By John P. McCormick
During this first in-depth severe appraisal in English of the writings of Carl Schmitt, John McCormick has offered philosophers, historians, and political theorists with the main finished account of Schmitt's critique of liberalism to be had. He examines why know-how turns into a rallying cry for either correct- and left-wing intellectuals from time to time while liberalism seems anachronistic, and exhibits the continuities among Weimar's ideological debates and people of our personal age.
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Additional info for Carl Schmitt's Critique of Liberalism: Against Politics as Technology (Modern European Philosophy)
Cf. also "Science as a Vocation," pp. 143, 154. , ed. Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978), p. 6; hereafter ES. ANTINOMIES OF T E C H N I C A L T H O U G H T 35 ment to the irresistible, objectively rational structures of the "iron cage" of modernity. I hope to explore these themes in a way that transcends the terms of the well-known debates over the normative and historical ramifications of the later Weber's theorizing of charisma and Fuhrerdemokratie issues that I take up again in Chapter 4.
2. 18 Schmitt once spoke of "a different lineage from Hegel," alluding of course to the leftist one that can be traced back from Lukacs and critical theory through Marx, and at the same time intimating the existence of another one that can be traced back on the right. 19 One may then view Schmitt as the chief example of what might be called the dialectical Right. It is the early practice of dialectics by Schmitt and Lukacs that at once points out the deficiencies of a Weberian liberal account of modernity and technology as well as the dangers of totalitarianism in attempts to transcend those deficiencies that are not themselves sufficiently dialectical.
According to these scholars, Hobbes's theory encouraged people to accept the "protection for obedience" proposition at the base of the liberal state by guaranteeing them a subjective freedom that could be expressed in commerce and the scientific-technological development of civil society. This was a mistake, according to Schmitt and Strauss, because civil society, subsequently armed with the weapons of technology, comes to threaten the authority of the state itself. Schmitt and Strauss seek to replace the inducement of subjective and scientific freedom with another suggested by the Hobbesian theory: fear.