1998-06-15Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/7709
Maritime Existenz und politische Theologie
Der politiktheoretische Ansatz des späten Carl Schmitt
In his essay Land und Meer from 1942 on the evolution of world history, the political philosopher Carl Schmitt is making a fundamental distinction between the rough (“gekerbtes”) and smooth (“glatte”) areas of the globe, i.e. between Land and Sea. While according to Schmitt the simple roughness (“Einkerbungen“) of the land also promotes and sustains political stability and continuity, the open sea, on the other hand, represents and supports a distribution and flexibility of power (“Entortung des Absoluten”). From the great discoveries, and onwards, there is a continous drift in the political history of the world, from land- to sea-domination. The continentally based concept of state-souvereignty was gradually overcome by the forces of trade and shipping, which revolutionized the dimension of space. According to Schmitt power and domination can emanate from other sources than the brute military force traditionally connected to territorial domination. In his essay Carl Schmitt links sea-domination to a specific type of power expansion which is anarchic in character, and which, in turn, he connects with two highly questionable analytical or rather philosophical categories which he labels “a-teleological” and “a-historical being”.
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