus, elemento que lo llevará luego a descubrir el misticismo de Franz v. Baader y los anti-iluministas franceses (Louis Claude de Saint Martin). Tales elementos “esotéricos” no serán tampoco extraños a Max Weber.

primera conclusión (tesis):

1) Como ya intuído por la escuela de Leipzig (H. Schelsky en particular), la crítica de Carl Schmitt al liberalismo es una crítica al liberalismo inglés desde la peculiaridad del nacional-liberalismo alemán (H.Preuss, Von Stein) . En la historia de la doctrinas políticas se tiene limitadamente en mente una tradición liberal anglo-americana y se desconoce la peculiaridad del liberalismo continental alemán. Desde esta perspectiva limitada, cualquier crítica no-comunista al liberalismo pasa entonces como mero anti-liberalismo,  asi como cualquier anti-comunismo, es decir, cualquier crítica no-liberal al comunismo, pasa como Fascismo. lo mismo sucede con la falacia del “anti-liberalismo” de Schmitt a secas. A partir de esta ignorancia (porque ignorancia es), se cataloga a Carl Schmitt como un pensador anti-liberal. Nosotros afirmamos: sí,  Schmitt es un pensador anti-liberal, pero contra el liberalismo inglés. El nacional-liberalismo de Schmitt podría catalogarse como una “tercera vía” hegeliana de derecha, como ya desarrollado en una traducción de un artículo de Schmitt al respecto.

mardi, 19 octobre 2010

Ordo ordinans: il carattere istitutivo del termine nomos

Ordo ordinans: il carattere istitutivo del termine nomos

Giovanni B. Krähe / Ex: http://geviert.wordpress.com/

26092631128.jpgCome sappiamo, dalla dissoluzione dell’ordinamento medioevale sorse lo Stato territoriale accentrato e delimitato. In questa nuova concezione della territorialità – caratterizzata dal principio di sovranità – l’idea di Stato superò sia il carattere non esclusivo dell’ordinamento spaziale medioevale, sia la parcellizzazione del principio di autorità (1).

Parallelamente, l’avvento dell’epoca moderna mise in atto un’autentica rivoluzione nella visione dello spazio. Questa fu caratterizzata dal sorgere, attraverso la scoperta di un nuovo mondo, di una nuova mentalità di tipo globale. In questo senso, l’evolversi del rapporto fra ordinamento e localizzazione introdusse un nuovo equilibrio tra terra ferma e mare libero, ‘‘fra scoperta e occupazione di fatto’’ (2). A questo punto ci sembra importante mettere in evidenza la specificità del rapporto che caratterizza un particolare ordine spaziale. Questo non è, come si può dedurre da una prima lettura dell’opera schmittiana, il semplice mutamento dei confini territoriali prodotto dallo sviluppo del dominio tecnico sulle altre dimensioni spaziali (terra, mare, aria o spazio globale complessivo). Ogni mutamento nei confini di queste dimensioni può determinare il sorgere di un nuovo ordinamento, di un nuovo diritto internazionale, ma non necessariamente istituire quest’ordinamento. Qui si colloca il concetto di sfida (Herausforderung) a partire dal quale, per Schmitt, una decisione politica fonda un nuovo nomos, che si sostituisce al vecchio ordinamento dello spazio (3).

Su questa via, possiamo considerare il concetto di ‘politico’ come un approccio teorico in risposta alla sfida aperta lasciata dalla fine della statualità in quanto organizzazione non conflittuale dei gruppi umani. Allo stesso modo possiamo cogliere, attraverso le trasformazioni del concetto di guerra, la proposta teorica schmittiana di una possibilità di regolazione della belligeranza. È vero poi che una decisione politica può anche risolversi in un mero rapporto di dominio egemonico, tutto centrato nella propria autoreferenzialità della sua politica di potenza. Non si può parlare in questo caso dell’emergere di un nuovo nomos in quanto il problema della conflittualità non si presenta più nei termini di una possibilità di regolazione. In questo senso, tale problema, se riferito alla guerra nell’epoca moderna, caratterizzata dalla ambiguità del principio di self-help, diventa fonte interminabile di nuove inimicizie :

“Le numerose conquiste, dedizioni, occupazioni di fatto (…) o si inquadrano in un ordinamento spaziale del diritto internazionale già dato, oppure spezzano quel quadro e hanno la tendenza – se non sono soltanto dei fugaci atti di forza – a costituire un nuovo ordinamento spaziale del diritto internazionale”(4).

Abbiamo detto che dal rapporto fra ordinamento e localizzazione può emergere un determinato ordine spaziale. La possibilità aperta di fondare, nel senso della sfida accennata da Schmitt, un nuovo ordine dipende dal carattere istitutivo della decisione politica. Il potere costituente, che da questa decisione emerge, problematizza nei suoi capisaldi il rapporto considerato implicito fra atti costituenti e istituzioni costituite, fra nomos e lex. Nella scontata sinonimia di queste due categorie fondamentali, l’autore introduce una distinzione radicale. Questa distinzione che considera l’atto fondativo di un determinato ordine spaziale attraverso la specificità pre-normativa della decisione politica è il carattere istitutivo del termine nomos (5). Questa caratteristica pre-normativa del nomos non va intesa nel senso di un diritto primitivo anteriore all’ordinamento della legalità statale, ma all’interno di una pluralità di tipi di diritto. In questa prospettiva, la norma, che c’è alla base del diritto positivo – costituito, a sua volta, sull’effetività materiale di un spazio pacificato – si colloca, all’interno di questa pluralità.

Per Schmitt, tuttavia, il nomos “è un evento storico costitutivo, un atto della legittimità che solo conferisce senso alla legalità della mera legge” (6). Di questa opposizione tra nomos e lex ripresa più volte dall’autore non ci occupiamo in questa sede, in quanto essa puó essere intesa come un unico processo a carattere ordinativo. Questo processo che viene generalmente operato dalla norma, è già, tra l’altro, implicito nello stesso nomos (7) . Piuttosto, ció che ci interessa sottolinerare all’interno di questo processo ordinativo è la collocazione del concetto di guerra. Cosí, in termini moderni, se il carattere istitutivo del termine nomos – nel senso di un ordo ordinans imperiale o federale come accennato da A. Panebianco – determina l’inizio di un unico processo strutturante fra ordinamento e localizzazione, allora la conflittualitá puó essere regolamentata, se collocata all’interno di questo processo. In questo senso, le odierne categorie del diritto internazionale sorte dal principio dello jus contra bellum (come, ad esempio, i crimini di guerra oppure i crimini contro l’umanitá) non solo non risolvono il problema dichiarando la guerra “fuori legge”, ma riducono le regolazioni della belligeranza a meri atti di polizia internazionale.


(¹) La non esclusività risiedeva nella sovrapposizione di diverse istanze politico-giuridiche all’interno di uno stesso territorio. Cfr. John Gerard Ruggie, Territoriality and beyond: problematizing modernity in international relations, in “International Organization”, n. 47, 1, Winter 1993, p. 150.

(2) Carl Schmitt, Il nomos della terra (1950), Adelphi, Milano, 1991, p. 52.

(3) Cfr. ivi, p.75; vedi inoltre Carl Schmitt, Terra e Mare, Giuffrè, Milano, 1986, pp. 63-64 e pp. 80-82; sul concetto di sfida vedi la premessa (1963) a Id., Le categorie del ‘politico’, cit., pp. 89-100 in: Carl Schmitt:  Il concetto di ‘politico’ (1932), in Id., Le categorie del ‘politico’, a cura di G. Miglio e P. Schiera, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1972.

(4)  Carl Schmitt, Il nomos della terra, cit., p. 75; sul ruolo dell’America fra egemonia e nomos cfr. lo scritto Cambio di struttura del diritto internazionale (1943), pp. 296-297 e L’ordinamento planetario dopo la seconda guerra mondiale (1962), pp. 321-343 in Carl Schmitt, L’unità del mondo e altri saggi a cura di Alessandro Campi, Antonio Pellicani Editore, Roma, 1994.

(5) Sulla distinzione schmittiana tra nomos e lex si veda Carl Schmitt, Il nomos della terra, cit., pp. 55-62. La problematicità che introduce questa distinzione, per quanto riguarda l’ordinamento giuridico interno allo Stato, è stata sviluppata dall’autore in Legalità e legittimità, in Id., Le categorie del ‘politico’ cit., p. 223 ss.

(6) Carl Schmitt, Il nomos della terra, cit., p. 63.

(7) Sul carattere processuale specifico del termine nomos si veda Appropiazione/Divisione/Produzione (1958), in C. Schmitt, Le categorie del ‘politico’ cit., p. 299 ss., e Id., Nomos/Nahme/Name (1959), in Caterina Resta, Stato mondiale o Nomos della terra. Carl Schmitt tra universo e pluriverso. A.Pellicani Editore, Roma, 1999.

mardi, 12 octobre 2010

Carl Schmitt: A Dangerous Man

Carl Schmitt (part IV)

 A Dangerous Man

by Keith PRESTON
Carl Schmitt (part IV)

When Hitler first came to power, Carl Schmitt hoped that President von Hindenburg would be able to control him, and dismiss him from the chancellor’s position if necessary. But within days of becoming chancellor, Hitler invoked Article 48 and began imposing restrictions on the freedoms of speech, press, and assembly. Within a month, all civil liberties had essentially been suspended. Within two months, a Reichstag dominated by the Nazis and their allies (with the communists having been purged and subject to repression under Hitler’s emergency measures) passed the Enabling Act, which, more or less, gave Hitler the legal right to rule by decree. The Enabling Act granted Hitler actual legislative powers, beyond the emergency powers previously provided for by Article 48. Schmitt regarded the Enabling Act as amounting to the overthrow of the constitution itself and the creation of a new constitution and a new political and legal order.

The subsequent turn of events in Schmitt’s life remains the principal, though certainly not exclusive, source of controversy regarding Schmitt’s ideas and career as a public figure and intellectual. Schmitt remained true to his Hobbesian view of political obligation that it is the responsibility of the individual to defer to whatever political and legal authority that becomes officially constituted. On May 1, 1933, Carl Schmitt officially joined the Nazi Party.

Despite his past as an anti-Nazi, Schmitt’s prestigious reputation as a jurist and legal scholar heightened his value to the party. Herman Goering appointed Schmitt to the position of Prussian state councilor in July, 1933. He then became leader of the Nazi league of jurists and was appointed to the chair of public law at the University of Berlin. While occasionally including a racist or anti-Semitic comment in his writings and lectures during this time, Schmitt also hoped to strike a balance between Nazi ideology and his own more traditionally conservative outlook.

Schmitt’s hopes for such a balance were dashed by the Night of the Long Knives purge on June 30, 1934. Not only were hundreds of Hitler’s potential rivals within the party killed, but so were a number of prominent conservatives, including Schmitt’s former associate, General Kurt von Schleicher. Even Papen, who had initially been vice-chancellor under the Hitler regime, was placed under house arrest.

In response to the purge, Schmitt published the most controversial article of his career, “The Fuhrer Protects the Law.” On the surface, the article was merely a sycophantic and opportunistic effort at defending Hitler’s brutality and lawlessness. While Schmitt likely regarded the killing of rival Nazis as little more than a dishonorable falling out among thugs, he also included within the article subtle references to unjust murders that had been committed during the course of the purge, meaning the killing of his friend General Schleicher and others outside Nazi circles, and urged justice for the victims. The wording of the article pretended to absolve Hitler of responsibility while dropping very discreet and coded hints to the contrary.

Though Schmitt enjoyed the protection afforded to him by his associations with Goering and Hans Frank, he never exerted any influence over the regime itself. The purge of the SA leadership had the effect of empowering within the Nazi movement one of its most extreme elements, the SS. The SS soon concerned itself with the presence of “opportunists” and the ideologically impure elements, which had joined the party only after the party had seized power for the sake of being on the winning side. These elements included many middle-class persons and ordinary conservatives whose actual commitment to the party’s ideology and value system were questionable.

Schmitt was a prime example of these. His efforts to revise his theories to make them somewhat compatible with Nazi ideology were subject to attacks from jurists committed to the Nazi worldview. Further, former friends, professional associates, and students of Schmitt who had emigrated from the Third Reich were incensed by his collaboration with the regime and began publishing articles attacking him from abroad, pointing out his anti-Nazi past during his association with Schleicher, his prior associations with Jews, his Catholic background, and the fact that he had once referred to Nazism as “organized mass insanity.”

Schmitt attempted to defend himself against these attacks by becoming ever more virulent in his anti-Semitic rhetoric. When the Nuremberg Laws were enacted in September of 1935, he defended these laws publicly. His biographer Bendersky described the political, ethical, and professional predicaments Schmitt found himself in during this time:

No doubt at the time he tried to convince himself that he was obligated to obey and that as a jurist he was also compelled to work within the confines of these laws. He could easily rationalize his behavior with the same Hobbesian precepts he had used to explain his previous compromises. For he always adhered to the principle Autoritas, non veritas facit legem (Authority, not virtue makes the law), and he never tired of repeating that phrase. Authority was in the hands of the Nazis, their racial ideology became law, and he was bound by these laws.

Schmitt further attempted to counter the attacks hurled at him by both party ideologues and foreign critics by organizing a “Conference on Judaism in Jurisprudence” that was held in Berlin during October of 1936. At the conference, he gave a lecture titled “German Jurisprudence in the Struggle against the Jewish Intellect.” Two months later, Schmitt wrote a letter to Heinrich Himmler discussing his efforts to eradicate Jewish influence from German law.

Yet, the attacks on Schmitt by his party rivals and the guardians of Nazi ideology within the SS continued. Schmitt’s public relations campaign had been unsuccessful against the charges of opportunism, and Goering had become embarrassed by his appointee. Goering ordered that public attacks on Schmitt cease, and worked out an arrangement with Heinrich Himmler whereby Schmitt would no longer be involved with the activities of the Nazi party itself, but would simply retain his position as a law professor at the University of Berlin. Essentially, Schmitt had been politically and ideologically purged, but was fortunate enough to retain not only his physical safety but his professional position.

For the remaining years of the Third Reich, Schmitt made every effort to remain silent concerning matters of political controversy and limited his formal scholarly work and professorial lectures to discussions of routine aspects of international law or vague and generalized theoretical abstractions concerning German foreign policy, for which he always expressed outward support.

Even though he was no longer active in Nazi party affairs, held no position of significance in the Nazi state, and exercised no genuine ideological influence over the Nazi leadership, Schmitt’s reputation as a leading theoretician of Nazism continued to persist in foreign intellectual circles. In 1941, one Swiss journal even made the extravagant claim that Schmitt had been to the Nazi revolution in Germany what Rousseau had been to the French Revolution. Schmitt once again became fearful for his safety under the regime when his close friend Johannes Popitz was implicated and later executed for his role in the July 20, 1944, assassination plot against Hitler (though, in fact, Schmitt himself was never in any actual danger.)

When Berlin fell to the Russians in April 1945, Schmitt was detained and interrogated for several hours and then released. In November, Schmitt was arrested again, this time by American soldiers. He was considered a potential defendant in the war crimes trials to be held in Nuremberg and was transferred there in March 1947. In response to questions from interrogators and in written statements, Schmitt gave a detailed explanation and defense of his activities during the Third Reich that has been shown to be honest and accurate. He pointed out that he had no involvement with the Nazi party after 1936, and had only very limited contact with the party elite previously. Schmitt provided a very detailed analysis and description of the differences between his own theories and those of the Nazis. He argued that while his own ideas may have at times been plagiarized or misused by Nazi ideologists, this was no more his responsibility than Rousseau had been responsible for the Reign of Terror. The leading investigator in Schmitt’s case, the German lawyer Robert Kempner, eventually concluded that while Schmitt may have had a certain moral culpability for his activities under the Nazi regime, none of his actions could properly be considered crimes warranting prosecution at Nuremberg.

Schmitt’s reputation as a Nazi, and even as a war criminal, made it impossible for him to return to academic life, and so he simply retired on his university pension. He continued to write on political and legal topics for another three decades after his release from confinement at Nuremberg, and remained one of Germany’s most controversial intellectual figures. For some time, his pre-Nazi works were either ignored or severely misinterpreted. A number of prominent left-wing intellectuals, including those who had been directly influenced by Schmitt, engaged in efforts at vilification.

An objective scholarly interest in Schmitt began to emerge in the late 1960s and 1970s, even though Schmitt’s reputation as a Nazi apologist was hard to shake. Interestingly, the framers of the present constitution of the German Federal Republic actually incorporated some of Schmitt’s ideas from the Weimar period into the document. For instance, constitutional amendments that alter the basic democratic nature of the government or which undermine basic rights and liberties as outlined in the constitution are forbidden. Likewise, the German Supreme Court may outlaw parties it declares to be anti-constitutional, and both communist and neo-Nazi parties have at times been banned.

Schmitt himself returned to these themes in his last article published in 1978. In the article, Schmitt once again argued against allowing anti-constitutional parties the “equal chance” to achieve power through legal and constitutional means, and expressed concern over the rise of the formally democratic Eurocommunist parties in Europe, such as those in Italy and Spain, which hoped to gain control of the state through ordinary political channels.


Schmitt’s Contemporary Relevance


The legacy of Schmitt’s thought remains exceedingly relevant to 21st-century Western political and legal theory. His works from the Weimar period offer the deepest insights into the inherent weaknesses and limitations of modern liberal democracy yet to be discussed by any thinker. This is particularly significant given that belief in liberal democracy as the only “true” form of political organization has become a de facto religion among Western political, cultural, and intellectual elites. Schmitt’s writings demonstrate the essentially contradictory nature of the foundations of liberal democratic ideology. The core foundation of “democracy” is the view that the state can somehow be a reflection of an abstract “peoples’ will,” which, somehow, rises out of a mass society of heterogeneous individuals, cultural subgroups, and political interest groups with irreconcilable differences.

