Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 40

Discussion

Alexandre
Kojeve-Carl Schmitt Correspondence and
Alexandre
Kojeve,
"Colonialism Irom
a European
Perspective"
Edited and
Translated by Erik De Vries
Carleton
University
This introduction has two purposes.
First,
it provides some background con
cerning
the
little-known,
and perhaps
surprising,
Iriendship
between Alexandre
Kojeve and Carl Schmitt.
Second,
it outlines the importance oI their correspon
dence
and, especially,
the lecture Kojeve gave at Schmitt's invitation in
1957,
Ior an
understanding
oI
Koj
eve's thought as less systematic and more ambigu
ous than the
reading English-speaking
students oIten give it. Because
Kojeve,
particularly during
his
liIetime,
published
nothing
as
overtly
political as Schmitt
did,
these documents add more to our
understanding
oI
Koj
eve's thought than
to that oI Schmitt.
At Iirst
glance,
the
Iriendship
between Alexandre Kojeve and Carl Schmitt
seems improbable. When
they
began
corresponding
in
1955,
Schmitt was some
thing
oI an academic
pariah;
in
1933,
the legal scholar had joined the Nazi
Party,
publicly
declared his
anti-Semitism,
was later interrogated (but not
charged)
at
Nuremberg,
and retired Irom his post at the
University
oI Berlin in 1946. AIter
his Iamous lectures on Hegel's
Phenomenology
ended in
1939,
Kojeve joined
the Resistance
(AuIIret, 1990,
pp.
270-71; Sombart, 1998,
p. 71). AIter the
war's
end,
he wound
up
in the French
ministry
oI economic
aIIairs,
where he
worked until his death in 1968. Schmitt's anti-Semitism was suIIicient to divide
him
permanently
Irom other scholars with whom he had been
Iriendly,
including
Franz
Neumann,
Otto Kirchheimer and Carl Joachim Friedrich
(Schwab, 1993,
p. 301). We can
probably
also count
among
them Leo
Strauss,
who did not
Editorial note
The journal has permitted the use oI notes in these articles because the two authors can no
longer make changes in their work and because the articles have been edited
by
a third person.
Translator'
s note
I
grateIully
acknowledge the kind assistance oI Kirsten Nellen in
translating
the most diIIicult
oI Kojeve's unusual German passages,
and oI Piet Tommissen and George
Schwab,
who provided
corrections to the translation. I would also like to thank Charlotte Masemann both Ior her translation
oI Latin phrases and her advice throughout the production oI this translation.
Any remaining
errors
are mine.
interpretation,
Fall
2001,
Vol.
29,
No. I
92 Interpretation
resume his
Iriendly
correspondence with Schmitt aIter the latter Iailed to
reply
to a letter in 1933
(Meier, 1995,
p. xvii).
How Kojeve was able to look past such a monumental obstacle as Schmitt's
anti-Semitism is
unclear,
but we do know that he owed Schmitt a considerable
debt. Kojeve's Esquisse d'une phenomenologie du
Droit,
completed in
1943,
relied
largely
on Schmitt's
argument,
presented in his Concept
oI
the
Political,
that the
Iriend-enemy
distinction is the
primary
political division
(Kojeve, 1981,
p. 144). For
Schmitt,
establishing
this distinction as
primary
was meant to pre
serve the
possibility
oI a serious political
theory by overcoming
liberalism's
tendency,
particularly
when combined with
democracy,
to obscure and neutral
ize the
political,
that
is,
the
possibility
oI battle to the death against an
enemy
(Schmitt, 1996,
p. 23). Kojeve's use oI the
Iriend-enemy
distinction in the Es
quisse echoes his earlier
insistence,
in his Introduction a la lecture de
Hegel,
on the anthropogenetic battle Ior recognition as the lens through which Hegel's
Phenomenology
must be read. In both
instances,
the human
capacity
to risk liIe
Ior
purely
nonbiological reasons engenders a historical and political world with
meaning
not reducible to the universal satisIaction oI biological desires
(Kojeve,
1973,
p. 143).
By
1955,
when Kojeve and Schmitt began
corresponding,
western Europe
had been
astonishingly
transIormed
by
the Marshall Plan and the creation oI the
European Economic Community. II Kojeve's "universal and homogeneous
state"
had not yet
arrived,
neither did the concept oI the political have the Iorce
it had had in Weimar Germany. In
1932,
Schmitt had written:
II the diIIerent
states, religions,
classes and other human groupings on earth should
be so uniIied that a conIlict
among
them is impossible and even inconceivable and
iI civil war should Iorever be Ioreclosed in a realm which embraces the
globe,
then
the distinction oI Iriend and
enemy
would also cease. What remains is neither poli
tics nor
state,
but
culture, civilization, economics, morality, law, entertainment,
etc.
II and when this condition will
appear,
I do not know. At the
moment,
this is not
the case. And it is
selI-deluding
to believe that the termination oI a modem war
would lead to world peace . . .
(Schmitt, 1996,
pp.
53-54)
With the advent oI "Point IV
politics"
(discussed in Kojeve's letter oI
May
2, 1955, below),
in western Europe aIter World War
II,
it became clear to both
men that while the political had
already nearly
vanished,
states had also not
been replaced
by
Kojeve's "universal and homogeneous
state,"
or Schmitt's
"administrative
state"
(Verwaltungsstaat) (Schmitt, 1980,
p. 11). What had
ap
peared instead were groupings oI states allied in
"empires"
engaged in competi
tion stripped oI the political.
