Sunday, January 9, 2011

Schmitt and Franco v. Orwell or face by face, child by child eradication, part 2

The fight for the soul of Spain, for a Spanish republic and perhaps a social republic (the anarchists and left-wing Marxists in P.O.U.M., inter alia) against the Franco revolt and fascism was the trial run for World War II. The mutinous Generals were aided by Hitler (sending General Motors- and Ford-produced tanks from their German operations to Franco; the heads of GM and Henry Ford were both decorated with the Order of the Iron Cross by Hitler in 1938) and Mussolini. Alone among European and North American governments, the Soviet Union, much further away, provided aid to the Republic. As George Orwell, the pen name of Eric Blair, stresses in letters to the press on Spain (published in the 2001 Penguin Homage to Catalonia in Peter Davison, ed., Orwell in Spain), English intellectuals were especially absorbed by this fight; so were workers and intellectuals in the United States – radicals sent the Abraham Lincoln brigade, half black, to fight and die in Spain (1500 of the 3300 man brigade did not return) - France, Italy and Germany (Communists and others in the underground formed the Thaelmann brigade).

These were very significant acts of democratic internationalism (see the eulogy of Ernest Hemingway for members of the Lincoln Brigade who died in the four month battle along the heights of Jarama in the epigraph to my Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy?). The struggle for the Spanish Republic and the international storm it evoked, was as significant as the great international movement against the Vietnam War during which some of us grew up. But memories of the Spanish Civil War had been long repressed by Franco and by Cold War ideology. Few intellectuals today have a sense of just how important the Spanish Civil War, as an international moral and political earthquake, was.

Before Franco, Mussolini and Hitler had come to power through internal class war and exhibited great brutality. The triumph of Hitler guaranteed World War. Still, there had yet to be an epoch-shaping war over fascism involving the major European powers (by abstention, Neville Chamberlain’s Britain, Leon Blum’s Popular Front France and FDR’s America sided with the fascists in Spain; the Roosevelt administration harassed Lincoln Brigade Members, and the Martin Dies committee – the House Un-American Activities Committee - branded the returnees “premature anti-fascists.”

Picasso’s depiction of Franco’s bombing of the Basque town of Guernika, using German planes, helped to mark this shift toward World War, a genuine "clash of civilizations." But as the last post here discussed, the brutality of the slaughter of 130,199 civilians and their dumping in mass graves mostly in cemeteries – the determination to eradicate the enemy (Carl Schmitt came after World War II twice to Franco’s Spain where he was lionized by the Falange) face by face - is the nature of fascism.

Appearing in Franco's Spain and not in democratic Germany where, as an reconstructed Nazi, no University or even public event could be organized for him, Schmitt would praise guerilla war and Spanish partisans, representing Reaction, against Napoleon, representing the Enlightenment, at the beginning of the lectures which became his book The Theory of the Partisan. Schmitt presented the two lectures on March 15 at Pamplona and on March 17, 1962 at the University of Zaragoza. The lectures were then published by the University at the end of 1962 (the Palafox lectures), and in Germany in 1963, coinciding with the republication of Schmitt's The Concept of the Political last published in 1932.* The Theory of the Partisan discusses leftist guerilla movements, for example, those led by Lenin and particularly Mao whose conception is deeper, for Schmitt, and "more telluric" or of the soil (p. 40 - Schmitt does not like industrial workers or urban life...). The book's real purpose, however, is to emphasize the reactionary alternative or Katechon (that which postpones the end) to the triumph of Satan. Schmitt thus reemerges after Hitler's defeat as an anti-modern fascist or Nazi.

By implication or as a piece of what Strauss names exoteric writing, Schmitt also offered esoteric meanings. In a brief analogy with Mao's theory of guerilla war (p. 36), Schmitt praises the 1936 revolt of Franco and the generals against the Republic as "guerilla resistance" against the triumph of "international communism" (the latter was seen by Heidegger and Strauss - see On Tyranny, p. 27 and "Introduction to Heideggerian Existentialism"- as the triumph of technology and the last men, the sameness or extension of America in Russia, the two technologies warring against what Schmitt spoke of as the "telluric," that is, Deutschland...). The Falange were, after all, his hosts...

