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

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 suggestion of the Political, issued in 1927, 1932, and 1933, political issues led him to hide the dependence of his political concept on his religion in divine revelation. In 1932 Leo Strauss released a serious evaluate of Concept that initiated an incredibly refined trade among Schmitt and Strauss concerning Schmitt’s critique of liberalism. even though Schmitt by no means spoke back Strauss publicly, within the 3rd version of his publication he replaced a few passages in line with Strauss’s criticisms. Now, during this dependent translation through J. Harvey Lomax, Heinrich Meier indicates us what the impressive discussion among Schmitt and Strauss finds concerning the improvement of those seminal thinkers.

Meier contends that their trade in basic terms ostensibly revolves round liberalism. At its center, their “hidden discussion” explores the basic clash among political theology and political philosophy, among revelation and reason­and eventually, the very important query of the way people should reside their lives.

“Heinrich Meier’s therapy of Schmitt’s writings is morally analytical with out moralizing, a notable feat in view of Schmitt’s prior. He needs to appreciate what Schmitt was once after instead of to push aside him out of hand or bowdlerize his strategies for modern political purposes.”—Mark Lilla, New York evaluation of Books 

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

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Though the individual may move in the various "provinces of culture" as a "free decision-maker," though he may seek or flee binding commitments there, consent to or disavow obliga­ tions, in the "sphere of the political" he encounters an objective, external force that affects him existentially, that makes a life-and-death claim upon him. He can "volun­ tarily die for whatever he wants to; that, like everything essential in an individualistic-liberal society, is altogether a 'private matter"' (49).

93 with pp. 2 1 , 88, 9 1 , 94; further, compare pp. 93-94 with the Concept of the Political, 67. On the use of "going beyond the political," cf. also Concept, 55, 65, 66-67, 77-78. THE HIDDEN DIALOGUE I 27 called wars "that go beyond the political" when the politi­ cal itself is supposed to denote the most extreme degree of intensity, a degree approached by oppositions between men ever more closely as these oppositions become more intense. No less misleading is the rhetoric of scholarly mod­ esty to which Schmitt reverts in 1 932 (26, 29).

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). The situation is different as soon as the enemy leaves the sphere of "pure politics" and, "going beyond the political," depreciates "his enemy si­ multaneously in moral and other categories" and makes him into "an inhuman monster that must be not only fended off but definitively annihilated, and thus is no longer even an enemy that can be treated objectively" (I, 9).

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