Both the correspondence and the presentation Kojeve gave in DusseldorI in
1957 at Schmitt's invitation shed some light on the thought oI both men on the
nature oI the twilight world
they
were observing. In both Der Nomos der Erde
Discussion:
Koj
eve
-Schmitt,
Colonialism 93
im Volkerrecht des Jus Publicum
Europeaum
(1974,
Iirst published in
1950)
and Land and Sea
(1954b),
Schmitt argued that the exhaustion oI exploitable
lands
by seaIaring
empires under
nineteenth-century
colonialism had rendered
the historical distinction between land and sea
obsolete;
colonial
"taking"
(Neh-
men)
had given
way
to a global
"grazing"
(Weiden). Kojeve's DusseldorI
speech,
his response to Land and
Sea,
lays out his plan Ior the new European
Empire's domination oI the
Mediterranean basin with a
policy
oI
"giving
colo
nialism"
which resembles
nothing
so much as a kind oI European Marshall Plan
Ior North AIrica. The plan Kojeve advocated in DusseldorI reIlected his own
administrative project within the French government's Direction des Relations
Economiques Exterieures (D.R.E.E.). An
unpublished,
posthumous report oI
Kojeve's administrative career describes both his
advocacy
oI a uniIied Euro
pean economic
policy
and the
dismantling
oI trade
barriers,
particularly
Ior the
agricultural products oI third world countries. In his DusseldorI
lecture,
Kojeve
reveals the
explicitly
political grounds Ior this
"giving
colonialism": the inhabit
ants oI the Iormer European colonies in AIrica are
clients,
but "poor
clients,"
Kojeve tells his
audience,
are
"bad,
or even
dangerous,
clients."
This last admission illustrates Kojeve's
ambiguity concerning
history's ca
pacity
to determine or attenuate political action. Until at least
1939,
Kojeve read
Hegel through the lens oI the master-slave
dialectic,
binding history
both to the
slave's work and to the master's willingness to risk liIe Ior the sake oI recogni
tion;
the universal recognition accorded to citizens at the end oI
history
rendered
both master and slave
and, thereIore,
risk and work obsolete.
By
recogniz
ing
the serious
possibility
oI mortal danger Irom the global
working
class
during
a period in which he also claimed that warIare is obsolete (see Kojeve's letter
oI
July
11, 1955, below),
the postwar Kojeve severed the bond between the
master's risk and
history;
iI the latter had
ended,
the Iormer remained possible.
Man's
capacity
to risk liIe aIter history's end receives two distinct interpreta
tions in Kojeve's postwar works. The Iirst interpretation appears in the
well-
known addition to the second edition oI the Introduction in the Iorm oI the
posthistorical
"Japanized"
man,
perpetually
capable oI "gratuitous
suicide"
in
stead oI the
"re-animalization"
(Kojeve, 1968,
p.
437)
Kojeve had posited as
the
only
possible outcome oI history's end in the Iirst edition.
According
to this
interpretation,
posthistorical man's
capacity
Ior mortal risk
is gratuitous and thereIore apolitical. II posthistorical man's choice between
re-
animalization and gratuitous suicide is
determined,
as Kojeve suggests in the
Introduction,
by
his willingness to be satisIied
by
the recognition the universal
and homogeneous state provides
him,
then the gratuitousness oI the latter option
lies in the
impossibility
oI
achieving
recognition through action. The kamikaze
pilot Kojeve uses as an example in 1959 has been replaced in our time
by
the
suicide
bomber, and, perhaps,
in the near
Iuture,
a radical
wing
oI anti-WTO
protesters: the value Ior which he perishes (or risks
perishing)
is
"Iormal"
rather
than historical;
that
is,
any
success is
temporary,
and will be Iorgotten once
94 Interpretation
overcome. Posthistorical men cannot negate the universal and homogeneous
state because it is Iormless (see Schmitt's letter oI Dec. 14.
1955, below)
and
will not
play
the enemy.
There
is,
in
contrast,
nothing
Iormal or gratuitous about the risk Irom the
"dangerous
clients"
in Kojeve's DusseldorI lecture. In
1950,
Kojeve had written
to Leo Strauss that those dissatisIied
by
the posthistorical brand oI recognition
are instead classiIied as
"sick"
and are
simply
"locked
up"
(Strauss, 2000,
p.
255). There is a world oI diIIerence between the
merely
sick and the
dangerous,
however. His recognition oI this diIIerence suggests that the later Kojeve re
mained open to (iI not convinced
oI)
Strauss's alternative to his own position:
that the human
capacity
Ior meaningIul political action is rooted in nature rather
than in
history
and thereIore survives history's end.
A note on the text
The original letters and lecture Irom which this translation is taken are in
German,
in which all
nouns are capitalized.
Consequently,
the liberties Kojeve
Irequently,
but
unpredictably,
takes with
capitalization in his French writings (with such terms as Master and Slave.
Justice, State, etc.)
do
not appear in this translation.
The correspondence and Kojeve's DusseldorI speech below have been translated
directly
Irom
Piet Tommissen's
meticulously
annotated edition
(Tommissen,
1998). While Kojeve was Iorbidden
to publish the lecture
himselI,
a French translation has since been published in two parts
(Kojeve,
1980; Kojeve, 1999),
although some passages Irom the original German text were omitted Irom it.
I have included those passages
here,
but enclosed them in square brackets.
I have made minor corrections in the Iew instances where there were obvious typographical
errors in the Tommissen edition and have noted these. All notes are mine. Round and square brack
ets are Schmitt's and
Kojeve's;
curly
ones
( })
are editorial and appear in two types oI instance:
where there is some
uncertainty
about the original text
(owing
to diIIiculties in
reading
Kojeve's
handwriting)
and in cases where I have provided the original German word because oI
ambiguities,
puns,
etc. Italicized text was underlined in the original letters.
Alexandre Kojeve-Carl Schmitt Correspondence
Paris,
2/V/55
Dear ProIessor!
Thank you
very
much Ior
kindly sending
your
extremely
brilliant Nomos
essay.1
I had
already
been made aware oI it and read it in the November issue oI
"GemeinschaIt und
Politik."
Rereading
it was a useIul pleasure. To
say every
thing
essential in 10 pages is an
extraordinary
perIormance!
OI course I have
something
to
say
about
it,
but it is impossible to do so in a
letter. On the
whole, however,
I am
Iully
in agreement.
