Guide Carl Schmitt: Ein Konservativer in revolutionären Zeiten (German Edition)

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While Nazi political science conceded that parliamentary democracy was a thing of the past in Germany, prominent representatives of the discipline such as Ernst Rudolf Huber declared, with reference to Roman history, that the Third Reich could not be defined as a dictatorship. Dictatorship is a temporary exception to the rule which serves to restore the normal order.

More to the point is what Karl-Dietrich Bracher wrote in "the Third Reich was, from the beginning to the end, governance by emergency legislation that knew no constitutional constraints.

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For many contemporaries, there was no question of Nazi rule's dictatorial character right from the start. Admittedly, it took time for them to perceive its break with the classic concept of dictatorship. It gradually became clear that dictatorship in the twentieth century was a form of statehood that could not be grasped with ideas inherited from the nineteenth century. As of , this was accompanied by an awakening interest in the comparative study of Bolshevism, fascism, and Nazism. Expatriates, dissidents, and heretics who had broken with a radical movement unleashed a debate that redefined the term dictatorship.

Contrary to the self-descriptions of Communists and Nazis, who defined themselves as political antipodes, these thinkers emphasized the affinity, indeed elective affinity, between these two regimes. In the early twentieth century, dictatorship presupposed the existence of a state. Basically, it meant statehood in a state of emergency. Under Stalinism and Nazism this certainty vanished, and the observers of European dictatorships began to realize that this form of rule could not be grasped with traditional notions of statehood.

This gave rise to various attempts to understand dictatorship as a total state leviathan or a non-state behemoth. A new theory of dictatorships developed during the core years of European catastrophe, i.

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It emerged as a reaction to Nazism and Stalinism, and can therefore be interpreted as part of a liberal-democratic strategy of self-reassurance in times of tyranny. Already in the s, at a time when the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were engaged in an international propaganda battle, some observers began to see a resemblance between these two regimes of violence. After there were more and more voices emphasizing not so much the political opposition between Nazi Germany and the U.

Critics from the left wing played a central role here. Thus, the Austro-Marxist Otto Bauer called the Soviet Union of the s a "totalitarian dictatorship of the communist one-party state," and Karl Kautsky drew comparisons between Nazism and rule under Stalin. He called Stalin a dictator, referred to party rule as terrorist dictatorship, and talked about the reign of a clique around Stalin.

He was one of the first to note tendencies towards the dissolution of the state and explained that modern dictatorship was based on informal circumstances. German emigration spurred debate over Nazism, though always with an eye on Stalin's Russia. Gurian underscored the anti-liberal core of modern dictatorships, their obsession with national unity, which was constantly being evoked and performed and which found its true expression in the Leader cult.

Fraenkel, in the preface to The Dual State , regretted that his book was "restricted to a discussion of National-Socialist Germany" and hoped — in — that the future would bring a "comparative study of dictatorships. He argues that the Nazis "were able to transform the constitutional and temporary [i. Ernst Fraenkel's former Berlin associate, Franz Neumann, published an even more radical interpretation of Nazism in from American exile, expanding upon it in Following Thomas Hobbes and Jewish eschatology, he referred to Nazi rule as a behemoth, declaring that the total state was in reality a non-state.

It had neither a political theory nor was it characterized by statehood in the proper sense, and was therefore not a dual state. He emphasized that the core of Nazi rule could not be grasped with rational models. The discussion of European dictatorships continued after the Second World War. Particularly influential interpretations developed in the early phases of the Cold War.


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In The Origins of Totalitarianism , first published in New York in , Hannah Arendt avoided the term dictatorship and, following Franz Neumann, emphasized the fluid nature of total rule. She pleaded for "applying the old categories of bureaucracy, tyranny, or dictatorship to the phenomenon of total rule," yet still referred to the new ruler as a "totalitarian dictator. In contrast to Arendt, Carl J. Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski emphasized the modern and rational elements of Stalinism and Nazism. Both of them explicitly used the terms totalitarian dictatorship to describe what they, too, considered a new phenomenon: "Totalitarian dictatorship may, in a preliminary characterization, be called an autocracy based upon modern technology and mass legitimation.

