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Remembering Carl Schmitt:
July 11, 1888–April 7, 1985

Carl Schmitt, 1888–1985

988 words

Carl Schmitt was born on July 11, 1888 in Plettenberg, Westphalia, Germany — where he died on April 7, 1985, at the age of 96. The son of a Roman Catholic small businessman, Carl Schmitt studied law in Berlin, Munich, and Strasbourg, graduating and taking his state exams in Strasbourg in 1915. In 1916, he earned his habilitation in Strasbourg, qualifying him to be a law professor. He taught at business schools and universities in Munich, Greifswald, Bonn, Berlin, and Cologne.

During the Third Reich, Schmitt joined the NSDAP (on May 1, 1933). He was appointed Prussian State Counselor and President of the Union of National Socialist Jurists. He particularly enjoyed the confidence and patronage of Hermann Göring, but from 1936 on was regarded as ideologically unsound by some within the SS. In 1945, he was arrested and interned for more than a year by American occupiers. Schmitt refused “de-Nazification” and retired to the village of his birth where he continued to write, receive visitors, and quietly maintain his political contacts until the end of his life. Among his many visitors were Ernst Jünger, Alexandre Kojève, Guillaume Faye, and Jean-Louis Feuerbach.

Schmitt is now widely recognized as one of the great anti-liberal political and legal theorists, whose works are valued on the anti-liberal left as well as on the right. His books are steadily being translated into English. Available titles include:

Schmitt is one of the most significant political theorists for the North American New Right, and one measure of the embryonic state of our movement is that we are just beginning to come to grips with him. Counter-Currents/North American New Right has published a number of works by Schmitt online:

We have also published several studies of Schmitt:

The following essays make substantial reference to Schmitt:

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4 Comments

  1. unknowable here
    Posted July 12, 2019 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Die autochthonen Verteidiger des heimatlichen Bodens, die pro aris et focis starben, die nationalen und patriotischen Helden, die in den Wald gingen, alles, was gegenüber der fremden Invasion die Reaktion einer elementaren, tellurischen Kraft war, ist inzwischen unter eine internationale und übernationale Zentralsteuerung geraten, die hilft und unterstützt, aber nur im Interesse eigener, ganz anders gearteter, weltaggressiver Ziele, und die, je nachdem schützt oder im Stich läßt. Der Partisan hört dann auf, wesentlich defensiv zu sein. Er wird zu einem manipulierten Werkzeug weltrevolutionärer Aggressivität. Er wird einfach verheizt und um alles das betrogen, wofür er den Kampf aufnahm und worin der tellurische Charakter, die Legitimität seiner partisanischen Irregularität, verwurzelt war.

    Carl Schmitt, Theorie des Partisanen: Zwischenbemerkung zum Begriff des Politischen (Duncker & Humblot, Berlin: 1975) p.73.

    Translated:

    Indigenous defenders of homeland soil, who died pro aris et focis, national, patriotic heroes who went into the woods, everything which was the reaction of a telluric force in the face of foreign invasion, has now fallen to an international and supranational steering committee, which helps and supports in the interest of its own specific cosmic-aggressive ends – and which protects and abandons accordingly. The partisan ceases to be merely defensive. He becomes a manipulated tool of worldwide revolutionary aggressiveness. He thereafter becomes incensed that he had been deceived about that for which he took up his struggle, which defined his telluric character and bestowed legitimacy on his partisan irregularity.

    [this translation appears without credit in Paul Gottfried, Carl Schmitt: Politics and Theory (Greenwood Press, New York: 1990) p.86.]

  2. Archie Bunker
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    That’s quite a stack of books and essays to get through? Any suggestions as to a good entry point?

  3. SMM
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    What an extremely timely article for me. Somehow the vigorous culture of the Amish led me to looking up the meaning of totalitarian wondering if that was the word that applies to a community whose religious, educational and work world are integrated. Which led me to discovering Carl Schmitt, the “displaced Catholic”, who seems to have grasped the role of secularized religion in forming the foundation of our politics. An understanding that the popular right has just started to wake up to recently.

    So I thought to myself, why don’t I ever remember reading about such an important critic of liberalism before. Naturally your little preserve of the literate right came to mind and paying a visit or the first time in some time lo and behold. Kudos and thank you for the work you do Greg.

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