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State, Movement, People, Part 2

5,850 words

Carl Schmitt, 1888–1985

Part 2 of 4

Translated with notes by Simona Draghici

II. The Triadic Structure of the Political Unity

1. The political unity of the present-day state is a three-part summation of state, movement, and people. It is radically different from the liberal-democratic state schema that has come to us from the nineteenth century, and not only with respect to its ideological presuppositions and its general principles, but also in the essential structural and organizational lines of the concrete edifice of the state.

Every essential concept and every important institution is affected by this difference.

The new state structure is marked by the fact that the political unity of the people, and thereby, all the regulation of its public life appears to be ordered into three distinct series. The three series do not run parallel one to the other, but one of them, the movement, which carries the state and the people, penetrates and leads the other two. Three formations move side by side, in their own order, meet in certain decisive points, particularly at the apex, have distinctly different contacts and direct links with each other, which however are not allowed to cancel the distinctions, and as a whole, effected by the carrying series, all shape the constitution of the political unity. Each has molded itself from a variety of viewpoints and, if I may say so, of different materials, but all, even if in various ways, are swept along by the public legal order.

Each one of the three words: state, movement, people, may be used alone to denote the whole of the political unity. At the same time, however, it indicates yet another particular aspect and a specific element of this whole. In this way, the state may be regarded strictly as the politically static part; the movement, as the dynamic political element; and the people, as the apolitical side, growing under the protection and in the shade of the political decisions. But it would be false to make sophistically out of them alternating and mutually exclusive opposites, and play off the state against the movement, or the movement against the state, the people against the state, or the state against the people, the people against the movement, or the movement against the people. This would correspond to the liberal splitting, of which more will be said later on, and the political sense of which is the abolition, or at least, the relativization of the political whole. The movement, in particular, is as much the state as it is the people, and neither the present-day state (in the sense of political unity) nor the German people of today (the subject of the political entity which is the “German Reich”) would be imaginable without the movement.

Hence the following three series:

a) The state apparatus and the civil service, consisting of the army and the civil servants. This is still often described (in keeping with a traditional way of speaking) as the state, but it is an organization of command, administration, and justice in the narrowest sense only, whereas in its broadest sense, the term “state” will be always used, as already said, in its traditional meaning of the whole political unity of a people.

b) A party carrying state and people, and recruited from all the strata of the people, but self-contained and led hierarchically, because it requires an especially strict organization and a firm leadership. A party in whose political body the movement finds its specific form. The sociologists have named it “order,” “elite,” or something like that, in order to differentiate it from the political party of the liberal state (which in principle is not tightly organized, but relies on “free recruitment”). Still, one may keep holding on to the usual name of “party,” because nowadays a misunderstanding is little to be feared. This also corresponds to the wording of the law of 14 July 1933 (RGBl, I, p. 479) against the reconstitution of the parties: “The National Socialist Workers party constitutes the only political party in Germany.”[1]

c) A sphere of the people, left to auto-administration, that comprises the professional economic and social order, as well as the communal auto-administration (based on the local neighborhood). Even a corporative state (stato corporativo) of the Fascist state [Korporationsstaat des faschistischen Staates], which rejects the principle of an autonomous territorial administration and tolerates only types of technical or “functional” autonomous administration, a system of trade unions and associations, a “popular social order” [volkstümliche Sozialordnung] (this phrase has been coined by Werner Sombart) might fill the space of a non- statal, public and legal auto-administration and introduce an autonomy that might be possible within the general frame of the political leadership, a corporatism or a union of various kinds of association, in the political life of the people.

This new triadic image of the whole political unity is recognizable in the state of the German National Socialist movement, as it is in the Fascist state, albeit in a different manner. Generally, it is characteristic of the twentieth- century state. Even in the Bolshevik state of the Soviet Union, a triadic structure had been attempted, of state, party and trade-unions as a total encompassing of the political and social realties. The triadic structure becomes apparent not only wherever one seeks to surmount the liberal-democratic system and proceed to a new state, corresponding to the social and political realities of the twentieth century. It also corresponds to the great traditions of the German theory of the state, initiated by Hegel. Only in the second half of the nineteenth century, however, it was ousted from the consciousness of the German people under the influence of liberal and alien theoreticians and writers. Hence, this triadic outline should appear wholly convincing as a first clean draft of the present-day state structure. In no way is it affected by the objection that it deals only with the idealization of the Italian Fascist situation.

