Carl Schmitt THEORIST FOR THE REICH by Joseph J. Bendersky

By Joseph J. Bendersky

Basing his paintings at the writings of Schmitt and his contemporaries, wide new archival documentation, and components of Schmitt's own papers, Professor Bendersky makes use of Schmitt's public profession as a framework for re-evaluating his contributions to political and felony thought. This publication establishes that Schmitt's overdue Weimar writings have been directed at fighting instead of encouraging the Nazi acquisition of power.

Originally released in 1983.

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None of these figures were 22 Carl Schmitt, Verfassungslehre (Berlin, 1928), p. 97. 23 Thereafter, Schmitt favored the stabilization of the political situation in Germany within the context of the Weimar constitution. Unfortunately, the very survival of the newborn republic would remain in doubt for several years. Events would not grant Weimar the breathing space so necessary for recovery or stabilization. Within a matter of months after the con­ stitution had been ratified, the government would be on the verge of collapse, challenged by overt assaults from extremists.

See also Rudolf A. Metall, Hans Kelsen: Leben und Werk (Vienna, 1969). 44 Schmitt, Politische Theologie, p. 25. , pp. 20-22, 29-33. 42 EARLY YEARS, 1888-1921 vinced that any legal philosophy that hoped to relate to the real world, particularly in Weimar Germany, must take into account the exceptional as well as the normal situation. The particular problem Schmitt had in mind was the Ausnahmezustand, a situation in which domestic order, or the very existence of the state, was seriously endangered by political or economic crises.

Society and history, cosmos and humanity, were but occasions for the productivity of this genial Ich. 15 It had been this "subjective occasionalism," Schmitt be­ lieved, that allowed the romantics to associate themselves with the most varying, often contradictory, political and philosophical viewpoints. 16 Schmitt noted that while in Gottingen Miiller became an Anglophile, in the feudal milieu of Berlin extremely feudal, and in the clerical circles of Vienna very clerical. From Schmitt's perspective, Miiller was an opportunist who treated politics as merely another occasion for his own romantic self-expression.

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