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Carl Schmitt (Transl. by: Alexander Filippov   1 )
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Legality and Legitimacy (1958 Edition Afterword)

2013, vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 76–92 [issue contents]

This is a translation of the afterword of Legality and Legitimacy (1932), rewritten by Carl Schmitt in 1958 for his collection Verfassungsrechtliche Aufsätze aus den Jahren 1924–1954. In the afterword, Schmitt once again describes the situation in Germany in the early 1930’s, and argues against the influential German lawyers who rejected his interpretation of the Weimar Constitution. He rejects the wide-spread opinion that he wanted a state of emergency in Germany to be introduced, and insists that this book was his final attempt to rescue the presidential republic of Weimar Germany. Schmitt then demonstrates the weakness of legal positivism and specifically stops at the several key points in his argument. First, according to Schmitt, the positivists did not know that legality, an unopposed form of the manifestation of legitimacy, had originally been an essential part of Western rationalism. Second, it is necessary to distinguish between the law and the sanctions because of their different legal statuses. This distinguishing is important because the legislative state was gradually becoming the administrative state. As a result, the governing institutions are more powerful than the parliamentary laws. Any parliamentary decision providing executive bodies relevant authority cannot be executed without an effective parliamentary majority. Thirdly, Schmitt explores the question of the so-called “premiums” for the legal possession of power. The afterword concludes with a brief overview of the situation at the end of the January 1933. The Publication includes the translator’s preface providing an overview of the main provisions of Schmitt's book, Legality and Legitimacy.

Citation: Schmitt Carl (2013) Legal'nost' i legitimnost' (posleslovie k izdaniyu 1958 g.) [Legality and Legitimacy (1958 Edition Afterword)] The Russian Sociological Review, 3, pp. 76-92 (in Russian)
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