In what relationship the three series and their organizations stand to one another is a constructive and organizational question in itself. Likewise, the mutual relationship between the three corresponding constitutions is in itself a question of the theory of law and state. But the phrase “party that carries state and people” already conveys that the political leadership must rest on this series sequel, whence the other two orders come second to it, whose position is in the middle of our outline, and are penetrated, molded, and led by it in an authoritative way. As organization of the “movement,” the politically leading party carries both the state “apparatus” and the social and economic order as also the whole of the political unity. From this surges the central significance of the statal and legal concept of the political leadership, which has already been mentioned several times, and will be enlarged on, further.

Abstractly and generally speaking, the mutual relationship of the three series may be quite different in different political entities at different times. To give an example, it was characteristic of the Hegelian civil-service state of the Prussian-German type, which was a historical reality approximately between 1815 and 1848, under an already relativized monarchy, after pure absolutism and before the constitutional recognition of the bourgeois- parliamentary legislative bodies, that a state civil service of high cultural and moral standing, and incorruptible, was already exercising the functions of the stratum in charge of the state. Whereas in other states, the civil service would be conceived only as a bureaucratic tool of the powers in charge of the state. Then, the additional question may be raised, of the relation between the civil attribute and the military attribute of the state, between the administrative power and the power of command within the ranking order of the state. Still, a great many methods have emerged, of mutual influence, leadership, or domination. They are applied either publicly and visibly, or internally and invisibly, either in virtue of norms specified in advance, or freely, according to circumstances and expediency, and develop into all kinds of institutions. To pursue this subsequent problem is the task of a concrete “theory of the state” of the twentieth century. I do not say; of a “general theory of the state,” because as Paul Ritterbusch has recognized, the category “general” in the theory of the state is a typical concern of the liberal nineteenth century. It emerged from the normativist efforts to dissolve the concrete state and the concrete people into “generalities” (general education, general law theory, finally, general theory of knowledge) and in this way, to destroy their political essence.

2. One needs always to remember that the concept of “state,” as well as that of “people,” has been transformed by this triad, and that the traditional way of representation, derived from the historical conditions of the nineteenth century, can no longer grasp the new reality. As statal civil service and officialdom, the state loses the monopoly of the political which it acquired in the seventeenth century and in the eighteenth. Instead, it has come to be recognized as just a part of the political unity, and precisely a part that depends on the organization which carries the state. Therefore, the essence of the state officialdom and public administration no longer identifies itself alone with the political whole, nor with a self-sufficient “authority.” Nowadays the political cannot any longer be determined by the state, rather the state must be determined by the political. As a result, ever since the nineteenth century the Constitution developed for this state and the legality deriving from it have moved from the center of the community to another position of the political life. The more formal and mechanical the legality becomes, the more manifestly it is at variance with the law, however sound the latter is in its contents. It received that secondary significance, relative because instrumental, befitting it. It became the functioning mode of the state administrative machinery. This legality identifies as little with the law of the people as does the state machinery with the political unity of the people. To the law, in substantive sense, belongs the priority in securing political unity. Only on the basis of uncontested political decisions, which in this sense are positive, may the law then spread to all the sectors of the public life in a free and autonomous expansion.

The theory of the state and of the law of the last two generations of jurists had felt the opposition between the law and state legality — which fully corresponds to the incongruence between the people’s political unity and the state administrative machinery — and had given it expression on the one hand by holding firmly to the position that by “law” it should be understood every “juridical norm,” and on the other, and at the same time, by formalizing and mechanically rendering jurisprudence into law, and the law in turn into the decision of the majority of the legislative body, that is to say, the parliament. One does not refer here to the familiar distinction between popular justice and lawyers’ justice [Juristenrecht], as much as to the abstract, conceptual exacerbation of the conflict into the “general” theory of the law and of the state. A doctrine, which is interesting for its internal logic, would take into consideration only the civil servant, that is to say, justice and the administration of justice, and not the “citizen,” as the true and proper addressee of the legal norm. As a result, it could ultimately consider justice in general only as “the embodiment of the rules of state activity.” In a passage that is quite characteristic of the consequential manner of the liberal-constitutional thinking (and at the same time, of its relationship with the German language), it is said: “Even the legal obligations of the legal maxims (in the narrow sense of the term), that statute the subjects and set norms of punishment and execution, have as their contents the state administration with respect to the executive activity of punishment and execution carried out and completed by means of the state organs” (Kelsen, Hauptprobleme der Staatsrechtlehre [Main Issues of the Theory of State Law], p. 252). In this way, every law becomes “state law” in a particular sense, and the other way around: every state activity becomes “law,” that is to say, implementation of the norm by that part of the state administrative machine which is bound to norms. This has nothing to do with law or justice in an objectively substantive sense, but is typical of the political system of the liberal depoliticization. Hereby, the liberal normativism simulates a “dominion of the legal norm,” which in reality is only the dominion of a system of legality over the administrative machine, a system in turn ruled by non-statal and politically irresponsible forces. This positivist and “functionalist” way of thinking, which denies any substance to the law, acknowledges the law only as a calculable link of the restrictive machinery of the state, that is to say, as working mode of the competent authorities and courts. Alongside it, as already said, the so-called material concept of the law would continue to exist in the legal praxis. The law was “legal norm,” and every legal norm, even of customary law, was “law.” Unlike the mere administrative decree, it was addressed not only to the “civil servant” (subject to a special relation of forces), but also to the “citizen” (subject only to the “general” power of the state). Thus, formerly, there were in fact two diverse and disconnected representations of law and jurisprudence, two addressees of the norms and two notions of the law and therefore, two other kinds of law, cancelling one another.

