A Brief Introduction to the Ideas of Carl Schmitt

Posted by Graham Lister on Thursday, 10 January 2013 19:12.

This may be of general interest.

Of course far more can be said about (and themes explored within) Schmitt’s provocative work but this lecture is a decent place to start for those unfamiliar with some of the major themes of his thought.



Comments:


1

Posted by DanielS on Fri, 11 Jan 2013 09:23 | #

Hmmm.


Schmitt’s friend / enemy distinction is fundamental enough.


I would hope that our definition of “friend” would be native Europeans (to include Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians) who respect the national bounds of other European nations, in particular, as sovereign.

Who thereupon view non-Europeans and those who aid and abet non-European transgression en mass, upon European people’s habitats as the enemy, especially.


It would seem that didactic incitement and its kindred mockery and kicking others when they are down will make this friendship and alliance more difficult as relational trust is broken - in fact, just the opposite,  an unsympathetic, ‘unfriendly’ rule is invoked on a relational level.


2

Posted by Leon Haller on Fri, 11 Jan 2013 09:31 | #

It’s post-modernity after modernity not pre-modernity (such as the bizarro ideal-world of Mr. Bowery et al. deadly duels and all); or some foundationally religious revival - sociologically no society under the conditions of modernity (let alone post-modernity) can possibly foundationally understand itself in the religious terms of say the the middle age; i.e. the notion that Christianity is an unquestionably solid meta-narrative explaining everything in the world – the social, the cultural, the political etc., which cannot be imagined or convinced of as being in error or not true. The Nietzschean insight – that WE have killed God in that socio-cultural sense of we can never return to that (in retrospect) naïve position of total trust in the Christian meta-narrative as true beyond all reasonable doubt. The radical historicity of Daesin prevents it. At the risk of being pretentious we must deal with the actual territory in which historic Daesin finds itself – technologically, scientifically, conceptually/philosophically, socio-culturally not some previous modality of being. We can’t recreate the Roman world or the Athens of Plato, or the American of 1795 (or whatever) in toto.

It’s an impossible task, thus in political terms a form of masturbatory ‘displacement activity’ – that is why when I hear chatter about the socio-political ‘centrality’ of Christianity I stop paying serious attention because a deluded fool (of sorts) is speaking. Even a highly articulate and educated ‘fool’ like Mr. Haller. And of course God might be objectively real – but that form of Christianity is dead to historic Daesin. Yes individuals might buy into that story but no social totality (under the background conditions we confront and are thrown within) will at any deep ‘ontological’ level ‘buy into’ that story anymore – hence Christainity is of no substantively positive meta-political importance. (Lister)

Christian theology, at least in its Catholic form, doesn’t claim to explain the totality of the world, nor does it conceptually preclude the possibility of growth in philosophical as well as empirical understanding (some Protestant sects, the real hardline fundamentalists, OTOH, well might - I don’t know enough about them to pronounce definitively). Catholic Christianity is not an ossified, take-it-or-leave-it ideology. It does make some foundational claims about reality (though even many of these - eg, about the very nature and attributes of God Himself - are open to endless investigation and conceptual ‘fine-tuning’), but who or what doesn’t? “Scientific atheists” certainly do. There is no wholly neutral ontological or ethical (or perhaps even epistemological) standpoint.

All that seems to be contained in the above paragraphs is a rejection of either the existence of God as an objective independent/physical reality (as opposed to the reality of the idea of God), or of Christianity as a correct description (or interpretive framework for better future understanding) of the world (with the possible existence of a god which isn’t the one worshipped by traditional Christianity implicitly left open - but only as a theoretical possibility, not as a belief which is sufficiently plausible to serve as the basis for purposeful actions in the physical world). Throw out all the extraneous references to “Dasein”, and all Dr. Lister is really saying is that modern thought and science have rendered Christianity philosophically and empirically untenable, and thus a Christian politics will never appeal to more than a minority of ‘modern’ (for our purposes, ‘Western’) men. In other words, if God is dead, then Christian politics is dead, too. But insofar as Christianity constituted the ‘metanarrative’ for the bulk of white men, as well as the intellectual center of the West, for centuries, really until the postwar period (I would say “until The Great Disruption of the 1960s” [I nod to Lister’s references to the neoconservative intellectual Francis Fukuyama] for ‘mass-men’), then what must be needed is a new philosophical foundation for WN (actually for all Western) politics.

