Immortalisingthe Mortal God Hobbes, Schmitt, and the Ambivalent Foundations of the Modern State
Prof. Dr. Samuel Salzborn

In international discussions on the theory of state, the “Leviathan” functions as a symbol of the strong, autocratic, omnipotent State. This article will show how such an equivalence in fact negates the ambivalences seen in Thomas Hobbes’ book “Leviathan”, implicitly pointing instead to Carl Schmitt’s proposed interpretation: whereas Hobbes frames the mythological figures of the Leviathan and the Behemoth as symbols of ambivalence, Schmitt reframes them as symbols of identity. Following the hereby proposed thesis, it would be highly productive for broader political theoretical discussions to take the symbols of the Leviathan and the Behemoth as seen in state theory and reconstruct them within the framework of a critical text analysis applied to Hobbes and Schmitt, thereby reinvigorating their interpretative power in current debates on the State’s role and function.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rhps.v3n1a9