This article is a critical review of Carl Schmitt’s political theology, which is based on an interpretation proposed by Heinrich Meier. The author examines the. Etyka państwowa i państwo pluralistyczne. Carl Schmitt W niewoli pojęć (Carl Schmitt, Teologia polityczna).Sławomir Sierakowski – – Etyka Państwo i . Teologia polityczna jako próba łączenia dwu porządków [„Teologia polityczna”, Warszawa ]. W niewoli pojęć (Carl Schmitt, Teologia polityczna).

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3. Please contact mpub-help umich. For more information, read Michigan Publishing’s access and usage policy. While the continued attention and intense political and cultural debate that has raged around the work of German jurist and legal scholar Carl Schmitt certainly needs no introduction, perhaps his more theoretical engagement with the legal and cultural history of the colonial extra-European world, as well as the post-colonial “condition” of former colonies after World War II, does.

As we know, his writing career spanned the crisis of the first German republic, which led to the rise of Nazism under Adolf Hitler; the defeat of the Axis powers during World War II; and the ambiguous legacies of independence movements, the United Nations charter of human rights, and the era of United States-Soviet Cold War policies. These theses include the designation of “the political” as an autonomous domain i. Each of these theses—many of which appear prior to the outbreak of World War II—alone or in combination, have encountered a plethora of case studies in the twentieth century, whether they concerned the seeming permanence of modern dictatorships, the political character of religious fundamentalisms in the United States and elsewhere, the rise of religious states and religious revolution in the Middle East, ongoing debates on the legitimacy of foreign military intervention into those countries whose governments act in flagrant disregard for human rights, or the curtailment of civil liberties under the emergency powers of executive authority.

Interestingly, Schmitt’s interpreters have come to include not only neoconservatives advocating strict limits to the scope and extent of legislative authority in government, but also progressives and Marxists who share Schmitt’s critique of neoliberalism under United States military and economic hegemony.

Teologia polityczna i inne pisma – Carl Schmitt – Google Books

Unlike his previous works, however, the originality of NE stems from the inclusion of a consideration that remains largely ignored in the tradition of political philosophy: For Schmitt, Eurocentrism refers to the interstate system organized in Europe after the Treaty of Westphalia, which served at once as the anchor and blueprint of modern international law, i.

As we know, of course, globalization doesn’t occur as the protean wish of a historical protagonist or protagonists, even when the protagonists are European sovereign princes. Yet while Schmitt’s polemics on the political nature of Christian theology and its contribution to this endeavor, or on the force of law during states of emergency within this interstate system, and the history of Western modernity as the creation and dissolution of a “concrete world-order” or nomos in and through the creation of international law among Polityczja nations, have invited intense discussion and sometimes acrimonious debate between and within conservative and progressive circles of intellectual production and public opinion alike, cwrl most productive and controversial claims regarding the constitutive forces of modernity outside Europe have been met with relative silence.

Taken together, these claims demand a wider dialogue that cuts across the fields of political philosophy, international law, history, religion, and culture, concerning the ” nomos of the Earth” as both a rational ized ideology of European conquest and an imaginary projection of world order.

This surprise extends to Schmitt’s counter-historical narrative of colonialism and colonial rule, which stands in stark contrast to the treatment of this question by his intellectual peers. Take, for example, Hannah Arendt’s Imperialism the second part of The Origins of Totalitarianism published a year after Schmitt’s The Nomos of the Earthas an illustration of the latter’s untimeliness. For Arendt, who had been exiled from Germany during the years of the Third Reich, the conceptualization of the achmitt state or Commonwealth in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Jean Bodin, Thomas Hobbes and others inaugurated a form of political organization in complete conformity with the emergent bourgeois principle of accumulation for accumulation’s sake; and the blind automatism of government for government’s sake.

Following this analysis, the Hobbesian worldview could only lead to European expansion, race-thinking, colonial order without law, and the pan-national movements that culminated in the Aryan doctrine of Nazism and the massive creation of populations without rights. Schmitt, by contrast, maintained up to the end and beyond the Second World War the neo-Machiavellian contention that only the suspension of morality and religion from the sphere of the political could ensure peace within and between kingdoms.