This is at bottom an empirical sociological argument. Is Christianity of use to White Preservation? Or is it actually inimical to European EGI, as many WNs argue?

I have broached answers to these questions at several points in the past here at MR. For serious Christians, any ideology had better be shown to be compatible with the faith. If Christians are forced to choose between personal and racial salvation, which do you think most (all?) will choose? To put the matter more crudely than I really believe, if I thought being pro-WP would send my soul to Hell, then I would reluctantly disavow any type of racial nationalism, and focus my ideological energies on advocating race-neutral conservative policies (such as regularized capital punishment, ‘concealed carry’, truth in school textbooks, free enterprise, lower welfare-state expenditures) which would at least mitigate the disaster of Diversity (note I support these policies anyway). But I would not advocate a ‘conflict’ style of politics, the intent of which is to build up mass white, Us v Them consciousness for the ultimate purpose of imposing racial separatism or resegregation on some particular territory, in order that our race and its indigenous ethnocultural expressions might organically endure indefinitely.

So what Lister is really implying is that there are simply not enough white Christians anymore such that their collective conversion to WN would decisively tip the political scale in favor of WP, and thus a pro-white politics rooted in a reactionary Christian traditionalism would not be as effective as one rooted in other philosophical superstructures. This may well be true for most white nations today, though certainly not for all. I can think of several exceptions: the USA, Poland, Serbia, possibly Ireland and Italy. In America, as I have argued ad nauseam, the chief obstacle to the growth of WN (loosely defined) is not, I believe, MSM (Jewish) propaganda, but precisely the Christian commitment of so many conservative Americans, and the contemporaneous sense that any type of pro-white politics is “racist”, which is (reluctantly, I think in many cases) considered immoral. Most white conservative Christian Americans will not inflict racial harms on “innocent individuals” even for overcompensating collective goals. A Christianity-compatible ethical case must demonstrate that the moral value of white American community preservation supersedes the individual rights to life, liberty and property of some substantial quantum of nonwhites. I don’t believe this Christian racial ethics has been adequately formulated and/or presented yet.       

Furthermore, even if Christianity is now only a minority belief system in, say, Scotland, that doesn’t negate the value of working to demonstrate theologically its compatibility with WP. There are still some Christians even in Scotland, and every white man is needed for our uphill struggle. Moreover, I strongly suspect that the type of mentality which would continue to hew to religious traditionalism in Scotland would also be one far more open to racial traditionalism, and that Christian Scotland, however diminished from ‘days of old’, is thus probably a more fertile demographic to which to preach race-realism and ethnopatriotism than, say, Marxist Scotland would be. 

(to be contd -LH)


3

Posted by DanielS. on Fri, 11 Jan 2013 09:58 | #

I want to be clear, that it is the non-Europeans (and those who facilitate them) who transgress European habitats without consent upon established borders, who should be viewed as enemies.


4

Posted by Guessedworker on Sat, 12 Jan 2013 19:13 | #

Graham,

Did you see friend/enemy as ethnic in-group/out-group irrespective of the actual politics of our kinfolk, or is it particular to politics (in which case, where do you draw the line for “friend”)?


5

Posted by Guessedworker on Mon, 14 Jan 2013 07:15 | #

My own, very brief intro to Schmitt, written in February 2008:

http://majorityrights.com/weblog/comments/an_interest_in_carl_schmitt


6

Posted by Graham_Lister on Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:52 | #

@GW

I promise I will get back to you on this question but mega-busy at the moment so it will be in a couple of days.


7

Posted by Carl Schmitt's concept of the political on Sat, 22 Oct 2016 08:14 | #

Carl Schmitt: Liberal Nations Have Open Borders Because They Have No Concept of the Political

by Ricardo Duchesne

Before World War II liberal rights were understood among Western states in a libertarian and ethno-nationalistic way. Freedom of association, for example, was understood to include the right to refuse to associate with certain members of certain ethnic groups, even the right to discriminate in employment practices. This racial liberalism was not widely institutionalized right up until the 1960s. The settler nations of Australia, Canada, United States, and New Zealand enjoyed admission and naturalization policies based on race and culture, intended to keep these nations “White.” This liberal racial ethos was socially accepted with a good conscience throughout Western society. As Robert H. Jackson has observed:

