Series: Crooked Timber Comments on Schmitt

Concept of the Political as Concept of Conception (Blog Comment)

(longer version of a comment left at a typically impossible discussion of Carl Schmitt at the Crooked Timber blog.) the single most interesting question he raises, if not uniquely, then signally, is the constitutional paradox of the constituting/constituted power. That

Posted in Featured, notes, Philosophy Tagged with:

2nd Comment on “David Brooks: Better in the original German” (Schmitt and the neo-imperial moment)

(proofread version of comment at Crooked Timber) Mr. Timberman @125 [Italics in original comment], “converting freedom into political [or any kind of] obligation” appears to translate as “converting freedom into its opposite.” If I’m obligated to you and yours at

Posted in History, Neo-Imperialism, Philosophy, War Tagged with: , , , , ,

Nth Comment at Crooked Timber on Schmitt-Brooks and the End of History

The early modern political philosophers… did rather exhaustively examine these questions and the related ones on the nature of power or the origins of authority. They did provide answers. They knew we wouldn’t all like them or fully understand them. Indeed, to a very significant degree the early modern philosophers not only acknowledged, but rather depended on the latter – on general incapacities of understanding. They hoped and trusted that enough of us would accept and implement their proposals under well-considered modifications. If we are in fact still living with those answers, showing no sign of succesfully implementing alternative ones, then Hegel was right, as far as we can say, to claim that in his time humanity had reached the end of history in principle.

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, The Exception Tagged with: ,

Order of orders: possibly last comment on Brooks-Schmitt, this one not posted at CT

…why Schmitt arguably does qualify as Hegelian, and why his two main practical-political projects, synthesis of his theological conservatism with ideological liberalism, and then with Nazism, were, despite superficial dissimilarities, versions of the same “political theological” project, which had to fail, as a committed opportunism lacking opportunity: He was a statist-conservative in an epoch of the (self-)destruction of the nation-state, a believer in “concrete order” whose own position was built on quicksand. Or you could say simply that he identified as an individual with a society bent on collective suicide. For Heidegger, it was something similar. For Brooks and contemporary Americanists of his broad type, there are distinct parallels, but on a different order of orders.

Posted in History, notes, Philosophy Tagged with: , , ,

again as to the irrational underestimation by rationalists of the rationality of irrationalism

“The Temporary Name” points1 to a few of a series of embedded presumptions in a comment by “Anarcissie,”2 and, naturally, responds on the basis of a few of his or her own, but, rather than try to establish some sort

Posted in Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Politics, Religion, The Exception Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Twice more into the breach: Hume, Kahn, Schmitt; faith <-> violence (un/reason)

1. Intro by way of a response to Mr. Halasz at the Crooked Timber thread: @239: The Wikipedia entry on Kahn is a good capsule summary. I often wonder why, given that he’s a distinguished professor at Yale (not some

Posted in Anismism, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, The Exception, War Tagged with: , , ,

Noted & Quoted

[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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So, does Mitchell make any money on the work, which has been shared so many times? He uploaded a high-res image of the symbol and granted permission for anyone to use it personally for free. But for those who want to support his work or simply want something readymade, you can also buy T-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and journals emblazoned with the symbol through Threadless.“I really just want to spread the image as much as possible and cement it in history,” Mitchell says. “In all honesty, the amount I’ve made from my Threadless shop so far is still less than my hourly rate, so I don’t really see it as a big deal. If you look at my Twitter, half the replies are people wanting to know where they can buy a shirt. Threadless is happy to help them out with that, and so I’m happy to let that happen.”Now that the symbol has flooded our streets and our timelines, Mitchell just has one request: “Impeach this idiot already,” he says.

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This is a Waterloo moment for Trump, the tea party and their alliance. They have been stopped in their tracks not only by Democratic opposition but because of a mutiny within their own ranks. Although never particularly liked or respected, it is now clear that they are no longer feared. The bankruptcy of their ideas and their incompetence have been exposed. Their momentum has been dissipated. Their rejection of political norms has itself been scorned. Our long national nightmare may finally be coming to an end.

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+ BTW, I recently upgraded some this and that on the back end of the blog, and it does seem to make comments post much faster [. . .]
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