With respect to your "last
questions"
. in
short,
I would answer
something
like this:
1)
"in
itselI"
there is
(certainly
since
Napoleon)
no longer
any
"taking"
(all
related attempts have
Iailed)
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism 95
2)
"Ior
us"
(i.e. Ior "absolute
knowledge")
there is now
only
"producing"!
3)
but
"Ior consciousness
itselI"
(Ior instance
US/USSR)
there is also "di
vision."
The goal is unIortunately!
homogeneous distribution. Whoever in his
hemisphere attains it Iirst will be "the
last."
The
Americans'
"Point
IV"2
will
"distribute"
more
slowly
than the agreement between the USSR and
China,
etc.
But in the
"worldly
world"
there is more to distribute. Thus a concrete prognosis
is diIIicult!
Most
respectIully,
FaithIullv,
(s)
1.
Schmitt,
1953.
2. President
Harry
Truman's Point IV was introduced in his inaugural speech on
January
20,
1949,
as "a bold new program Ior
making
the beneIits oI our scientiIic advances and industrial
progress available Ior the improvement and growth oI underdeveloped
areas,"
namely,
in Western
Europe. It marked an important advance over the provisions oI the European
Recovery
Program
(the Marshall
Plan),
which Iocused on economic
recovery
through direct Iinancial
transIers,
but not
on
technology
transIer.
Plettenberg (Westphalia)
9/5 55
Dear Mr.
Kojeve,
I am
risking sending
you the
accompanying
document the Iirst inIormation
I received about you seven years ago (summer 1948). Your letter oI the 2nd oI
May,
which Dr.
Schnur'
conveyed to
me,
gives me the courage to take this risk.
Otherwise I would have to Iear that you would subsume me under Leon Bloy's
categories,2
iI you saw a card such as this.
Everything
crucial appears on page
215 oI your Introduction a la lecture de Hegel/ I do not know iI Dr. Schnur
correctly
conveyed to you what the Hegelian "take on
God"
|Gott-Nahme|
is
Ior me.
Many
have portrayed Hegel as
"atheist,"
and we
certainly
all know
Bruno Bauer's
amusing
"Trumpet oI the last
Judgement."4
But this point oI
yours on page 215 would have to change all present
philosophy,
iI the philoso
phers
who,
in the course oI the academic division oI
labor,
administer the legal
right to the Iirm
"Philosophy"
were
really
to interrogate you. I do
not, however,
share your opinion that
"taking"
has ceased since
Napoleon,
and that
today
there is
only
production
(grazing
geweidet}). There remains
only
destruction
ausgeweidet}
. The
earthly
God,
who now
only
gives and no longer takes be
cause he creates Irom
Nothingness,
creates Nothingness Iirst oI all beIore
every
thing,
Irom which he
creates,
i.e. takes.
May
I,
at the same
time,
send you a printed
essay
which will
hardly
interest
you Ior other
reasons (it has to do with a
FestschriIt3
Ior Ernst Jiinger's 60th
96 Interpretation
birthday)
in
which, however,
a remark is
reported,
Ior which I
recognize,
on the
modem
earth,
no other competent judge than
you,
Mr. Kojeve.
FaithIully,
(s)
1. At
Iring
Fetcher's
suggestion,
Roman
Schnur,
a legal scholar, introduced Schmitt to
Kojeve,
although Kojeve had
already
been aware oI Schmitt's
work,
according
to evidence gathered
by
Tommissen
(1998,
pp. 57-63). Kojeve's 1943 Esquisse dune phenomenologie du droit uses the
Iriend-enemy
distinction Schmitt Iirst presented in his 1933 edition oI Die
BegriII
des
Politischen,
translated
by
George Schwab as The Concept
oI
the Political
(Schmitt,
1996).
2. Leon
Bloy (1846-1917)
was a passionate convert to Catholicism and a poet. It is unclear to
which categories Schmitt is
reIerring
here.
3. This page oI Kojeve's Introduction a la lecture de Hegel interprets pp. 476-77 oI the
HoII-
meister edition oI Hegel's Phdnomenologie des
Geistes;
678 (p.
412)
in the Miller translation
(Hegel,
1977). In this
passage,
Kojeve
starkly
presents his view oI Hegel as atheist:
"BrieIly,
Man
who seeks to understand himselI
thoroughly
and
completely
as Spirit cannot
satisIy
himselI except
with an atheistic anthropology. And this is
why
Schicksal,
the
Destiny
oI all
Theology,
oI all Reli
gion, is,
in the Iinal
analysis,
atheism. ... In
theism,
Man becomes conscious oI himselI. But he
does it in the mode oI
Vor-stellung
|re-pre-sentation|. That
is,
he projects himselI outside
himselI,
"stellt sich
vor'
|re-pre-sents
himselI), and,
no longer
recognizing
himselI in this
projection,
he
believes that he is in the presence oI a transcendent God. And it is thus that Hegel could
say
that
the
only
diIIerence between his Science and Christian
Theology
consists in the Iact that the latter
is a
Vorstellung,
while his Science is a
BegriII,
a developed concept. In
Iact,
it is enough to over
come the
Vorstellung,
it is enough to
grasp
|be-greiIen|,
to know or to understand what was
pro-
jected,
it is enough to
say
oI Man
everything
the Christian says oI his God in order to have the
atheistic
anthropology
which is at the Ioundation Hegel's
Science."
4. Bruno
Bauer, 1841;
translated into English
by
Lawrence Stepelevich
(Bauer,
1989).
5.
Mohler,
1955. Schmitt's contribution appears on pp. 135-67
(Schmitt,
1955).
Pans,
16/V/55
Dear Mr.
Schmitt,
Thank you
very
much Ior your
letter,
the
accompanying
card,
and the Jiinger
essay,
which I have just read.
The
"Icon"
"Hegel vient en
France"1
"Hegel comes to
France"}
is
really
very
priceless and appears to be quite "serious"! I would
certainly
not have
"subsumed"
you under Bloy: I knew a Iew
oI your writings. . . That I dislike
the expression "commentaire
existentialiste de
K."
