The Concept of the Political
The German edition
|Language||German (trans. to English by George Schwab)|
|Publisher||Rutgers University Press|
|LC Class||JA 74 .S313|
The Concept of the Political (German: Der Begriff des Politischen) is a 1927 work by the German philosopher and jurist Carl Schmitt. In it, Schmitt examines the fundamental nature of the "political" and its place in the modern world.
Schmitt attacks the "liberal-neutralist" and "utopian" notions that politics can be removed of all warlike, agonistic energy, arguing conflict existed as embedded in existence itself, likewise constituting an ineradicable trait of anthropological human nature. Schmitt attempts to substantiate his ideas by referencing the declared anthropological pessimism of "realistic" Catholic (and Christian) theology. The anti-perfectibilist pessimism of Traditional Catholic theology Schmitt considers esoterically relevant to the inner ontological being of politics and political activity in the contemporary world, modern people subconsciously secularizing theological intellectual ideas and concerns. Schmitt criticizes political "radicals" as basically ignorant, deluded, pseudo-messianic in mentality, and oblivious to the stark, hard knowledge of unveiled human nature, its esse, encoded in ancient theology, wherein Original Sin held central, axial place, intertwining his own ideas of meta-politics with a reformulated "metaphysics of evil".
The Concept of the Political was first published in 1927, while Germany was governed by the Weimar Republic. In 1932, with the Nazi ascension to power imminent, Schmitt published a second edition, with significant, and controversial, revisions. However, it is likely that these revisions were made in response to the reaction of Leo Strauss.
- Meier, Heinrich. Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue. University of Chicago Press, 2006.