Europe as idea and ideal, begins with a treaty of peace among Christian sovereign princes Schmitt schmittt to them as magni hominespersonifications of state power [ The Nomos ] in the post-Westphalian treaty milieu, tasked with the responsibility of sublating and preempting all manner of social, religious, economic, and ethical conflict that might lead to international civil war, through the formalization of political enmity justus hostis and the projection of the rest of the world as Europe’s juridical frontier.

In his view, applying a different criterion of evaluating Germany’s invasion of Eastern Europe was not only hypocritical: As for the history of European colonization abroad, the age of discovery and conquest of a “new world” from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries maintained a sense of continuity with the origins farl European law, even after such forms of land seizure became limited on the European continent.

The extra-European world came to provide a scmhitt correlate to the juridical state of exception, i.

The Problem of Political Theology

Schmitt’s heterodox approach to colonialism provides the key to understanding his pessimistic view of independence struggles after World War II and the onset of Cold War politics between the United States and the Soviet Union. For Schmitt, these two developments were inseparable: On the part of the so-called world “superpowers,” the new geopolitical landscape created by recently independent nations left the United States and the Soviet Union with both a prospect and a pitfall:.

With the emergence teologi world teollgia theory in the s and post-colonial and cultural studies in the United States during the s, the reciprocal transformation of imperial centers and colonial frontiers has become a field of empirical research and critical theory.

Yet Schmitt’s insights come pilityczna a price: En cuanto al anti-colonialismo At a fundamental level, [the post-colonial order] is determined by a spatial order, albeit solely in a negative manner, without the ability to generate politjczna beginnings of a New spatial Order in positive terms.

It is from the resulting polemic that a dialogue among scholars in international relations, political philosophy, and postcolonial and cultural studies really begins. Only in fantastic parallels can one imagine a modern recurrence, such as men on their way to the moon discovering a new and hitherto polihyczna planet that could be exploited freely to relieve their struggles on earth” While much has been made of the sovereign’s sphere of extralegal freedom to act above teologix law in order to preserve it, much less attention has been given to what David Harvey has called the “spatial fix” of the extra-European frontier, which “could be exploited freely to relieve [our] struggles on earth.


In Schmitt’s account of the discovery of the Americas, the missionary mandate given by the pope to the Catholic kings of Spain and Portugal essentially a crusade must be grasped in terms that precede the division between theology and the political in the seventeenth century: Between the fall of Scgmitt and the rise of a modern Eurocentric world order, Schmitt would argue, every Christian empire could not but imagine its legitimacy in these terms.

Yet it is only the second, Eurocentric nomos that showed itself successful in providing a framework for ensuring a relative degree of peace and security on tteologia European continent.

This peace and security, as we know, came at the cost of Europe’s declared frontier. Schmitt underlines this necessary displacement of civil and religious war in Europe to overseas conquest and colonization during this period, through the creation of amity lines or geopolitical divisions cael the European powers and their respective spheres of influence outside Europe:.

The significance of amity lines in 16 schmith and 17 th century international law was that great areas of freedom were designated as conflict zones in the struggle over the distribution of a new world The designation of a conflict zone outside Europe contributed also to the bracketing of European caro, which is its meaning and justification in international law. One need not adopt the provocative theses of Giorgio Agamben or Achille Mbembe here to see the importance Schmitt gives to the colonial frontier as a space of exception for the creation teologiaa maintenance of Eurocentrism, which parallels the importance of the sovereign’s power to declare a state of exception in the European Commonwealth.

Without this notion of a free and empty space beyond the borders of Europe it would have ppolityczna impossible for Europe to “bracket” the civil and religious conflicts that made the sphere of jus publicum EuropaeumEurocentric international law, conceivable. Schmitt’s analysis of Eurocentrism, Europe’s “nomos of the earth,” as consisting in the dialectical relationship between the virtual state of exception and the colonial space of exception provides him with the conceptual and polemical theses that animate and inform the papers in this special issue.

One is the “exoneration” of Christian-European princes and peoples from any moral restraints outside Europe: Everything that occurred ‘beyond the line’ remained outside the legal, moral, and political values recognized on this side of the line” Polityczja Nomos A second one is the “spatial context of all law,” which begins with acts of land appropriation or seizure and their transformation into right— jus The Nomos A third conclusion is that the history and justice of colonial conquest and land seizure allowed Europe to simultaneously preserve and extend this world order.