In the triadic organization of the political unity, the notions of “state” and “people” assume another position, and a meaning altogether different from that within the binary system of the liberal democracy (described in Chapter III). Here, too, the binary way of thinking works with antithetical divisions such as the state against the people, and people against the state, government against people, and people against government. In the National Socialist state, the leading political body, carrying state, and people, has the task to prevent and overcome all the antitheses of this kind. For that reason, the people is no longer simply a sum total of non-governing voters. The civil servant finds himself no longer in opposition to the citizen calling himself “free,” as in the monarchical, constitutional state, and whose freedom, essentially unconnected with the state, was a liberal polemical legal concept in the fight against the “unfree” soldier and career civil servant.[2] The civil service is no longer compelled, as in the system of party-pluralism between 1919 and 1932, to organize itself as an interest group and to refer to the “well-earned rights,” individually worked out for each civil servant; instead of quoting the idea and the institution of the German civil service. The civil servant is now a comrade of the people in a political unity based on ethnic identity, and as party comrade, a member of the organization carrying state and people, and this organization has filled the decisive executive posts of the state administrative body with political leaders from the movement, carrier of state and people.[3]

The spheres of popular and professional auto- administration are penetrated by the movement in a corresponding manner. Indeed, so much so, that one comes to recognize here the autonomous structure of a sphere by far more depoliticized and different from the organism of the civil service and the officialdom that was only relatively depoliticized by virtue of its static character. This “depoliticization,” however, has nothing to do with the earlier political misuse of the allegedly “apolitical” business of the autonomous administration, but rests entirely on the political decision of the political leadership. It is one of the fundamental notions of the politically up-to-date German generation that to determine whether a matter or a field are apolitical is precisely a political decision in a specific way. Both the “objectivity” of the civil service, and particularly the “independence” of the judges, as well as the apolitical character of the traditional sphere of popular auto-administration are possible, with all the advantages and the security of the apolitical, only if both submit to the political leadership and the political decisions of the movement, carrying state and people. Consequently and in a specific sense, that is the political element of the community, the dynamic engine opposite the static element of the administrative machine directed by regulations and the political decisions that lie in it, and also the political guarantor of the depoliticized communal or professional auto-administration.[4]

3. The new regulation of the relations between the Reich and the provinces [Länder] emerges from the new overall structure. The law of 7 April 1933 on the Reich governors has secured the precedence of the political leadership of the Reich over the provinces, and submitted the latter to the political leadership of the subleaders subordinate to the Reich leader.[5] In this way, both the traditional concept of the federal monarchical-dynastic state of the nineteenth century and the multi-party federal state, resulting from the inner weakness and corruption of the Weimar system, are outdated. Making use of a brief and synthetical formula of state law, one may say that the combination of the federal idea with the state idea—either in the form of a confederation, or in the form of a federal state—was for a century the real danger to Germany’s political unity. Actually, every federal organization implies a guarantee of the territorial and political status quo. This must benefit the very statal character of the individual member-state as a political unity, and in this way, render the statal unity of the whole German people relative, not only in a confederation, but also in a formation built up as a federal state. For this reason, in case of conflict, some skillful advocacy would not find it difficult to contrive “a law for its own policy” by referring to the “federal basis” or to the “essence and concept” of the federal state. The written statements and the summings-up of the Leipzig trial of the Braun-Severing-Hirtsiefer Prussian government and of the Held Bavarian government, respectively, and the pronouncement of the Supreme Court of 25 October 1932 contained fine examples and evidence of such “endless stipulation of federalism.”[6] The true value of the achievement, which the law on the Reich governors is, becomes evident only against this background of the pre-National Socialist world of ideas of the multi-party federal state, although given the fast process of development of the” German unity nowadays, perhaps it might appear already out of date.