This is clearly an absurd myth, perhaps one ultimately holding no more substance than ancient beliefs about emperors having descended from sun-gods. Further, the antagonistic relationship between liberalism and democracy recognized by Schmitt provides a theoretical understanding of the obvious practical truth that as democracy has expanded in the West, liberalism has actually declined. The classical liberal rights of property, exchange, and association, for instance, have been severely comprised in the name of creating “democratic rights” for a long list of social groups believed to have been excluded or oppressed by the wider society. The liberal rights of speech and religion have likewise been curbed for the ostensible purpose of eradicating real or alleged “bigotry” or “bias” towards former out-groups favored by proponents of democratic ideology.

The contradictions between liberalism and democracy aside, Schmitt’s work likewise demonstrates the ultimately self-defeating nature of liberalism taken to its logical conclusion. A corollary of liberalism is universalism, yet liberal universalism likewise contradicts itself. Liberalism, as Westerners have come to understand it, is a particular value system rooted in historic traditions and which evolved within a particular civilization and was affected by historical contingencies (the Protestant Reformation, the Enlightenment, and Modernism being only the most obvious.)

Schmitt’s definition of the essence of the political as the friend/enemy dichotomy simultaneously exposes the limitations of liberalism’s ability to sustain itself. Robert Frost’s quip about a liberal being someone who is unable to take his own side in a fight would seem to apply here. The principal weakness of liberalism is its inability to recognize its own enemies. Even in the final months of the Weimar republic, liberals, socialists, and even Catholic centrists held so steadfastly to the formalities of liberalism that they were unable to perceive the imminent destruction of liberalism that lurked a short distance ahead.

This insight of Schmitt would seem to go a long way towards explaining the behavior of many present day zealots of Liberal Democratic Fundamentalism. It is currently the norm for liberals to react with a grossly exaggerated, almost phobic, sense of urgency concerning the supposed presence of elements espousing “racism,” “fascism,” “homophobia,” and other illiberal or ostensibly illiberal ideas in their own societies. In virtually all Western countries, elements espousing the various taboo “isms” and “phobias” with any degree of seriousness are marginal in nature, often merely eccentric individuals, tiny cult-like groups, or politically irrelevant subcultures.

And yet, liberals who become hysterical over “fascism,” typically express absolutely no concern about the importation of unlimited numbers of persons from profoundly illiberal cultures into their own nations. Indeed, criticizing such things has itself become a serious taboo among liberals, who somehow believe that such values as secularism, feminism, and homosexual rights can never be threatened by the mass immigration of those from cultures with no liberal tradition, where theocratic rule is the norm, or where the political and social status of women has not changed in centuries or even millennia, where there is no tradition of free speech, where capital punishment is regularly imposed for petty offenses, and where homosexuality is often considered to be a capital crime.

A related irony is that liberals have embraced “Green” consciousness in a way comparable to the enthusiasm and adulation shown to pop music stars by teenagers, while remaining oblivious to the demographic and ecological consequences of unlimited population growth fueled by uncontrolled immigration.

Schmitt’s steadfast opposition to legal formalism as a method of constitutional interpretation and as an approach to legal theory in general is also interesting when measured against the standard complaints about “judicial activism” found among “mainstream” American conservatives. Schmitt’s view that laws, even constitutional law itself, should be interpreted according to the wider essence or deeper substance of the laws and constitutions in question and according to the concrete realities of specific political situations would no doubt make a lot of American conservatives uncomfortable. Of course, an important distinction has to be made between Schmitt’s seemingly open-ended approach to legal theory and the standard ideas about a “living constitution” found among American liberal jurists. Schmitt was concerned with the very real and urgent question of the need to preserve civil order and political stability in the face of severe social and economic crisis, civil unrest, and threats of revolution, whether through direct violence or cynical manipulation of ordinary political and legal processes. The various legal theories involving a supposed “living constitution” or “evolving standards” advanced by American liberals represents the far more dubious project of simply replacing the traditional Montesquieu-influenced American constitution with an ostensibly more “progressive” democratic socialist one.

That said, one has to wonder if it would not be appropriate for American anti-liberals to initiate an ideological move away from advocating strict adherence to the principle of legal or judicial neutrality towards a perspective that might be called “defensive judicial activism,” e.g. the advocacy of the use of the courts at every level to resist the encroachments of the present therapeutic-managerial-multiculturalist-welfare state in the same manner that liberals have used the courts to impose their own extra-legislative agenda. This would be an approach that is more easily discussed than implemented, of course, but perhaps it is still worthy of discussion nevertheless.

The political theory of Carl Schmitt likewise aids the development of a more thorough understanding of the nature of the state itself. Contrary to the prevailing view that political rule can be rooted objectively in sets of formal legal rules and institutional procedures, or that the state can be a mere reflection of the idealized abstraction of “the people,” Schmitt recognized that ultimately political rule is based on the question of “Who decides?” Ideological pretenses to the contrary, there will be a “sovereign” (whether an individual or a group) who possesses final authority as to what the rules will be and how they will be interpreted or applied.

Schmitt’s friend/enemy thesis likewise contains the recognition that the prospect of lethal violence defines the essence of politics. Political rule is about force, and about possessing the ability to exercise the necessary amount of physical violence to maintain a system of rule. The truth of these observations and of Schmitt’s broader critique of liberalism and democracy do not by themselves eliminate the problematical nature of Schmitt’s own Hobbesian outlook. Clearly, Schmitt’s own life and career illustrate the limitations of such a view. Indeed, after his purge by the Nazis, Schmitt reflected on Hobbes more extensively and modified his views on political obligation somewhat. He concluded that political obligation must be reciprocal in nature. Hobbes taught that the individual was obligated to obey political authority for the sake of his own protection. Schmitt argued in light of the Nazi experience that the individual’s obligation of obedience is negated when the state withdraws its protection. Schmitt’s concern with the primacy of order and stability could well be summarized by the Jeffersonian principle that “prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.”

Yet, there is the wider question of the matter whereby the malignant nature of a particular state is such that the state not only fails to provide protection for the individual but threatens the wider culture and civilization itself, a situation for which Dr. Samuel Francis coined the term “anarcho-tyranny.” Clearly, in such a scenario, it will seem that the obligation of political obedience, individually or collectively, becomes abrogated.

Keith Preston


dimanche, 26 septembre 2010

Carl Schmitt: The End of the Weimar Republic

Carl Schmitt (part III)

The End of the Weimar Republic

Ex: http://www.alternativeright.com/

Carl Schmitt (part III)  
 Adolf Hitler Accepts the Weimar Chancellorship From President Paul von Hindenburg, January 30, 1933

Carl Schmitt accepted a professorship at the University of Berlin in 1928, having left his previous position at the University of Bonn. At this point, he was still only a law professor and legal scholar, and while highly regarded in his fields of endeavor, he was not an actual participant in the affairs of state. In 1929, Schmitt became personally acquainted with an official in the finance ministry named Johannes Popitz, and with General Kurt von Schleicher, an advisor to President Paul von Hindenburg.

Schleicher shared Schmitt’s concerns that the lack of a stable government would lead to civil war or seizure of power by the Nazis or communists. These fears accelerated after the economic catastrophe of 1929 demonstrated once again the ineptness of Germany’s parliamentary system. Schleicher devised a plan for a presidential government comprised of a chancellor and cabinet ministers that combined with the power of the army and the provisions of Article 48 would be able to essentially bypass the incompetent parliament and more effectively address Germany’s severe economic distress and prevent civil disorder or overthrow of the republic by extremists.

Heinrich Bruning of the Catholic Center Party was appointed chancellor by Hindenburg. The Reichstag subsequently rejected Bruning’s proposed economic reforms so Bruning set about to implement them as an emergency measure under Article 48. The Reichstag then exercised its own powers under Article 48 and rescinded Bruning’s decrees, and Bruning then dissolved the parliament on the grounds that the Reichstag had been unable to form a majority government. Such was the prerogative of the executive under the Weimar constitution.

In the years between 1930 and 1933, Carl Schmitt’s legal writings expressed concern with two primary issues. The first of these dealt with legal matters pertaining to constitutional questions raised by the presidential government Schleicher had formulated. The latter focused on the question of constitutional issues raised by the existence of anti-constitutional parties functioning within the context of the constitutional system.

Schmitt’s subsequent reputation as a conservative revolutionary has been enhanced by his personal friendship or association with prominent radical nationalists like Ernst Jünger and the “National Bolshevist” Ernst Niekisch, as well as the publication of Schmitt’s articles in journals associated with the conservative revolutionary movement during the late Weimar period. However, Schmitt himself was never any kind of revolutionary. Indeed, he spoke out against changes in the constitution of Weimar during its final years, believing that tampering with the constitution during a time of crisis would undermine the legitimacy of the entire system and invite opportunistic exploitation of the constitutional processes by radicals. His continued defense of the presidential powers granted by Article 48 was always intended as an effort to preserve the existing constitutional order.

The 1930 election produced major victories for the extremist parties. The communists increased their representation in the Reichstag from 54 to 77 seats, and the Nazis from 12 to 107 seats. The left-of-center Social Democrats (SPD) retained 143 seats, meaning that avowedly revolutionary parties were now the second and third largest parties in terms of parliamentary representation. The extremist parties never took their parliamentary roles seriously, but instead engaged in endless obstructionist tactics designed to de-legitimize the republic itself with hopes of seizing power once it finally collapsed. Meanwhile, violent street fighting between Nazi and communist paramilitary groups emerged as the numbers of unemployed Germans soared well into the millions.

In the April 1932 presidential election, Hitler stood against Hindenburg, and while Hindenburg was the winner, Hitler received an impressive thirty-seven percent of the vote. Meanwhile, the Nazis had become the dominant party in several regional governments, and their private army, the SA, had grown to the point where it was four times larger than the German army itself.

Schmitt published Legality and Legitimacy in 1932 in response to the rise of the extremist parties. This work dealt with matters of constitutional interpretation, specifically the means by which the constitutional order itself might be overthrown through the abuse of ordinary legal and constitutional processes. Schmitt argued that political constitutions represent specific sets of political values. These might include republicanism, provisions for an electoral process, church/state separation, property rights, freedom of the press, and so forth. Schmitt warned against interpreting the constitution in ways that allowed laws to be passed through formalistic means whose essence contradicted the wider set of values represented by the constitution.

Most important, Schmitt opposed methods of constitutional interpretation that would serve to create the political conditions under which the constitution itself could be overthrown. The core issue raised by Schmitt was the question of whether or not anti-constitutional parties such as the NSDAP or KPD should have what he called the “equal chance” to assume power legally. If such a party were to be allowed to gain control of the apparatus of the state itself, it could then use its position to destroy the constitutional order.

Schmitt argued that a political constitution should be interpreted according to its internal essence rather than strict formalistic adherence to its technical provisions, and applied according to the conditions imposed by the “concrete situation” at hand. On July 19, 1932, Schmitt published an editorial in a conservative journal concerning the election that was to be held on July 31. The editorial read in part:

Whoever provides the National Socialists with the majority on July 31, acts foolishly. … He gives this still immature ideological and political movement the possibility to change the constitution, to establish a state church, to dissolve the labor unions, etc. He surrenders Germany completely to this group….It would be extremely dangerous … because 51% gives the NSDAP a “political premium of incalculable significance.”

The subsequent election was an extremely successful one for the NSDAP, as they gained 37.8 percent of the seats in the parliament, while the KPD achieved 14.6 percent. The effect of the election results was that the anti-constitutional parties were in control of a majority of the Reichstag seats.

On the advice of General Schleicher, President Hindenburg had replaced Bruning as chancellor with Franz von Papen on May 30. Papen subsequently took an action that would lead to Schmitt’s participation in a dramatic trial of genuine historic significance before the supreme court of Germany.

Invoking Article 48, the Papen government suspended the state government of Prussia and placed the state under martial law. The justification for this was the Prussian regional government’s inability to maintain order in the face of civil unrest. Prussia was the largest of the German states, containing two-thirds of Germany’s land mass and three-fifths of its population. Though the state government had been controlled by the Social Democrats, the Nazis had made significant gains in the April 1932 election. Along the way, the Social Democrats had made considerable effort to block the rise of the Nazis with legal restrictions on their activities and various parliamentary maneuvers. There was also much violent conflict in Prussia between the Nazis and the Communists.

Papen, himself an anti-Nazi rightist, regarded the imposition of martial law as having the multiple purposes of breaking the power of the Social Democrats in Prussia, controlling the Communists, placating the Nazis by removing their Social Democratic rivals, and simultaneously preventing the Nazis from becoming embedded in regional institutions, particularly Prussia’s huge police force.

The Prussian state government appealed Papen’s decision to the supreme court and a trial was held in October of 1932. Schmitt was among three jurists who defended the Papen government’s policy before the court. Schmitt’s arguments reflected the method of constitutional interpretation he had been developing since the time martial law had been imposed during the Great War by the Wilhelmine government. Schmitt likewise applied the approach to political theory he had presented in his previous writings to the situation in Prussia. He argued that the Prussian state government had failed in its foremost constitutional duty to preserve public order. He further argued that because Papen had acted under the authority of President Hindenburg, Papen’s actions had been legitimate under Article 48.

Schmitt regarded the conflict in Prussia as a conflict between rival political parties. The Social Democrats who controlled the state government were attempting to repress the Nazis by imposing legal restrictions on them. However, the Social Democrats had also been impotent in their efforts to control violence by the Nazis and the communists. Schmitt rejected the argument that the Social Democrats were constitutionally legitimate in their legal efforts against the Nazis, as this simply amounted to one political party attempting to repress another. While the “equal chance” may be constitutionally denied to an anti-constitutional party, such a decision must be made by a neutral force, such as the president.

As a crucial part of his argument, Schmitt insisted that the office of the President was sovereign over the political parties and was responsible for preserving the constitution, public order, and the security of the state itself. Schmitt argued that with the Prussian state’s failure to maintain basic order, the situation in Prussia had essentially become a civil war between the political parties. Therefore, imposition of martial law by the chancellor, as an agent of the president, was necessary for the restoration of order.

Schmitt further argued that it was the president rather than the court that possessed the ultimate authority and responsibility for upholding the constitution, as the court possessed no means of politically enforcing its decisions. Ultimately, the court decided that while it rather than the president held responsibility for legal defense of the constitution, the situation in Prussia was severe enough to justify the appointment of a commissarial government by Papen, though Papen had not been justified in outright suspension of the Prussian state government. Essentially, the Papen government had won, as martial law remained in Prussia, and the state government continued to exist in name only.

During the winter months of 1932-33, Germany entered into an increasingly perilous situation. Papen, who had pushed for altering the constitution along fairly strident reactionary conservative lines, proved to be an extraordinarily unpopular chancellor and was replaced by Schleicher on December 3, 1932. But by this time, Papen had achieved the confidence of President von Hindenburg, if not that of the German public, while Hindenburg’s faith in Schleicher had diminished considerably. Papen began talks with Hitler, and the possibility emerged that Hitler might ascend to the chancellorship.

Joseph Bendersky summarized the events that followed:

By late January, when it appeared that either Papen or Hitler might become chancellor, Schleicher concluded that exceptional measures were required as a last resort. He requested that the president declare a state of emergency, ban the Nazi and Communist parties, and dissolve the Reichstag until stability could be restored. During the interim Schleicher would govern by emergency decrees. …

This was preferable to the potentially calamitous return of Papen, with his dangerous reform plans and unpopularity. It would also preclude the possibility that as chancellor Hitler would eventually usurp all power and completely destroy the constitution, even the nature of the German state, in favor of the proclaimed Third Reich. Had Hindenburg complied with Schleicher’s request, the president would have denied the equal chance to an anti-constitutional party and thus, in Schmitt’s estimate, truly acted as the defender of the constitution. … Having lost faith in Schleicher, fearing civil war, and trying to avoid violating his oath to uphold the constitution, Hindenburg refused. At this point, Schleicher was the only leader in a position to prevent the Nazi acquisition of power, if the president had only granted him the authorization. Consequently, Hitler acquired power not through the use of Article 48, but because it was not used against him.

[emphasis added]

The Schleicher plan had the full support of Schmitt, and was based in part on Schmitt’s view that “a constitutional system could not remain neutral towards its own basic principles, nor provide the legal means for its own destruction.” Yet the liberal, Catholic, and socialist press received word of the plan and mercilessly attacked Schleicher’s plan specifically and Schmitt’s ideas generally as creating the foundation for a presidential dictatorship, while remaining myopically oblivious to the immediate danger posed by Nazi and Communist control over the Reichstag and the possibility of Hitler’s achievement of executive power.

On January 30, 1933, Hitler became chancellor. That evening, Schmitt received the conservative revolutionary Wilhelm Stapel as a guest in his home while the Nazis staged a torchlight parade in Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate in celebration of Hitler’s appointment. Schmitt and Stapel discussed their alarm at the prospect of an imminent Nazi dictatorship and Schmitt felt the Weimar Republic had essentially committed suicide. If President von Hindenburg had heeded the advice of Schleicher and Schmitt, the Hitler regime would likely have never come into existence.

Carl Schmitt: The Concept of the Political

Carl Schmitt (Part II)

The Concept of the Political

Carl Schmitt (Part II) Carl Schmitt, circa 1928

It was in the context of the extraordinarily difficult times of the Weimar period that Carl Schmitt produced what are widely regarded as his two most influential books. The first of these examined the failures of liberal democracy as it was being practiced in Germany at the time. Schmitt regarded these failures as rooted in the weaknesses of liberal democratic theory itself. In the second work, Schmitt attempted to define the very essence of politics.

