Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: Understanding Liberalism

In continuing an examination of Carl Schmitt’s Concept of the Political, we turn to focus in one his widely influential and much debated understanding and critique of liberalism.  Schmitt’s critique of liberalism has been influential to those on the New Left (post-Marxist Left) as well as those on the political Right (conservatives proper) who share an … Continue reading Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: Understanding Liberalism

Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: The Friend-Enemy Distinction

In one of his early and most well-known works, the Concept of the Political, Carl Schmitt endeavors to explore what the political is and is not.  There are multiple layers to Schmitt’s thinking and his criticism of liberalism, in particular, and where he sees himself in the grand scheme of Hegelian epochal historicism and the broader … Continue reading Carl Schmitt’s “Concept of the Political”: The Friend-Enemy Distinction

Carl Schmitt’s “Political Theology”

Carl Schmitt is one of the most controversial and influential political philosophers and political jurists of the 20th century.  His works have influenced everyone from the New Left, including the likes of Derrida and Foucault, and those on the Right, most notably Leo Strauss.  Schmitt, among other things, is generally credited with establishing the sub-discipline of … Continue reading Carl Schmitt’s “Political Theology”

Carl Schmitt and the Concept of Sovereignty

Carl Schmitt begins his essay on political theology by discussing sovereignty.  As he famously opens, “Sovereign is he who decides on the exception.”  What exactly does this all entail? Schmitt’s definition that the sovereign is he who decides on the exception is one of the most famous sentences of all modern political philosophy.  In fact, the last … Continue reading Carl Schmitt and the Concept of Sovereignty

John Locke: From Self-Preservation to Property

John Locke is one of the most important modern philosophers.  He contributed, most famously – though often misunderstood by people who name-drop him – to political philosophy. But Locke also made important contributions to philosophy more broadly: including epistemology, theology, and labor theory in economics.  In this post I would like to examine the internal … Continue reading John Locke: From Self-Preservation to Property

John Locke and the “Law of Nature”

One of the great debates of scholarship surrounding Locke is his “natural law” or law of nature theory. There are those that argue he stands squarely within the Ciceronian-Augustinian-Thomistic tradition wherein the natural law is not only moral, but it will, at end, produce happiness for us. There are others who claim otherwise – that the law … Continue reading John Locke and the “Law of Nature”

Our Brave New Century

Michel Foucault famously wrote in Madness and Civilization, “The ultimate language of madness is that of reason.”[1]  Foucault was referring to liberal civilization—born of the Enlightenment—a civilization that extolled the virtues of materialistic rationalism, individualism, market economics, private property, which ends in the slow erosion of the communitarian bonds that had shaped human society since pre-modernity.  … Continue reading Our Brave New Century