Indeed, after this law, it is no longer possible to designate the provinces as states, unless the concept of state transforms itself essentially once more, as it did once, previously, after 1871. Perhaps one might try to remove the “political” trait from the concept of state, and thoroughly “depoliticize” the province-states, as sovereignty, its characteristic feature, was removed after 1871, in order to preserve the provinces as states. Considering the changeability of words and concepts, it would not be unthinkable to designate lands or provinces as “states,” just as the political unity of the “United States of America” is made of “states.” The term “state” would then convey a certain autonomous structure and decentralization within a political unity. But today it is more important to make sure beyond any doubt that the territorial structures inside the Reich submit absolutely and unreservedly to the political leadership of the Reich, and that they cannot claim a right to their own policy under any form, above all under the until now extremely dangerous pretext of the “apolitical character” of an issue. For our present-day German notions, the idea of a “depoliticized state” is as impossible as that of a “demilitarized army.” Indeed, the German provinces enjoy certain powers that belong to the “authority of the state.” Thus, they do have state authority; but under no circumstances are they “states.” The German state is only the German Reich. The Reich is a composite formation of largely autonomous lands or provinces, but it is not a “federal state.” The noxious concept of the nineteenth century, which conceptually clamps together federation and state and so makes a non-state of the Reich, must disappear from internal German law. Whether the term “federalism” should be maintained is purely a practical question of terminology. As long as there is the danger that confederation and federal state might be regarded as equivalent, in virtue of the old thinking habits of the nineteenth century, it would be better to avoid this word which is so much misused. Let us not forget what is said in Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf about “federalism as mask.”[7]

The developments started with the law of 7 April 1933 on the Reich governors have not come to an end. The Leader’s statements at this year’s party Congress in Nuremberg are known. The political unity of the German people does not rest upon the German lands or the German tribes, but upon the self-contained unity of the German people and of the National Socialist movement, carrier of state and people. There is no longer any constitutional guarantee of the territory or the existence of today’s provinces. Nor can it be by any chance inferred in a roundabout way from the proviso for the institution of the Reichsrat, included in the constitutional law of 24 March 1933.[8]

The present German lands or provinces, as well as those that might be formed, are structures of a particular kind and of a type utterly autonomous. They are neither states nor bodies of communal auto-administration. I would like to limit the notion of communal auto-determination strictly to the auto-administration of local neighborhoods (rural and urban, department, and rural district), because one is dealing with territorial corporations, and in rest, to relate the auto-administration to professional and similar organizations whose place in the overall framework of the National Socialist fabric is marked out closer to the series “people.”

4. An entirely new sequence of questions concerns the legal relations between the state and the movement. Despite some isolated similarities between the National Socialist state and the Italian Fascist state, a great difference has come to the fore regarding the relationship between the party and the civil service, the party and the army, the party and the head of state. Since the law of 14 December 1929, the Fascist party is indeed “an organ of the state” (un organo dello Stato), but not an unmediated public or state organ. Such a state organ (organo statale) is only a certain organ of the party, namely the Grand Council of Fascism (il Gran Cosiglio del Fascismo; see Santi Romano: Corso di diritto costituzionale, 4th ed., 1933, p. 127).[9] The National Socialist German Workers’ party, as carrier of the idea of the state, is equally and indissolubly linked to the state. But neither the party organization as a whole, nor a certain authority as such have the character of an unmediated “state organ” today, 1 December 1933. It goes without saying that the National Socialist party is in no way a “party” in the sense of the now superseded pluralistic party system. It is the leading body that carries the state and the people. The law of 14 July 1933 against the reconstitution of parties secures this unique and exclusive preferential position for it against all attempts to revive the previous confessional, class, or other kinds of pluralism. According to the law to secure the unity of party and state of 1 December 1933 (RGBl, I, p. 1016), the party is a corporation of public law, and in fact, in another and superior way than any of the many corporations of public law, which are under state control. The Leader’s Deputy and the Chief of Staff of the SA[10] become members of the Reich Cabinet in order to guarantee the closest cooperation of the services of the party and the SA with the public bodies. With regard to their special and lofty duties, the members of the party and the SA are subordinate to a special jurisdiction of the party and the SA. The link with the state is based mainly on personal ties, with which the heads of the different organizational series bind each other not in a capricious, casual manner, but on the real foundation of the general framework of the political unity. These personal ties have already to some extent acquired an institutional character: the Leader of the National Socialist movement is the Chancellor of the German Reich; his paladins and subleaders occupy other offices of political leadership, such as Reich Minister, Minister President of Prussia, Reich Governors, Ministers of Prussia, Bavaria, and so on. In addition to these personal ties, there may be typical means of contact between the state and the party, certain possibilities to influence, particularly of a personal kind (rights to propose, nominate and recommend for regional or local party offices). All further ties and delimitations—even the fundamental compatibility of party office with state and auto-administrative posts, or the opposite, that is, their fundamental incompatibility—are a question of expediency. But the organizational basic lines are set by the state, movement, people triad, consistently in agreement with the logic that state, movement, people are distinct but not divided, linked but not fused.