His second lecture, Schmitt relates in his foreword, was delivered at the General Palafox School at the invitation of its Director, Luis Garcia Arias, a highly successful international 'lawyer' under Franco and a "scholar" - given Franco's command to establish the Palafox School - of Spanish resistance to Napoleon. Palafox was a main leader of that resistance. The Falange intended the School to revive a myth of internal, popular Spanish greatness against Napoleon. But since Franco and the generals controlled the regular army, this ideological trope, with whatever patina of scholarship 8 or 9 researchers could muster, rings false. Nonetheless, these investigations gave Schmitt his starting point, his idea for the Theory of the Partisan.

Schmitt begins by signalling the commonalities of Spain's guerilla fight against Napoleon, Franco and Hitler with the theme of Palafox at p. 6. Schmitt praises a revolt from below against Napoleon - the enemy - and criticizes the King who did not understand the enemy. The implied parallel to Franco against the Republic and the Soviet Union or Hitler against Weimar is, in this limited respect, precise:

"Primarily important in the situation of the Spanish partisan in 1808 was the fact that he risked battle on his own soil [Heimatboden] while the king and his family were not yet able to tell who was the real enemy. In this respect, the legitimate authority in Spain did not act differently from the one in Germany. Another feature of the Spanish situation was that the educated strata of the nobility, the high clergy, and the bourgeoisie were mostly afrancesados, i.e. they sympathized with the foreign conqueror. Also in this respect there are parallels to Germany where the great poet Goethe wrote hymns to Napoleon's glory, and the German educated elite was never sure where it belonged. In Spain, the guerilla dared the hopeless fight, a poor devil, the first typical case of the irregular cannon fodder of global political conflicts. All this is part of an overture to a theory of the partisan."

Schmitt emphasizes the idea of seeing the enemy from below in great politics - the central idea of The Concept of the Political, modified by The Theory of the Partisan.** He thus opposed the blindness of the political leaders or the elite (the King, Hindenburg in Weimar). Franco and Hitler lead movements from below. Thus, this shift makes the perspective in The Concept of the Political more sharply fascist or Nazi than either he or Leo Strauss in his Remarks on it had managed in 1932, This shift is the deeper justification, along with the surface presentation of guerilla or irregular war against the precision [Praezision] of regular armies, for the subtitle: Intermediate Commentary on the Concept of the Political.**

Schmitt stresses that the afrancesados have written the history, but that fascist researchers in Spain, those he is talking with in these lectures like Arias, Fernando de Salas Lopez, Jose Maria Jover Zamora, Fernando Solano Costa, Antonio Cerrano Montalvo, Santiago Amado Loriga and Juan Mercado Riba whose books Schmitt cites in the lengthy, pp. 4-5, footnote 2 as "the publications of the General Palafox school," have been digging out the history of the reactionary guerillas. The text underlines both his political gratitude and his fascist message. He and these historians were working together to further fascism in Spain, and their influence in Spain probably goes well beyond 1975...***

On p. 7, Schmitt underlines the role of Spanish experience or messages in the 1809 resistance in Austria-Hungary to Napoleon. The interplay of Spain and Germany, of Hitler and Franco, and even perhaps a return of Nazism in Germany, is a subtext here. The Spanish messages were taken up in the work of "famous intellectuals like Frederick Genf and Friedrich Schlegel" as well as Heinrich von Kleist. Kleist wrote a "famous poem "An Palafox" ["To Palafox"], the hero of the Spanish resistance for which the School at the University of Zaragoza at which Schmitt was speaking was named. In addition, the School published the lectures with funds from the Palafox Professorship. Kleist, Schmitt tells us grandly, put Palafox in the company of Leonidas (in Herodotus, a hero-king of Sparta, descended from Herakles), Armenias (the leader of the German victory over the Romans at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in the year 9 A.D.) and William Tell, as Schmitt, by implication, puts him in the company of the "heroes" Franco, Hitler and perhaps the long suffering Schmitt.**** The role of Spain in early 19th century Austrian resistance parallels Schmitt's German or Nazi message - The Concept of the Political - in Spain in 1962. "Intermediate" - is the apt word or hope in Schmitt's subtitle.

