To Carl Schmitt: Letters and Reflections (Insurrections: by Jacob Taubes

By Jacob Taubes

Keith Tribe (tr.)

A thinker, rabbi, spiritual historian, and Gnostic, Jacob Taubes used to be for a few years a correspondent and interlocutor of Carl Schmitt (1888--1985), a German jurist, thinker, political theorist, legislation professor -- and self-professed Nazi. regardless of their not likely organization, Taubes and Schmitt shared an abiding curiosity within the basic difficulties of political theology, believing the good demanding situations of recent political thought have been old in pedigree and, in lots of circumstances, expected the works of Judeo-Christian eschatologists.

In this selection of Taubes's writings on Schmitt, the 2 intellectuals paintings via rules of the apocalypse and different vital options of political theology. Taubes recognizes Schmitt's reservations in regards to the weak point of liberal democracy but distances himself from his prescription to rectify it, arguing the apocalyptic worldview calls for much less of a inflexible hierarchical social ordering than a group devoted to the significance of selection making. In those writings, a sharper and extra nuanced portrait of Schmitt's suggestion emerges, in addition to a extra advanced knowing of Taubes, who has formed the paintings of Giorgio Agamben, Peter Sloterdijk, and different significant twentieth-century theorists.

Review
Carl Schmitt is one of the most vital political thinkers of the century. His paintings has confirmed influential at the correct and, extra lately, at the left. His interchange with Jacob Taubes during this quantity, one other fascinating philosopher, is remarkably transparent and gives a window into their courting and a framework for broader discussion.

(Stephen Eric Bronner, Rutgers collage, writer of Reclaiming the Enlightenment: towards a Politics of Radical Engagement)

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Extra info for To Carl Schmitt: Letters and Reflections (Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture)

Example text

I am not myself trained in law, and I read and understood Political Theology as a politico-theological treatise, and not primarily as a legal one. The first few lines of the third chapter run as follows: All significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts not only because of their historical development—in which they were transferred from theology to the theory of the state, whereby, for example, the omnipotent God became the omnipotent lawgiver—but also because of their systematic structure, the recognition of which is necessary for a sociological consideration of these concepts.

Rather, they could never be a “German of Mosaic confession” (44): in the face of the violence of human history, in the face of impure power and authority, identity is the stuff, the driver, the basis of decisions, and the sovereign exception is often that which revolves around identity. Both Schmitt and Taubes realize that, in the modern world, in the face of the claim in The Communist Manifesto that “all that is solid melts into air, all that is holy profaned,” identity—identity of race, of ethnicity, of blood and soil nationalism, of antimodern religion— became the claims of the solid, of that which attempts to holds out against the melting influence of modernity.

I have absolutely no doubt that the Jewish problem tormented Schmitt for the whole of his life, that 1936 was merely a “timely” opportunity to take a stand on a problem that, for him, had quite other depths. ”20 Christianity was for Schmitt always “Judaism for the people,” against whose power he was ever ready to rise up. But he saw more deeply how vain such a “protest” against God and history would be. 21 lll In Plettenberg I had the most violent discussions that I have ever had in the German language.

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