Schmitt's The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy was first published in 1923.* In this work, Schmitt described the dysfunctional workings of the Weimar parliamentary system. He regarded this dysfunction as symptomatic of the inadequacies of the classical liberal theory of government. According to this theory as Schmitt interpreted it, the affairs of states are to be conducted on the basis of open discussion between proponents of competing ideas as a kind of empirical process. Schmitt contrasted this idealized view of parliamentarianism with the realities of its actual practice, such as cynical appeals by politicians to narrow self-interests on the part of constituents, bickering among narrow partisan forces, the use of propaganda and symbolism rather than rational discourse as a means of influencing public opinion, the binding of parliamentarians by party discipline, decisions made by means of backroom deals, rule by committee and so forth.

Schmitt recognized a fundamental distinction between liberalism, or "parliamentarianism," and democracy. Liberal theory advances the concept of a state where all retain equal political rights. Schmitt contrasted this with actual democratic practice as it has existed historically. Historic democracy rests on an "equality of equals," for instance, those holding a particular social position (as in ancient Greece), subscribing to particular religious beliefs or belonging to a specific national entity. Schmitt observed that democratic states have traditionally included a great deal of political and social inequality, from slavery to religious exclusionism to a stratified class hierarchy. Even modern democracies ostensibly organized on the principle of universal suffrage do not extend such democratic rights to residents of their colonial possessions. Beyond this level, states, even officially "democratic" ones, distinguish between their own citizens and those of other states.

At a fundamental level, there is an innate tension between liberalism and democracy. Liberalism is individualistic, whereas democracy sanctions the "general will" as the principle of political legitimacy. However, a consistent or coherent "general will" necessitates a level of homogeneity that by its very nature goes against the individualistic ethos of liberalism. This is the source of the "crisis of parliamentarianism" that Schmitt suggested. According to the democratic theory, rooted as it is in the ideas of Jean Jacques Rousseau, a legitimate state must reflect the "general will," but no general will can be discerned in a regime that simultaneously espouses liberalism. Lacking the homogeneity necessary for a democratic "general will," the state becomes fragmented into competing interests. Indeed, a liberal parliamentary state can actually act against the "peoples' will" and become undemocratic. By this same principle, anti-liberal states such as those organized according to the principles of fascism or Bolshevism can be democratic in so far as they reflect the "general will."

The Concept of the Political appeared in 1927. According to Schmitt, the irreducible minimum on which human political life is based.

The political must therefore rest on its own ultimate distinctions, to which all action with a specifically political meaning can be traced. Let us assume that in the realm of morality the final distinctions are between good and evil, in aesthetics beautiful and ugly, in economics profitable and unprofitable. […]

The specific political distinction to which political actions and motives can be reduced is that between friend and enemy. … In so far as it is not derived from other criteria, the antithesis of friend and enemy corresponds to the relatively independent criteria of other antitheses: good and evil in the moral sphere, beautiful and ugly in the aesthetic sphere, and so on. 

These categories need not be inclusive of one another. For instance, a political enemy need not be morally evil or aesthetically ugly. What is significant is that the enemy is the "other" and therefore a source of possible conflict.

The friend/enemy distinction is not dependent on the specific nature of the "enemy." It is merely enough that the enemy is a threat. The political enemy is also distinctive from personal enemies. Whatever one's personal thoughts about the political enemy, it remains true that the enemy is hostile to the collective to which one belongs. The first purpose of the state is to maintain its own existence as an organized collective prepared if necessary to do battle to the death with other organized collectives that pose an existential threat. This is the essential core of what is meant by the "political." Organized collectives within a particular state can also engage in such conflicts (i.e. civil war). Internal conflicts within a collective can threaten the survival of the collective as a whole. As long as existential threats to a collective remain, the friend/enemy concept that Schmitt considered to be the heart of politics will remain valid.

Schmitt has been accused by critics of attempting to drive a wedge between liberalism and democracy thereby contributing to the undermining of the Weimar regime's claims to legitimacy and helping to pave the way for a more overtly authoritarian or even totalitarian system of the kind that eventually emerged in the form of the Hitler dictatorship. He has also been accused of arguing for a more exclusionary form of the state, for instance, one that might practice exclusivity or even supremacy on ethnic or national grounds, and of attempting to sanction the use of war as a mere political instrument, independent of any normative considerations, perhaps even as an ideal unto itself. Implicit in these accusations is the idea that Schmitt’s works created a kind of intellectual framework that could later be used to justify at least some of the ideas of Nazism and even lead to an embrace of Nazism by Schmitt himself.

The expression "context is everything" becomes a quite relevant when examining these accusations regarding the work of Carl Schmitt. This important passage from the preface to the second edition of The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy sheds light on Schmitt’s actual motivations:

That the parliamentary enterprise today is the lesser evil, that it will continue to be preferable to Bolshevism and dictatorship, that it would have unforeseen consequences were it to be discarded, that it is 'socially and technically' a very practical thing-all these are interesting and in part also correct observations. But they do not constitute the intellectual foundations of a specifically intended institution. Parliamentarianism exists today as a method of government and a political system. Just as everything else that exists and functions tolerably, it is useful-no more and no less. It counts for a great deal that even today it functions better than other untried methods, and that a minimum of order that is today actually at hand would be endangered by frivolous experiments. Every reasonable person would concede such arguments. But they do not carry weight in an argument about principles. Certainly no one would be so un-demanding that he regarded an intellectual foundation or a moral truth as proven by the question, “What else?”

This passage indicates that Schmitt was in fact wary of undermining the authority of the republic for its own sake or for the sake of implementing a revolutionary regime. Clearly, it would be rather difficult to reconcile such an outlook with the political millenarianism of either Marxism or National Socialism. The "crisis of parliamentary democracy" that Schmitt was addressing was a crisis of legitimacy. On what political or ethical principles does a liberal democratic state of the type Weimar establish its own legitimacy? This was an immensely important question, given the gulf between liberal theory and parliamentary democracy as it was actually being practiced in Weimar, the conflicts between liberal practice and democratic theories of legitimacy as they had previously been laid out by Rousseau and others and, perhaps most importantly, the challenges to liberalism and claims to "democratic" legitimacy being made at the time by proponents of revolutionary ideologies of both the Left and the Right.

Schmitt observed that democracy, broadly defined, had triumphed over older systems, such as monarchy, aristocracy and theocracy, by trumpeting its principle of "popular sovereignty." However, the advent of democracy had also undermined older theories on the foundations of political legitimacy, such as those rooted in religion ("divine right of kings"), dynastic lineages or mere appeals to tradition. Further, the triumphs of both liberalism and democracy had brought into fuller view the innate conflicts between the two. There is also the additional matter of the gap between the practice of politics (such as parliamentary procedures) and the ends of politics (such as the "will of the people").

Schmitt observed how parliamentarianism as a procedural methodology had a wide assortment of critics, including those representing the forces of reaction (royalists and clerics, for instance) and radicalism (from Marxists to anarchists). Schmitt also pointed out that he was by no means the first thinker to recognize these issues, citing Mosca, Jacob Burckhardt, Hilaire Belloc, G. K. Chesterton, and Michels, among others.

A fundamental question that concerned Schmitt is the matter of what the democratic "will of the people" actually means, and he observed that an ostensibly democratic state could adopt virtually any set of policy positions, "whether militarist or pacifist, absolutist or liberal, centralized or decentralized, progressive or reactionary, and again at different times without ceasing to be a democracy." He also raised the question of the fate of democracy in a society where "the people" cease to favor democracy. Can democracy be formally renounced in the name of democracy? For instance, can "the people" embrace Bolshevism or a fascist dictatorship as an expression of their democratic "general will"?

The flip side of this question asks whether a political class committed in theory to democracy can act undemocratically (against "the will of the people"), if the people display an insufficient level of education in the ways of democracy. How is the will of the people to be identified in the first place? Is it not possible for rulers to construct a "will of the people" of their own through the use of propaganda?

For Schmitt, these questions were not simply a matter of intellectual hair-splitting but were of vital importance in a weak, politically paralyzed liberal democratic state where the commitment of significant sectors of both the political class and the public at large to the preservation of liberal democracy was questionable, and where the overthrow of liberal democracy by proponents of other ideologies was a very real possibility.

Schmitt examined the claims of parliamentarianism to democratic legitimacy. He describes the liberal ideology that underlies parliamentarianism as follows:

It is essential that liberalism be understood as a consistent, comprehensive metaphysical system. Normally one only discusses the economic line of reasoning that social harmony and the maximization of wealth follow from the free economic competition of individuals. ... But all this is only an application of a general liberal principle...: That truth can be found through an unrestrained clash of opinion and that competition will produce harmony.

For Schmitt, this view reduces truth to "a mere function of the eternal competition of opinions." After pointing out the startling contrast between the theory and practice of liberalism, Schmitt suggested that liberal parliamentarian claims to legitimacy are rather weak and examined the claims of rival ideologies. Marxism replaces the liberal emphasis on the competition between opinions with a focus on competition between economic classes and, more generally, differing modes of production that rise and fall as history unfolds. Marxism is the inverse of liberalism, in that it replaces the intellectual with the material. The competition of economic classes is also much more intensified than the competition between opinions and commercial interests under liberalism. The Marxist class struggle is violent and bloody. Belief in parliamentary debate is replaced with belief in "direct action." Drawing from the same rationalist intellectual tradition as the radical democrats, Marxism rejects parliamentarianism as a sham covering the dictatorship of a particular class, i.e. the bourgeoisie. “True” democracy is achieved through the reversal of class relations under a proletarian state that rules in the interest of the laboring majority. Such a state need not utilize formal democratic procedures, but may exist as an "educational dictatorship" that functions to enlighten the proletariat regarding its true class interests.

Schmitt contrasted the rationalism of both liberalism and Marxism with irrationalism. Central to irrationalism is the idea of a political myth, comparable to the religious mythology of previous belief systems, and originally developed by the radical left-wing but having since been appropriated in Schmitt’s time by revolutionary nationalists. It is myth that motivates people to action, whether individually or collectively. It matters less whether a particular myth is true than if people are inspired by it.

At the close of Crisis, Schmitt quotes from a speech by Benito Mussolini from October 1922, shortly before the March on Rome. Said the Duce:


We have created a myth, this myth is a belief, a noble enthusiasm; it does not need to be reality, it is a striving and a hope, a belief and courage. Our myth is the nation, the great nation which we want to make into a concrete reality for ourselves.

Whatever Schmitt might have thought of movements of the radical Right in the 1920s, it is clear enough that his criticisms of liberalism were intended not so much as an effort to undermine democratic legitimacy so much as an effort to confront its inherent weaknesses with candor and intellectual rigor.

Schmitt also had no illusions about the need for strong and decisive political authority capable of acting in the interests of the nation during perilous times. As he remarks,

If democratic identity is taken seriously, then in an emergency no other constitutional institution can withstand the sole criterion of the peoples' will, however it is expressed.

In other words, the state must first act to preserve itself and the general welfare and well-being of the people at large. If necessary, the state may override narrow partisan interests, parliamentary procedure or, presumably, routine electoral processes. Such actions by political leadership may be illiberal, but they are not necessarily undemocratic, as the democratic general will does not include national suicide. Schmitt outlined this theory of the survival of the state as the first priority of politics in The Concept of the Political. The essence of the "political" is the existence of organized collectives prepared to meet existential threats to themselves with lethal force if necessary. The "political" is different from the moral, the aesthetic, the economic, or the religious as it involves, first and foremost, the possibility of groups of human beings killing other human beings.

This does not mean that war is necessarily "good" or something to be desired or agitated for. Indeed, it may often be in the political interests of a state to avoid war. However, any state that wishes to survive must be prepared to meet challenges to its existence, whether from conquest or domination by external forces or revolution and chaos from internal forces. Additionally, a state must be capable of recognizing its own interests and assume sole responsibility for doing so. A state that cannot identify its enemies and counter enemy forces effectively is threatened existentially.

Schmitt's political ideas are, of course, more easily understood in the context of Weimar's political situation. He was considering the position of a defeated and demoralized German nation that was unable to defend itself against external threats, and threatened internally by weak, chaotic and unpopular political leadership, economic hardship, political and ideological polarization and growing revolutionary movements, sometimes exhibiting terrorist or fanatical characteristics.

Schmitt regarded Germany as desperately in need of some sort of foundation for the establishment of a recognized, legitimate political authority capable of upholding the interests and advancing the well-being of the nation in the face of foreign enemies and above domestic factional interests. This view is far removed from the Nazi ideas of revolution, crude racial determinism, the cult of the leader, and war as a value unto itself. Schmitt is clearly a much different thinker than the adherents of the quasi-mystical nationalism common to the radical right-wing of the era. Weimar's failure was due in part to the failure of the political leadership to effectively address the questions raised by Schmitt. 




*The German title -- Die geistesgeschichtliche Lage des heutigen Parlamentarismus -- literally means “the historical-spiritual condition of contemporary parliamentarianism.” The common rendering, “The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy,” is certainly more euphonious, though it is problematic since one of Schmitt’s central points in the book is that parliamentarianism is not democratic.   

Carl Schmitt - Weimar: State of Exception

Carl Schmitt (Part I)

Weimar: State of Exception

Carl Schmitt (Part I) Carl Schmitt, the Return of the German Army Following World War I (photo: BBC)

Among the many fascinating figures that emerged from the intellectual culture of Germany’s interwar Weimar Republic, perhaps none is quite as significant or unique as Carl Schmitt. An eminent jurist and law professor during the Weimar era, Schmitt was arguably the greatest political theorist of the 20th century. He is also among the most widely misinterpreted or misunderstood.

The misconceptions regarding Schmitt are essentially traceable to two issues. The first of these is obvious enough: Schmitt’s collaboration with the Nazi regime during the early years of the Third Reich. The other reason why Schmitt’s ideas are so frequently misrepresented, if not reviled, in contemporary liberal intellectual circles may ultimately be the most important. Schmitt’s works in political and legal theory provide what is by far the most penetrating critique of the ideological and moral presumptions of modern liberal democracy and its institutional workings.

Like his friend and contemporary Ernst Junger, Schmitt lived to a very old age. His extraordinarily long life allowed him to witness many changes in the surrounding world that were as rapid as they were radical. He was born in 1888, the same year that Wilhelm II became the emperor of Germany, and died in 1985, the year Mikhail Gorbachev became the final General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Schmitt wrote on legal and political matters for nearly seven decades. His earliest published works appeared in 1910 and his last article was published in 1978. Yet it is his writings from the Weimar period that are by far the most well known and, aside from his works during his brief association with the Nazis, his works during the Weimar era are also his most controversial.

Not only is it grossly inaccurate to regard Schmitt merely as a theoretician of Nazism, but it is also problematical even to characterize him as a German nationalist. For one thing, Schmitt originated from the Rhineland and his religious upbringing was Catholic, which automatically set him at odds both regionally and religiously with Germany’s Protestant and Prussian-born elites. As his biographer Joseph Bendersky noted, Schmitt’s physical appearance was “far more Latin than Germanic” and he had French-speaking relatives. Schmitt once said to the National-Bolshevik leader Ernst Niekisch, “I am Roman by origin, tradition, and right.”

At age nineteen, Schmitt entered the prestigious University of Berlin, which was exceedingly rare for someone with his lower middle-class origins, and on the advice of his uncle chose law as his area of specialization. This choice seems to have initially been the result of ambition rather than specificity of interest. Schmitt received his law degree in 1910 and subsequently worked as a law clerk in the Prussian civil service before passing the German equivalent of the bar examination in 1915. By this time, he had already published three books and four articles, thereby foreshadowing a lifetime as a highly prolific writer.

Even in his earliest writings, Schmitt demonstrated himself as an anti-liberal thinker. Some of this may be attributable to his precarious position as a member of Germany’s Catholic religious minority. As Catholics were distrusted by the Protestant elites, they faced discrimination with regards to professional advancement. Schmitt may therefore have recognized the need for someone in his situation to indicate strong loyalty and deference to the authority of the state. As a Catholic, Schmitt originated from a religious tradition that emphasized hierarchical authority and obedience to institutional norms.

Additionally, the prevailing political culture of Wilhelmine Germany was one where the individualism of classical liberalism and its emphasis on natural law and “natural rights” was in retreat in favor of a more positivist conception of law as the product of the sovereign state. To be sure, German legal philosophers of the period did not necessarily accept the view that anything decreed by the state was “right” by definition. For instance, neo-Kantians argued that just law preceded rather than originated from the state with the state having the moral purpose of upholding just law. Yet German legal theory of the time clearly placed its emphasis on authority rather than liberty.

Schmitt’s most influential writings have as their principal focus the role of the state in society and his view of the state as the essential caretaker of civilization. Like Hobbes before him, Schmitt regarded order and security to be the primary political values and Schmitt has not without good reason been referred to as the Hobbes of the 20th century. His earliest writings indicate an acceptance of the neo-Kantian view regarding the moral purpose of the state. Yet these neo-Kantian influences diminished as Schmitt struggled to come to terms with the events of the Great War and the Weimar Republic that emerged at the war’s conclusion.

Schmitt himself did not actually experience combat during the First World War. He had initially volunteered for a reserve unit but an injury sustained during training rendered him unfit for battle; Schmitt spent much of the war in Munich in a non-combatant capacity. Additionally, Schmitt was granted an extended leave of absence to serve as a lecturer at the University of Strassburg.