It is useful, however, to consider Schmitt's notion of the partisan in the context of Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. Franco was a general, a leader of a regular military in Schmitt's terms, and not a partisan. Schmitt's analogy ridiculously dresses up the General as one of the "poor wretches," the farmer guerillas. In fact, despite the Palafox School's research trope, the revolt of the military against the Spanish Republic was the antithesis of guerilla war. The Republic not only not did not hold a monopoly of the legitimate means of violence; the fascist "nationales" entirely controlled the regular means of violence and were supplemented by tanks and guns from Germany (again American-made, for all the gestures of Schmitt against America) and Italy.

In contrast, as Orwell describes, the POUM troops (the leftwing Marxist, social revolutionary peasants and workers, which he joined), were totally unorganized and untrained civilians, who had to learn to march and had few arms. The only power providing weaponry to Spain was the Soviet Union, and it did not provide much. Orwell praises the emerging discipline of the Spanish peasants and workers, but they were not prepared to fight. They held a line as did the fascists far away - much too far for Orwell, who knew how to use a gun, to shoot - but did not directly clash. Still, in the ironic opposite of Schmitt's implied fairy tale, under the weak leadership of the Republic which had no leader with a vision of guerilla war, these were the guerillas. The Spanish republican force, not Franco's regulars, were the precursors to what Schmitt lists as one reads on in The Theory of the Partisan: the Russian people, praised by anarchists like Bakunin and Kropotkin, and celebrated by Tolstoy in War and Peace, against Napoleon, and that people, again, in World War II, mobilized against the Nazis by Stalin, as well as Mao's and Ho Chi Minh's forms of guerilla war.*****

Further, Franco relied on Moroccan conscripts. Though the politics of the Communist International, that is, those of Lenin and even at the beginning Stalin, demanded liberation of Morocco and Trotskyists urged exactly this, Stalin pursued the new policy of a united front against fascism. He sought to gain favor with France which had allied with Russia and feared, through liberating Spanish Morocco, to stir an uprising in French Morocco. But France under Bloom and the Popular Front sent no troops to Spain. Stalin also hoped fruitlessly for alliance with England which was the leading empire. So the Spanish communist leadership, even "la pasionaria" Dolores Ibarruri, echoed elite racist stereotypes toward Moroccans; in another irony, fascists who were prize racists of Hispanidad, nonetheless, began to think of Moroccans as loyal "companeros," though subordinate, in the regular army (h/t Julia Costa Lopez).

As Christopher Hitchens' introduction to Homage to Catalonia points out, Orwell's original account pays little attention to Morocco. One of his later newspaper reports does, however, focus on the decent and intelligent strategy of undercutting Franco by declaring independence for Morocco. Thus, a social revolution in Spain of the sort achieved in Barcelona in early 1936 and described by Orwell in later letters and posts (he initially argued in Spain for all out support for the Republic and felt good about Soviet-made planes flying overhead, the only such arms the Republic possessed) would very likely have also broken with Stalin about support for the independence of Spanish Morocco. In fact, as Orwell comes to suggest, social revolution combined with fighting the fascists (what the left wing Marxists and anarchists tried to do) combined with declaring Moroccan independence would have been a far more effective strategy for undercutting the Falange than Stalin's. In addition, dishonorably, Stalin and the Communists fought, as Orwell underlines, to crush this movement, to label it treasonous, to arrest and torture its participants and leaders (down to the Englishman Orwell who had accidentally enlisted with the POUM, knowing nothing about it, and once again, favored all out fighting for the Republic, the communist strategy if decently pursued) more than they fought the fascists. Orwell (Eric Blair) and his wife slipped away to France just before the corrupt Communists could arrest them (the book reprints a Soviet document misidentifying Blair with POUM and seeking his arrest).