They defined totalitarian dictatorship as a phenomenon sui generis , as the expression of a crisis in European statehood, and suggested that their similarities were greater than their differences.

Perry Anderson, A New Germany?, NLR 57, May–June

Recognizing the usefulness of a comparative approach, they developed a set of criteria that included an ideology, a state party, terror, a monopoly on communications, a monopoly on weaponry, and a planned economy. In contradistinction to Neumann and Arendt, this political-science interpretation describes the rationalization of dictatorial rule in an attempt to define an ideal type. To be sure, Carl J. Friedrich was well aware of the pitfalls of such a conceptualization, as evident in his entry in the "Soviet System and Democratic Society: A Comparative Encyclopedia.

Unlike Schmitt's terminology, Friedrich preferred to differentiate between constitutional and unconstitutional dictatorships. He thought it meaningful to speak of dictatorships only when a revolutionary movement asserts its claim to a violent transformation of society. Military dictatorships like those in Latin America were perhaps legitimate but not totalitarian. Like Schmitt in , Friedrich bemoaned as late as that the concept of dictatorship had become questionable, being used primarily with reference to permanent forms of rule — a tendency he himself promoted.

The experiences of Bolshevism, fascism, and Nazism firmly established the negative connotations of the concept of dictatorship in the second half of the twentieth century. This is probably the reason why the term was largely eschewed in the self-description of communist regimes, which instead used terms such as "people's democracy" in Eastern Europe or "people's state" in the Soviet Union. In The New Class , Yugoslavian communist Milovan Djilas spoke not about dictatorship but the "totalitarian tyranny" of rulers. He, too, underscored the strong position of the potentate when he admitted "that there is a constant tendency to transform an oligarchic dictatorship into a personal dictatorship.

Seen from within, Tito's rule likewise had all the features of a behemoth. The term dictatorship faded into the background in the s in the public sphere of communist party states. And yet in the arcane spheres of power, Stasi chief Erich Mielke would use it as late as when speaking to the guardians of the East German regime, referring to his ministry as the "special organ of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

In the political language of the present day, the term dictatorship usually no longer refers to a state of emergency, state-of-siege law, or martial law, but a form of rule that is set up permanently and predicated on violence, that renounces liberal-democratic legitimation through elections, and has an autocratic center of power, the dictator. Dictatorship is the diametric opposite of democracy. As such, modern dictatorships are a central focus of research in contemporary history. The concept of dictatorship has been blurred, however, by the abovementioned decoupling from its original meaning.

It is therefore of only limited use to scholars, being more suitable as a political label than for actual historical analysis. In classic Cold War-era Sovietology, the term dictatorship was applied indiscriminately to the Soviet Union. In general, researchers use it as a synonym for autocratic rule by force and show little interest in its implications in terms of conceptual history.

Researchers have turned to the protagonists themselves, especially the perpetrators — to their violent practices of rule and the mass executions. They have inquired into the dynamics of rule by force, as well as the limits of dictatorship. The classic concept of totalitarian dictatorship has been joined by new concepts: modern dictatorship, mobilization dictatorship, state-socialist dictatorship, welfare dictatorship, consensus dictatorship, to name a few.

The legitimacy of comparing Nazism with other forms of violent rule was long a controversial question in Germany. In the Historikerstreit , or "historians' dispute," of the s, the opponents of Ernst Nolte emphasized the singularity of Nazi rule and its crimes. What's more, from a global history perspective, it is evident that modern European dictatorships have had no lack of imitators on other continents.

While it is true that political scientists have made out several waves of democratization since the s, it is just as clear that dictatorships can have tremendous staying power and generally only lose their grip on power when defeated in war or when a dictator loses the support of elites, especially the military and the secret police. The voluntary surrender of power by communist rulers in the Soviet empire between and was essentially a historical anomaly, since here too it would have been possible to put down protest by force.

The variety of authoritarian regimes was a hallmark of the twentieth century and is still characteristic of the present.

