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Unformatted text preview: Schmitt K U Mich Seniors 2010 NOTES Carl Schmitt was a German political theorist and legal scholar during the 20 th century who was critical of liberal and universal theories of sovereignty. Schmitt thought that conflict and division are inevitable, and claimed that the distinction between friend and enemy is what founds the political. Plurality defines our existence, because people will always disagree about what is good and bad. These disagreements are what cause the friend/enemy division. Liberalism, in presenting itself as universal, openly denies this distinction, but because it sees its values as universally correct, it ends up demonizing, excluding, or even eliminating those who disagree, rather than recognizing that other people will simply value different things. Carl Schmitt is a very controversial figure due to his membership in the Nazi party and refusal to recant after the Germans lost World War II. Many claim that his celebration of the friend/enemy distinction is a justification for the Holocaust – others say that his theoretical work is independent of his political affiliation, and that his support of seeing the enemy as an equal is a rejection of the Holocaust, which was an example of dehumanizing the enemy, Liberal universalism claims that it is tolerant and accepting of everyone, but Schmitt claims that in actuality it is violently exclusive towards those who disagree with its values. By denying the existence of any “rational” enemies, it constantly produces unacknowledged enemies which are not viewed as equal and thus can be eliminated with impunity. There is evidence that indicates this includes things like soft power, hegemony, and democracy promotion – which all rest on the idea that the rest of the world should be like us and value the same things we do. For critical affirmatives, some of the evidence claims that criticism of U.S. unilateralism is also problematic (this may also apply to some policy affs) – in seeing the U.S. as irrational and power-hungry, it is de-legitimized as barbaric when compared to the more civilized European states who represent true liberalism. Additionally, in trying to get everyone to hold hands, critical affirmatives often try to escape sovereignty, division, and conflict – which denies the fundamental nature of the political. Instead of falsely believing that everyone will have the same values and get along, we should recognize the irreducible plurality of opinions and groups....
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