Thus, Schmitt's argument on irregulars does not work well with either Franco or Hitler (appointed by General von Hindenberg who was the previous Chancellor, actively supported by General von Ludendorff, the World War I military leader, in Hitler's Munich putsch in 1923) or Mussolini, ushered into Rome in a sleeping car, after four columns each led by an Italian general, had taken over the city a week earlier. If the regular army is against fascism which is somehow a Heimatsboden "guerilla" force, it is evident from no actual case of fascism. In slogan terms, Generals often like fascism (Note Pinochet in Chile as well). Schmitt's theory of the partisan is, as a defense of modern fascism, false and the worst kind of propaganda (a little like the depiction of wealthy Southern politicians and other Klansmen as a revolt of poor whites from below, a David Warks Griffith's "Intolerance"-style version...*******). The adoption of Schmitt by somewhat leftist postmodernists is also, in this respect, foolish.

In The Concept of the Political, Schmitt condemned the triumph of middle-class life, of mere "entertainment" as opposed to the seriousness of war against the enemy and, as an arcane, dark Catholic, also emphasized the triumph of Satan (what Leo Strauss refers to, in Nietzschean terms, as “the last men” in his comments on Schmitt’s The Concept of the Political).******** Part of the seeming attractiveness of Schmitt's account to some is the bloodthirsty - styled "clear" - focus on enmity.

Thus, in another strong implication of Schmitt's Spanish lectures, the Hitler movement was anti-modern or “tellurian,” attached to “a patch of earth to which [they have] an autochthonic relation.” One should hear the slogan form beneath or along with the slightly academicized phrase: this is the Nazi idea of Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil). Schmitt here makes the same move that Heidegger makes in his insistence on Dasein (being there, being in the world) who is only at first glance or exoterically an "authentic individual" in Being and Time. What Heidegger meant (and showed in his joining the Nazis 6 years later, and his writings throughout the Nazi period) is that German Dasein, for example, strives to subjugate French or European or Slavic Dasein and to exterminate Jewish, Roma or Communist (and all other non-Nazi political) Dasein...

Heidegger wrote Being and Time to get Husserl's position at the University of Freiburg; the message was slightly hidden (many of us, unaware of Heidegger's enthusiasm for, if misunderstanding of, Platonic hidden writing, took him initially as writing about the fear of one's own death as generating in each of us thought about what I came to do...). Heidegger would share his ideas, including genocidal ones about Jews, with Schmitt in correspondence when both were Nazis in 1933 - see my "On enemies and 'extermination'" here - and also referred often during World War II to returning to the German and Greek autochthonous.********* This insistence was also registered in Heidegger's peasant affectations or Dark Forest mannerisms and dress. See here and here, as well as Charles Bambach, Heidegger’s Roots. Schmitt's guerilla heroism, without the costume, is just as fake. Schmitt's thesis on telluric partisans in Spain also underlines Schmitt's continuing Nazism and hopes for the future. Emmanuel Faye and William Altman (see his new The German Stranger, Lexington Books 2010) have rightly pointed to Heidegger's and Strauss's Nazism in this vein; one should look at Schmitt's influence among fascist/reactionary intellectuals and politicians in Spain, before and after the return of democracy in 1975, in this perspective.

On p. 13 of the Theory of the Partisan, Schmitt's emphasis on the tellurian aspect of the irregular makes him or her a local force (he follows the work of Jover Samora at the Palafox Institute). He spuriously contrasts this with technological movements from global domination (liberalism and America, communism and the Soviet Union in his idiom).

