Carl Schmitt: Positionen and Begriffe. The Difference Between Politics and the Political
The subject of consideration is the relationship between politics and the political, as it is presented in two dissertations by Carl Schmitt from the 1920s: the famous Der Begriff des Politischen and the most extensive work from this period – Verfassungslehre. The thesis of the article is that, contrary to the fairly widespread interpretation of both these phenomena, that is, politics in the common sense and its special form to which Carl Schmitt referred as the political, should not be treated as explanandum and explanans, but as separate, co-occurring and somewhat complementary phenomena. While politics involves state actions for the public interest, ideologically defined according to classic political categories, the political is a sphere of specific actions in the special space of relations sometimes formed between collective entities, defined by the terms enemy-friend, a space cognitively diagnosed by Carl Schmitt. The political is not a real form of politics, but a form of action in the sphere of collective life other than politics, which is essentially important for building the structure of the state. The disclosure of the political in the activities of individual countries is an important element of analysis in foreign policy, an element of analysis of a situation within international relations. Revealing the political as a kind of arcana imperi of state actions, Carl Schmitt appears not only and not primarily as a neutral theoretician of politics, but as a German national political thinker, analysing primarily the situation of Germany in relation to the Entente countries at a very special moment in the history of twentieth-century Europe.
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