Advice for Anarchists

“Two reefs tower in front of the anarchist. The first, the state, must be overcome, especially in a hurricane, when the waves soar. He ineluctably runs aground on the second one, society, the very image that flickered before him. There is a brief intermezzo between the fall of the legitimate powers and the new legality. Two weeks after Kropotkin’s funeral cortege, in which his corpse had followed the Black Banners, the sailors of Kronstadt were liquidated. This is not to say that nothing had happened in between—Merlino, one of the disillusioned, hit the nail on the head: ‘Anarchism is an experiment.’”
—Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil

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The Permanent Legal World Revolution

As an occasional feature on TELOSscope, we highlight a past Telos article whose critical insights continue to illuminate our thinking and challenge our assumptions. Today, Linas Jokubaitis looks at Carl Schmitt’s “The Legal World Revolution” from Telos 72 (Summer 1987).

Carl Schmitt wrote “The Legal World Revolution” when he was ninety years old, and it turned out to have been his last publication. New political developments had forced him to restate some of his old positions, the most important of which was the relationship between legitimacy, legality, and super-legality. The guiding theme of Schmitt’s final publication was the one that had been of the highest importance during his whole career. It is best summarized in notes posthumously published as Glossarium, in a passage entitled “The Diagnostic and Prognostic of Max Weber,” where Schmitt quoted from Weber’s “Sociology of Law”: “As a result of technical and economic development, it is inevitable that current law is destined to be conceived more and more as a rational technical mechanism which can be modified at any time for functional purposes, and is lacking in any kind of sacred content. The destiny may be hidden by the suppleness of belief of the current law, but cannot be truly avoided.”

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