"K.'s existentialist com
mentary"}
extremely2
certainly
goes without saying. But
unIortunately
it is gen
erally customary
in France. The
only
truth about it is that I sought (and now am
again
seeking)
to reach a "mise a
jour"
"update"}
oI Hegel. II
"existentialist"
means as much as
"modem,"
or even "a la
mode"
"Iashionable"}
then I am in
agreement.
You
are,
oI
course,
completely
correct:
everything
essential appears on
my
page
215,
as you cited. In
my
course I spoke oI Hegel's
anthropo-theism,
but I
also emphasized that it has to do not
only
with a mortal but
really
with a
dying
(and perhaps
already dead)
God.
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism 97
But how Iew
understood that! Besides
them,
I have
only
heard it Irom an
Englishman. In a
discussion (which I have lost and Iorgotten the name oI the
publisher)
was the sentence: ". . but Mr. K. is
human,
as the rest oI
us."3
Real
Anglo-Saxon
irony
and
"Ver?}zenheit."4
For
nobody
(besides
me)
understood
this sentence either. But it used to be
completely
diIIerent. Heinrich
Heine, e.g.,
knew it
very
well. In the Pariser
Tagebuchern5
(page
Iorgotten!)
it goes some
thing
like this: "Since I am no longer a
Hegelian,
it is also
going
well Ior me.
Now iI
somebody
comes to
me,
complains about
liIe,
and asks Ior
help,
I
say
to him: / am no longer God! Turn to a suitable
institution,
whose buildings are
usually
equipped with towers and
bells."
Yes, what people said about God Ior thousands oI years as it pertained to
people (i.e. to themselves |there we have
"existentialism"!!|
is
really
over the
top. Just to understand it is so diIIicult that even aIter
my
books
only
a
very
Iew understand it. And who takes that seriously?!
At the time oI
my
course (i.e. beIore the
war)
I always
inwardly
read
"Stalin"
instead oI
"Napoleon"
and nevertheless interpreted the Ph.d.G. |In your termi
nology. Stalin

"the Alexander oI our
World"

"industrialized
Napoleon"

World
(
Country)
empire|.
Now I believe that Hegel was
completely
right and that
history
was
already
over aIter the historical Napoleon.
For,
in the
end,
Hitler was
only
a "new
enlarged and improved
edition"
oI Napoleon |"La Republique une et indivisi
ble"
'The single and indivisible
Republic"}

"Ein
Land,
ein
Volk,
ein
Fiihrer"
"One
country,
one
people,
one leader"}|. Hitler committed the errors which
you characterize so well on p. 166 (towards the middle)6:
now,
iI Nap. in his
time had done it as well as
Hitler,
it would
certainly
have been enough. But
unIortunately
Hitler did it 150 years too latel Thus the second world war
brought
nothing essentially
new. And the Iirst one was just an intermission.
What did Napoleon want? To
"sublate"
|"auIheben"}
the state as
such,
in
Iavor oI
"society."
And he believed himselI able to attain it through a
"total"
victory
in the
"total"
war. (Through this
"total"
war the state |state

war-wag
ing
territorial
unit|
as such is brought "to
completion"
and is thus
"sublated.")
But the Anglo-Saxons want (and could
already then)
the same
thing
(cer
tainly
with more success). And Marx also meant
nothing
other than this with
his "Realm oI Ireedom |to do
what?!)."
Who could do it? Are
there, then,
still States in the real sense oI the
word,
thus governments which are
anything
other than administrations and politics
Politilc|(-
war)
which meant
something
more than Police. The Americans
have never known what
war,
politics and state mean (the
"boys"
do not die as
soldiers,
but are killed as police
agents, and, naturally,
nobody
sees
anything
good about that. |But you know all that better than I do|. And Europe is about
to Iorget this. ("Mourir pour
Dantzig"10?!) AIrica,
Asia?
No,
as you
completely
correctly
say,
history
is unique and Ior these countries it is too late: until
they
attain the Iamous "niveau de
vie"
"standard oI
living"}
oI the "American
way
98 Interpretation
oI
liIe""
and thus can think oI
"armament"
there is
certainly
no longer the
opportunity
to wage war. The disarmament conIerence is well on its
way
to
success!
When I entered the modem democratic
"state"
aIter the war as a bureaucrat
|Ioreign trade

Ioreign
"policy")
I thought
(only
aIter several
yearsl)
that there
was no longer
any
State at all. Parliament and government (i.e. the
Iormerly
political
structures)
maintained the balance so well that neither oI the two could
decide,
determine or do
anything
at all. And thanks to this mutual "neutraliza
tion"
oI the political the administration could
carry
out its work
unencumbered,
i.e.
|could|
rather
"administer"
(
organize the
"grazing,"
to speak your lan
guage).
Certainly
there is still a kind oI "Ioreign
policy."
Domestic
politics,
however,
no longer exists:
everybody
wants,
oI
course,
the same
thing,
namely
nothing;
Ior
they
are,
by
and
large,
iI not satisIied
|beIriedigt|
at least contented
|zuIrieden|
|and the most dissatisIied elite is a
revolutionary,
i.e. political power
only
iI the masses are discontented|). But this so-called Ioreign
policy
has
only
one goal: to rid the world oI politics
(
war).
Externally,
everything
appears to
be "as it used to":
armament, alliances,
etc. But it is so diIIerent that it is clear
even to the "homme de la
rue"
"man oI the
street"},
who can no longer take
it seriously.
When I had seen (and
experienced) that,
I understood that the USSR is sim
ply
a bit more
"modern"
than the others.
Here,
one could get rid oI government
and Parliament without
anything having
changed. And in the USSR
they
were
gotten rid
oI;
the Revolution did not install a new government in place oI the
old
government,
but a new administration.
Government without Parliament is
"Iascism"
(tyranny). Thus it was at
tempted to set down that Hitler

Stalin. It became clear that it doesn't work.
