20th-century Political Scientist Quotes
In a despotic government, the ultimate principle of order issues from the inclinations of the despot himself. Yet despotism is not a system in which justice is entirely meaningless: it has generally prevailed in highly traditional societies where custom is king and the prevailing terms of justice are accepted as part of the natural order of things. Each person fits into a divinely recognized scheme. Dynasties rise and fall according to what the Chinese used to call 'the mandate of heaven', but life for the peasant changes little. Everything depends on the wisdom of the ruler.
Wilson's analytical theory assumed that the natural and inevitable tendency in any system of government is to have recourse to some sovereign body that will exercise "ultimate supremacy" and have the last say in making collective decisions. It is in this sense that we speak of a government as have a monopoly over the legitimate exercise of authority and use of force in society. Indeed, much of contemporary political science is based on this presumption.
Right now, [the Israel lobby] has become a subject that you can barely talk about without people immediately trying to silence you, immediately trying to discredit you in various ways, such that no American politicians will touch this, which is quite remarkable when you consider how much Americans argue about every other controversial political issue. To me, this is a national security priority for us, and we ought to be having an open debate on it, not one where only one side is being heard from.
Would you, like Benjamin Constant, have concluded that events as tumultuous as these ought to lead to the reestablishment of a liberal and constitutional order? If your name were Carl Schmitt, you would have done the exact opposite: you would have interpreted the tumult of your times as the best reason for getting rid of liberalism altogether.