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

By Heinrich Meier

Carl Schmitt used to be the main recognized and debatable defender of political theology within the 20th century. yet in his best-known paintings, the concept that of the Political, issued in 1927, 1932, and 1933, political issues led him to hide the dependence of his political conception on his religion in divine revelation. In 1932 Leo Strauss released a serious evaluation of idea that initiated a very refined trade 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 dependent translation by means of J. Harvey Lomax, Heinrich Meier exhibits us what the outstanding discussion among Schmitt and Strauss finds concerning the improvement of those seminal thinkers.Meier contends that their alternate basically ostensibly revolves round liberalism. At its middle, their “hidden discussion” explores the elemental clash among political theology and political philosophy, among revelation and reason­and finally, the important query of the way people should dwell their lives. “Heinrich Meier’s remedy of Schmitt’s writings is morally analytical with no moralizing, a striking feat in view of Schmitt’s earlier. He needs to appreciate what Schmitt used to be after instead of to push aside him out of hand or bowdlerize his recommendations for modern political purposes.”—Mark Lilla, ny evaluate of Books 

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The concept of the intensity of the political allows Schmitt to encompass civil war and revolu­ tion. Now the enemy can easily be conceived as the rela­ tive, the brother, the equal. Disregarding that conse­ quence, Schmitt adheres to his statement that the enemy is "plainly the other, the alien . " True, he does not neglect to make a subtle correction here too. In the first edition it is the political enemy who "in case of conflict signifies the negation of one's own kind of existence. " In 1932, Schmitt says of each of the participants that "only he himself can decide whether the negation of his own kind of existence is signified in the otherness of the alien in the concrete, present case of conflict, and therefore whether that oth­ erness will be fended off or fought in order to preserve one's own, proper kind of life.

71-80; and Rihnischer Kathofizismus tmd pofitische Fonn ( Hellerau, 1 923), pp. 3 1 -32, 39-40, 66. , sl i ghrly alrered [Mun i ch, 1 925], pp. ) THE HIDDEN DIALOGUE I 21 does so only at the price of reducing the political to foreign policy. "War is armed conflict between nations" (1, 6). Nations are the subjects of politics. Organized into political units, they constitute the "pluriverse" of the political world (I, 19). In 1927, domestic politics is mentioned almost ex­ clusively with respect to foreign policy.

This objective interest in the issue, which determines his entire confrontation with Schmitt's thought, leads Strauss not only to place himself into the orbit of Schmitt's strength but to make Schmitt's argument stronger at deci­ sive points-and thus taken as a whole-than it really is. In face of the fundamental difficulty that besets Schmitt's undertaking in a liberal world, Strauss is glad to perform "the critic's duty to pay more attention to what distin­ guishes Schmitt from the prevailing view than to the re­ spects in which he merely fol lows the prevailing view" (N6).

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