As martial law had been imposed in Germany during the course of the war, Schmitt’s articles on legal questions during this time dealt with the implications of this for legal theory and constitutional matters. Schmitt argued that the assumption of extraordinary powers by military commanders was justified when necessary for the preservation of order and the security of the state. However, Schmitt took the carefully nuanced view that such powers are themselves limited and temporary in nature. For instance, ordinary constitutional laws may be temporarily suspended and temporary emergency decrees enacted in the face of crisis, but only until the crisis is resolved. Nor can the administrators of martial law legitimately replace the legislature or the legal system, and by no means can the constitutional order itself be suspended.

Carl Schmitt was thirty years old in November of 1918 when Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated and a republic was established. To understand the impact of these events on Schmitt’s life and the subsequent development of his thought, it is necessary to first understand the German political culture from which Schmitt originated and the profoundly destabilizing effect that the events of 1918 had on German political life.

Contemporary Westerners, particularly those in the English-speaking countries, are accustomed to thinking of politics in terms of elections and electoral cycles, parliamentary debates over controversial issues, judicial rulings, and so forth. Such was the habit of German thinkers in the Wilhelmine era as well, but with the key difference that politics was not specifically identified with the state apparatus itself.

German intellectuals customarily identified “politics” with the activities surrounding the German Reichstag, or parliament, which was subordinated to the wider institutional structures of German statecraft. These were the monarchy, the military, and the famous civil service bureaucracy, with the latter headed up primarily by appointees from the aristocracy. This machinery of state stood over and above the popular interests represented in the Reichstag, and pre-Weimar Germans had no tradition of parliamentary supremacy of the kind on which contemporary systems of liberal democracy are ostensibly based.

The state was regarded as a unifying force that provided stability and authority while upholding the interests of the German nation and keeping in check the fragmentation generated by quarrelling internal interests. This stability was eradicated by Germany’s military defeat, the imposition of the Treaty of Versailles, and the emergence of the republic.

The Weimar Republic was unstable from the beginning. The republican revolution that had culminated in the creation of a parliamentary democracy had been led by the more moderate social democrats, which were vigorously opposed by the more radical communists from the left and the monarchists from the right.

The Bolshevik Revolution had taken place in Russia in 1917, a short-lived communist regime took power in Hungary in 1919, and a series of communist uprisings in Germany naturally made upwardly mobile middle-class persons such as Schmitt fearful for their political and economic futures as well as their physical safety. During this time Schmitt published Political Romanticism where he attacked what he labeled as “subjective occasionalism.” This was a term Schmitt coined to describe the common outlook of German intellectuals who sought to remain apolitical in the pursuit of private interests or self-fulfillment. This perspective regarded politics as merely the prerogative of the state, and not as something the individual need directly engage himself with. Schmitt had come to regard this as an inadequate and outmoded outlook given the unavoidable challenges that Germany’s political situation had provided.

Schmitt published Dictatorship in 1921. This remains a highly controversial work and subsequent critics of Schmitt who dismiss him as an apologist for totalitarianism or who attack him for having created an intellectual framework conducive to the absolute rule of the Fuhrer during the Nazi period have often cited this particular work as evidence. However, Schmitt’s conception of “dictatorship” dealt with something considerably more expansive and abstract than what is implied by the term in present day popular (or often academic) discourse.

For Schmitt, a “dictatorship” is a situation where a particular constitutional order has either been abrogated or has fallen into what Schmitt referred to as a “state of exception.” As examples of the first kind of situation, Schmitt offered both the Leninist model of revolution and the National Assembly that had constructed the constitutional framework of Weimar. In both instances, a previously existing constitutional order had been dismissed as illegitimate, yet a new constitutional order had yet to be established. A sovereign dictatorship of this type functions to

represent the will of these formless and disorganized people, and to create the external conditions which permit the realization of the popular will in the form of a new political or constitutional system. Theoretically, a sovereign dictatorship is merely a transition, lasting only until the new order has been established.

By this definition, a “sovereign dictatorship” could include political forces as diverse as the Continental Congresses of the period of the American Revolution to the anarchist militias and workers councils that emerged in Catalonia during the Spanish civil war to guerrilla armies holding power in a particular region where the previously established government has retreated or collapsed during the course of an armed insurgency. Schmitt also advanced the concept of a “commissarial dictatorship” as opposed to a “sovereign dictatorship.”

Schmitt used as an illustration of this idea Article 48 from the Weimar constitution. This article allowed the German president to rule by decree in states of emergency where threats to the immediate security of the state or public order were involved. As he had initially suggested in his wartime articles concerning the administration of martial law, Schmitt regarded such powers as limited and temporary in nature and as rescinded by the wider constitutional order once the emergency situation has passed. Contrary to the image of Schmitt as a totalitarian apologist, Schmitt warned of the inherent dangers represented by the powers granted to the president under Article 48, noting that such powers could be used to attack and destroy the constitutional order itself.

The following year, in 1922, Schmitt published Political Theology. This work advanced two core arguments. The first of these was a challenge to the legal formalism represented by German jurists of the era such as Hans Kelsen. Kelsen’s outlook was not unlike that of contemporary American critics of “judicial activism” who regard law as normative unto itself and insist legal interpretation should be restricted to pure law as derived from constitutional texts and statutory legislation, irrespective of wider or related political, sociological or moral concerns. Schmitt considered this to be a naïve outlook that failed to consider two crucial and unavoidable matters: the reality and inevitability of political and social change, and exceptional cases. It was the latter of these that Schmitt was especially concerned with. It was the question of the “state of exception” that continued to be a preoccupation of Schmitt.

Exceptional cases involved situations where emergencies threatened the state itself. For Schmitt, the maintenance of basic order preceded constitutional norms and legal formalities. There is no constitution or law if there is chaos. The important question regarding exceptional cases was the matter of who decides when an emergency situation exists. Schmitt regarded this decision-making power as the prerogative of the sovereign. Within the constitutional framework of Weimar, sovereignty was held jointly by the Reich president and the Reichstag, meaning that the president could legitimately declare a state of emergency and temporarily rule by decree if the Reichstag agreed to grant him such powers.

While Schmitt was certainly a thinker of the Right, it is a mistake to group him together with proponents of the “conservative revolution” such as Moeller van den Bruck, Oswald Spengler, Edgar Jung, or Hugo von Hofmannsthal. There is no evidence of him having expressed affinity for the views of these thinkers or joining any of the organizations that emerged to promote their ideas. Schmitt’s conservatism was squarely within the Machiavellian tradition, and he counted Machiavelli, Hobbes, Jean Bodin and conservative counterrevolutionaries such as Joseph De Maistre and Juan Donoso Cortes as his influences.

During the Weimar era, Schmitt expressed no sympathy for the mystical nationalism of the radical Right, much less the vulgar racism and anti-Semitism of the Nazi movement. He was closer to the anti-liberal thinkers that James Burnham and others subsequently labeled as “the neo-Machiavellians.” These included Vilfredo Pareto, Robert Michels, Gaetano Mosca, and Georges Sorel along with aristocratic conservatives like Max Weber. These thinkers expressed skepticism regarding the prospects of liberalism and democracy and emphasized the role of elites, the irrational, and the power of myth with regards to the political. Though Schmitt never joined a political party during the Weimar era, within the spectrum of German politics of the time he can reasonably be categorized as something of a moderate. He had admirers on both the far Right and far Left, including sympathizers with the Conservative Revolution as well as prominent intellectuals associated with the Marxist Frankfurt School, such as Walter Benjamin, Franz Neumann, and Otto Kirchheimer.

Schmitt’s own natural affinities were mostly likely closest to the Catholic Center Party, which along with the Social Democrats who had led the revolution of 1918 were the most consistently supportive of the republic and the constitutional order, and which represented the broadest cross-section of economic, class, regional, and institutional interests of any of the major parties during Weimar.

Like Hobbes before him, Schmitt was intensely focused on how order might be maintained in a society prone to chaos. Both economic turmoil and political instability continually plagued the republic. Successive political coalitions failed in their efforts to create a durable government and chancellors came and went. The Reichstag was immobilized by the intractable nature of political parties representing narrow class, ideological, or economic interests and possessing irreconcilable differences with one another. Additionally, many of the political parties that formed during the Weimar era, including those with substantial representation in the Reichstag, possessed little or no genuine commitment to the preservation of the republican order itself. Extremist parties, most notably the German Communist Party (KPD) and the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP), or the Nazis, as they came to be called, openly advocated its overthrow. Terrorism was practiced by extremists from both the right and left. Crisis after crisis appeared during the Weimar period, and the parliament was each time unable to deal with the latest emergency situation effectively. The preservation of order subsequently fell to the president. Article 48 of the constitution stated in part:

If a state does not fulfill the duties imposed by the Reich constitution or the laws of the Reich, the Reich president may enforce such duties with the aid of the armed forces. In the event that public order and security are seriously disturbed or endangered, the Reich president may take the necessary measures in order to restore public security and order, intervening, if necessary, with the aid of the armed forces. To achieve this goal, he may temporarily suspend entirely or in part, the stipulated basic rights in articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153. All measures undertaken in accordance with sections 1 or 2 of this article must be immediately reported to the Reichstag by the Reich president. These measures are to be suspended if the Reichstag so demands.

As an indication of the unstable nature of the Weimar republic, Article 48 was invoked more than two hundred and fifty times by successive presidents during the republic’s fifteen years of existence.

samedi, 05 juin 2010

Algo sobre el poder y el poderoso

Algo sobre el poder y el poderoso

Alberto Buela (*)

A Germán Spano, que me lo obsequió


Se reeditó recientemente el pequeño Diálogo sobre el poder y acceso al poderoso del iusfilósofo alemán Carl Schmitt, que fuera publicado tanto en Alemania como en España en 1954[1], y que naciera como un diálogo radiofónico, que en un principio tendría el autor y el politólogo francés Raymond Arón o el sociólogo Helmut Schelsky o el filósofo Arnold Gehlen, pero los tres se rehusaron. Claro está la demonización mediática que pesaba sobre Schmitt era tal que cuando en el semanario Die Zeit, su jefe de redacción escribe a propósito del Diálogo: “En la República Federal de Alemania, el gran jurísta Carl Schmitt es una figura controvertida. Sin embargo, incluso sus enemigos deberían prestar atención cuando hace observaciones originales y sagaces…Nadie que se proponga escribir sobre el poder debería abordar el tema sin haber leído el texto de Carl Schmitt”(N° 9 del 2/7/54), al jefe de redacción lo echaron del trabajo y le prohibieron la entrada al edificio.


La naturaleza del poder


Se trata de hablar específicamente del poder que ejercen los hombres sobre otros hombres, pues el poder no procede ni de la naturaleza ni de Dios, al menos para la sociedad desacralizada de nuestro tiempo.

El poder establece una relación de mando-obediencia entre los hombres que cuando desaparece la obediencia, desparece el poder. Se puede obedecer por confianza, por temor, por esperanza, por desesperación que se busca junto al poder, pero “la relación entre protección y obediencia sigue siendo la única explicación para el poder”.


El acceso al poderoso


Como todo poder directo está sujeto a influencias indirectas, quien presenta un proyecto al poderoso, quien lo informa, quien lo ayuda o asesora ya participa del poder. Esto ha desvelado a los hombres que en el mundo han ejercido poder directo. Existen cientos de anécdotas al respecto, de cómo los poderosos han tratado de romper el círculo de influencias indirectas que los rodeaban. “Delante de cada espacio de poder directo se forma una antesala de influencias y poderes indirectos, un acceso al oído, un pasaje a la psique del poderoso”. Y cuanto más concentrado está ese poder en una cima, más se agudiza la cuestión del acceso a la cima. Más violenta y sorda se vuelve la lucha de aquellos que están en la antesala y controlan el pasaje al poder directo.

Quienes tienen  acceso al poder ya participan del poder y como consecuencia no permiten u obstruyen el acceso de otros al poder. En una palabra, el poder no se comparte, solo se ejerce.


Maldad o bondad del poder


Si el poder que ejercen los hombres entre sí no procede de la naturaleza ni de Dios sino es una cuestión de relación entre los hombres ¿es bueno, es malo, o qué es?, se pregunta.

Para la mayoría de los hombres el poder es bueno cuando lo ejerce uno y malo cuando lo ejerce su enemigo. El poder no hace a los hombres buenos o malos sino que cuando se ejerce muestra en sus acciones si el poderoso es bueno o malo, que es otra cosa distinta.

Para San Pablo todo poder viene de Dios, y para San Gregorio Magno la voluntad de poder es mala, pero el poder en sí mismo siempre es bueno.

Pero actualmente la mayoría de las personas siguen el criterio expresado por Jacobo Burckhardt que “el poder en sí mismo es malo”. Lo paradójico que esto fue escrito a partir de los gobiernos de Luís XIV, Napoleón y los gobiernos populares revolucionarios surgidos a partir de la Revolución Francesa. Es decir, que en plena época del humanismo laico, de los derechos humanos del hombre y el ciudadano se difunde la universal convicción de que el poder es malo.


A que se debe este cambio de ciento ochenta grados en la concepción del poder que pasó de bueno hasta finales del siglo XVIII, a malo hasta nuestros días.

El avance exponencial de la técnica, transformada luego en tecnología y finalmente en tecnocracia ha hecho que sus productos se desprendan del control del hombre y por lo tanto el poderoso no puede asegurar la protección que supone el tener poder sobre aquellos que le obedecen. Se supera así la relación protección obediencia que caracteriza la naturaleza del poder.

El poder es se ha transformado en algo objetivo más fuerte que el hombre que lo emplea.

El concepto de hombre ha cambiado y es vivido como más peligroso que cualquier otro animal, es el homo homini lupus de Hobbes, autor reverenciado por Schmitt.


Nota bene:

Sin cuestionar la excelencia de este brevísimo diálogo, quisiéramos observar que aun cuando Schmitt quiere hablar sobre el poder en general, se limita sin quererlo al poder político pues no tiene en cuenta el poder que nace de la autoridad, esto es el poder que nace del saber o conocer algo en profundidad y que pueda ser enseñado. No es por obediencia, al menos primariamente, que un discípulo se acerca a un verdadero maestro, ni por protección que un maestro ejerce su profesión, sino en busca de la transmisión genuina del saber.

Es que la obediencia a la autoridad se funda en el saber de dicha autoridad, y no en la mayor o menor protección que pueda brindar dicha autoridad.


(*) arkegueta- UTN(Universidad Tecnológica Nacional)



[1] Revista de estudios políticos N° 78, Madrid, 1954

vendredi, 04 juin 2010

G. Maschke: ex-gauchiste, schmittien, pessimiste et amoureux de la vie


Günter Maschke: ex-gauchiste, schmittien, pessimiste et amoureux de la vie


maschke.jpgA l'âge de six ans, Günter Maschke, natif d'Erfurt en Thuringe, s'installe dans la ville épiscopale de Trêves, en Rhénanie-Palatinat. En 1960, il adhère à la Deutsche Friedensunion  (l'Union allemande pour la paix) et, plus tard, à la KPD communiste illégale. Deux tentatives pour échapper à l'étroitesse d'esprit de cette ville provinciale. Après des études secondaires et un diplôme de courtier d'assurances, il décide de devenir écrivain. Dans le cercle qui se réunissait autour de Max Bense et de Ludwig Harig, il fait la connaissance de Gudrun Ensslin (future figure de proue de la Bande à Baader) à la Technische Hochschule de Stuttgart. Accompagné de la sœur de Gudrun, Johanna, il va s'installer à Tübingen pour y prendre en charge la rédaction du journal étudiant Notizen, de concert avec le futur terroriste Jörg Lang.


En 1964, Maschke met sur pied un “Groupe d'Action Subversive” à Tübingen, une organisation légendaire qui a préfiguré la fameuse SDS gauchiste, à laquelle ont appartenu Rudi Dutschke et Bernd Rabehl. Un an plus tard, Maschke reçoit son ordre de rejoindre la Bundeswehr: il refuse tant le service armé que le service civil. Il prend la fuite et commence un exil qui l'amènera d'abord à Paris puis à Zurich et finalement à Vienne, où il est collaborateur occasionnel de Volksstimme (d'obédience communiste) et du Wiener Tagebuch. Après une manifestation énergique contre la guerre du Vietnam dans la capitale autrichienne, Maschke est arrêté par la police. Il est déclaré “étranger indésirable” et il risque d'être refoulé en Allemagne où l'attend un mandat d'arrêt pour désertion. Après trois semaines de prison, l'ambassade de Cuba lui propose l'asile politique.


Il restera à Cuba du début de 1968 à la fin de 1969. Dans le pays de Castro, Maschke est devenu national-révolutionnaire. Les raisons de cette conversion sont sans doute multiples: les conditions déplorables dans lesquelles végétaient ses amis ou les formes spéciales du “stalinisme tropical”... Ami du poète Padilla, un adversaire du régime cubain, il est impliqué dans cette affaire, arrêté par la police de Castro et renvoyé en Allemagne. Il y passera d'abord treize mois dans les prisons de Munich et de Landsberg.


C'est là qu'il passera définitivement à “droite”. Mais le camp de la droite a hérité là d'un allié très critique, trop critique aux yeux de bon nombre de conservateurs bon teint. Ses premières avances sont brusquement repoussées. Beaucoup de droitiers et de conservateurs rejettent aveuglément les idées de gauche, un aveuglement que Maschke n'a jamais compris. Avec la gauche radicale, il s'est révolté contre l'américanisme, contre le parlementarisme et a milité en faveur d'une réforme du droit de la propriété. Mais, par ailleurs, il a toujours plaidé, contre une gauche qui ne cesse plus de s'éloigner du marxisme, pour un Etat fort, modérément autoritaire.


