by Juliana Ketting
Enmity refers to the feeling or condition of hostility, also meaning: hatred, ill will, animosity, or antagonism. In his postcolonial book Necropolitics, Achille Mbembe makes note of Carl Schmitt’s theorization of enmity. Carl Schmitt was born July 11th, 1888 in Plettenberg, Prussia (Germany) and died April 7th, 1985 in his hometown of Plettenberg. Schmitt was a German conservative jurist and political theorist who is best known for his liberalism critiques. He based his arguments on politics as based on the distinction between friends and enemies. We see his work reflected upon in Necropolitics in “this Society of enmity”, where Mbembe describes Schmidt's views on enemies as “neither a simple competitor nor an adversary nor private rival whom one might feel hate or antipathy towards. The enemy refers to Supreme antagonism. In both body and flash, the enemy is that individual whose physical death is warranted by his existential denial of our own being” (Mbembe 46).
Schmidt’s series of books, written during the Weimar Republic, 1919-33, emphasizes what he thought to be deficiencies of Enlightenment political philosophy and liberal political practice. In Political Theology (1922) and Roman Catholicism and Political Form (1923), Schmidt insists that transcendental and supra-material sources are necessary to ground moral and political authority. Although his work could be considered the most important critics of liberalism, parliamentary democracy, and liberal cosmopolitanism, the significance of his work is denounced to controversy. This was primarily due to his support and active involvement with National Socialism. Prior to his involvement with the Nazi party and Adolf Hitler, he had not been percieved a supported of National Socialism; however, following his involvement in the parrt, he was given the title of the “Crown Jurist” of National Socialism.
Schmitt was well known for his Theory of the Partisan which originated from two lectures he had given in 1964 while he was rethinking The Concept of the Political. It addressed the transformation of war in the post-European age and alaysized the significant phenomenon that caused a new theory of war and enmity. Unsurprisingly, the importance and significance of Schmitt’s work became a heated and heavily debated controversy. Authors who were sympathetic towards Schmitt argued that his analysis of liberal constitutionalism during the Weimar period was superable from his work for National Socialism. His insight to the political presuppositions of a well-functioning liberatl constitutional system were constituted by these authors, however, this is not the perception that all theorists agree with. His political treatise is used in Mbembe’s Necropolitics as site of critique and interrogation.
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