September 26, 2009

Zeskin’s Revenge

I would like to thank Evan for defending my besmirched honor against Leonard Zeskin (whoever the hell he is?). It is not everyday that one is reminded of a lecture he gave several eons ago in Rockford, Illinois and about his references in that rust-belt community on the Rock River to a dead German legal theorist. Clearly for Zeskin and others of his ilk, my recommendation to study Carl Schmitt for understanding the decline of the traditional state system sent very ominous signals. It was a justification for Schmitt?s opportunistic decision to join the Nazi Party in May 1933, a decision that Schmitt made after having called repeatedly for the legal banning of Hitler?s movement.

What struck me in particular about Zeskin?s guilt-by- association brief against me is his careful attempt to distinguish yours truly from the learned and respectable conservative opposition characterized by Mark Lilla and the Frumbag. Not all people on the right are to be viewed as equally reprehensible. There are the Evil Ones like me; and then there are the nice dissenters who write for the same publications as Zeskin and who probably dine with him every now and then. These are the clubbable guys whom one can enjoy schmoozing with, unlike the reprobates who find more substance in Carl Schmitt than in Martin Luther King, David Brooks, or Bill Bennett. 

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