Giovanni Sartori denies the existence of a “typical” political behavior, the possibility to identify a single comprehensive motivation predicable of every kind of political action. An action is political inasmuch it takes place in a political setting, regardless of its motivation. Sartori supports his thesis submitting to a rigorous analysis Carl Schmitt’s famous concept of ‘the political’, founded on the distinction between friend and enemy. Sartori’s criticism is developed on the logical as well as on the theoretical level. On the logical level, Sartori maintains that the concept of ‘the political’ is irremediably tautological. On the theoretical level the concept, identifying politics with violence, deploys only one modality of the political (politics-as-war) and neglects the very possibility of peaceful politics. This article is intended as a stringent criticism of Sartori’s thesis and as a partial defense of Schmitt’s Begriff. First, the political setting should not be conceived as a container, independent from the behavior that takes place inside. Secondly, Sartori’s criticism is fallacious in point of logic, and misleading in point of theory. The distinction between friend and enemy is by no means tautological, because Schmitt indicates clearly the threshold beyond which an antagonist becomes an enemy: the real possibility of violence and killing. In point of theory, the sharp distinction between violent politics and peaceful politics gives a ‘dichotomous portrait’ of politics in which the two modes of politics assume the appearance not of two species of the same genus, but rather as two quite different and irreducible genera. This precludes the possibility to identify the relationships and the linkages between violent politics and non-violent politics, not to say to develop general categories suitable for the study of politics as such, independently of its particular forms. Nevertheless, it is true that Schmitt’s portrait is ‘unilateral’. The article suggests to broaden the perspective to include in the domain of politics not only violence, but every form of control of man over man, i.e. power. Power, not violence, is the unifying feature of politics, and violence is properly an instrument and a function of power. The process of power is an endless bargaining in which resort to non-violence as well as to violence responds (as authors like Schelling and Nieburg show clearly) to a basically rational design the logic of which is traceable to power and its dynamics.

La politica tra potere e violenza. Carl Schmitt e Giovanni Sartori

GOIO, FRANCO
2014

Abstract

Giovanni Sartori denies the existence of a “typical” political behavior, the possibility to identify a single comprehensive motivation predicable of every kind of political action. An action is political inasmuch it takes place in a political setting, regardless of its motivation. Sartori supports his thesis submitting to a rigorous analysis Carl Schmitt’s famous concept of ‘the political’, founded on the distinction between friend and enemy. Sartori’s criticism is developed on the logical as well as on the theoretical level. On the logical level, Sartori maintains that the concept of ‘the political’ is irremediably tautological. On the theoretical level the concept, identifying politics with violence, deploys only one modality of the political (politics-as-war) and neglects the very possibility of peaceful politics. This article is intended as a stringent criticism of Sartori’s thesis and as a partial defense of Schmitt’s Begriff. First, the political setting should not be conceived as a container, independent from the behavior that takes place inside. Secondly, Sartori’s criticism is fallacious in point of logic, and misleading in point of theory. The distinction between friend and enemy is by no means tautological, because Schmitt indicates clearly the threshold beyond which an antagonist becomes an enemy: the real possibility of violence and killing. In point of theory, the sharp distinction between violent politics and peaceful politics gives a ‘dichotomous portrait’ of politics in which the two modes of politics assume the appearance not of two species of the same genus, but rather as two quite different and irreducible genera. This precludes the possibility to identify the relationships and the linkages between violent politics and non-violent politics, not to say to develop general categories suitable for the study of politics as such, independently of its particular forms. Nevertheless, it is true that Schmitt’s portrait is ‘unilateral’. The article suggests to broaden the perspective to include in the domain of politics not only violence, but every form of control of man over man, i.e. power. Power, not violence, is the unifying feature of politics, and violence is properly an instrument and a function of power. The process of power is an endless bargaining in which resort to non-violence as well as to violence responds (as authors like Schelling and Nieburg show clearly) to a basically rational design the logic of which is traceable to power and its dynamics.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2795123
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