Quotes about Carl Schmitt
3 Sourced Quotes
Carl Schmitt in theory is one thing; confined to a few conservatives on the right and a somewhat greater number of envious postmodernists on the left, Schmitt's ideas have not reached the informed reading public. Schmitt's books are destined to be confined to the political theory sem inar room for some time to come.
Like other German theorists of the state, Carl Schmitt held to the idea that politics is always about violence; if we really and truly disagree with other people, we ought to treat them as enemies. Fish does not follow Schmitt this far. To be sure, he fills his books with examples of people who ought to, and usually do, hate each other: secular liberals dealing with religious fundamentalists; full-stop opponents of affirmative action confronting those who support it; defenders of speech codes and critics of hate-crime laws.
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.