Western Propaganda beyond perception

Western Propaganda beyond perception

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Western Media


An interesting article by the American Mike Grishaw, where the Trump phenomenon is interpreted from the point of view of the philosophy of Carl Schmitt and Jacob Taubes. Key points that may be interesting in the framework of the theory of counter-hegemony:
Theology challenges the self-reflectiveness of modernity, the closed systems of modernity and enlightenment, being a form of critical thinking not rooted in the discourse of enlightenment, and therefore a real alternative to modern thinking. (Note: If we identify Modern with hegemony within the traditionalist understanding of Gramsci, then this is where we start from in understanding everything else).

Schmitt views liberal democracy as a state of chaos. Real sovereignty in this case will always be anti-liberal and counter-revolutionary. The chaos of liberalism, the chaos of liberal modernity, which claims to be democratic, but in reality is only chaos, requires a sovereign solution. For Schmitt, this means that the role of the sovereign is ultimately to make the decisive decision in the face of chaos, the decision of exclusion, the decision to maintain order.

Trump is not only an American problem, Trump is a global problem: a signal of a shift in politics and society. To understand the phenomenon, you can turn to political theology, as it was comprehended on the right – by Karl Schmitt and on the left – by Jacob Taubes.

Schmitt views liberal democracy as a state of chaos. Real sovereignty in this case will always be anti-liberal and counter-revolutionary. The chaos of liberalism, the chaos of liberal modernity, which claims to be democratic, but in reality is only chaos, requires a sovereign solution. For Schmitt, this means that the role of the sovereign is ultimately to make the decisive decision in the face of chaos, the decision of exclusion, the decision to maintain order. If liberal modernity is chaos, if liberal democracy (an oxymoron in Schmitt’s view of democracy) is chaos, then the only choice for the sovereign is counter-revolution.

However, in this case, the sovereign is also a Katehon – a figure holding chaos, concentrating on the symbolic figure of the Antichrist. This is how populists interpret their leaders and movements themselves, as something that is an obstacle to the triumphant chaos.

However, populism has not only a conservative, Katehonic side but also a revolutionary-apocalyptic one. And here analysis is interesting from the standpoint of an opponent and at the same time a thinker close to Schmitt – Jacob Taubes.

Trump as the most prominent populist leader is a type of apocalyptic sovereign and Katehon (Schmittean and Taubesian). Such a populist leader, declaring, for example, “Let’s Make America Great Again”, proclaims a future-oriented apocalyptic prophecy simultaneously stands in the way of the power of Evil and, due to the triumph of this evil in the outside world, a completely sovereign decision-creating special, exceptional circumstances.

Taubes’ focus on history turned him away from liberalism because he could not agree with liberalism’s belief in the progressive nature of the universal human subject. Rather, history is the history of the apocalypse, and the sovereign decision is a counter-revolution that holds back liberal chaos.

If Schmitt is looking for a Katehon that contains the chaos and supports a sovereign solution that positions democracy against liberalism, then Taubes views the situation in the broader framework of apocalypticism. According to Taubes, the apocalyptic situation is characterized by the appeal of a force “alien” to this world to the “outlaws”: “All who are expelled from the world” here and now “and despise the forces of” this “world, gladly accept its call. Apocalypticism is a revolutionary force in Western history arising from situations of exile “.

If so, “Trumpism” and other contemporary populist movements can be rethought as an apocalyptic revolution for those who feel like exile in their own land. Thus, Trump as the most prominent populist leader is a type of apocalyptic sovereign and Katehon (Schmittean and Taubesian). Such a populist leader, declaring, for example, “Let’s Make America Great Again”, proclaims a future-oriented apocalyptic prophecy simultaneously stands in the way of the power of Evil and, due to the triumph of this evil in the outside world, a completely sovereign decision-creating special, exceptional circumstances.

In such optics, the opposition between the “imperial” idea of the Katehon and the “revolutionary” apocalypticism disappears. Confronting liberal democracy requires both the Katehon and sovereign decision of Schmitt and the apocalypticism of Taubes, as liberalism is seen as a political and spiritual issue. This rethinking brings to the fore an apocalyptic event where the sovereign acts as the Katehon and the Katehon as the sovereign.


Aleksandr Bovdunov is a political expert and geopolitical commentator.


Copyright © Bovdunov

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The Radical Outlook

The Radical Outlook is an online news web Portal designed for in-depth news analysis from the Eurasian region and beyond. It is Founded by a geopolitical analyst Shahzada Rahim.
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