"I want to insist on a fourth criterion of the genuine partisan, one that Jover Zamora has called its tellurian character. It is significant for the essentially defensive situation of the partisan - despite his tactical mobility - whose nature changes when he identifies with the absolute aggressiveness of a world-revolutionary or technologizing ideology...His grounding in the tellurian character seems necessary to me in order to make spatially evident the defensive character i.e. the limitation of enmity and in order to preserve it from the absolutism of an abstract justice." (p. 13)

This is projection of enmity on a Nazi's part. For it is hard to beat Hitler for "absolute aggressiveness." And the Franco mass graves at the outset of his reign do not look like "the limitation of enmity" (and Franco sure as hell needed to avoid justice about it). Worse yet, the heavily technologized Hitler tried, with blitzkrieg ("Shock and Awe"), to conquer the world. He wanted to make everyone else subordinate to the Germanic (education for a Pole "was to spell his own name, count to 500 and that the word of Adolf Hitler was the commandment of God"). Schmitt thus bizarrely ties in "guerillas" and hence on his vision, Nazis with the resistance to the Nazis mobilized in defense of its "homeland soil" by the Soviet Union. This is, again, a really stupid piece of misidentification, a problem when one deals in misguided simplicities, tricked up into generalities, which then parade as clarity.

What the Soviet and Chinese irregulars had going for them was that they represented, against Nazism and Japanese fascist onslaughts, a common good. What the Nazi invading army and the Japanese aggressors represented, in contrast, was tyranny, the rule of the Fuehrer, alone or on behalf of a substantial part of a somewhat reformulated German capitalist/Junker (landed aristocracy) elite. It was that link to a common good - a profound moral link (see my Democratic Individuality, ch. 1) - which gave the Soviet and Chinese guerillas their force, like Antaeus, from the earth. All Schmitt's and Heidegger's and Strauss's phrases about rural life (see "Introduction to Heideggerian Existentialism") and being rooted in the soil or telluric is a parody of the Nazis in their bizarre efforts to conquer others. The Russian Heimat was not the soil of Deutschland...Only Mel Brooks could do justice to Carl Schmitt...

Similarly, when Soviet troops hit Eastern Europe, they were no longer simply liberators against Nazism; they had that genuine claim momentarily, unlike the Nazi conquerors. But they, too, were foreign dominators, and the history of the East German Stasi particularly illustrates this grotesque feature.

Now the second edition of Theory of the Partisan and the basis of a translation by a quasi-leftist academic magazine Telos, is part of an, in these respects, sad praise of Schmitt and unintended or unseen revival or unintentional bearing of his fascism among postmodernists. It appeared in 1975. One can use some of Schmitt's ideas well and theorists like Wendy Brown, Giorgio Agamben and perhaps Derrida sometimes have, but a fascist vision is easily found in Schmitt, once one pays attention to - rather than abstracting from or ignoring -what he is also, from his own point of view more deeply, saying.

In 1962, Schmitt had been invited to Navarra (the capital of the Basque region) to give the first lecture by the Estudio General de Navarra. The Estudio had links with the specially reactionary Opus Dei; it was founded by the Catholic Church in 1960. Spanish Catholic fascists - as well as the Palafox Falange - thus explicitly celebrated Schmitt as a dark Catholic, as heir to and emblem of the Inquisition. To inaugurate the Estudio's course as well (in 1962, it was still a fledglng institution), Schmitt was the intellectual fascist of choice.******* In turn, Schmitt meant to spread ideas sympathetic to his brand of fascism, to call for an idea which has recently been particularly influential among neocons in the United States and is becoming the center of intellectual debate in China – unity around a leader who makes the decision in the state of the exception. See Mark Lilla's interesting, if reactionary piece on debates in China in the New Republic here (h/t Alan Moorer).

