Download Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue by Heinrich Meier PDF

By Heinrich Meier

Carl Schmitt was once the main recognized and arguable defender of political theology within the 20th century. yet in his best-known paintings, the idea that of the Political, issued in 1927, 1932, and 1933, political concerns led him to hide the dependence of his political idea on his religion in divine revelation. In 1932 Leo Strauss released a severe evaluate of idea that initiated a really sophisticated alternate among Schmitt and Strauss concerning Schmitt’s critique of liberalism. even though Schmitt by no means responded Strauss publicly, within the 3rd version of his e-book he replaced a few passages in line with Strauss’s criticisms. Now, during this stylish translation through J. Harvey Lomax, Heinrich Meier indicates us what the awesome discussion among Schmitt and Strauss finds in regards to the improvement of those seminal thinkers.Meier contends that their alternate basically ostensibly revolves round liberalism. At its middle, their “hidden discussion” explores the basic clash among political theology and political philosophy, among revelation and reason­and finally, the important query of ways humans should dwell their lives. “Heinrich Meier’s therapy of Schmitt’s writings is morally analytical with out moralizing, a impressive feat in view of Schmitt’s prior. He needs to appreciate what Schmitt used to be after instead of to brush off him out of hand or bowdlerize his options for modern political purposes.”—Mark Lilla, long island evaluate of Books 

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Extra info for Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue

Example text

He poses the question of the status natura/is. In the course of his probing back into the hidden, disre­ garded, forgotten foundation of culture, Strauss has Schmitt bring the Hobbesian concept of the state of nature into a place of honor again: When Hobbes describes the status natura/is as the status belli simply, according to Strauss that description when translated into Schmitt's terminology means that the status natura/is is "the genuinely political status" (Nl l). Just as for Hobbes "the nature of war consis­ teth not in actual fighting; but in the known disposition thereto" (Leviathan, XIII), so for Schmitt the political lies "not in fighting itself" "but in a behavior that is determined by this real possibility" (37).

Wesen und Werden des faschistischen Staates" ( 1 929), p. 1 14, and, further, "Staatsethik und pluralistischer Staat" (1930), p. 143 (in Positionen und Begriffe im Kampf mit Weimor-Genf-Versoilles 1923-1939 [ Hamburg, 1940]), and Stoat, Be- 20 I CARL S C H M ITT AN D LED STRAUSS evident" " that war is to be made only against a real en­ emy. " The necessary physical fending off of a "real enemy in the proper meaning" is " politically sensible," though Schmitt does not hesitate to point out that this statement is "not a legitimation or justification" but has "a purely existential meaning" (I, 1 7).

It is :1 critique that Schmitt strives for, yet does not himself bring ro a close. For the critique of liberalism that Schmitt under­ lakes is carried out and remains "in the horizon of liberal­ ism. " "His unliberal tendency" is o bstructed " by the still unvanquished ' systematics of l iberal thought' " (N35)-a systematics that, in Schmitt's own judgment, "despite all setbacks," has "still not been replaced by any other system in Europe today" (70). Put more precisely, what primarily interests Strauss in writing on the Concept of the Political is to complete the critique of liberalism.

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