Gewalt – Zwischen Politik und Mythos
Überlegungen zur Rolle des Begriffs der Gewalt in der Politischen Theorie
This paper will discuss various understandings of the term ‘Gewalt‘ (violence/power/ sovereignty) within the context of Political Theory. I will begin by challenging the highly contradictory relation of modern democracy and ‘Gewalt’. Presenting the concept of ‘Gewalt’ in the works of Carl Schmitt as well as Thomas Hobbes, I will stress their understanding of processes transcending and creating social and legal order. Following this, I will give an alternative interpretation of ‘Gewalt’ as an element bound by the processes of law. Using the arguments of Christoph Menke and Walter Benjamin, I will then demonstrate why referring to ‘Gewalt’ enables us to highlight fundamental aspects of social order and in law, that seem to be most mythical. In this, the mythical is described as a phenomenon that occurs when a social order cannot systematically establish its own preconditions. Finally, I intent to show why a rejection of ‘Gewalt’ in politics and communal conflict might not lead to the absence of violence or acts of sovereignty, but to an increase in these phenomena. Throughout this argument, I intent to outline a concept that enables Political Theory to question the preconditions of social order in an immanent and critical form.