To see who Schmitt as a theorist is, one needs to take in Franco’s butchery. Schmitt is closely linked to Spanish fascism in his search both for personal resurrection, and more importantly, the rebirth or further influence of his Nazi ideas among Spanish fascists as well as German quasi- or for appearance-"democratic" Rightists (See Jan-Werner Meuller, A Dangerous Mind) or his subsequent influence in the United States or today in China. I should underline here his refusal to declare "De-Nazification" to gain an academic position in post-World War II Germany, his insistence on his own Nazism.

After the 1936 slaughters (Franco continued slaughters afterwards on a smaller and slightly more disguised scale), Franco had a sense of the impression on the world his evil would make. As the article by Jose Limon in El Pais cited here, maintains, “By 1937, areas under the control of Franco’s forces established courts martial, along with the so-called Courts of Political Responsibliity which oversaw just 49 [listen carefully to that: “just 49”…] execution sites."

Limon continues: “Although the majority of the massacres took place in cemeteries, the report shows that around a third of the victims were shot by roadsides, riverbeds, and meadows. Many of these graves were subsequently built over, and 40% were undocumented till now.”

Moreover, as Jacint Jordana, a professor at Pompeu-Fabre, in Barcelona, and director of Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internationals,********* told me, some 100,000 reds and republicans were murdered between the end of the Spanish Civil War and 1950. This slaughter has not yet been studied. Franco's was a period of extreme repression and retrogression. A veil of fascism and dark Catholicism fell over Spain, one which is still just beginning to lift. Franco turned the country from a relatively high level of development of the new, unfortunately brief Republic, though with immense poverty and oppression for workers and farmers, into a closed society, of no opportunity for ordinary people, one slipping behind other European countries where fascism had been destroyed by World War II and which were rebuilding. These murders, too, Judge Garzon, was going to investigate.

Franco himself and many other fascist principals – for instance, the military “psychiatrist” Antonio Vallejo-Nagera, whom the fourth part of this post will discuss in the wider context of medical/psychological/psychiatrical aid to large scale murder and experimentation in Germany and the United States, see here – are dead. But as I will discuss below, many of their descendants/initiates live on in high positions, particularly in the courts but also in academia (the Palafox institute) into old age; these relatives and interns have been very effective in maintaining the silence (h/t Whitney Bard). One might think analogously here of the vested interest of Republicans in covering up Bush’s torture campaign, now abetted by Obama and leading Democrats. It may be as hard in the United States, supposing that it survives for some considerable period as a sort of democracy, to get an accounting as it is today in Spain. I have written about this as the lock-in effect of torture. See here and here (h/t Michael Schwartz) as well as Michael Ratner’s blog in which prosecution of the Bush 6 – the 6 lawyers who rationalized torture led by Yoo and Gonzalez – will have to occur in Spain, here.

For instance, like West Germany maintaining Nazi judges, the Spanish courts continued Franco judges. In Germany there was a big protest movement from below; in the late 1960s, students – the German SDS - showed, for example, that a judge on the Supreme Court had ordered the murder of 50 people, including a Polish priest for telling an anti-German joke...That judge was typical of leading jurists in the early Federal Republic…

In addition, in Spain, there has been no public acknowledgement of the horror of Franco’s regime, no South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (see Desmond Tutu’s No Future without Forgiveness, a book I teach in nonviolence courses, for a remarkable account, and here). The infamous High Court prosecutor Javier Zaragoza – see here - removed Garzon from these cases, supported by that element in the elite which has a vested interest in Franco’s crimes. Garzon himself is going to be brought to trial soon in Spain, for the “crime” of trying to illuminate these horrors and hold someone accountable.******** Zaragoza had better be careful. Amazement at Francoist hubris may produce a fierce domestic and international response. As in the case of the American government and Julian Assange (see here and here), it is important for a corrupt regime to go fiercely after anyone who stands for impartial justice about government crimes.

*Schmitt first travelled to Spain and was received favorably by the Falange in 1951. His voluminous correspondance, as well as letters with Armin Mohler (his initial groomed successor in the lineage; Mohler and Leo Strauss then groomed Heinrich Meier) reflect long contact with Spaniards...