Thus a Russian
"Parliament"
was
desperately
sought,
but not Iound. But to what
end a Parliament when there is a
"king"
(
Regius

State)?!
Or,
otherwise: to
what end a Parliament when
everybody
remains quiet
anyway
and no danger oI
revolution exists to be dealt with in a
"parliamentary"
way
(or
by
a
"king"
without "Parliament").
What do such
"anticommunist"
Russians as
may
be want? The same as the
"communist"
ones, namely,
"to live well and
peaceIully."
Only
the Iormer think
that the latter want it too Iast (Krushchev vs. Malenkov12). But that is not a
political
problem,
and to that end neither war nor revolution is
necessary,
nor a
state at
all,
but just an administration. And there
already
is one.
So "World
prognosis"
on a
Hegelian basis:
"Appeasement"13
Disarma
ment
Abriistung}
("without indignation
Endriistung},"
to make a calembour
pun}!)
"Point
IV"
politics (Ior otherwise
?}
unemployment in the
USA14)
"rational
division"
oI raw
materials and industrial products
(
"graz
ing"
without
"destruction")
in the West
equalization oI income within each
country
and between countries
("underdeveloped countries"15).
And aIter 10-20
years,
even a
"non-Hegelian"
will notice that East and West
Discussion:
Koj
eve
-Schmitt, Colonialism 99
not
only
want the
same
thing
(in
Iact,
since
Napoleon),
but do the same thing}.
Then
"alignment"
will be easy.
All oI this as
commentary
on my: "no longer
any
taking,
but
only
grazing"
(with
"whimsical"
production,
which depends on
working
time,
which is a Iunc
tion oI
"education"
|Bildung|,
i.e. the
possibility
oI not
being
bored "at home").
Your "Land and
Sea"16
remains.
I agree with
everything
(oI what is
"brilliant"
in
it,
I will
say
nothing,
Ior
you
certainly
know it
yourselI)
except Ior the question oI time. That was
true,
but is no longer. And this you
say yourselI,
p.
156.17
SuperIicially,
one could express it
something
like this:
economically,
there is no longer
any
"ocean,"
but
only
"inland
water"
|One needs the
"Roman"
anachronism oI Mussolini's Italian Ioolishness in
the 20th
century
to believe that the
Mediterranean is still a political phenome
non:
today
everything
is
surely
"Mediterranean"|.
strategically,
"Land and
Sea"
has been
"sublated"
in a Hegelian
way
in
"air": but a war would never be "pulled out oI the
air,"
and
nobody
likes an
"attacker"
anymore anyway. And where all
only
want and are able to "de
Iend"
themselves,
there is no longer
any history
and thus no
"Alexander."
Please Iorgive the
long
and . . . conIused letter. But I also wanted to put
my
"timely
considerations"
beIore a
"competent"
judge.
FaithIully,
(s)
1. Tommissen identiIies Kojeve's subject here as
DuIrenne,
1948.
2.
Reading
dusserst where Tommissen's edition reads dussert.
3. In English.
4. Illegible in the
original,
according
to Tommissen's edition.
5. I was unable to Iind
any
work
by
Heine
by
this
title,
although Kojeve
may
be
reIerring
to
a collection oI Heine's Paris
articles,
since published as Pariser Berichte 1840-1848
(Heine,
1979).
Tommissen's view is that the quote is not
Heine's; nonetheless,
the sentiment is. In a letter Irom
April
15, 1849,
Heine
writes,
"In manchen
Momenten,
besonders wenn die KrampIe in der
Wirbel-
saule allzu qualvoll
rumoren,
durchzuckt mich der ZweiIel ob der Mensch wirklich ein
zweybei-
nigter Gott
ist,
wie mir den selige ProIessor Hegel vor
IunIundzwanzig
Jahren in Berlin versichert
hatte ... ich bin kein gottlicher Bipede mehr
(Heine, 1982,
p. 112). ("In certain
moments,
especially
when the cramps rumble all too
agonizingly
through
my
spine,
the doubt crosses
my
mind whether man
really
is a two-legged
god,
as the late ProIessor Hegel assured me twenty-Iive
years ago in Berlin ... 1 am no longer a divine
biped.")
From Nov.
3,
1851: ". . . Hegel m'avait Iait
croire que j'etais un Dieu! J'etais si Iier de ma
divinite,
je me croyais si grand
que,
quand je passais
par la porte Saint-Martin ou
Saint-Denis,
je baissais involontairement la
tete,
craignant de me heurter
contre l'arc c'etait une belle
epoque,
qui est passee depuis longtemps . . .
''
(Heine, 1972,
p. 146).
(". . . Hegel made me believe I was a god! 1 was so proud oI
my divinity,
I believed myselI so great
that,
when I passed through the door oI Saint Martin or Saint
Denis,
I
involuntarily
lowered
my
head Ior Iear oI
hitting
myselI on the arch it was a belle
epoque,
which is
long
gone. . . .
")
6. This error,
according
to
Schmitt,
is to respond to the
contemporary
"call oI
history,"
gener
ated
by
the dialectic between land and
sea,
with "the old answer": "While people believe themselves
to be historical and
stay
with what was once
true,
they
Iorget that a historical truth is
only
true
once."
7. Kojeve's
meaning
throughout is
ambiguous,
since Politik means both
"policy"
and "poli
tics";
Aussenpolitik is translated here in its common English usage as "Ioreign
policy,"
whereas
100 Interpretation
Innenpolitik,
having
no real
meaning
iI translated as "domestic
policy,"
is translated below as "do
mestic
politics."
8 The word
"Police"
appears in brackets
immediately
aIter the German word Polizei here.
9. In English.
10. "Mourir pour
Dantzig?"
was the headline oI an article in the
May
4, 1939,
edition oI
Paris-
based L'Oeuvre
by
Marcel Deat (1894-1955), then a socialist and paciIist,
but,
Irom
1941,
a collab
orator in the
Vichy
government as Iounder oI the Rassemblement National Populaire. In the
article,
Deat argued that the matter oI the Polish corridor did not concern French peasants. I am indebted
to Tommissen Ior
identiIying
the source oI this quotation. See also
Cointet, 1998,
especially
pp.
