Trump & the Problem with Politics | Philosophy Tube | Summary and Q&A

November 4, 2016
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Trump & the Problem with Politics | Philosophy Tube


Carl Schmidt's political philosophy explores the friend-enemy distinction, which influences both right-wing and left-wing politics, highlighting the arbitrary nature of political conflicts and the potential dangers of liberalism.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is Carl Schmidt's concept of the friend-enemy distinction?

Carl Schmidt believes that all politics ultimately relies on distinguishing between friend and enemy, where the enemy might not be personally disliked but is perceived as a threat to one's identity and is expendable in times of conflict.

Q: How does Schmidt view political conflicts and the role of evidence?

Schmidt argues that political conflicts are not based on facts but rather the fight against other identities, regardless of evidence. The distinction between friend and enemy is often arbitrary and unchangeable in the minds of those involved.

Q: What does Schmidt criticize about liberalism?

Schmidt suggests that liberalism fails to give individuals a strong sense of identity that they are willing to defend with force. Liberalism focuses on management disagreements rather than true political conflicts centered on power and identity.

Q: How does the left-wing view the friend-enemy distinction differently than the right-wing?

While the right-wing sees the friend-enemy distinction as eliminating those who do not share their identity, the left-wing defines itself in opposition to those who are rich and powerful, calling for a redistribution of power and the recognition of marginalized identities.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Carl Schmidt's political ideology centers around the friend-enemy distinction, where politics relies on the identification of an enemy who threatens a group's identity.

  • Political conflicts often operate based on arbitrary distinctions, such as the treatment of migrants versus refugees, showcasing the deadly consequences of such categorizations.

  • Schmidt argues that true political issues revolve around power and identity, and liberalism fails to provide a strong sense of identity that individuals are willing to fight for.

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