**The Concept of the Political focuses on Cromwell's enmity to the great enemy Spain, not as a leader of the Puritan Revolution (perhaps Schmitt might have seen Cromwell that way in the Theory of the Partisan), but as leader of the state.

***Schmitt's 45 year diary Glossarium, published only after his death, strikingly reveals, for example, his Medieval Catholic anti-semitism. He had hidden it, savored it, saved it to spew on the world after his death. Schmitt learned deeply from Strauss the technique of hidden writing (it was also in Heidegger, but Strauss was Schmitt's most conscientious and helpful student, as the Remarks on The Concept of the Political and Schmitt's post-World War II choice to reprint these with The Concept of the Political show. Schmitt was not bigoted against "the Jew Strauss" as he refers fleetingly to Leo in his 1938 The State Theory of Thomas Hobbes. Schmitt intended the revival of what he viewed as the core of Nazism including anti-semitisim toward Jews; note that Strauss himself, a right-wing Nietzschean, took the glittering Jewish inversion of values for 2000 years (Nietzsche's phrase from Beyond Good and Evil), as what must be overthrown. See my "Shadings: "they consider me a `Nazi' here, Leo Strauss December 3, 1933 " here.

****Schmitt had been held in allied custody as a war criminal for a year and then released, ostracized in the Federal Republic...

*****Schmitt also lists Fidel Casto and Che Guevara indiscriminately with the others. His argument needs to conflate many kinds of movements and circumstances into the "irregulars" (since fascists, except for slogans about rootedness in the soil, do not fit), Fidel and Che are certainly heroes of irregular or guerilla revolution against Batista, the American puppet dictator in Cuba. But Fidel organized a not very deeply rooted guerilla force; he and Che had no idea of digging deep political roots among the peasants. In contrast to Mao and Ho, Che was killed in Bolivia, fighting with disorganized or guerilla focos, but not speaking the language of the indigenous people he hoped would join him. Regis Debray's Revolution in the Revolution, a theory of the foco who by militant actions, without political relationship with the farmers, somehow inspire the oppressed to rise up, is the "theory" of this tragedy.

******D.W. Griffiths was a silent film maker whose technique of montage influenced Sergei Eisenstein's Potemkin. His main use of that technique in Intolerance was to cut back and forth from the carpetbagger Senator's frightened white daughters, blacks holding them, the Klan, in its flowing robes, that Christian organization, galloping to the "rescue"...

*******In contrast to Strauss, Schmitt was a reactionary Catholic. He had no truck with Nietzsche even though Strauss embroidered Schmitt’s ideas of modern Satanic decadence, as a more reactionary (or more purely reactionary) Nietzschean, with Nietzschean phrases. Put differently, Strauss has few ideas of his own; his reactionary political claims are primarily those of Schmitt, his stance on Plato, amusingly, that of Heidegger. See here and here.

In addition, as I suggest here, here and here, Strauss would take over Schmitt’s views and import them to America, particularly his idea that “he is sovereign who makes the decision in the state of the exception” – the opening line of Political Theology. In America, this is called “prerogative” (Robert Goldwin) or in the Bush administration “commander in chief power.” As I have emphasized in many posts on Democratic-Individuality, this thought furthered by Strauss and his followers is perhaps the most striking consequence of the Schmitt revival (and continues, with many causes, in diminished but prototypical form - one ready for much more widespread use in further "emergencies" - in Obama's notion of state secrets, maintenance of 48 prisoners beyond the reach of law at Guantanamo, and continuing invocation of Bush/Cheney "executive power" at the expense of the rule of law, or the Constitutional separation of powers. Obama, it should be noted, however, was careful not to use a signing statement against the outrageous cowardice and stupidity of the Congressional Democrats in forbidding transfer of prisoners from the colonial occupation at Guantanamo to the United States).

*******Even the socialist Felipe Gonzale's assassinations of Basque leaders, Presidential or executive power ("sovereignty") at its worst, are redolent of Franco and Schmitt...