146-48.
11. In English.
12. Georgi Malenkov
(1902-1988)
was chosen
by
Stalin to replace him as Communist
Party
leader and prime minister on the latter's death in
1953,
which Malenkov
did,
Ior ten days. Nikita
Krushchev
(1894-1971),
who was second
secretary
oI the
party,
persuaded Politburo members to
split the two posts.
They
agreed,
and Krushchev became
party secretary,
while Malenkov took the
post oI prime
minister,
a position with
signiIicantly
less power. On
February
S,
1955,
Krushchev
ousted
Malenkov,
installing
Nikolai Bulganin
(1895-1975)
as prime minister. At the time Kojeve
wrote this
letter,
Krushchev had taken a staunch anti-Western position,
and would thus have
ap
peared an unrepentant Stalinist (and hence "communist").
Malenkov,
on the other
hand,
had advo
cated a Ioreign
policy
oI reconciliation with the West and a shiIt in domestic economic
policy
away
Irom
heavy industry
towards consumer goods (thus
playing,
in Kojeve's
terminology,
the
"anticommunist"). In
Iact,
Krushchev proved to be
anything
but a loyal
Stalinist,
as evidenced
by
his 1956 "secret
speech"
denouncing
Stalin's practice oI political persecution; moreover,
his concil
iatory
Ioreign
policy
came to resemble Malenkov's almost
immediately
aIter the latter's ouster
(Marantz,
1975).
13. In English.
14.
Partially
illegible in the
original,
according
to Tommissen's edition.
15. In English.
16. Kojeve is not
reIerring
to Schmitt's eponymous book Land und Meer
(Schmitt, 1954b),
but
to Schmitt's
essay
in the Jiinger FestschriIt
(Schmitt,
1955).
17. Here Schmitt discusses the radical separation oI the technological die
Technik)
Irom the
normative standards oI criticism and Irom "dialectical-historical
thought."
26/5/55
Dear Mr.
Kojeve,
I received your letter oI
11/51
on a
journey
in southern Germany: I will
answer it Irom
Plettenberg
aIter
my
return (next
week);
today
just this conIirma
tion oI receipt and the assurance that I
certainly
understand "K. remains hu
man."2
That "Point
IV"
is our constitution is conIirmed to me here
every
single
day;
I Ilee Irom the
overcrowding
oI the
streets back into
my
shelter.
At the same time I would like to send you a print oI the 2nd edition oI
my
harmless little
pamphlet,
"Land und
Meer"3;
Iorgive me Ior
daring
to submit to
you a world-historical observation which was told to a
young
girl
(my
daughter
Anima):
however,
it is
actually
presupposed in the
East-
West
essay4
and is hence
Iorgivable.
Many
thanks Ior the abundance oI your thoughts and the stimulation I re
ceived in your last letter!
Yours,
(s)
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism -101
1. Schmitt almost
certainh means Kojeve's letter oI 16/5.
2. Kojeve's original
reads, "Kojeve rests
human"
(in English).
3.
Schmitt, 1954b.
4. Schmitt's
essay
in
Mohler,
1955.
Paris,
28/V 55
Dear Mr.
Schmitt,
many
thanks Ior your letter and the
Iriendly
transmission oI your "Land und
Meer."
I read the little book with great happiness: it is a great art to Iormulate
important questions
clearly
and simply!
I
already
told you that I am
completely
in agreement with you
concerning
the
past,
with respect to the
"elements."
And now I see that our opinions about
the Iuture are also less diIIerent than one could believe on the basis oI the
Jiinger essay.
Your answer to
my
letter interests me extraordinarily:
today
there are
very
Iew people who still know what state and politics (and thus
"history") are,
or
rather,
were.
Yesterday
I spent the entire
day
in bureaucratic discussions with Englishmen
and Americans about "Convertibility"': that was a good
illustration,
as much oI
the
"Land-Sea"
contrast as oI the anachronistic exploitation oI the "lecons de
l'Histoire"
"lessons oI history"}!
Really
one2
?}
the
philosophy
(or the
"wisdom")
?}2
epochs where the
danger oI anachronism Ior
nonphilosophy
becomes real.
Most
respectIully,
FaithIully,
(s)
1.
"Convertibility"
is in English. Under the agreement reached at Bretton Woods in
1944,
mem
ber states were to make their currencies
"convertible"
at Iixed rates into the U.S.
dollar,
itselI
convertible to gold. In
practice,
this
only
happened at the end oI 1958. France was never an enthusi
astic participant in Bretton Woods because it placed the onus Ior
keeping
exchange rates Iixed on
non-U. S. members (a Iault which led to the agreement's collapse when the U.S. dollar became
overvalued
during
the period 1968-71). See
Bordo,
1994.
2.
Partially
illegible,.
according
to Tommissen's edition.
Plettenberg
7/6/55
Dear Mr.
Kojeve,
it is all over with the
"state,"
that is
true;
this mortal God is
dead,
nothing
can be changed about
that;
the
present-day,
modem administration-apparatus oI
the "care oI
Dasein"
is not
"state"
in Hegel's
sense,
not
"government"
(I do not
know iI
you were able to
Iollow,
Irom
Paris,
the grotesque (on both
sides)
102 Interpretation
comedy
which played itselI out in Gottingen because oI the minister oI educa
tion and
arts'
a parody-reprise oI the "Gottingen
Seven"
oI
1837);
no longer
capable oI war or the death
penalty;
and hence also no longer capable oI
making
history.