Dans sa vie privée aujourd'hui, Maschke traduit et édite les textes de l'Espagnol Juan Donoso Cortés et de Carl Schmitt. Sur le plan scientifique, il travaille dur, il est exigeant et méticuleux, mais quand il reçoit ses amis, il est un hôte jovial et généreux, qui aime les bons plats et les bons vins, qui dissimule son pessimisme notoire derrière des blagues hautes en couleurs, derrière un charme exquis, avec une souveraineté bien consciente d'elle-même.


Werner OLLES.

(article paru dans Junge Freiheit, n°26/97).

mercredi, 28 avril 2010

Carl Schmitt: Auf den Punkt gedacht

Carl Schmitt: Auf den Punkt gedacht

Christoph Rothämel  



Carl_Schmitt.jpgMan möchte meinen, Carl Schmitt ist als Autor heute weniger wegen seiner Liaison mit dem Nationalsozialismus als wegen der Klarheit seiner Schriften unbeliebt. Seine unermüdliche juristische und philosophische Grundlagenarbeit, mit einem kühlen Kopf den Wörtern ihren Sinn zurückzugeben, hat sich in ein reichhaltiges Reservoir deutscher Denkkraft verwandelt. Dies erhellt dem Nachdenkenden die Struktur der modernen politischen Ideologien, sofern sie mit Begriffen wie Demokratie, Parlamentarismus, Diktatur, Souveränität, Menschheit hantieren. Der Begriff des Politischen und Die geistesgeschichtliche Lage des heutigen Parlamentarismus sind nun bei Duncker & Humblot in neuer Auflage erschienen.


Die Lüftung des Schleiers über der Jakobinerlogik

Wenn Schmitt die Demokratie erklärt, wird deutlich, dass ein Parlament dafür keine notwendige Voraussetzung ist. Dass die Existenz eines Parlaments von fast allen Demokraten für den Staat dennoch als solche betrachtet wird, beruht auf dem gemeinsamen historischen Siegeszug von demokratischen Idealen und liberalen Ideen und der damit verbundenen denkerischen Fehlleistung einer automatischen Verknüpfung von Demokratie und Liberalismus. Demokratie selbst hat aber zunächst keinen politischen Inhalt, sondern stellt lediglich eine Organisationsform dar.

Ihr Kerninhalt bleibt das Dogma, dass alle politischen Entscheidungen nur für die Entscheidenden gelten sollen, die Identität von Herrscher und Beherrschten. Die überstimmte Minderheit muss ignoriert werden, was aber nicht schwer fällt, da ja nach Rousseau der Wille der überstimmten Minderheit in Wahrheit mit dem der Mehrheit übereinstimmt. Auch John Locke ist der festen Überzeugung, dass in der Demokratie der Bürger auch dem Gesetz zustimmt, das nicht seinem Willen entspricht. Letztlich ist das Gesetz identisch mit der volonté générale. Und weil - ganz rousseauistisch – der Generalwille der wahren Freiheit entspricht, war der Überstimmte nicht frei.

Da jederzeit die Möglichkeit besteht, dass das Volk mithilfe von Suggestionen betrogen wurde, kann der radikale Demokrat auch die Herrschaft der Minderheit über die Mehrheit rechtfertigen, wie sie exemplarisch in den Erziehungsdiktaturen der sozialistischen Revolutionen zutage trat. Der echte Demokrat bleibt, weil er an die Demokratie als eigenen Wert glaubt, weiter Demokrat, muss aber, weil die Regierten noch nicht „reif“ sind, die Demokratie praktisch zeitweilig suspendieren ohne sie theoretisch aufzugeben. Der Kernsatz Schmitts dazu lautet: „Es scheint also das Schicksal der Demokratie zu sein, sich im Problem der Willensbildung selbst aufzuheben.“

Da das Volk, das sich zur Willensbildung nicht mehr an der Dorflinde zum Thing treffen kann, auf Ausschüsse zur Repräsentation angewiesen ist, bleibt die Frage, ob nicht auch ein einziger Vertreter den wirklichen Willen des ganzen Volkes in den Händen halten kann? Bejaht man dies, muss man Adolf Hitler als Demokrat und Diktator anerkennen. Er beanspruchte jedenfalls den Willen des Volkes zu kennen und zur Ausführung zu bringen. Auch die DDR war demnach – ganz ihrem Namen nach - ein grundsätzlich demokratischer Staat. Lediglich für oder gegen die Regierung stimmen zu dürfen ist nicht etwa undemokratisch, es ist illiberal! Das Wahlsystem der DDR war genau genommen plebiszitär. Und ein Plebiszit ist nicht undemokratisch. Die Diktatur ist eben nicht der Gegenbegriff zur Demokratie.


Der Parlamentarismus als Ausprägung einer liberalen Auffassung von Demokratie hat Diskussion und Öffentlichkeit zur Voraussetzung. Das Parlament soll Ausschuss des Volkes sein, in dem die überall verteilten Funken der Vernunft über die Diskussion zu einer politischen Willensbildung führen. Dass dieses Konzept durch die Massendemokratie mit all ihren Konsequenzen in Frage gestellt wird, stellt Schmitt meisterhaft heraus. Weder sind die parlamentarischen Diskussionen wirklich öffentlich, noch ermutigt das politische Personal den Wähler dazu, eine gehaltvolle Diskussion neben den Partikularinteressen der Protagonisten überhaupt noch für möglich zu halten. Es ist für den heutigen Leser leicht einsichtig, dass nach den unnormalen Wiederaufbauleistungen nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg diese Erschlaffungstendenzen des Parlamentarismus, die Carl Schmitt in der Weimarer Republik beobachte, zurückkehren.

Die Darlegungen Schmitts gehen aber noch viel weiter. Grundlegend zu wissen ist, dass Demokratie immer eine hinreichende Homogenität voraussetzt. Die zunehmende Gleichsetzung von Staat und Volk mit dem Siegeszug der Demokraten ist mithin kein Zufall, sondern die notwendige Bedingung für die Herstellung handlungsfähiger politischer Einheiten auf demokratischer Basis. Man muss daher zwingend den Schluss ziehen, dass die Demokratie durch die Heterogenisierung des Staatsvolkes, wie wir sie gegenwärtig erleben, erheblichen Gefahren ausgesetzt ist.

Unüberbietbar ist seine Feststellung, dass die Krisis des modernen Staates darauf beruht, dass eine Massen- und Menschheitsdemokratie keine Staatsform, auch keinen demokratischen Staat zu realisieren vermag. In Bezug darauf sind die Selbsttäuschungen der Gegenwart wieder enorm angewachsen.

Politische Theologie und Souveränität

Der Glaube, dass alle Gewalt vom Volke kommt, erhält in der Demokratie eine ähnliche Bedeutung wie der Glaube in der Monarchie, dass alle obrigkeitliche Gewalt von Gott kommt. Dieses Phänomen beschreibt Schmitt in einer gleichnamigen Schrift als Politische Theologie. Für ihn deutet sich an, dass das jeweils vorherrschende Weltbild und die Ausprägung der Staatsform in einem Zusammenhang stehen.

Damit verbunden finden sich die Begriffe Souveränität, als die Fähigkeit über den (politischen) Ausnahmezustand zu entscheiden, und das Politische, als die Fähigkeit Freund und Feind zu unterscheiden, wieder. Denn alles dies mündet zwangsläufig auch in die Politische Theologie, insofern das Weltbild maßgeblich die Erkenntnis der Normalität wie die Freund-Feind-Scheidungen determiniert. Angesichts eines offiziellen Kampfes gegen Rechts ist der Standardvorwurf gegenüber Schmittianern, unbilligerweise an Freund-Feind-Denkweisen festzuhalten, eine einzige an Idiotie grenzende Groteske, seitens derer, die als politischen Feind den Nazi samt seinen Wegbereitern überall zu sehen glauben.

Intellektuelle Vorwegnahme der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Neben den grundsätzlichen Begriffsklärungen, finden sich im Gesamtwerk Schmitts auch Deutungsmuster juristischer Gestaltung imperialer Politik. Am Beispiel der besetzten Rheinlande („Die Rheinlande als Objekt internationaler Politik“ in Positionen und Begriffe, 3. Aufl., D&H) erläutert er, warum Annexionen und Protektoratsbildungen veraltete Mittel der imperialen Machtausübung sind, und wie es dem eingreifenden Staat mithilfe von unbestimmten Rechtsbegriffen wie Schutz fremder Interessen, Schutz der Unabhängigkeit, öffentliche Ordnung und Sicherheit, Einhaltung internationaler Verträge undsoweiter gelingt, die politische Existenz eines vordergründig in die Souveränität entlassenen Staates weiterhin in den Händen zu behalten.

Die herrschende Macht schafft internationale Vertragswerke, deren Auslegung sie kraft ihres Machtstatus letztendlich selbst bestimmen kann. Carl Schmitt hat damit auch die babylonische Gefangenschaft Deutschlands in ihrer heutigen Form lange vorweggenommen. Ein unerschöpflicher Fundus für alle: aber unverzichtbar für Politik- und Jurastudenten.


Carl Schmitt: Der Begriff des Politischen. Text von 1932 mit einem Vorwort und drei Corollarien. Broschiert. Duncker & Humblot 2009. 116 Seiten. 22 Euro.

Ders.: Die geistesgeschichtliche Lage des heutigen Parlamentarismus. Broschiert. Duncker & Humblot 2010. 90 Seiten. 18 Euro.

mardi, 27 avril 2010

An interest in Carl Schmitt

Carl_Schmitt_thumb.jpgAn interest in Carl Schmitt

Ex: http://majorityrights.com/

Last month I put up a brief post titled Leviathan Rising.  It speculated on the general policy direction by which the transformation to a Leviathan superstate might be effected.  Of course, the times would be characterised by trauma injury to European societies made raceless, and therefore loveless and powerless - for without love between the people there can be no strength in them.

The approach of this condition we can all surmise from the evidence about us.  We read and write about it every day.  But let’s venture beyond.

In my post I argued that the “detachment into domestic policy blandness and irrelevance, and the shift to action abroad” would be the sign that the totalitarian Rubicon had finally been crossed.  But actually, I’ve just come across a better formulation from Leo Strauss in writings about his teacher, the great German jurist Carl Schmitt: “[It] would be a world of entertainment without politics and the possibility of struggle.” Recognise that?

Now, sixty-three years after the extinction of the system he helped to theorise, Schmitt is still the pre-eminent authority on matters of total dominion?  Addressing the riddle of how to despatch liberal democracy without triggering what Habermas has termed “the legitimation crisis”, he formulated a legal and philosophical legitimisation for dictatorship.  This he did through a number of influential works in the years up to 1933, when he finally joined the Nazi Party.  His thought, however, reduces to four core concepts:-

1. The concept of “Exception” from the normal restraints on state power in the absence of order.

2. The concept of “The Political”, as the dominion or theatre of action for the state (and the state alone).

3. The concept of “friend/enemy”.  In the racial sense applying in National Socialist Germany, this could be seen as the division into in-group/out-group from the standpoint of the state.  In our age, the “enemy” is European Man.  But it need not be racial, of course, and indeed is really just a means of defining the activism of “The Political” (or the interests of the elite).

4. “Nomos” or the historic dynamic out of which grew the European Age or Global Order of the 18th and 19th centuries, which Schmitt idealised and at the summit of which placed the development of the sovereign state.

It should be no surprise that for well over a decade now Carl Schmitt has been an object of study and fascination both on the liberal-left and the Straussian right.  I will explore some of his ideas in greater depth later on.  But to give you a flavour of the man I’m going to end this post with the transcripts from his interrogations at Nuremberg.

He was arrested by the Russians in Berlin in April 1945, interrogated and then released.  But six months later he was arrested by the Americans at the instigation of German Jews in OMGUS (Office of Military Government, United States), and interned until March 1947.  He was then interrogated by a prosecutor for the War Crimes Trials, Robert M. W. Kempner, on three occasions.  Here are the full transcripts of those interviews:-

Kempner: You do not have to testify, Professor Schmitt, if you do not want to, and if you think you are incriminating yourself. But if you do testify, then I would be grateful if you would be absolutely truthful, would neither conceal nor add anything.  Is that your wish?
Schmitt: Yes, of course.
Kempner: And if I come to something you might find self-incriminating, you can simply say you prefer to remain silent.
Schmitt: I have already been interrogated by the C.I.C. [U.S. Army counter-intelligence] and in the camp.  I would be glad to tell you all I know.  However, I would like to know what I am being blamed with. All previous interrogations ultimately ended in academic discussions.
Kempner: I do not know why anyone else has questioned you.  I will tell you quite candidly what I am interested in: your participation, direct and indirect, in the planning of wars of aggression, of war crimes and of crimes against humanity.
Schmitt: Planning wars of aggression is a new and very broad concept.
Kempner: I take it for granted that, as a professor of public law, you know exactly what a war of aggression is.  Do you agree with me on the fact that Poland, Norway, France, Russian, Denmark, Holland were invaded? Yes or no?
Schmitt: Of course.
Kempner: Did you not provide the ideological foundation for those kinds of things?
Schmitt: No.
Kempner: Could your writings be so interpreted?
Schmitt: I do not think so - not by anyone who has read them.
Kempner: Did you seek to achieve a new international legal order in accordance with Hitlerian ideas?
Schmitt: Not in accordance with Hitlerian ideas and not sought to achieve but diagnosed.
Kempner: What is your attitude toward the Jewish Question, in general, and how it was handled by the Third Reich?
Schmitt: It was a great misfortune and, indeed, from the very beginning.
Kempner: Did you consider the influence of your Jewish colleagues, who were teachers of international law, a misfortune?
Schmitt: With the exception of Erich Kaufmann, there were no Jewish legal scholars there [in Nazi Germany].  He was a belligerent militarist.  He originally coined the phrase “The social ideal is the victorious war,” in “Die Clausula rebus sic stantibus.”
Kempner: Now, however, Erich Kaufmann is not here, but you are.
Schmitt: I do not want to incriminate him.  I also would not like to create the impression of incriminating this man.
Kempner: Would you say there was a definite discussion between international and constitutional law influenced by Jews and that which you taught and advocated?
Schmitt: The standpoint of Jewish colleagues was not sufficiently homogeneous for that.
Kempner: Have you ever written such things?
Schmitt: I wrote only once that Jewish theorists have no understanding of this territorial theory.
Kempner: Where did you write that?
Schmitt: In a little essay in the Zeitschrift fur Raum-Forschung, 1940-41.
Kempner: What was that essay called?
Schmitt: I cannot recollect the title.
Kempner: Who published the journal?
Schmitt: The Reich Office for Raum Research.
Kempner: How long is the essay?
Schmitt: Volkerrechtliche Grossramordnung had 50 large octavo pages.
Kempner: How many editions?
Schmitt: I believe 5 or 6.  The essay was reprinted there from the Zeitschrift fur deutsche Raumforschung, published by Deutscher Rechtsverlag, a press of the National Socialist League of Jurists.
Kempner: It had a swastika on its publisher’s insignia?
Schmitt: Yes, of course.
Kempner: Reading your writings creates a completely different impression from the one you are now providing.
Schmitt: If one reads them completely, they have very little to do with the Jewish Question.
Kempner: You admit, however, that it [Volkerrechtliche Grossramordnung] is clearly an international legal theory of Lebensraum?
Schmitt: I call it Grossraum.
Kempner: Hitler was also for Grossraum.
Schmitt: All of them were probably for it, including the citizens of other countries.
Kempner: A reading of this essay shows it was written in the purest Hitler syle.
Schmitt: No.  I am proud of the fact that since 1936 I had nothing to do with that.
Kempner: Previously, therefore, you wrote in the Hitlerian style.
Schmitt: No, I did not say that.  Until 1936 I considered it possible to give meaning to these catchwords.
Kempner: You assumed the editorship of various journals, which previously you had not.  Die deutsche Juristenzeitung, for example?
Schmitt: From 1934 to 1936.
Kempner: Would it not have been better to have avoided becoming involved with that?
Schmitt: Yes, now one can say that.
Kempner: The accused is confronted with his publication Volkerrechtliche Grossramordnung, 4th Edition, and the following passage from page 63 is read to him: “The Jewish authors had, of course, as little to do with the previous development of Raum theory as they had with the creation of anything else.  They were also here an important cause of the dissolution of concretely-determined territorial orders.” Do you deny that this passage is in the purest Goebbels-style?  Yes or no?
Schmitt: I do deny that the content and form of that is in Goebbels’ style.  I would like to emphasize that the serious scholarly context of that passage should be taken into consideration.  In its intent, method, and formulation it is a pure diagnosis.
Kempner: Do you want to say anything else?
Schmitt: I am here as what?  As a defendent?
Kempner: That remains to be determined.
Schmitt: Everything I stated, in particular this passage, was intended as scholarship, as a scholarly thesis I would defend before any scholarly body in the world.
Kempner: Here, however, we are before a criminal court.  You were the directing, one of the leading jurists of the Third Reich.
Schmitt: Someone who in 1936 was publicly defamed in Das Schwarze Korps [the S.S. journal] cannot be described in that fashion.
Kempner: How does your interpretation fit with the fact that, after 1936, you delivered lectures financed by the Nazi Reich in Budapest, Bucharest, Salamanca and Barcelona; in the notorious espionage and propaganda institute, “The German Instiute in Paris,” and other places.  Did you deliver lectures?  Yes or no?
Schmitt: Yes, I did deliver lectures.  They were not paid for.
Kempner: Who paid for the trip?
Schmitt: Part [was paid] by the inviting societies, part by German agencies.
Kempner: Therefore: the Nazi Reich.
Schmitt: That was a forum for me; I had no other.
Kempner: You see that there is in this fact of your defamation, on the one hand, and your lectures, on the other, a certain contradiction very difficult for me to comprehend.
Schmitt: If you are interested in an explanation, I would be pleased to give you one.  This is the first conversation I have had about it since 1933.  I would like to discuss that.
Kempner: It is related to what extent you provided the scholarly foundation for war crimes, crimes against humanity, the forceful expansion and widening of Grossraum.  We are of the opinion that the executing agencies in the administration, the economy and the military are not more important than the men who conceived the theory and the plans for the entire affair.  Maybe you would like to write down what you have to say.  To what extent did you provide the theoretical foundation for Hitlerian Grossraum policy?
Schmitt: I will write it down.  This is thus the question to be answered.