Behrends dictatorship v2 en 2017

Alongside Stalinism, fascism, and Nazism there are numerous subtypes and even new forms of autocratic rule. In the Soviet empire we encountered the paradox of General Jaruzelski's military dictatorship in the continuum of communist dictatorship in postwar Poland. Since an Islamic dictatorship has ruled in Iran with the avowed aim of establishing a theocracy — a new type of regime that, together with Islamicism, is riding on the wave of an international revolutionary movement.

In the context of decolonization, numerous dictatorial regimes emerged in the s, mostly of a conventional nature or derivatives of the European types, many of which have remained stable over decades and yet still encounter problems of legitimacy, as seen in the Arab Spring of The emergent power of the twenty-first century, China, bears the burden of a totalitarian past and is a kind of hybrid between a communist party-state and a liberal economy.

The developments in China call into question many of our inherited beliefs about dictatorships that still held true at the end of the twentieth century. Yet the price paid by a Chinese population still lacking fundamental rights under party rule is a high one, to be sure. The transformation of —90 has shown, furthermore, that it was wrong to assume that liberal orders would henceforth triumph across the globe.

Francis Fukuyama's theory of the "end of history" has certainly not panned out. Russia is a hybrid regime ruled autocratically by Putin. Independent institutions do not exist there; politics are determined by and large by informal networks, and democratic participation is staged.

Götz Kubitschek

Even in East-Central Europe, which witnessed the establishment of constitutional states in the s, authoritarian developments have been evident since the s, e. These phenomena have given rise to debate, especially among political scientists, about how to conceptualize these forms of rule. It seems that the concept of dictatorship plays hardly any role at all in scholarship focused on current affairs. The concept has effectively been relegated to the twentieth century, being replaced by new classifications such as "hybrid" or "authoritarian" regimes, that are more characteristic of political life in large parts of the world.

The political conflict in twenty-first-century Europe is marked by the contrast between liberal and authoritarian orders. Despite its general absence in public debate, the concept of dictatorship in its classic form has lost none of its significance for diagnosing the present. This is especially true with regard to the legitimacy of constitutional dictatorships in liberal societies. The French coup of and the role of de Gaulle raise questions similar to those in connection with the actions of Helmut Schmidt in the German Autumn of or the imperial presidency of George W.

Bush in the wake of September 11, It is imperative especially in times of terror to reflect on states of emergency. Even after the experience of the twentieth century and it European dictatorships, the question remains as to how a free society should maintain social order in emergency situations. Is it true what the positivist school of Hans Kelsen asserted, that the constitution with its guaranteed rights is valid for everyone at all times?

Or have the last decades confirmed the position of Schmitt and his followers instead, that the strength of a constitutional order is revealed in a state of emergency and that the rule of law must be defended with extralegal means if necessary "Necessity knows no law"? German Version: Jan C. Antisemitismus, Imperialismus, Totalitarismus, 6. Piper, [], ISBN Ernst Fraenkel, Der Doppelstaat, 2. Carl J. Friedrich, Zbigniew K. Brzezinski, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, 2. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Gustav E. Kafka, Art. Franz Neumann, Behemoth. Struktur und Praxis des Nationalsozialismus, , 5. Fischer, Frankfurt a. Ernst Nolte, Art. Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland. Carl Schmitt, Die Diktatur. Versions: 2. Copyright c Clio-online e. SomeProperty:: , [[]] und kann somit nicht als Name oder Teil einer Abfragebedingung verwendet werden.

Behrends dictatorship v2 en Aus Docupedia. Wechseln zu: Navigation , Suche. Close Print. Now in English: The term dictatorship originates from the roman constitutional law, in which it described the temporary rule of a dictator who was above the law to defend the republic. This initial meaning was reshaped multiple times during the 20th century; the modern meaning was developed as a self-description and exonym for the communist, fascist and Nazi regime.

The article written by Jan C. Behrends reconstructs the history of the term during the 20th century, focussing on the Russian and German case, concluding with a view on the contemporary historical research of today. Source: russianposter. The Classic Meaning of Dictatorship and a Rough Outline of its Conceptual History The term dictatorship comes from Roman constitutional law, where it referred to the temporary rule of a dictator granted powers above the law for the sake of defending the republic.

Source: Wikimedia Commons , Public Domain.


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