Nonetheless,
I grant that you are correct. I
am, however,
oI the view
that Ior the
next3
stage the magni homines great
men}
now major homines
greater
men}
are
concerning
themselves with disputations oI
Grossraum4;
Grossraum,
i.e. a planning-space suited to the dimensions oI today's and tomor
row's
technology
|Technik|. I do not consider our
Earth,
no matter how small
it
may
have
become,
to be a
planning
unit not
by
a
long
shot;
and I even
leave open iI it ever can become one.
"Grossraum"
does not
have,
Ior
me,
the
sense oI a contrast to
"small-space"

Klein-
Raum}
(which I
say} only
in
passing
and
glancing
backward),
but the sense which
is}
a
plurality
and, thereIore,
enables meaningIul
enmity,
and is hence
justiIiably historically noteworthy
oI
an opposition to the
unity
oI the
world,
i.e. against the assumption that the cycle
oI time is
already
over. That is what I do not believe. Le cercle n'est pas encore
parcouru The circle has not yet been travelled}. The
contemporary
world-dual
ism (oI east and
west,
or land and
sea)
is not the Iinal dash Ior
unity,
i.e. the
end oI history. It
is, rather,
the bottleneck through which the road to new
"up-
to-date"
magni homines great
men}
leads. I am thus
looking
Ior the new
no-
mos5
oI the
Earth,
a
geo-nomy;
this does not arise Irom the dictate oI a lord oI
the
world,
into whose hands a Iew Nobel prize-winners maneuvered
power;
it
arises Irom a
tremendous,
reciprocal "match oI
powers."
I am
writing
that in all directness in answer to the questions oI both your
letters (oI 16/5 and
28/5),
because I cannot withhold
my
answer Irom you. I
know how
misleading every
such discussion is
today,
but it would be
wrong
iI
I were not to speak to you bluntly. I Iear (and
see)
that the
"taking"
has not yet
ended.
Recently
I asserted (in a radio discussion Ior the FrankIurt broadcaster):
man remains a son oI the Earth. I will send you the discussion as soon as it
appears.
I am
eagerly looking
Iorward to your Hegel book. It ought to appear in
German. It is outrageous that the German public takes no notice oI the Introduc
tion a la lecture de Hegel. But you will experience the truth oI Goethe's expres
sion: "I
already
know the dear Germans: Iirst
they
are
silent;
then
they
carp;
then
they
eliminate"7
(sic: twice in August
1816,
namely
in Riemer and in
Zelter)
a
nice 5-stage law. I have,
thereIore,
advised a German publisher (Eugen
Dieder-
ichs)
to consider the
possibility
oI a German edition. I
personally
no longer get
involved in such
matters;
but
my
gratitude Ior your Introduction was too
strong,
and is still too
strong,
Ior me
simply
to have been able to remain silent.
FaithIully,
(s)
1. Franz Leonhard Schluter
(1921-1981),
a member oI the Free Democratic
Party,
was
ap
pointed education minister in the 1955 parliament oI Lower Saxony. The Senate oI the
Georg-
August
University
oI Gottingen
publicly
opposed the appointment on the grounds that Schluter was
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism 103
a Nazi deIender. Premier Heinrich Hellwege
(1908-1991)
appointed a committee to investigate the
allegations,
but Schluter resigned Iour days
later,
long
beIore the committee reported. See
Marten,
1987.
2. In
1837,
Emst August
(1771-1851),
King
oI
Hanover,
rescinded the 1833 constitution. Seven
Iaculty
members at the
University
oI
Gottingen,
including
the brothers Jacob
(1785-1863)
and
Wilhelm
(1786-1859) Grimm,
protested and were
subsequently
dismissed.
3.
Reading
ndchste here where Tommissen's edition reads ndchse.
4.
"Grossraum."
roughly
translatable as "great
space,"
appeared in German legal
scholarship,
including
Schmitt's
beginning
in the 1920s. Joseph
Bendersky
provides an account oI the context
in which the term acquired
currency (Bendersky, 1983,
pp. 250-61).
5. Although nomos is
crudely
translatable as
"law"
or
"norm,"
Schmitt insists on a more precise
meaning
oI the term. For
Schmitt,
nomos is a
Iounding
order
directly
tied to the division oI territory.
See
Schmitt, 1974,
pp. 36-48.
6. Schmitt's "Gesprach iiber den Neuen
Raum"
was broadcast on Hessische RundIunk on April
12, 1955. It was
published,
together with the text oI another
broadcast,
as Gesprach iiber die Macht
und den
Zugang
zum
Machthaber;
Gesprach uber den Neuen Raum (Berlin: Akademie
Verlag,
1994). The passage Schmitt cites here appears on p. 64.
7. The passage
actually
reads,
"Denn die lieben Deutschen
kenn'
ich schon: erst schweigen
sie,
dann makeln
sie,
dann
beseitigen,
dann
bestehlen,
und verschweigen
sie."
("For I know the dear
Germans: Iirst
they
are
silent,
then
they
carp,
then
eliminate,
then steal and
conceal.")
The passage
appears identicalh in a letter oI August
9, 1816,
Irom Goethe to Carl Friedrich Zelter
(Riemer,
1833,
p.
298)
and in Riemer's own report oI a dinner speech
by
Goethe on August
29,
1816
(Riemer,
1841,
p. 719).
Paris,
11/VII55
Dear Mr.
Schmitt,
please Iorgive me Ior
only today answering
your last letter (oI 7/VI). I was
travelling
on
business,
then much work in the oIIice
(Sicily, Brussels, Tunisia,
Morocco).
It pleases me that we think the same about the modern so-called
"state."
I do
not, however,
understand how you can speak nonetheless oI a
coming
political-
military
"conIlict."
For
me,
Molotov's
cowboy
hat1
is a symbol oI the Iuture.
But as I have mentioned a
philosopher,
and a Hegelian in
addition,
may
not
play
the prophet.
And is there nowadays
really, then,
a
"dualism"
oI East and West? I believe
in "Land and
Sea"
rather than in the directions oI the compass. But
here, too,
it
is signiIicant that war Ileets
belong
to the past.
Be that as it
may,
I am
very
much
looking
Iorward to your Iuture works.