Kempner: Were you so kind to write your answers?
Schmitt: It took a long time, because I was given a table so late.  May I give it to you?
Kempner: I must, of course, read through this later.  Who invited you to the German Institute in Paris?
Schmitt: The director, Dr. Epting, on the suggestion of certain gentlemen whom he knew.  The lecture was a pretext for the trip.  I was accompanied by Pierre Linn, a Jewish friend and his wife.
Kempner: I am interested in the German Institute.
Schmitt: I had very little to do with that.  The director was Epting.  The motivating force behind my invitation was Dr. Bremer.  He had many friends, including Frenchmen such as Alfred Fabre-Luce.
Kempner: Would you be so good as to sign the pages with your initials C.S.?  Are all the facts correct?  Then please write: The truth of the above statements is pledged on my word of honour.
Schmitt: Yes.  May I ask something else?
Kempner: What questions do you still have?
Schmitt: You wanted to lend me Volkerrechtliche Grossramordnung.
Kempner: You still have not received it?
Schmitt: No, I still have no answer from my wife.  May I request that my wife send me the manuscript of the lecture on the “Lage der europaischen Rechtswissenschaft”?  The manuscript is still with the publisher.  The lecture was basically intended for a Fetschrift for Popitz.  I have not said anything that is not contained in the manuscript.  That provides perhaps the best account of the remarks I made in Bucharest, Budapest, Madrid, Barcelona Coimbra.
Kempner: Have you now been able to reconcile yourself in any way to the role you played in the Third Reich and in the preparation of criminal offenses, as I interpret them?
Schmitt: Here we are not really disputing facts.  I accept them.  It is a question of interpretation and legal evaluation.  As a long-standing professor of jurisprudence, I cannot stop thinking.
Kempner: Nor should you.  To clarify again what the theory of the public prosecutor is: Did you participate in the preparation, etc. of wars of aggression and in other punishable offenses related to these at the point of decision-making?  What is your answer to that?  Could you state it concisely in a single sentence?
Schmitt: I neither served in a decision-making capacity, nor did I participate in the preparation of wars of aggression.
Kempner: Our theory about the term “point of decision-making” is as follows: is not one of the leading university professors in this field as least as important in the decision-making-process as other high state or party officials?
Schmitt: Also in a totalitarian state?
Kempner: Yes, particularly in a totalitarian system.  And furthermore: what we understand by wars of aggression is very clearly expressed in the decision of the IMT [International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg], with which you are familiar.
Schmitt: Yes, it would be good if I could have the complete text.  I have no material at all.  I have one final question, which is not connected with the preceding.  You mentioned the name Radbruch.  I hardly know him.  If you want to inquire about my activity as a professor during the last 10 years, I would request that you question colleagues who really have known me.
Kempner: Who, for example?
Schmitt: Carl Brinkmann.  He was in Berlin until 1944 and is now in Erlangen.
Kempner: I will be glad to question him.  Was he a party member?
Schmitt: No, otherwise he would not now be a professor in Erlangen.  I do not believe he was a party member.  It may not be pleasant for him to do that.  The Dr. Carl Schmitt myth is pure myth.  Carl Schmitt is quite a peculiar individual, not just a professor; he is also a composite of various other individuals.  I observed this when I was interrogated by Dr. Flechtheim.  You can inquire about that.
Kempner: I have my sources.
Schmitt: Radbruch is a politician.  He sees things in a particular way and does not understand that a person can sit quietly at a desk.
Kempner: Did Rousseau leave his desk?
Schmitt: No.
Kempner: Who else did not leave his desk?
Schmitt: Thomas Hobbes.
Kempner: It is very difficult to render a criminal judgment.
Schmitt: May I speak frankly?  I have now been in solitary confinement for 3 weeks ...
Kempner: You do not want to be alone?
Schmitt: I would like to be even more alone.  All possible questions were asked of me at the time I was placed under arrest.  I said then only: I would like to be able to speak about my case from my own perspective.  I desire only to clarify things to myself.  But my name, my physiognomy is too famous for me to be left alone.  I had hundreds of students in all countries, thousands of listeners.
Kempner: To the extent that it relates to audience, your reputation vacillates in history.
Schmitt: That will always be the case when someone takes a position in such situations.  I am an intellectual adventurer.
Kempner: You have the blood of an intellectual adventurer?
Schmitt: Yes, that is how thoughts and knowledge develop.  I assume the risk.  I have always accepted the consequences of my actions.  I have never tried to avoid paying my bills.
Kempner: If, however, what you call the pursuit of knowledge results in the murder of millions of people?
Schmitt: Christianity also resulted in the murder of millions of people.  One does not know unless one has experienced it oneself.  I by no means feel, as do many others, an innocent victim to whom something horrible has happened.
Kempner: But this is no comparison.  And is it not, simply stated, a criminal investigation of your personal make-up?
Schmitt: I can tell you a great deal about that.  If I were asked, I would be glad to express my honest opinion.
Kempner: I would like to ask you something without touching on your own matters.  Let us for a moment consider a case from another area.  You are familiar with Mr. Lammers and, as a constitutional lawyer, his position.  You know what a Reich Minister is?
Schmitt: Personally, I have only seen him once, in 1936.  He was Chief of the Reich Chancellery, where everything was concentrated.
Kempner: How do you explain psychologically that a man like Lammers, as an old professional civil servant, signed hundreds of horrible things?
Schmitt: I do not understand that.  I have not done that.
Kempner: That does not relate to you, you avoided such things?  How do you explain that a diplomat like von Weizsacker, as a state secretary, signed hundreds of such things?
Schmitt: I would like to give you a nice answer.  The question has great significance, a distinguished man like von Weizsacker… Only I must protect myself…
Kempner: This theme could get us into constitutional matters.  At present, I am not questioning you about Lammers personally, but about the position of Chief of the Reich Chancellery in a totalitarian state.  I am asking you neither as a defendent nor as someone accused or as a witness, but as a constitutional lawyer.  I am asking you here purely as an expert, why this position is more important than that of another Reich Minister?
Schmitt: Perhaps Bormann was more important.
Kempner: That is not completely correct.  The position of Bormann first became important in 41-42.
Schmitt: I would like to formulate this for you as best as possible in writing.
Kempner: In the Bismarckian Reich I would have stated: Lammers had the key to lawmaking in his hand.  In the dictatorship he had more in his hand: the handle to the door of the dictator.  Does this explain the significance of his position?
Schmitt: Yes.
Kempner: Write that up in a small essay.

Kempner: How are you, Professor Schmitt?  Have you written something?
Schmitt: Yes.  I have brought along both written elaborations and have signed them.  I no longer recall the exact wording of your question: “Did you participate in the preparation of wars of aggression, etc.”
Kempner: Do you pledge the accuracy of your statements on your word of honour?
Schmitt: On my word of honour I pledge the accuracy of the statements from pages 1-17.  That is a written elaboration, a legal opinion.
Kempner: Please write at the end of your elaboration: I pledge that I have given the above legal opinion according to the best of my knowledge and conscience.
Schmitt: Yes.  The legal opinion is on pages 1-15.
Kempner: I will examine this very closely.
Schmitt: I am happy to have found a reader once again.  In general, my writings have been read very poorly.  I fear the superficial reader.
Kempner: I will read through it not only form the standpoint of criminal law, but also from the standpoint of constitutional law.
Schmitt: I have written it with great interest.  Can it be indicated that I did not do that on my own initiative?
Kempner: Professor Carl Schmitt made the assessment of the constitutional position of the Reich minister and chief of the Reich chancellery at the instigation of the interrogator.  Are you afraid of doing that on your own initiative?
Schmitt: Not that.  Maybe it is improper in my circumstances.
Kempner: Prof. Carl Schmitt submits, in addition, his own comments on the subject of participating in wars of aggression.  Were you a member of the SS?
Schmitt: No.
Kempner: To what extent did you participate in the ideological preparation of SS ideology?
Schmitt: Not at all.  I was an opponent of the SS.  I was publicly assaulted and defamed in Das Schwarze Korps.
Kempner: Do you know Gottlob Berger?
Schmitt: I have never seen him.
Kempner: Were you not the idol of SS professors such as Boehm, etc.?
Schmitt: When a state concillor in a totalitarian system is publicly spat at by the Schwarze Korps, that cannot be said.
Kempner: After you were spat at, did you not travel to Salamanca, Paris, Madrid, etc.?
Schmitt: That occurred in 1943 on special invitation from the faculties.
Kempner: You had nothing to do with the SS?
Schmitt: I was strongly opposed to it.  I was secretly observed and controlled by the SS.
Kempner: Did you state that German legislation and the German administration of justice must be carried out in the spirit of National Socialism?  Yes or no?  Did you state that between 1933 and 1936?
Schmitt: Yes.  I was from 1935 to 1936 head of the professional organization.  I felt superior at that time.  I wanted to give the term National Socialism my own meaning.
Kempner: Hitler had a National Socialism and you had a National Socialism.
Schmitt: I felt superior.
Kempner: You felt superior to Adolf Hitler?
Schmitt: Intellectually, of course.  He was to me so uninteresting that I do not want to talk about that at all.
Kempner: When did you renounce the devil?
Schmitt: 1936.
Kempner: Are you not ashamed to have written these kinds of things at that time, such as, for example, that the administration of justice should be National Socialist.
Schmitt: I wrote that in 1933.
Kempner: Do you deserve good or poor grades for that?
Schmitt: It was a thesis.  The National Socialist League of German Jurists extracted it, so to speak, from my mouth.  At that time there was a dictatorship with which I was not yet familiar.
Kempner: You were not familiar with any dictatorship.
Schmitt: No.  This total dictatorship was actually something new.  Hitler’s method was new.  There was only one parallel, Lenin’s Bolshevik dictatorship.
Kempner: Was that something new?
Schmitt: Yes, certainly.
Kempner: In your own library you have writings about totalitarian dictatorship.
Schmitt: Not totalitarian.
Kempner: Are you not ashamed that you wrote these kinds of things at that time?
Schmitt: Today, of course.  I do not consider it appropriate to continue to rummage around in the disgrace we suffered at that time.
Kempner: I do not want to rummage around.
Schmitt: Without question, it was unspeakable.  There are no words to describe it.
Kempner: I consider it better if we converse about such matters outside, not here in custody.
Schmitt: That would be agreeable to me for reasons of health.  I also consider it better in the interest of the case.  This professional opinion suffers from this situation.
Kempner: I want to see that you return home.
Schmitt: My wife gave up the apartment in Berlin.  We have no other lodging than with my sisters in Westphalia.  Could you see that I go there and not automatically be sent to Berlin?
Kempner: That will be taken care of today.
Schmitt: I would appreciate it.

lundi, 26 avril 2010

25 anos después: pensar a Carl Schmitt como método

El varón consumado, sabio en dichos, cuerdo en hechos,
es admitido y aun deseado del singular comercio de los discretos.

Baltasar Gracián, Oráculo manual y arte de la prudencia, 6, 1647

25 años después: pensar a Carl Schmitt como método

Giovanni B. Krähe / http://geviert.wordpress.com/

A modo de introducción

schmittlivreflamm.jpgHoy se cumplen 25 años de la muerte de Carl Schmitt. ¿Qué se puede decir sobre el interés por Schmitt a 25 años de su muerte? Compartimos algunas reflexiones “prácticas” para un “buen” uso de la obra del jurista, de manera que siga resistiendo al tiempo como lo ha hecho hasta ahora.

Todo lector interesado en conocer las implicaciones prácticas del pensamiento schmittiano sabe que debe abandonar, en primer lugar, la mera lectura en perspectiva histórica de la obra del jurista (ese Schmitt “de Weimar”). Esta lectura histórica debe ser siempre preliminar y necesaria, por lo mismo debe saber que se limita a un esfuerzo interpretativo-descriptivo que no irá más allá de la narración de eventos del pasado. Se trata de una estrategia  hermenéutica que, si no es hábil en organizar y ponderar bien su recursos heurísticos, su propia pregunta, su análisis final, termina entonces simplemente en un docto anacronismo. En segundo lugar, para recuperar un Schmitt más práctico y actual, referido al presente que nos ocupa, digámoslo así, se debe abandonar también la lectura monotemática y  circular de las obras de Schmitt: se trata de esa lectura trivial (porque retórica, vieja y no sustancial) de ese Schmitt “de la dictadura”, el Schmitt teórico “de la excepción” y demás combinaciones con la primera perspectiva mencionada.

Leer a Carl Schmitt o a autores alemanes afines (Heidegger por ejemplo), significa dejar ese vicioso prurito bibliófilo de los temas intelectuales favoritos de café. Significa, en otras palabras, abandonar ese mito inmóvil, porque completamente incapacitante (la metáfora es de Tarchi-Benoist), alrededor del pensamiento “reaccionario”. Se trata de esa adolescente hagiografía “tradicional” de pensadores conservadores, “monárquicos”, todos seguidores de reyes muertos sin nombre ni espada. ¿Para qué es necesario superar este voluntario mito incapacitante?Para pretender una clara y robusta perspectiva realista de método y aplicación, de programa político si se quiere, donde la mirada hacia el pasado se convierte siempre en la justa medida de algo que será aplicado en el presente puntual. Este es, después de todo, el significado del pensamiento conservador: un pensamiento completamente arrojado en el presente fáctico.

Frente a esta necesidad, todo lo bueno que las dos perspectivas mencionadas sobre Schmitt (la histórica y la monotemática) pueden aún darnos sobre la vida, la obra y el pensamiento del autor a 25 años de su muerte, se demuestra como un ejercicio preliminar que debe dirigirse hacia el método, hacia el método schmittiano. Si conocemos el método, podemos prescindir completamente del autor-Schmitt, de cualquier autor (y purgarnos de nuestro vicio bibliófilo de paso). Podemos liberarnos de los temas intelectuales recurrentes y dialogar con el autor frente a frente a partir de la pregunta que nos plantea. Una pregunta  que puede mantenerse válida más allá de su autor. Este es el verdadero significado de estos 25 años para nosotros. Se reflexione bien que no se trata de una metáfora hermenéutica al estilo de cualquier otro manierismo postmoderno. Para lograr este objetivo práctico-aplicativo de la obra del jurista, en este post intentaremos una lectura de la Teología política como método. Esto quiere decir que no nos limitaremos a la enésima exégesis del libro (que ya hay muchas buenas). Este ejercicio partirá más bien desde el libro como instrumento y como medio, no como fin.

El método de la politische Theologie: la analogía

El método que denominaremos método político-teológico es desarrollado por Schmitt en el tercer capítulo de su Politische Theologie I (de ahora en adelante abreviado con PT I). Un ejemplo aplicativo de este método se encuentra en el texto de Schmitt sobre Donoso cortés. Para poder colocar el método que vamos a presentar sumariamente, es necesaria la lectura de los dos textos mencionados.

El principio a la base del método político-teológico que Schmitt nos presenta en el tercer capítulo de su PT I parte preliminarmente del principio jurídico de la analogía. Como sabemos, la analogía ocupa un lugar preciso en la doctrina jurídica. La analogía “atribuye a un caso o a una materia que no encuentra una reglamentación expresa en el ordenamiento jurídico, la misma disciplina prevista por el legislador para un caso y para una materia similar” (Bobbio). El objetivo es evitar la la laguna, el “vacío” del derecho en un caso no previsto. La analogía adquiere evidencia y aplicabilidad únicamente en el ámbito de la ratio juris. Con esto queremos decir que la analogía jurídica no va entendida en los términos filosóficos de la analogia entis, o según la perspectiva lingüistico-cultural de la analogía lógico-semántica. La analogía en Schmitt va entendida preliminarmente en términos lógico-jurídicos, (recht-logisch). Si queremos hacernos una idea de este tipo de analogía lógico-jurídica, deberemos pensar en sus ámbitos aplicativos y los límites de la misma, por ejemplo en el caso de la analogia legis (ampliación del alcance de una norma o parte de ella) o la misma analogía juris (aplicación de toda la norma a un caso no previsto. Este tipo de analogía generalmente está prohibido en el derecho penal por ejemplo). El ámbito aplicativo de este tipo de analogía lógico-jurídica que Schmitt utiliza en su método, prescribe un determinado ámbito de validez y un vínculo material inmediato que incluye en su interior a la analogía lógico-semántica. Tengamos en mente esto último. Observaremos a continuación cómo Schmitt aplica el principio de la analogía a su teología política.

Analogía jurídica e isomorfismo material político-teológico: la estructura esférica

La analogía jurídica presupone la unidad y la coherencia del orden jurídico. Aquella no cubre una “laguna” o un “vacío” en sentido general o dogmático (de lo contrario el orden jurídico no sería unitario y coherente), más bien aplica técnicamente una determinada norma a dos hechos A y B (Sachverhalt) que son plausibles de comparación en su aspecto material (Sachzusammenhang). La similitud o la diferencia entre los dos hechos sigue un criterio (el tertium comparationis) que no se basa en la relación meramente lógica entre los dos supuestos materiales. El caso (Sachverhalt) al cual debemos aplicar la analogía, no representa un vacío para el sistema en sentido estricto, sino un hecho (Tatbestand) que exige una extensión o aplicación analógico-jurídica.