The link between state and party cannot be grasped by means of notions used until now when talking about state and non-state, party and non-party. All the interferences by the courts, based on such alternatives, in state and party matters (interventions corresponding to the liberal ideal of the incessant legal quarrels that take place to establish the truth) are in conflict with the triadic state structure. It will be necessary to ensure a clear delimitation of the various spheres by means of well-tried practices, such as that of the so-called conflict inquiry [Konfliktserhebung], and to preserve the courts from the dangers of the political sphere, in the interest of their independence. Because it seems likely that the open and the hidden enemies of the new state will make use of the old political means to represent some issue as “a purely legal matter” in order to drag the state and the movement into court, and in that way—through the equalization of the parties inherent in the logic of trial procedure—to put on an act that they are on a par with the state and the movement. A right to verification, as the courts have assumed in relation to the laws of the Reich (Ruling of the Fifth Civil Senate of the Reich Court of 4 November 1925. RGZ, vol. Ill, pp. 320f[11]), is out of the question as far as the government laws of the Reich Government are concerned. First of all, because these legislative powers of the Reich Government have a constitutional character, secondly, this legislation by the Government is at the same time a matter of acts of a government which through the right to legislate has restored the true concept of “government”[12] and thirdly, such an interference by the courts could be justified only by the dual view of state and non-state (to dwelt upon in Chapter III), which is incompatible with the new triadic overall structure the political unity.

Hence, nowadays, it would be dangerous and misleading to keep using the old distinctions between law and politics and to put such alternative questions of statal and non-statal, public or private, judicial or political. We are confronted by a completely new problem of state law. The National-Socialist party is neither a state in the sense of the old state, nor is it non-statal and private, in the sense of the old juxtaposition of the state sphere and the state-free sphere. Nor can the criteria of responsibility, particularly of collective responsibility for abuse of office (Article 131 of the Weimar Constitution, §839 of the German Civil Code)[13] be applied to the party or to the SA. The courts are just as little permitted on any pretext to interfere in the internal problems and decisions of the party organization, and violate its leader-principle from without. The internal organization and discipline of the party, carrier of state and people, are its own business. It must develop its own standards on its own strictest responsibility. The party offices, on which this duty is incumbent, have to make use of a function on which no more and no less than the destiny of the party depends, and with it also the destiny of the political unity of the German people. No other authority, and least of all a bourgeois judicially-molded procedural court, can take from the party or the SA this colossal task which also amasses all the risk of the political. Concerning this matter, it is entirely self-reliant.


[1] See note 4 in the previous chapter.

[2] English-speaking historians and translators tend to render the German term Berufabeamten as “professional civil servants,” which sounds rather pleonastic, given the fact that all civil servants were professionals, because in Germany at least, they had to submit to special examinations and training for the positions for which they applied. What in principle is important in their case is that they were entitled to tenure and like the career diplomats in the USA, were not political appointees. Hence, the preference to use the English terms “career civil servants” wherever that applies in both translations included in this book.

[3] Refers to the main transformation worked in the mentality and the structure of the German civil service by the law of 7 April 1933, known as the law for the reestablishment of the civil service, that led to the removal of any Left-wing or even Republican-leaning civil servant, and also of any civil servant of Jewish descent. Until Hindenburg’s death, exceptions were made for those in the latter category who had lost a parent or a sibling in the war or were themselves war veterans. That law was strengthened by other two of 30 June and 20 July 1933 which also regulated admission to the Bar, and applied to educators at all levels, and to law enforcement bodies.

