Schmitt’s moral misery


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Emil Cioran said that resentment comes from the fact of not having been able to achieve what we have always wanted to be. The Romanian philosopher’s phrase illustrates the feeling of bitterness of Carl Schmitt, the great German jurist who sympathized with National Socialism.

Schmitt became a member of Hitler’s party, although he distanced himself after 1936. Many consider him the ideologue of the legal architecture of the regime. He was imprisoned at the end of World War II by the Allies, who eventually released him in 1947 after failing to connect his ideas with Nazi crimes.

Schmitt has gone down in history as the father of decisionism, which holds that the State is the absolute source of

legitimation in the exercise of power. He affirmed that the caudillo has unlimited freedom to achieve his ends, since he embodies the popular will.

It is clear that Schmitt did not believe in parliamentary democracy and defended an authoritarian state in the context of a dialectic between friend and foe that justified the elimination of the adversary and the suppression of individual rights in favor of the will of the people.

Despite the defeat and destruction of Germany, Schmitt did not change his views, limiting himself to stressing that he was a university professor who never held political office and that his statements were theoretical. He did not consider himself responsible for Nazi crimes or their totalitarian madness.

On the contrary, at the end of the conflict, he believed himself to be the victim of a serious injustice by not having his academic posts restored and he saw himself as a victim of the allies, who, in his opinion, had replaced Hitler’s dictatorship with a false and manipulated one. participatory democracy.

It is worth reading ‘Glossarium’, his notes between 1947 and 1958 that ooze frustration and resentment. The book, which has just been published in our country, captivates the reader by the extreme brilliance of the character and his sarcastic comments.

“I have done nothing in my life other than express well-considered, disinterested and benevolent warnings. But those warned have always felt it as a heavy annoyance and, finally, they have cornered me, “he says. This was his feeling: that of suffering persecution because of his political ideas. Not an iota of remorse or understanding towards the victims.

What impresses me about this book is the contradiction between the intelligence, erudition and vast Greco-Latin culture of its author and his collusion with the barbarism that had justified his ideas. Schmitt wants us to believe that there is no connection whatsoever between theory and praxis, between what one defends and the consequences of its application. For this reason, ‘Glossarium’ seems to me to be a display of cynicism and moral cowardice that it portrays.

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