********Though he had to be careful about this, Heidegger was already covertly or “esoterically” pro-Nazi in 1927 when he published Being and Time. I will put up an essay on this matter in the near future.

******I have commented on Strauss's purification of Schmitt as a Rightist, a point now underlined by Altman in ch. 4 of the German Stranger and emphasized Schmitt's unique course as Nazi Prussian Reichskanzler. See links in *******. But one should not forget Schmitt's own reaction, his trajectory toward Hitler and war crimes, and his attempts at rehabiltation for his ideas. Glossarium, Schmitt's posthumous diaries, are particularly notable for their explicit, old-fashioned Catholic anti-semitism. He was looking to the longterm...

The murderousness of Franco's enmity and Schmitt's engagement with it may also cast some light on Strauss's call for nihilist revolt - that is, nuclear war - to destroy the last men at the end of his "Restatement" in On Tyranny. See here. There is no reason in Schmitt, Heidegger or Strauss to think that the call for destruction of the "last men," the decision for doing in modern civilization by slaughtering large numbers of people, was incidental or not thought out. One could have more argument about Strauss in this regard, but I have emphasized, and Altman has now written on Strauss's posthumous endorsement of Heidegger in The German Stranger, ch. 3), Strauss's close tracking of what Heidegger was doing, how Heidegger and Strauss each signalled his unrepentent and in fact, vehement Nazism. Strauss differed with the consequences of the anti-semitism associated with Nazism - though he saw jewish prophetic and egalitarian culture as leading to the last men - but not its murderousness...

********I have been teaching this past month at IBEI, now four years old, and a democratic and cosmpolitan international studies school, set off by contrast with the onetime Palafox School at Zaragoza, a then instrument of fascism. There are many striking, fresh starts in Spain, and IBEI is one.

*******As Raphael Minder put it in the New York Times, June 8, 2010 in “Spanish Judge says his fight for human rights will endure:: ”Mr. Garzón was indicted last April by Judge Luciano Varela for allegedly overstepping his authority and ignoring a 1977 general amnesty that covers crimes perpetrated during the Spanish Civil War. In October 2008, Mr. Garzón had launched a politically sensitive investigation into tens of thousands of deaths and disappearances during the war and the ensuing dictatorship of Franco.”

Should there be amnesty, for example, for kidnapping, such that birth parents can never locate their stolen children? Even in a heavily pro-fascist atmosphere (the high judicial institutions, notably Prosecutor Zaragoza), it is surprising that Garzon could not investigate the question – obtain the facts – and is being charged with attempting to.

“The controversy over his jurisdiction had already forced Mr. Garzón to abandon the investigation within a month, but legal action was still taken against him by far-right activists. Mr. Varella’s decision was then upheld a month later by the body that oversees Spain’s judiciary, which decided to suspend Mr. Garzón pending his trial.”

Note the characterization of this case: an action taken “by far-right activists” and extended or ratified by a “court.” It would be useful for Spaniards to trace the aetiology of this and to fight this stranglehold of fascism on the judiciary.

“His suspension on May 14 marked an abrupt role reversal for Mr. Garzón, who established his reputation as an international defender of human rights by making extensive use of Spain’s doctrine of universal jurisdiction, which opens the door to prosecution within Spain of crimes committed outside the country. On the domestic front, meanwhile, he also fought against political corruption, as well as violence perpetrated by ETA, the Basque separatist group.”

Judge Garzon responded aptly:

“`I believe the seeds have been sown, despite the possible contradictions of a country that investigates outside but cannot now investigate inside,’”

“`The principle of universal jurisdiction has in fact germinated and is a conquest that cannot be lost and will not be lost…However, as always happens with international justice, it’s about two steps forward, then one step back, then one forward and then two back — so we advance with a lot of difficulties. Why? Because there are a lot of interests at play — judicial as well as political and diplomatic.’”

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