[4] The question, to which series of this triadic structure the churches belong, is not under consideration. As long as the church does not lay any totalitarian political claim, it may find its place in the third series, that is to say, the sphere of autonomous administration; but if it lays the political claim to totality, that would mean that it claims to assign to the state, the movement, and the people their position on its own. and to discriminate on its own between the friend and the enemy of the people—Author’s note.

[5] The emphasis is on direct and mechanical subordination according to a principle of ranking leadership, so to speak. The provincial governors were, according to the law of 7 April 1933, the Reich Chancellor’s delegates charged to supervise the implementation of the laws of the Reich and of the Leader’s orders in the provinces or the group of provinces allotted to them. As vice-chancellors to the provinces, their authority was all inclusive at the expense of the last attributes of statehood of the provinces. In virtue of that law, Hitler appointed himself governor of Prussia, at the expense of von Papen, but entrusted the functions of that office to his henchman Hermann Göring, as Minister President of Prussia. Known as the “second law of the coordination of the provinces with the Reich,” it marks the second stage in the streamlining process of concentration of state power in the hands of the Leader. The process had been started with the 31 March law of coordination, which had called the National Socialist governments of the confederate states to legislate in tune with and by taking the example of the Reich government, and disregard the constitutions and the procedures peculiar to the respective states. It had also provided for the dissolution of all the elected provincial parliaments, and of all district, city, and village councils, and for their reorganization on the basis of the results of the Reich elections of 5 March 1933. The new, selected provincial assemblies would be short-lived, though, because another Government law of 13 October 1933 would suspend them indefinitely, and increase the power of the governors.

[6] According to the Reich Commissioner for Justice, State Minister Dr. Frank at the Reich Congress of the Party in 1933, in Juristische Wochenschrift 1933, p. 2091—Author’s note.

[7] On 31 January 1934, that is, after the publication of this book, a new law on the reorganization of the Reich fully abolished any constitutional and administrative particularity of the provinces, and their parliamentary representation, and suppressed the nationalities, forbidding any official distinctions such as. for instance, between Saxons and Franconians, Swabians, Rhinelanders, etc.: they were all Germans. The same law deprived the big cities of their autonomy, replacing their councils by mayors and commissioners appointed by the Reich Government.

[8] That is the title of chapter X in the second volume of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. There are several English translations available. In the 1939 printing of Reynal and Hitchcock of New York, the only available to me at this time, it runs between pp. 816–45.

[9] The law of 24 March 1933, which was passed in terms of the Weimar Constitution, that is, with two thirds of the votes, both of the Reichstag and the Reichsrat, brought no specific alterations to the two institutions as defined by that constitution. That also meant that the states with their territorial sovereignty were at least theoretically not affected by the law, which brought about a crisis within the new Reich government. Apparently, it was the Reich Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick who undertook to solve it through the gradual coordination of the states into the provinces of a centralized entity and the ultimate dissolution of the Reichsrat in 1934.

[10] It was that Grand Council of Fascism, which in a meeting on the night of 24–25 July 1943, subjected Mussolini to scorching criticism for his conduct and repudiated him, thus facilitating his dismissal by the King and his arrest. None of that could have happened in the National Socialist Germany.

[11] That is to say, Rudolf Hess, as deputy leader of the party, in charge of the party’s affairs, and Ernst Röhm, as Chief of Staff of the Sturm Abteilung (Self-Defense Section), better known as “Storm Troops.” As far as Röhm was concerned, that appointment was seen as the correction of an omission that had long been a grievance with the SA. The largest paramilitary formation of the National Socialist party, the SA had acted aa the party’s instrument of mass terrorism, but after 30 January 1933 saw its role changed into the embodiment of the revolution from below. In fact Hitler had already been making plans to do away with Röhm and reduce the impact of the SA in the public arena in favor of the discipline of the Army. After the 30 June–4 July 1934 purge, the SA was superseded by the SS (Schutz Staffeln—Echelons of Protection) which won its independence from the SA on the occasion.

[12] The initials stand for “Reichsgericht für Zivilsachen,” which translates as “the Reich Court for Civil Law Cases.”

[13] More about the notion of government may be found in Chapter IV, pp. 46–48, farther on.

Source: Carl Schmitt, State, Movement, People: The Triadic Structure of the Political Unity, ed. and trans. Simona Draghici (Corvallis, Oregon: Plutarch Press, 2001).



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