War and Fascism

Washington’s Blog had a post titled ‘The Real Reason America is Drifting toward Fascism’. (Link (through lewrockwell.com: http://lewrockwell.com/spl4/america-drifting-toward-fascism.html).

This has some great examples of propaganda.  As a review of what we have discussed, I would start by asking the class to design a propaganda poster for any of the conflicts that we’ve discussed (French-Indian War, American War for Independence, Quasi War with France…).

I am also going to have them consider this along the lines of the Alien and Sedition Acts.  George Washington had written:

Genesis of the Meme: Carl Schmitt

But to really understand Strauss – and thus the Neocons – one must understand his main influence: Carl Schmitt, the leading Nazi legal scholar and philosopher who created the justification for “total war” to destroy those labeled the “enemy” of the Nazi state. Strauss was a life-long follower of Schmitt, and Schmitt helped Strauss get a scholarship which let him escape from Germany and come to America.

Not only was Strauss heavily influenced by Schmitt, but Strauss and Schmitt were so close that – when Strauss criticized Schmitt for being too soft and not going far enough – Schmitt agreed:

Schmitt himself recommended Strauss’s commentary [on Schmitt’s writing] to his friends as one that he believed saw right through him like an X-ray.

Schmitt’s philosophy argued that the sovereign was all-powerful in being able to declare a state of emergency:

The sovereign is the name of that person (legal or actual) who decides not only that the situation is a state of exception but also what needs to be done to eliminate the state of exception and thus preserve the state and restore order. Note the circularity of the definitions: the sovereign is the one who decides that there is a state of exception; a state of exception is that which the sovereign deems to be so.

This would mostly serve as a review…

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