Preface to the Second Edition 1934

The second edition of Political Theology remains unchanged. After twelve years, one can judge to what extent this short publication, which appeared in March 1922, has withstood the test of time. The disputes with liberal normativism and its kind of "constitutional state" are repeated verbatim. The few cuts that have been made involve passages that dealt with nonessentials.1

What has become clear in recent years are the numerous additional instances to which the idea of political theology is applicable. "Representation" from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, the seveteenth-century monarchy, which is regarded as the god of baroque philosophy, the "neutral" power of the nineteenth century, "which reigned but did not rule," up to the conceptions of the pure measure and administrative state, "which

1. [Tr.] While it is true that the omissions in no way affect Schmitt's argument, they are interesting from another perspective, namely, the light they cast on Schmitt's relationship with Erich Kaufmann. Why, for example, did Schmitt omit the favorable references to this former friend, who was Jewish, while retaining positive references to the work of other Jews, notably Hans Kelsen?

Preface to the Second Edition administers but does not rule," are examples of the fruitfulness of the thought processes of political theology. The major problem concerning the individual stages of the process of secularization— from the theological stage by way of the metaphysical to the ethical and economic stages—was treated in my address "The Age of Neutralization and Depoliticization," delivered in Barcelona in October 1929.2 Among Protestant theologians, Heinrich Forsthoff and Friedrich Gogarten, in particular, have shown that without a concept of secularization we cannot understand our history of the last centuries. To be sure, Protestant theology presents a different, supposedly unpolitical doctrine, conceiving of God as the "wholly other," just as in political liberalism the state and politics are conceived of as the "wholly other." We have come to recognize that the political is the total, and as a result we know that any decision about whether something is unpolitical is always apolitical decision, irrespective of who decides and what reasons are advanced. This also holds for the question whether a particular theology is a political or an unpolitical theology.

I would like to supplement my remarks on Hobbes concerning the two types of juristic thinking found at the end of the second chapter. This is vital because it concerns me professionally as a professor of law. I now distinguish not two but three types of legal thinking; in addition to the normativist and the decisionist types there is the institutional one. I have come to this conclusion as a result of discussions of my notion of "institutional guarantees" in German jurisprudence and my own studies of the profound

2. [Tr.] See Carl Schmitt, "Das Zeitalter der Neutralisierung und Entpolitisierung" (1929), in Positionen undBegrijfe imKampfmit Weimar-Genf-Versailles, ¡929-1939 (Hamburg, 1940), pp. 120-132.

Preface to the Second Edition and meaningful theory of institutions formulated by Maurice Hauriou.

Whereas the pure normativist thinks in terms of impersonal rules, and the decisionist implements the good law of the correcdy recognized political situation by means of a personal decision, institutional legal thinking unfolds in institutions and organizations that transcend the personal sphere. And whereas the normativist in his distortion makes of law a mere mode of operation of a state bureaucracy, and the decisionist, focusing on the moment, always runs the risk of missing the stable content inherent in every great political movement, an isolated institutional thinking leads to the pluralism characteristic of a feudal-corporate growth that is devoid of sovereignty. The three spheres and elements of the political unity—state, movement, people3—thus may be joined to the three juristic types of thinking in their healthy as well as in their distorted forms. Not resting on natural right or the law of reason, merely attached to factually "valid" norms, the German theory of public law of the Wilhelmine and Weimar periods, with its so-called positivism and normativism, was only a deteriorated and therefore self-contradictory normativism. Blended with a specific kind of positivism, it was merely a degenerate decisionism, blind to the law, clinging to the "normative power of the factual" and not to a genuine decision. This formless mixture, unsuitable for any structure, was no match for any serious problem concerning state and constitution. This last epoch of German public law is characterized by the fact that the answer

3. [Tr.] Stoat, Bewegung Volk: Die Dreigliederung der politischen Einheit was Schmitt's first major treatise on the new order. Published in the fall of 1933, it offered an analysis of emerging constitutional realities in which Schmitt attempted to institutionalize a one-party state. See George Schwab, The Challenge of the Exception: An. Introduction to the Political Ideas of Carl Schmitt between 1921 and 1936 (Berlin, 1970), pp. 108-113.

to one decisive case has remained outstanding, namely, the Prussian constitutional conflict with Bismarck; as a result we lack answers to all other decisive cases. To evade the necessary decision, German public law coined for such cases a saying that backfired and that it still carries as its motto: "Here is where public law stops."

Carl Schmitt Berlin

November 1933

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