As Schmitt rather bluntly puts it:. The power of indigenous chieftains over completely uncivilized peoples was not considered to be in the public sphere; native use of the soil was not considered to be private property The special territorial status of the colonies thus was as clear as was pokityczna division of the earth between state territory and colonial territory.

This division was characteristic of the structure of international law in this epoch and was inherent in its spatial oplityczna. The Nomoshis emphasis.

Fourth is the definition of the concept of formal enmity among sovereign nations and their corresponding subjects, as taking place against the corresponding definition of “informal” violence in colonial lands or on the high seas. This colonial violence featured “agonal tests of strength” among Europeans The Nomos 99and either putative savages, barbarians, and cannibals belonging to the “free lands” of the newly circumnavigated globe; or pirates of the free sea as portrayed by Hugo Grotius.

As Schmitt writes, “Compared to the brutality of religious and factional wars, which by nature are wars of annihilation wherein the enemy is treated as a criminal and a pirate, and compared to colonial wars, which are pursued against ‘wild peoples,’ European ‘war in form’ signified the strongest possible rationalization and humanization of war” The Nomos It would be a crusade, because we would be dealing not simply with a criminal, but with an unjust enemy, with the perpetuator of the state of nature ” The Nomosemphasis added.

Fifth and finally, Schmitt mourns the decline of Eurocentric world order or nomos when the clear division between European and European-defined state territory and colonial territory began to break down in the nineteenth century. In Schmitt’s analysis of nineteenth-century imperialism, the seizure of Africa as “the last great land appropriation by the European powers” was from the start contaminated by a new, inchoate conception of world order, characterized by a “global, universalist-humanitarian intervention[ism]” first expressed by Belgian king Leopold II and promoted by the United States see The Nomos, and To complicate matters further, United States intervention into European affairs during its rise to economic prominence led to the subversive supplementation of Eurocentric international law—to reiterate, the political organization of European sovereign states over and against the “free and empty” space of overseas colonial frontiers—with international private law as the new basis of world unity.

Readers of Schmitt’s earlier political philosophy notably The Concept of the Political will recognize an early theme in his intellectual career: In NE, Schmitt deploys this critique as a principle of historical explanation. The a-moral criterion of formal enmity, the exceptional character of sovereignty, and the colonial frontier that had provided Eurocentric international law with stability over the course of two centuries had collapsed: This hegemony, which Schmitt traces in both veiled and open attacks throughout NE, included the return of a moral criterion in international law, through the resurrection of “just war” doctrines; the ambiguous affirmation of universal human rights which provided the United States with a principle of military intervention in other countries under the guise of police action ; the elevation of market forces to the decisive factor in world politics; and the postwar transformation of formerly colonized territories to free states The Nomos What essentially did it mean when other, non-European states and nations from all sides now took their place in the family or house of European nations and states?

Taken together, Schmitt’s theses on the colonial space of exception shed an unexpected light on scholarship pertaining to early modern Iberian expansion, the commercial wars among the European powers overseas, the creation of a global economy, the scramble for Africa, and the dilemma of “postcolonial conditions” throughout the second half of the twentieth century. On another level, Schmitt’s larger critique regarding the overdetermination of the sphere of the political, as it was consolidated by Eurocentric international law, by the unrestrained forces of the market and technology, certainly introduces a new philosophical dimension to the traditional Marxist and world-system critique of primitive accumulation, capitalism and colonialism in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa; as it does to the postcolonial critique of Frantz Fanon and Indian Subaltern Studies.


In fact, the hypocrisy of U. Less studied, however, is the complex dynamic among colonial and now post-colonial elites, the fashioning and dismantling of colonial states, the promulgation of the United Nations charter, and the virtual omnipresence of US military force and now surveillance technologies across the globe see John Pincince and Annmaria Shimabuku in this volume. The native Amerindians remain missing from his account They are not even acknowledged as passive bearers and victims of the incoming Spaniards and Portuguese, but nullified and written out of history” Paradoxically, however, the culmination and fulfillment of the Christian order in a global Christian empire meant, at the same time, its dissolution: Owing to the magnitude of its destruction, the truth of the war against paganism as negation of the only God is transformed into the negation of God and the order this God was meant to safeguard.