¿Para qué nos sirve comprender la analogía jurídica? para lo siguiente: la analogía político-teológica de Schmitt presupone una unidad coherente entre un orden político-jurídico y un orden político-religioso cualquiera, más allá de la formas históricas que ambos  órdenes posean: se trata de una unidad entre un vínculo material y un vínculo espiritual, un vínculo que adquiere únicamente diferentes formas históricas en el tiempo. No se trata de una unidad “ontológico-metafísica”, o una nueva “filosofía de la historia”, puesto que el vínculo de esta unidad material-espiritual está permanentemente expuesto a la contingencia. Se trata, en la teoría schmittiana, de la figura del enemigo y del caso excepcional (ver más adelante). Es precisamente esta componente de permanente y contingente apertura de la mencionada unidad hacia lo impredecible (en sentido realista), hacia aquello que puede poner en juego su integridad, lo que permite ver dicha unidad material-espiritual de ambos órdenes como una identidad, una identidad ontológico-política.

Para ver esta unidad con más claridad, Schmitt  primero radicaliza ideal-típicamente (en el sentido de llevar a la raíz) la  componente material de los conceptos jurídicos, con el objetivo de mostrarnos el fundamento político-decisorio “detrás” de ellos en el tiempo. Según Schmitt, este nexo entre la analogía y su vínculo político-decisorio se puede observar si analizamos con atención, en el tiempo, la formas últimas de los conceptos jurídicos, es decir,  la relación entre el vínculo político-material que introduce una norma y el vínculo ideo-lógico que la vuelve legitima en el tiempo como orden social precisamente.

Se trata de un método hermenéutico ideal-típico que puede aplicarse a cualquier periodo histórico y que ha sido desarrollado con éxito (por el lado histórico-semántico) por un alumno de Schmitt, Reinhart Koselleck.  En el fondo se puede notar un concepto muy peculiar de ideo-logía, de análisis ideo-lógico. Se trata de un análisis que no es marxista, si vemos bien (pre-marxista más bien): entre dos hechos A y B, como en el caso de la analogía ordinaria mencionada, la analogía schmittiana no observa dos ordenamientos que se relacionan causalmente (una estructura económica y una superestructura “cultural”, digamos ilustrativamente), sino dos “estructuras” instituidas, dos concretos status quo A y B, uno material y el otro espiritual (no sólo cultural), que se relacionan isomorficamente y se conservan en el tiempo a través del permanente superamiento del vacío de la excepción y la exclusión del enemigo (Katechon). Contingencia, isomorfismo y mantenimiento entonces, o en los términos de Niklas Luhmann si se quiere: variación, selección, estabilidad (1). Veamos un ejemplo gráfico para poder ser más claros. El gráfico se refiere al tercer capítulo de la PT I (material interno del Geviert-Kreis):

Del cristal de Hobbes a la esferas de Schmitt

Podemos observar dos esferas unidas horizontalmente por un vínculo de identidad analógico entre ellas (analogische Identitat). El vínculo es horizontalmente analógico porque determina dos identidades homogéneas cada una con el propio fundamento institutivo, ordenador. En el ejemplo, se pueden ver dos realidades espirituales: la axiomática, referida a la lógica clásica, fundamento de la epistemología moderna (Axiomatik), y el dogma cristiano. Se note que, desde el método Schmittiano, ambas realidades son complementarias (tarea para los que creen todavía weltanschaulich en la separación entre religión y ciencia). Pero observemos primero la relación externa a las esferas. Podemos notar que este vínculo horizontal de identidad analógica está fundado en un vínculo material vertical que es la existencia política concreta (konkret-politisches Dasein). Se note que el vínculo material es exterior a las esferas. Esta existencia es concreta porque se basa en una decisión (Entscheidung) a partir de un espacio territorial determinado (Erde). El momento decisorio (Entscheidung) tiene  una función axial precisa que permite la re-producción permanente de la decisiones colectivas vinculantes erga omnes en el tiempo, ya sea verticalmente como re-presentación política (Repraesentation), que horizontalmente como autoridad (politisches Symbole). A esta dinámica virtuosa se añade la legitimidad, que es legitimidad procedural, técnica (Technik). Esta triple dinámica alrededor del eje decisorio, entre el símbolo político, la técnica y la representación política (ver rectángulo inferior),  está a la base misma del vínculo de identidad analógico entre las dos esferas superiores (ver flecha central). Se note ahora a la izquierda, completamente externo a la triple dinámica axial,  al enemigo (Feind). El enemigo es el posesor del poder contingente, aquel que determina esta triple dinámica decisoria en su estricto y unívoco sentido político-ontológico: el enemigo determina, desde la contingencia, la existencia misma de toda la relación dinámica mencionada, convirtiendo el vínculo analógico identitario entre las esferas, en un vínculo político-ontológico concreto. Veamos ahora la relación isomórfica, esférica, que se crea a partir de este vínculo político-ontológico.

Observemos ahora el interior de las esferas. Un determinado orden histórico-político o status quo (por ejemplo la monarquía o la liberal-democracia) determina siempre, como fundamento de su mantenimiento en el tiempo, un isomorfismo entre un aspecto material y un aspecto espiritual. Esto quiere decir que un determinado status quo político-social (la monarquía, la democracia liberal) y un orden metafísico-teológico (Dios en la monarquía; el individuo o sujeto abstracto en el deismo liberal neo-humanista respectivamente) se fundan entre sí especularmente de manera autológica y autoreferencial (Spiegelindetitat). Se trata de dos realidades concretas en relación isomórfica en dos momentos históricos diferentes, no se da una “base” o “estructura” y una “sobre”estructura entre ambos. Se note además que estamos al interior de la esfera: tanto el lado material (el ordenamiento político-jurídico, material, la juristische Gestaltung)  como el espiritual (los conceptos y categorías jurídico-teológicas, die lezte jur. Begrifffe) son relacionalmente lo mismo finalmente. Estamos lejos de cualquier “teoría del reflejo” o concepto de ideología marxista. Estamos mucho más cerca, sin duda, de los primeros idéologues franceses (destutt de Tracy), que veían un nexo orgánico y concreto entre las ideas, los contenidos ideacionales y un determinado orden político-social. Justamente por este nexo orgánico entre lo espiritual y lo material, pensamos que la representación adecuada para esta lectura de Schmitt sea una esfera.

Resumiendo: 1) dos esferas o identidades espirituales perfectamente isomórficas (geistliche Identität 1 y 2). En nuestra interpretación, una de ellas se funda (Grund), por ejemplo, en el dogma y la otra en la axiomática lógico-racional clásica (Aristóteles, Descartes). 2) al interior de cada esfera espiritual encontramos un principio de identidad y causa estrictamente especular (Spiegelindentität) entre dos concepciones, aparentemente distintas. Se trata de esa aparente dualidad completamente moderna, por lo tanto espuria, entre una “esfera material” y una “esfera espiritual” que  se fundan y se auto-legitiman en la negación de la otra y viceversa. En el esquema vemos los ejemplos que introduce Schmitt, es decir, la realidad histórico-política con su “base” económico-social (la “estructura” marxiana) y su respectiva “sobreestructura” ideológica. La lucha aquí es aparente. 3) Tales analogías de caracter autoreferente y autológico se representan recursivamente y permanentemente en la historia al interior de cada esfera, cuyo isomorfismo fundamental (dogma religioso y lógica clásica) es inmóvil. La inmovilidad no se funda en un principio abstracto, sino en la forma precisa de una causa agente que modifica o introduce tal estado, en nuestro caso, la decisión (Entscheidung). La representación del acto decisorio se da en un lugar preciso, su ordenamiento (la tierra, die Erde). Instrumentos de este orden son la técnica y el simbolismo político-religioso (la  re-presentación). La decisión determina el equilibrio isomórfico entre las dos esferas. Este es el tertium comparationis de Schmitt entre un momento histórico y el otro, lo que le permite observar similitudes y diferencias en dos momentos históricos: la decisión. El ámbito de la decisión es el ámbito de la existencia concreta, que es ortogonal a las dos esferas y siempre expuesto al enemigo.

En otro post veremos más de cerca un ejemplo concreto a partir del mencionado texto sobre Donoso.


(1) Ver Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft de N. Luhmann.  Como en el caso de la teoría luhmaniana, se notará una implícita perspectiva neo-evolucionista detrás de este método schmittiano, muy afín al actual análisis de la evolucionary economics (pero que Schmitt extiende originalmente al campo de los contenidos ideacionales (Mannheim), en sentido  ideo-lógico no-marxista) y la teoría político-institucional de la Path dependence.

lundi, 08 mars 2010

Amor, milagro, excepcion: la Rosa mistica en Dante y Schmitt

Amor, milagro, excepción: La Rosa mística en Dante y Schmitt

Giovanni B. Krähe - Ex: http://geviert.wordpress.com/

Advenimiento como ordo ordinans: Amor como accidente in sustanzia

rose-hiver.jpgLa Vita nuova (1292-1293) de Dante  es el canto que prepara a la  recta lectura de la Divina commedia. El lector atento sabe que el ejercicio necesario para la compresión del Amor dantesco en términos impersonales y político-religiosos, depende del soneto de la Vita nuova. Se trata, en este breve libro, de la compresión del dogma del Milagro como evento del Automaton (la casualidad), como la realización del evento excepcional  en el accidente. En Dante el Automaton es la inmediatez ineluctable y subitánea del advenimiento en su Ahora perpetuo bajo la forma del saluto. Il saluto (saludo) irrumpe en el tiempo (lo crea más precisamente) para imponer su Salud: Beatrice (1). Se trata, en otras palabras, del advenimiento de un nuevo orden bajo la forma del acontecimiento fortuito: se trata del orden necesario de lo excepcional (genitivo subjetivo). El advenimiento necesario de lo excepcional como (nuevo) orden es  un problema que Carl Schmitt en su politische Theologie resuelve invirtiendo radicalmente el principio de lo accidental en Aristóteles (Schmitt, PT: 21). En efecto, Schmitt y Dante saben que el Automaton era considerado por los antiguos como un principio extrínseco que afecta a los entes. La causa era un principio necesario, por lo tanto, intrínseco. En vez de observar una regularidad procesual aparente en los acontecimientos y luego una irregularidad en tal proceso como eventual excepción, Dante y Schmitt observan más bien la realización en el evento de la analogía entre necesidad y casualidad. Se podría hablar de un isomorfismo, de un único principio en acto que irrumpe en la Physis y que se refleja tanto en la forma de los entes (la belleza por ejemplo), como en todo lo que le toca y le tocará vivir al ente como posibilidad. Frente a tal irrupción indeterminada, el ser humano tiene únicamente dos posibilidades, dos polos donde puede expresar su capacidad de deliberación y vivirla como libertad prescrita: imitar la irrupción paraclética del Automaton en la Physis como rito (mímesis religiosa) o enfrentarse a ella con su Techne. Se reflexione cómo los antiguos y la sociedades tradicionales logran colectivamente un equilibrio entre estos dos polos. En efecto, las virtudes antiguas – con excepción de las teologales, es decir, la caridad, la esperanza, la fe – son principios de equilibrio entre Automaton y Techne, o modernamente expresado, entre contingencia y técnica. Para Dante y Schmitt toda la teleología aristótelica, como la finalidad del ente, se realiza completamente en el momento constitutivo e inicial de su orden como advenimiento: un orden que se reproduce  una y otra vez en su Ahora (Jeweiligkeit) como acontecimiento, determinando una identidad que se realiza intrínsecamente una y otra vez (jeweils) entre la esencia del ente y lo que esta manifiesta  como tiempo y forma. Dicha relación intrínseca es (west) la identidad del ente (2).

En Dante, más evidente que en Schmitt sin duda, toda la finalidad del acontecer del ente se realiza completamente en un advenimiento sutil, al parecer inocuo: il saluto, el saludo de Beatrice. Se podría afirmar que en Dante lo excepcional muestra además un aspecto de carácter salvífico completamente indeterminado, no por esto menos ineluctable: es, en efecto, el encuentro completamente fortuito con Beatrice lo que permite la visión de la Salud (Dante, Vita nuova: 3). Si consideramos, entonces, esta inversión de Aristóteles a partir de ambos autores, debemos concluir rectamente que cualquier acontecimiento exterior, no sólo aquello que no se da como regular-procesual, debe ser considerado como excepcional. No se trata de una inversión meramente lógica. No todo acontecimiento adviene (!) en su finalidad última completamente, como no todo acontecer es salvífico o logramos notar la Salud que nos muestra y ofrece (3). Es precisamente esta (aparente) “latencia” en el telos del ente como tiempo lo que determina toda su posibilidad y toda su necesidad ya escrita. Para poder comprender esto, necesitamos introducir, además del Automaton, un ulterior principio extrínseco al ente, que define precisamente la irrupción de lo excepcional como posible momento salvífico o como completo fracaso: la Tyche (fortuna). Con estos dos principios podemos notar que el tiempo del ente (genitivo subjetivo) es tiempo dramático, es drama permanente. En Dante y Schmitt, la excepción, lo excepcional, se convierten en la regla porque “lo excepcional se explica a sí mismo y explica lo general… lo excepcional piensa lo general con enérgica pasión” (Schmitt citando a Kierkegaard, PT: 21).

Del advenimiento al acontecimiento: el acontecimiento como ordo ordinatur

A diferencia de Dante, Schmitt concentra su interés en la compresión de un aspecto específico del advenimiento, es decir, el acontecimiento en su irrupción dada en el tiempo. Es la comprensión de la mencionada latencia télica como ordo ordinatur, como orden constituido que crea el tiempo de los hombres (el Estado por ejemplo). Se trata de la compresión del orden constituido que (se) realiza kathechontisch (“kathechonticamente”) una y otra vez, (en) su finalidad. Este orden constituido se realiza en el ámbito (Be-Reich) completamente contingente y paraclético de lo excepcional: se trata de la permanencia, conservación y realización del destino del ente en el ámbito (Reich) del mencionado Automaton. Es el mismo ámbito contingente desde donde surge, victorioso o derrotado, el enemigo, “nuestra única forma” dirá Schmitt. Para Schmitt (y los Románticos), aquello que denominamos corrientemente “naturaleza” o ambiente “externo” (Um-welt) es comprendido en los términos de abismo (Ab-grund), o más modernamente como contingencia. El término Um-Welt, (ambiente), es todo aquello indeterminado que rodea (um) el mundo (Welt) (4). La metafísica dantesca nos muestra, en cambio, el otro lado especular del mismo evento: nos enseña el acontecimiento como advenimiento, es decir nos muestra la inversión schmittiana de Aristóteles sin ninguna mediación temporal, ni procesual, ni final en su sentido moderno: nos muestra todo el acahecer de un único evento puntualmente como accidente amoroso in sustanzia (Dante, Vita Nuova, XXV). El soneto dantesco nos permite, entonces, comprender el mismo evento que Schmitt estudia, pero como el advenimiento que crea el tiempo, que crea su tiempo: como ordo ordinans, como orden constituyente. Es pues legítimo indagar próximamente el nexo entre Dante y Schmitt como el nexo analógico entre Amor (evento), milagro (advenimiento) y excepción (acontecimiento). En este Orden, el Amor es la gnosis (política y religiosa) que le es propia a la relación entre milagro y excepción: la Rosa mística.


(1) En la simbología dantesca il saluto, (el saludo) mantiene la misma raíz etimológica con el saludo beato o bienaventurado, la Salute (Salud).

(2) No es casual que Heidegger use el sustantivo alemán Wesen (esencia) como verbo: es decir, wesen. Tal vez “existente” sea su traducción más apropiada en castellano, es decir, como participio presente, no como su sustantivación: lo existente. Se haga el ejercicio de declinar el verbo heideggeriano wesen rectamente  y se comprenderá inmediatamente a Heidegger, sin necesidad de mucho manierismo hermenéutico postmoderno á la Gianni Vattimo.

(3) Algo que impone necesariamente una gnoseología (barroca) que remplace completamente el mirar por el admirar (El reflejo).

(4) se haga el ejercicio de redefinir completamente ( o interpretar rectamente), bajo esta definición de Umwelt, el término Lebenswelt.

dimanche, 14 février 2010

Günter Maschke: Der Fragebogen


Günter MASCHKE: Der Fragebogen


◊ Wo möchten Sie jetzt am liebsten sein?


Ich bin, wo ich bin.


◊ Wofür lassen Sie alles stehen und liegen?


Für ein bestimmtes Antiquariat.


◊ Was bedeutet Heimat für Sie?


Die Möglichkeit, arglos zu sein.


◊ Was ist Ihnen wichtig im Leben?




◊ Was haben Ihnen Ihre Eltern mitgegeben?


Vom Vater hoffentlich Durchblick.


◊ Welches Buch hat Sie nachhaltig beeinflusst?


Von Adorno „Minima Moralia“ und von Carl Schmitt „Der Begriff des Politischen“.


◊ Welches Ereignis ist für die Welt das einschneidendste gewesen?


Die Entdeckung Amerikas.


◊ Was bedeutet Musik für Sie?


Der frühe Udo Lindenberg, Chansons.


◊ Was möchten sie verändern?


Die Mentalität der Deutschen.


◊ Woran glauben Sie?


An Gott.


◊ Welche Werte sollen wir unseren Kindern weitergeben?


Resistenz gegenüber der veröffentlichten Meinung.


◊ Welche Bedeutung hat der Tod für Sie?


Er wirkt im Voraus erzieherisch,und er hält zur Bescheidenheit an.


