For Schmitt, the partisan of the Spanish guerrilla has specific significance as he was . (translation by G. L. Ulmen of the German original: Theorie des Partisanen. J. Müller, ´An Irregular that cannot be Regulated´: Carl Schmitt´s theory of the. [Theorie des Partisanen English],. Theory of the partisan: intermediate commentary on the concept of the political / Carl Schmitt; translated by G. L. Ulmen. p. cm. Carl Schmitt was a conservative German jurist and political theorist. Schmitt wrote extensively . Schmitt regarded the partisan as a specific and significant phenomenon; during the . Schmitt was termed the “Crown Jurist of the Third Reich” (“Kronjurist des Dritten Reiches”) by Waldemar Gurian. . Theorie des Partisanen.
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The following paper was presented at Telos in Europe: Since the Treaty of Westphalia, sovereignty in the West has been imagined in terms of the nation-state and its ability to provide a universal basis for political relations theorei within state boundaries and in relations with other similarly organized entities.
On the one hand, the nation-state originates as a means of overcoming the religious civil wars, and its establishment coincides with the attempt to relegate theological disputes to a private sphere that does not threaten the structure of the state. In this way, the state as opposed to the church becomes the primary form varl defining the political.
On the other hand, the development and stability of the nation-state system seems to have been inextricably linked to the dynamic of colonialism. For Ppartisan, the relationship between these two dynamics, the coalescence of nation-state relations in Europe on the basis of a limitation of war and the establishment of unlimited war in those areas outside of Europe without nation-state structures, has not been czrl but in fact constitutive for both the rise of the West and the structure of international relations in the modern world.
But if, as his earlier work suggests, the primary control on state power would not be another state but the consent of the people that is required in order for the sovereign to maintain power, then ideological presuppositions of an order such as the jus publicum europaeum are crucial for its survival. Schmitt has argued that the main threat to this system has been the rise of movements such as communism, but also liberalism itself, that reintroduce ideological appeals and thus theological questions into the establishment of political structures.
But it may be that the nation-state does not embody a rational basis for politics that is able to eliminate theological questions as a reason for political conflict. Rather, the nation-state may contain within itself an implicit theological structure in the way that it defines religious conviction as a private rather than a public issue.
If this is the case, then the nation-state system is also a particular one that could face an ideological challenge. In Theory of the PartisanSchmitt distinguishes between three kinds of enemy: The limited enemy is the enemy of a limited war within the system of the jus publicum europaeuma war that follows certain rules like that of a duel and in which disputes within an existing order are resolved. As Schmitt shows in The Nomos of the Earththis kind of limited war is only possible in a context in which the European state system can distinguish itself as system, on the one hand internally from a religiously thsorie organization of the political order and externally from total war in the colonial sphere.
This limited war breaks down as soon as the French Revolution and Napoleon put into question the organization of the political order of the jus publicum europaeum.
Napoleon was a real enemy for this political order, and the wars against Napoleon could consequently become partisan wars. Here the key point is that the irregularity of the partisan was not just the irregularity of the skirmisher nor of the criminal.
Carl Schmitt’s Theory of the Partisan and the Stability of the Nation-State
While the skirmisher simply conducts a different theirie of tactical warfare along with a regular army, the criminal schnitt seeks personal gain without any ideological agenda. In contrast to these two forms of irregularity, the Spanish guerilla attacked the structure of political order and thus of the public sphere being established by Napoleon.
Schmitt notes the centrality of the attack on the very existence of a particular public sphere: The weapon is displayed openly and demonstratively with the uniform. If the soldier in uniform is the target of the modern partisan, it is because this partisan is fighting to establish an alternative public sphere with different rules for determining who the legitimate political actors are.
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The parties to this struggle to determine the public sphere are consequently real enemies car Schmitt because there can be no compromise in such a conflict. There can only be one organization for the public sphere cael a particular time and place, and a disagreement about its structure can only be resolved in such a way that one of the parties will be excluded from the newly established or dy public sphere.
The French Revolution transforms war from something that takes place between ruling families within a single organization of the public sphere to something that is carried out between nations. But by making nationalism into such a key factor in war in order to create his large citizen armies in contrast to the parttisan focus of the officer corps in previous wars and in other armiesNapoleon created a link between war and individual sentiment.
The key conflict in the Napoleonic wars was between a public sphere organized around feudal and church hierarchies on the one hand and the new republican structures created through the French Revolution that defined political identity in terms of the nation.
In this context, the wars between ruling houses were fought as limited ones, because none of the parties to war sought to overturn the system of order. Napoleon was not simply engaging in a war within this earlier mode of politics, but was attempting to do away with this mode theorue politics entirely.
Therein lay the partisan character of his situation, which then led to the irregular military tactics.
This conflict about the structure of political order, rather than about a particular military technology, creates the possibility of the partisan, who does not recognize the regular order as a legitimate one, even when it has won the regular war. The difficulty that Napoleon eventually encountered was that his redefinition of war as a war of the people against the aristocratic order was so successful that it established the idea of the people as the basis of political identity all over Europe.
But in order for the people to become the locus of political identity, there needs to arise a new form of regularity, that is, a new organization of the public sphere. The people cannot exist as an abstract entity nor as a kind of self-evident ground. The birth of the partisans who fought against Napoleon were predicated on his success in redefining political identity in terms of the people and thus of national identity as pqrtisan representational form of the people.
This ideological situation in which the partisan seeks to establish a new structure of the public sphere tyeorie to the circumstance that the partisan always must be linked in some way, either through military support or through a vision of the future, to a regular organization: The tie to scjmitt is a tie to an alternative vision of the public sphere that would then be the basis of the regularity that does not yet exist but is being envisioned by the partisan.
Without the tie to regularity, the partisan does not represent an alternative order and thus cannot make thekrie claim to ideological legitimacy for guerilla tactics. Without this alternative vision, there would be no partisan but rather only a criminal Schmitt 90— Schmitt outlines two ways of understanding partisan war that he defines as real enmity and absolute enmity.
But the example of the Napoleonic wars demonstrates how this distinction between real and absolute enmity will always break down. The Napoleonic era saw two forms of partisanship. The local war immediately became an ideological war because the existence of a republican sfhmitt sphere in France threatened to reorganize the public sphere all across Europe in terms of republican and then of national identity.
Because a particular structure of the public sphere has implications for the way the international public sphere is organized, the distinction between real enemies and absolute enemies will always break down. But this defense of real enmity is in fact a defense of the nation-state system with its particular organization of friends and enemies in terms of nation-state boundaries.
But wars between nations in this system would in fact be limited wars to the extent that they would all recognize the legitimacy of the nation-state and its basis for legitimacy. In this sense, we could define World War I as a limited war that did not seek to establish a new basis for the public sphere but whose goals were in fact limited ones.
By contrast, communist revolutions did put into question the entire nation-state system and could then be considered a kind of real war that tried to set up new structures for the public sphere. The end of these aspirations has brought us back to a nation-state sytem, and the only clear alternatives at present are those international Islamic ideologies that seek to transcend nation-state relations by establishing an Islamic public sphere.
Carl Schmitt – Wikipedia
Throrie Carl Schmitt, Theory of the Partisan: Intermediate Commentary on the Concept of the Politicaltrans. Telos Press Publishing, On Derrida and Foucault. Don’t miss a single issue. Join the Telos Press mailing list.