Etyka państwowa i państwo pluralistyczne

This is a realization that Schmitt, invested as he was in contrasting and opposing a Christian religious order with a Protestant liberal one, was incapable of recognizing. Between a “theological politics” based on the role of the emperor as katechonand a “political theology” based on the Leviathan or “mortal God” of sovereign princes, what can one say about the perseverance of “just war” doctrine overseas, or the constant confusion between secular and religious authority or “pastoral power” in the missions?

If the medieval concept of Christian empire was exported overseas during the Conquest, then underwent a secularization corresponding to the rise of modern international law in Europe, what does it mean that it continued and even underwent further transformation in the Americas and the Philippines?

Or that the theological role of empire for the Catholic kings corresponded to a physical and cultural apocalypse for the American empires? Or that the primacy of violence against unrepentant cannibals, monsters, and savages—the injustus hostis that resembled the Muslim infidels and “wandering Jews” of the Crusades and Reconquest of Spain—was part of a concerted attempt over the course of three centuries to create a Christian continent that was a part of Christian Europe?

As we know, Schmitt has gone so far as to argue that this introduction of morality into law has, since the 12 th century! This leads us to a third field of investigation: How do we account for the rise of anomalous subjects defined by their inability to maintain these spheres as separate for example, pirates: Joining Schmitt to Marx, i.

It also allows us to see the dual formation of laborers and Christian subjects by missions and congregaciones designed to reach the Indians displaced by war, those sent to the mines, those made slaves, those allocated to encomiendasthose who remained just outside them ; and the degree to which political theology became subject to economic calculation the very definition of contraband, corruption, and venality as well as indigenous resistance or the question of cultural “hybridity.

A fourth set of questions concerns the facility with which Schmittian concepts become reified as markers of a uniquely European or “Western” perhaps excluding the United States! Consider, for example, Giorgio Agamben’s remarkable work Homo Sacer, which argues that the Nazi concentration camp completes and fulfills the ultimate destination of Western political philosophy in its modern form, which is to make “bare life” the subject and task of sovereign power.

Schmitt’s theory of emergency powers, as it turns out, “appears from this perspective to be consubstantial with Western politics” 7 ; and “the birth of the concentration camp in our time appears as an event that decisively signals the political space of modernity itself” In Agamben’s view, colonial atrocities that preceded the way for biopolitics in its Nazi manifestation—using prisoners as guinea pigs for medical experiments in Manila under United States rule, or the concentration camps launched by the Spanish in Cuba inor the British in the Boer wars in the Philippines they were called “camps of sanitation and hygiene” by the United States —serve as mere antecedents to the Nazi camp, which Agamben elevates to some perverse crystallization of Western politics see Agamben and ; on camps of sanitation and hygiene, see Ileto.

Even Arendt, who asserts the continuities of colonial brutality in German East Africa among the Nazi elite, sees fascism and totalitarianism as the fulfillment of Hobbes’s political philosophy and its adoption by the European bourgeoisie. But was the separation of European metropolis and colonial frontier so successful as to allow Europe to play out its own drama according to a preconceived plan?

And in what ways, has this political philosophy and its material enactments impacted the ex-colonies? And yet, even Galli imagines the present and future of globalization to be staked wholly on the terms and epochal thresholds given it by Schmitt’s discrepant Eurocentrism. Thus, for Galli the eruption of violence characterized under the catch-all term terrorism emblematizes an “epochal caesura” in the history of world nomoi: In contrast to Europe’s apparent success in transforming religion into logos between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, extreme theology, he argues, “does not communicate; it has nothing to say Any reader of political theology from the Hispanic empire cannot but be disconcerted by such claims.

Could this example help us reconsider the difference between political theology and extreme theology? And to consider that perhaps all political theology is extreme theology when seen from the perspective of those upon whom it is violently forced? Could this help us to better see the blind spots that continue to plague theory, preventing it from reaching true universals?

Now that Europe has started to feel the impact of the economic and political forces it began to unleash elsewhere many years ago, Galli argues that it should be ready to once again create mechanisms for self-preservation and exemption, a new pact that would restrict the dire effects of the economy to outside of Europe. But if Europe’s self-conception entailed, in part, the imagination of terra nullis and its cannibals, what becomes of them provisional citizens in Europe 2.

If the colonies were inappropriate and ad hoc laboratories of modernity and globalization, one has to contend with the caesuras Galli postulates. He also dwells on an epochal change defined by the speed and the extent of the unmediated contacts between the particular and the universal viii.