(Erst im Heft Nr. 24/1998 der „Jungen Freiheit“ (Berlin) erschienen).


dimanche, 07 février 2010

Piet Tommissen: een krasse tachtiger

Piet Tommissen : Een krasse tachtiger

Peter Logghe - http://www.peterlogghe.be/

Professor dr. Em. Piet Tommissen staat helemaal achter het principe dat men nooit te oud is om actief te blijven, ook intellectueel. Op zijn 82ste presteert deze oud-academicus het om een bundeling bijdragen te publiceren. Bedenkingen en interessante achtergrondinformatie onder andere bij het ontstaan en de evolutie van een tijdschrift als Golfslag, een kort essay over Wies Moens als heraut van de ‘konservatieve revolutie’ in Vlaanderen. Een bedrage over de zogenaamde Politieke Academie als tussenoorlogs conservatief vormingsinstituut, en over ‘De Gemeenschap’ van pater Bonifaas Luykx tot de wet van Brück.

tommissenboek.jpgVoor wie professor Tommissen niet zou kennen, hij gaat de wereld rond als dé Carl Schmitt-kenner bij uitstek, die gans Europa ons trouwens benijdt. Derhalve kunnen we niet om de vaststelling heen dat zowat elke grote natie zijn Schmitt-renaissance heeft gekend, met uitzondering van dit dwergenlandje België. Terwijl juist hier…inderdaad!

Maar niet alleen de jurist Carl Schmitt behoort tot de geprefereerde onderzoeksdomeinen van Piet Tommissen. Zo behoren ook de Italiaanse topintellectueel Vilfredo Pareto tot zijn lezerslijstje. Professor Tommisssen moet trouwens ook een van de eersten zijn geweest die het Mohleriaans begrip ‘konservatieve revolutie’ in de Lage Landen binnenbracht en enkele Vlaamse en Nederlandse jongeren een fascinatie voor het onderwerp zou meegeven dat een leven lang zou blijven duren.

Op 82-jarige leeftijd publiceren en dat dan de titel “Buitenissigheden” als titel meegeven: prachtig gewoon. Met bijzondere interesse heb ik kennis genomen van de wet van Brück – waarbij het aardmagnetisme als verklaringsgrond wordt gebruikt voor het cyclische geschiedenisverloop – en van de studie over Wies Moens, die ik in een Duitse versie ook al ergens kon lezen. Vooral boeide mij zijn studie over het ontstaan van het Vlaamse tijdschrift Golfslag. Dit kwam tot stand uit de vruchtbare samenkomsten van jongeren tijdens en na de jongste Wereldoorlog. Bijeenkomsten in Knokke-Heist en later in Antwerpen en waarbij steeds dezelfde namen terugkomen: Manu Ruys, Ivo Michiels, Adriaan De Roover, Hugo en Arnold Van der Hallen. Volgens historicus Etienne Verhoeyen een “extreem rechts tijdschrift”, maar het onderzoek van professor Piet Tommissen legt toch heel wat andere accenten bloot. De doelstelling van Golfslag bijvoorbeeld had weinig of geen extreem rechtse kleur: het wilde ‘jong, durvend en gelovend’ zijn. En een van de initiatiefnemer, Hugo Van der Hallen, verwoordde het bijvoorbeeld zo: “Golfslag wilde provoceren, uitdagen, progressief, niet conservatief, niet berustend maar durvend”. Of iets verder in het gesprek liet Van der Hallen zich ontvallen: “Golfslag was dus niet een project van jongeren die zich tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog van de officiële VNV-koers hadden gedistanciëerd. Ik was bij mijn weten de enige van het groepje die zich tijdens de oorlog enigszins politiek had geëngageerd. Het was in eerste instantie ene project van katholieke studenten die in het achterhoofd meer aan een soort heropbloei van het AKVS dachten”.

Een oplage van ongeveer 2.000 exemplaren: niet mis voor een blad dat in de moeilijke en zware naoorlogse repressietoestand verscheen; Professor Tommissen kon meticuleus een lijst van medewerkers, losse en vaste, bijeenbrengen en daar zitten veel interessante namen bij, dat moet gezegd. Golfslag zou uiteindelijk ten onder gaan onder invloed van verschillende factoren. Verschillende kernmedewerkers werden voor opslorpende professionele taken geplaatst, de tijdsgeest verplaatste zich gedeeltelijk naar andere interessedomeinen en een louter cultureel tijdschrift bleek minder aan een behoefte te beantwoorden. In 1949 stopte de redactie er mee, maar andere initiatieven waren ondertussen al opgestart en zagen op een andere plaats het levenslicht.

Deze “Buitenissigheden” geven de geïnteresseerde zeer aangename leesmomenten, vooral omdat de stijl van professor em. Piet Tommissen zeer soepel gebleven is, ondanks (of juist door) de hoge leeftijd van de auteur. Piet Tommissen publiceerde in 2007 al over Georges Sorel en zou dit jaar een werk over Hugo Ball op de markt brengen. Nouvelle Ecole, het Franse tijdschrift (of jaarboek) van Alain de Benoist, brengt in november een speciaal nummer uit over Georges Sorel, met daarin een tekst van de onvermoeibare Piet Tommissen. Wij kijken alvast met veel interesse uit naar volgende buitenissigheden en roepen de auteur toe: ad multos annos!

Tommissen, P., “Nieuwe Buitenissigheden”, 2007, Apsis S.A., La Hulpe, 188 pag.
ISBN 2 – 9600590 – 3 – 4.


jeudi, 07 janvier 2010

La excepcion en Carl Schmitt - Una exposicion introductoria

La excepción en Carl Schmitt

Una exposición introductoria

Christian Reátegui / Ex:

La previsión de una dictadura comisarial en los dos últimos textos constitucionales peruanos ha pasado inadvertida. Para comenzar, la positivización del concepto jurídico de medida en dichos textos constitucionales ha pasado sin mayores comentarios. Tanto en la Constitución peruana de 1979 como en la de 1993 podemos leer textos similares:

Constitución de 1979“Artículo 211º.- Son obligaciones y atribuciones del Presidente de la República:
18.- Adoptar las medidas necesarias para la defensa de la República, la integridad del territorio y la soberanía en caso de agresión.”

Constitución de 1993

"Artículo 118º.- Corresponde al Presidente de la República:
15.- Adoptar las medidas necesarias para la defensa de la República, de la integridad del territorio y de la soberanía del Estado".

Se ha dicho que los constituyentes peruanos de 1979 adoptaron la fórmula de la empleada en el artículo 16 de la Constitución francesa de 1958, que fue a su vez recogida del texto del famoso artículo 48 de la Constitución de Weimar (1919). Lo que es menos conocido es que este artículo 48 fue el centro de un debate jurídico rico e intenso en la Alemania de esos años acerca de sus alcances y, en última instancia, acerca del concepto de Constitución, debate en el que el concepto de medida (maßnahme) desempeñó un papel central. Para el jurista alemán
Carl Schmitt dicho artículo sustentaba la posibilidad de una Dictadura del Presidente del Reich. Es más, dicho artículo devenía en el referente interpretativo de toda la Constitución:

“Artículo 48. Si un Land no cumpliese con sus obligaciones conforme a lo dispuesto en la Constitución o en una Ley del Reich, el Presidente del Reich podrá hacérselas cumplir con ayuda de las Fuerzas Armadas.
Si la seguridad y el orden públicos se viesen gravemente alterados o amenazados, el Presidente del Reich podrá adoptar las medidas necesarias para el restablecimiento de la seguridad y orden públicos, utilizando incluso las Fuerzas Armadas si fuera necesario. A tal fin puede suspender temporalmente el disfrute total o parcial de los derechos fundamentales recogidos en los artículos 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 y 153.
El Presidente del Reich está obligado a informar inmediatamente al Reichstag de la adopción de todas las medidas tomadas conforme a los párrafos 1º y 2º de este artículo. Las medidas deberán ser derogadas a petición del Reichstag.
En caso de peligro por demora, el Gobierno de cualquier Land podrá aplicar provisionalmente medidas de carácter similar a las referidas en el párrafo 2º de este artículo. Las medidas deberán ser derogadas a petición del Reichstag o del Presidente del Reich.
Una ley del Reich desarrollará el resto"

Para Schmitt el párrafo 2º, primera parte, de este artículo contiene el fundamento constitucional de un apoderamiento para una comisión de acción ilimitada, en términos precisos, una dictadura comisarial. Sobre la verificación o no del presupuesto (alteración o amenaza de la seguridad y del orden públicos) para dicho apoderamiento, decide de por sí el Presidente. De acuerdo a Schmitt, el párrafo 2º, en su parte primera, constituía derecho vigente y no requería la ley que desarrollara el estado de excepción que preveía el 5º párrafo. Ante el acaecimiento de alteración o amenaza de la seguridad y del orden públicos, el Presidente podía adoptar todas las medidas necesarias (nötigen Maßnahmen), cuya necesidad era evaluada de acuerdo a las circunstancias y al solo arbitrio del propio Presidente. En consecuencia la dictadura Presidencial cuya posibilidad preveía la Constitución de Weimar, se concretizaba en la adopción de medidas.

Para Schmitt una medida era una acción individualizada o una disposición general, adoptada frente a una situación concreta que se considera anormal, y que es, por lo tanto, superable, con una pretensión de vigencia por tiempo no indefinido. Una medida se caracteriza por su dependencia de la situación objetiva concreta. Ello supone que la magnitud de la medida, su procedimiento y su eficacia jurídica dependen de la naturaleza de las circunstancias. El aforismo latino rebus sic stantibus preside su adopción y ejecución. Ahora bien, la dictadura comisarial desarrollada por Schmitt no significaba la disolución del orden jurídico existente ni que el Presidente deviniese en soberano, ya que las medidas era sólo de naturaleza fáctica y no podían ser equiparadas con actos de legislación ni de administración de justicia, sin que ello significase que no se pudiesen tomar medidas que se aproximaran por sus resultados y consecuencias prácticas a fallos judiciales, decisiones administrativas conseguidas tras un procedimiento previamente establecido o a normas generales (leyes y/o reglamentos), pero que jurídicamente no serían equiparables en significado ni en eficacia jurídicas. Esto porque una medida no podía reformar, derogar o suspender preceptos constitucionales, pero sí podía desconocerlos, separándose de ellos para un caso concreto o una generalidad de casos concretos, en lo que Schmitt llamaba “quebrantamiento” (durchbrechung) de la Constitución. Hay que apuntar que, de acuerdo a Schmitt, hay que distinguir entre Constitución y leyes constitucionales. La Constitución sería la decisión de conjunto de un pueblo acerca de la forma y modo de su unidad política, mientras que las leyes constitucionales serían los preceptos o normas que, por una razón u otra, han sido recogidas en el texto constitucional. Entonces para nuestro autor la Constitución es intangible, mientras que las leyes constitucionales (preceptos o normas) no, por lo que pueden ser “quebrantadas” por las medidas para un caso determinado o casos determinados, y ello sólo en defensa de la propia Constitución en estados de excepción. Hay que precisar que cualquier ley constitucional podría ser desconocida puntualmente por las medidas (o “quebrantada”) y no sólo las que contienen derechos fundamentales, como sucede con lo permitido por la norma de la segunda parte del párrafo 2º como más adelante veremos.

Un ejemplo para clarificar la diferencia entre medida y decisión administrativa, sería la que da el propio Schmitt a propósito de lo establecido en el artículo 129º de la Constitución de Weimar. Este artículo preveía una serie de garantías a favor de los funcionarios, así, sólo podrían ser privados de su cargo mediante un procedimiento conforme a Derecho, tenían la posibilidad de interponer recursos impugnatorios, el respeto a sus derechos adquiridos, etc. A pesar de ello, a través de una medida se podría suspender a determinados funcionarios y confiar su cargo a otras personas. Tales medidas tendrían efectos o resultados jurídicos, pero no la eficacia de una decisión adoptada tras un proceso disciplinario que concluyese con la separación definitiva del cargo del funcionario. Esto significa que el funcionario suspendido continuaría disfrutando (jurídicamente) de su status de funcionario, situación que no se daría con el separado jurídicamente del servicio. Asimismo, la persona encargada, mediante una medida, del cargo y de sus tareas públicas no conseguiría, por ello, alcanzar la situación jurídica de funcionario.

Para Schmitt no escapó que esta comisión para una dictadura presidencial, entraba en contradicción con lo establecido en la segunda parte de ese mismo 2º párrafo, que para él contenía otra norma que, junto al apoderamiento general de su primera parte, determinaba que para conseguir el restablecimiento de la seguridad y el orden públicos, el Presidente del Reich también podía suspender (suspension), es decir, poner temporalmente fuera de vigencia, en todo o en parte, a los derechos fundamentales contenidos en las leyes constitucionales de los artículos 114º (libertad personal), 115º (inviolabilidad del domicilio), 117º (secreto de la correspondencia y de correo), 118º (libertad de prensa), 123º (libertad de reunión), 124º (libertad de asociación) y 153º (propiedad privada). Esta contradicción, que, por un lado, permitía suspender toda el ordenamiento jurídico existente y, por otro, sólo permitía suspender una serie de derechos enumerados taxativamente, se debía, según Schmitt, a la confusión entre dictadura soberana y comisarial, que supone el considerar que el Presidente del Reich podía emitir ordenanzas con fuerza de ley sin considerar la distinción entre ley y medida y la asignación de competencias que conformaba la Constitución del Reich, y a la creencia ingenua que, en el Estado de Derecho burgués, la seguridad sólo podría ser puesto en peligro por individuos o grupos de individuos en tumultos y motines, no por organizaciones políticas, colectivos o agrupaciones solidarias, ya que los grupos intermedios y gremios de este tipo habían desaparecido.

Esta misma contradicción, entre la existencia del establecimiento de una dictadura presidencial (artículos 211 numeral 18 de la Constitución de 1979, y 118 numeral 15 de la Constitución de 1993) con la de un régimen de excepción limitado (artículos 231 de la Constitución de 1979, y 137 de la Constitución de 1993) se ha dado, a nuestro entender, tanto en la Constitución peruana anterior como en la actual. Basta con leer el artículo 231º de la Constitución de 1979 y el 137º de la que nos rige actualmente:

Constitución de 1979

"Artículo 231.- El Presidente de la República, con acuerdo del Consejo de Ministros, decreta, por plazo determinado, en todo o parte del territorio y dando cuenta al Congreso o a la Comisión Permanente, los estados de excepción que en este artículo se contemplan:

a.- Estado de emergencia, en caso de perturbación de la paz o del orden interno, de catástrofe o de graves circunstancias que afecten la vida de la Nación. En esta eventualidad, puede suspender las garantías constitucionales relativas a la libertad y seguridad personales, la inviolabilidad del domicilio, la libertad de reunión y de tránsito en el territorio, que se contemplan en los incisos 7, 9 y 10 del artículo 2º y en el inciso 20-g del mismo artículo 2º. En ninguna circunstancia se puede imponer la pena de destierro. El plazo del estado de emergencia no excede de sesenta días. La prórroga requiere nuevo decreto. En estado de emergencia, las Fuerzas Armadas asumen el control del orden interno cuando lo dispone el Presidente de la República.

b.- Estado de sitio, en caso de invasión, guerra exterior, o guerra civil, o peligro inminente de que se produzcan, con especificación de las garantías personales que continúan en vigor. El plazo correspondiente no excede de cuarenta y cinco días. Al decretarse el estado de sitio el Congreso se reúne de pleno derecho. La prórroga requiere aprobación del Congreso”

Constitución de 1993

“Artículo 137.- El Presidente de la República, con acuerdo del Consejo de Ministros, puede decretar, por plazo determinado, en todo el territorio nacional, o en parte de él, y dando cuenta al Congreso o a la Comisión Permanente, los estados de excepción que en este artículo se contemplan:

1.- Estado de emergencia, en caso de perturbación de la paz o del orden interno, de catástrofe o de graves circunstancias que afecten la vida de la Nación. En esta eventualidad, pueden restringirse o suspenderse el ejercicio de los derechos constitucionales relativos a la libertad y la seguridad personales, la inviolabilidad del domicilio, y la libertad de reunión y de tránsito en el territorio comprendidos en los incisos 9, 11 y 12 del artículo 2º y en el inciso 24, apartado f del mismo artículo. En ninguna circunstancia se puede desterrar a nadie.

El plazo de emergencia no excede de sesenta días. Su prórroga requiere nuevo decreto. En estado de emergencia las Fuerzas Armadas asumen el control del orden interno si así lo dispone el Presidente de la República.

2.- Estado de sitio, en caso de invasión, guerra exterior, guerra civil, o peligro inminente de que se produzcan, con mención de los derechos fundamentales cuyo ejercicio no se restringe o suspende. El plazo correspondiente no excede de cuarenta y cinco días. Al decretarse el estado de sitio, el Congreso se reúne de pleno derecho. La prórroga requiere aprobación del Congreso".

El que el artículo 55 de la Constitución actual, que prescribe que los tratados celebrados por el Estado, y que se encuentren en vigor, forman parte del derecho nacional, y la 4º Disposición Final y Transitoria que dispone que las normas relativas a los derechos y a las libertades que la Constitución reconoce se interpretan de conformidad con la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos y con los tratados y acuerdos internacionales sobre dichas materias ratificadas por el Perú, pueden dar la impresión que el problema jurídico se ha zanjado. Ello puede ser considerado efectivamente así, pero pasa por alto que toda disciplina jurídica que pretende tener vigencia en el tiempo, es decir, eficacia social, no puede responder a autoengaños a partir de visiones ideologizadas de experiencias pasadas. Sobre ello queda mucho por abundar aún.