Carl Schmitt's Critique of Liberalism: Against Politics as by John P. McCormick

By John P. McCormick

During this first in-depth serious appraisal in English of the writings of Carl Schmitt, John McCormick has supplied philosophers, historians, and political theorists with the main complete account of Schmitt's critique of liberalism to be had. He examines why expertise turns into a rallying cry for either correct- and left-wing intellectuals now and then whilst liberalism seems anachronistic, and exhibits the continuities among Weimar's ideological debates and people of our personal age.

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149. " See "Religious Rejections of the World and Their Directions," in From Max Weber, p. 357. " See "The Social Psychology of the World Religions," in From Max Weber, p. 282. Cf. also "Science as a Vocation," pp. 143, 154. , ed. Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978), p. 6; hereafter ES. ANTINOMIES OF T E C H N I C A L T H O U G H T 35 ment to the irresistible, objectively rational structures of the "iron cage" of modernity. I hope to explore these themes in a way that transcends the terms of the well-known debates over the normative and historical ramifications of the later Weber's theorizing of charisma and Fuhrerdemokratie issues that I take up again in Chapter 4.

Is out of humanity's control, has ceased to serve us, has enslaved us, and compelled us to participate in the preparation of our own destruction. And humanity can find no way out: we have no idea and no faith, and even less do we have a political conception to help us bring things back under human control. . " Havel, "The Power of the Powerless," in Living in Truth (London: Faber & Faber, 1987), pp. 114-16. Recently the editors of a volume on technology and politics expressed similar concerns: "Because of the intimate connection [of technology and liberalism], it does seem peculiarly difficult for thinkers working within the liberal democratic tradition to confront the problem of technology in its most radical forms, as the relative silence on the topic by liberal theorists -John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, and Robert Nozick, for example - would seem to indicate.

Chapter 6 concerns Schmitt's appropriation of the central intellectual figure of early-modern European state building, Thomas Hobbes. " To restore order to a German society on the brink of civil war in the late twenties and early thirties, Schmitt and Strauss revive the great seventeenth-century civil war theorist so as to refound the chaossuspending and order-establishing Leviathan state. According to these scholars, Hobbes's theory encouraged people to accept the "protection for obedience" proposition at the base of the liberal state by guaranteeing them a subjective freedom that could be expressed in commerce and the scientific-technological development of civil society.

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