Liberalismi, demokratia ja totaalinen valtio. Carl Schmitt representaation ja identiteetin välissä

Liberalism, democracy and the total state. Carl Schmitt between identity and re-presentation

The article is an analysis of Carl Schmitt's concepts of liberalism, parliamentarism, democracy, the qualitative and the quantitative total state, identity, re-presentation, dictatorship and myth. The central argument is that it is impossible to examine these widely used concepts and conceptions without knowledge of Schmitt's basic question that concerns the fundamental nature of power. Liberalism's basic error is to conceive power as something evil and repressive. It fights against power with individual freedom as its weapon. It substitutes ethics for politics and subordinates it to the sphere of economy. Parliamentarism, on the other hand, tries to replace power with discussion. The so-called quantitative total state – unable to set a limit to its power and to distinquish between political and non-political matters – tries, in turn, to substitute material abundance for power. All this does not, however, annihilate power; instead, it just hides it. Nevertheless, the necessary pre-condition of a political unit (Einheit) is the visibility of power and this visibility or publicity is possible only through representation. According to Schmitt, every political unit is based on representation. What is represented is not, in the first place, however, the natural interests of an electorate as in a parliamentary system, but an idea. The idea, in turn, is something higher than the mere natural existence of men. However, there is no contradiction between the idea and the natural existence, insofar as, at the deepest level, they presuppose each other. What there is between them – between the transcendence and the immanence – is an irreconcilable tension. Schmitt's sovereign dictator is the figure that represents this tension, and the myth – for instance the myth of the people – is the form through which it is represented. The qualitative total state is the state (status) of that people.

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