Before the war prevailing public opinion within Western states — including democratic states — did not condemn racial discrimination in domestic social and political life. Nor did it question the ideas and institutions of colonialism. In the minds of most Europeans, equality and democracy could not yet be extended successfully to non-Europeans. In other words, these ideas were not yet considered to be universal human rights divorced from any particular civilization or culture. Indeed, for a century or more race had been widely employed as a concept to explain the scientific and technological achievements of Europeans as compared to non-Europeans and to justify not only racial discrimination within Western states but also Western domination of non-western peoples. Racial distinctions thus served as a brake on the extension of democratic rights to people of non European descent within Western countries as well as in Western colonies. [Robert H. Jackson, “The Weight of Ideas in Decolonization: Normative Change in International Relations,” In Ideas and Foreign Policy: Beliefs, Institutions and Political Change, ed. Goldstein and Keohane, Cornell University Press, 1993, p. 135]

Even in the case of denazified Germany, governments after 1945 endorsed, as a matter of common sense, and well into the 1970s, an ethnic conception of German nationality, accepting migrants only as temporary “guest workers” on the grounds that Germany was “not an immigrant country.” European nations took for granted the ethnic cohesion of their cultures and the necessity of barring the entry and incorporation of people from different cultures categorized as a threat to the “national character.”

Why, then, did the entire Western liberal establishment came to the view that European ethnocentrism was fundamentally at odds with liberal principles a few decades after WWII?

I argued in a paper posted at CEC over a month ago (which I have withdrawn because it was flawed) that a new set of norms (human rights, civic nationalism, race is a construct) with an in-built tendency for further radicalization suddenly came to take a firm hold over Western liberal nations in response to the Nazi experience, and that once these norms were accepted, and actions were taken to implement them institutionally, they came to “entrap” Westerners within a spiral that would push them into ever more radical policies that would eventually create a situation in which Western nations would come to be envisioned as places always intended to be progressing toward a future utopia in which multiple races would co-exist in a state of harmony.

Carl Schmitt

Was there something within the racialist liberalism of the pre-WW II era that made it susceptible to the promulgation of these norms and their rapid radicalization thereafter? Why did Western leaders succumbed to the radicalization of these norms so easily? The answer may be found in Carl Schmitt’s argument that liberal states lack a strong concept of the political. I take this to mean that liberals leaders have an inherent weakness as political beings due to their inability to think of their nation states as a collectivity of people laying sovereignty claim over a territory that distinguishes between friends and enemies, who can belong and who cannot belong in the territory. Liberals believe that their nation states are associations formed by individuals for the purpose of ensuring their natural right to life, liberty, and happiness. They have an imaginary view of their liberal states as associations created by isolated individuals reaching a covenant, a contract or agreement, amongst themselves in abstraction from any prior community. They have a predilection to whitewash the fact that their liberal states, like all states, were forcibly created by a people with a common language, heritage, racial characteristics, religious traditions, and a sense of territorial acquisition involving the derogation of out-groups.

For this reason, in the words of Carl Schmitt, liberals have an undeveloped sense of the political, an inability to think of themselves as members of a political entity that was created with a clear sense of who can belong and who cannot belong in the community. Having a concept of the political presupposes a people with a strong sense of who can be part of their political community, who can be friends of the community and who cannot be because they pose a threat to the existence and the norms of the community.

Liberals tend to deny that man is by nature a social animal, a member of a collective. They think that humans are all alike as individuals in wanting states that afford them with the legal framework that individuals need in the pursuit of liberty and happiness. They hold a conception of human nature according to which humans can avoid deadly conflict through a liberal state which gives everyone the possibility to improve themselves and society through market competition, technological innovation, and humanitarian works, creating an atmosphere in which political differences can be resolved through peaceful consensus by way of open deliberation.

They don’t want to admit openly that all liberal states were created violently by a people with a sense of peoplehood laying sovereign rights over an exclusive territory against other people competing for the same territory. They don’t want to admit that the members of the competing outgroups are potential enemies rather than abstract individuals seeking a universal state that guarantees happiness and security for all regardless of racial and religious identity. Humans are social animals with a natural impulse to identify themselves collectively in terms of ethnic, cultural and racial markers. But today Europeans have wrongly attributed their unique inclination for states with liberal constitutions to non-Europeans. They have forgotten that liberal states were created by a particular people with a particular individualist heritage, beliefs, and religious orientations. They don’t realize that their individualist heritage was made possible within the context of states or territories acquired through force to the exclusion of competitors. They don’t realize that a liberal state if it is to remain liberal must act collectively against the inclusion of non-Europeans with their own in-group ambitions.

Source, Council of European Canadians



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