Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Democracy: Democracy is a system of government in which the people have the power to choose their leaders and make decisions about how they are governed. It is based on the principles of equality, freedom, and participation.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Carl Schmitt on Democracy - Dictionary of Arguments

Brocker I 165
Democracy/Schmitt: Schmitt speaks of a triumphant advance of democracy. (1) Democratic legitimacy has found its "evidence" (2) as a "polemical concept" against the ruling monarchies and has been realized in various forms. Legitimacy is now almost "generally recognized" (3); its "core" - clearly formulated by Rousseau - is the "assertion of an identity of law and popular will" (4). Schmitt gives this finding an analytical twist: If almost all modern political movements claim the democratic slogan for themselves and claim a "series of identities" (5) for themselves, democratic rhetoric should be questioned about their propagandistic techniques of "identification".
No popular will is real consensual; every "general will" (5) is fictitious and propagandistically purchased. "So it seems to be the fate of democracy to cancel itself out in the problem of decision-making" (6). Democracy tends to "popular education" and educational dictatorship, to "suspension of democracy in the name of true democracy still to be created" (6).
Brocker I 169
Schmitt (...), anticipating his concept of the political (1927), emphasizes that every democratic identity also has the "correlate of inequality" (7) and Rousseau had already thought of the "unanimity" (8) of an indisponsible national homogeneity and substance. Unlike the liberal "democracy of humanity", Bolshevism and Fascism realized the possibility of an anti-liberal and "direct democracy" (9): a "modern mass democracy" (10) in which the people existed vital and politically in the "sphere of publicity" (11).

1. Carl Schmitt, Die geistesgeschichtliche Lage des heutigen Parlamentarismus, in: Bonner Festgabe für Ernst Zitelmann zum fünfzigjährigen Doktorjubiläum, München/Leipzig 1923, 413-473. Separatveröffentlichung in der Reihe: Wissenschaftliche Abhandlungen und Reden zur Philosophie, Politik und Geistesgeschichte, Bd. 1, München/Leipzig 1923. Zweite, erweiterte Auflage 1926. p. 30
2. Ibid. p. 32
3. Ibid. p. 39
4. Ibid. p. 35
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid. p. 37
7. Ibid. p. 18
8. Ibid. p. 20
9. Ibid. p. 22
10. Ibid. p. 21
11. Ibid. p. 22.

Reinhard Mehring, Carl Schmitt, Die geistesgeschichtliche Lage des heutigen Parlamentarismus (1923), in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Schmitt I
Carl Schmitt
Der Hüter der Verfassung Tübingen 1931

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2024-04-12
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