Thank you
very
much Ior your intervention in the matter oI the translation
oI
my
book.
Kohlhammer
Publishing
appeared to be
ready,
wrote to
my
pub
lisher,
but since then I hear
nothing
more oI
it,
not even Irom the
translator,
Mr.
Fetscher.2
On the other hand,
I received a letter
today
Irom America a New York
lecturer Irom
Israel (J.
Taubes3)
who writes to me that his Hegel lectures "a la
Kojeve"
have
interested the students there
very
much.
FaithIully,
(s)
104 Interpretation
1. Viacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov
(1890-1986),
Ioreign minister Irom 1939-1949 and
1953-1956,
in Iact remained an ardent Stalinist all his
liIe;
he was
openly
hostile to Krushchev and
was expelled Irom the Communist Party's Central Committee in 1957 aIter
attempting,
with
others,
to remove Krushchev as Iirst secretary. OI Molotov's
cowboy
hat, alas,
I could Iind no trace.
2. The translation appeared as
Hegel:
eine
Vergegenvartigung
seines Denkens. Komentar zur
Phdnomenologie des Geistes
(Kojeve,
1958).
3. Jacob Taubes
(1923-1987)
was a Judaist scholar and
liIelong
admirer oI Schmitt. Taubes
struggled Ior most oI his adult liIe with Schmitt's
anti-Semitism, and,
while he corresponded with
Schmitt, only
met him in person in 1978. In
1967,
at
Taubes'
request,
Kojeve gave a lecture at the
Free
University
oI Berlin. Taubes
writes,
"I asked him where the voyage was
going
now Irom
Berlin (he had come to us
directly
Irom Peking). His answer: 'to
Plettenberg.'
I was
astonished,
although I was somewhat used to surprises Irom Kojeve. Kojeve continued: For where must one
travel to in Germany? Carl Schmitt is
surely
the
only
one worth
talking
to. That
stung
me. For I had
denied myselI a visit to Carl Schmitt, and somehow envied Alexander Kojeve his uninhibitedness in
associating
with Carl
Schmitt"
(Taubes, 1987,
p.
24;
see also
Mohler, 1995,
pp.
116,
120-22. 253).
Paris,
1/VIII 55
Dear Mr.
Schmitt,
thank you
very
much Ior your
Iriendly
letter oI
25/VII1
and Ior
sending
me
the
ballads,
which were as
Iunny
as
they
were
sharp-witted,
oI Erich Strauss
(who is
he,
anyway?).2
Lines such as
"Hylisch chthonisch und
verdreckt"3
"Hylic,
chthonic and
Iilthy"}
are
worthy
oI a
Morgenstern.4
For
me,
it is selI-evident that revolutions have become just as impossible as
wars. Both are waged
precisely by
states,
which no longer exist!
Revolutions,
like
wars, belong,
in
my
opinion and in your
terminology,
not
to
division,
but to taking. And you will
certainly
agree,
iI I
add,
with
Hegel,
that
taking
is
only
political insoIar as it takes place on the grounds oI prestige
and Ior prestigious ends. Otherwise
surely
even animals could wage war and
the slave capture in AIrica in the 19th
century
was also a war? On the other
hand,
Athens
certainly
did not have much to
"take"
Irom Sparta (and vice
versa)
except Ior
"hegemony,"
i.e.
precisely
prestige.
It pleases
me,
in
any
case,
that I misunderstood you (Ior which I
apologize,
however). It was
certainly
the
only
point on which I believed there to be a
diIIerence oI opinion between us.
I was
recently
in an automobile accident and am
sitting
with a broken arm
in
Paris,
instead oI
being
in Yugoslavia as I had anticipated. Thus it will please
me
very
much to see your daughter. I am
writing
to her in this context.
Mr. Fetscher writes me to
say
that you have
recently
spoken about me to
proIessors and students:
many
thanks!
FaithIully,
(s)
1. This letter is missing.
2. "Erich
Strauss"
is Schmitt's poetic pseudonym.
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism 105
3. The ballads Schmitt sent in the
missing
letter
Iortunately
also appear in
Mohler, 1995,
p. 192.
4.
Christian
Morgenstern
(1871-1914),
satirical poet and student oI philosophy.
Plettenberg
14/XII 55
Dear Mr.
Kojeve,
Ior months since August I have been
wanting
to write to
you,
just to
express
my
gratitude to you Ior
having kindly
entertained
my daughter, Anima,
in
Paris,
about which she wrote me an enthusiastic report. I
have, however,
been
Irequently
distracted
during
these last
months,
and
only today
do I again Iind
the opportunity.
Certainly
it is a
question which has
long
occupied me and
which I would like to put to
you,
as an observant reader and one who has
worked through your
"Introduction."
That it is in this
capacity
that I
eagerly
await your Hegel book
and,
at the same
time,
in a German
edition,
is under
stood. It would also interest me whether the translation
by
Dr. Fetscher is pro
ceeding
well and iI it will appear soon.
Now
my
modest question: it concerns the concept oI
enemy
in
Hegel,
and
particularly
the word
"enemy"
in the section about the
"unhappy
conscious
ness,"
p. 168 in
HoIImeister,
p. 581
oI
your Introduction (Le
Moine,
Le
Pretre1
The
Monk,
The
Priest};
what do the asterisks
***
there mean??2). It has to do
with the expression: the
enemy
in his most characteristic
|eigensten|
(a Iew
lines later: in his typical
|eigentumlichen|)
Iorm.3
Who is this enemy? is it
possible that he shows himselI
precisely
in the animal Iunctions? What does he
seek there?
In
my
booklet "Ex Captivitate
Salus,"4
on page 89/90 in a remark about the
"enemy,"
a verse (Irom Theodor
Daubler5)
is quoted:
The
enemy
is our own question in Iorm.
To this
verse,
a giIted
young
German6
who was at Harvard Ior three
years,
said to me recently: The USA has no
enemy
because it has no Iorm |Gestalt|.
An important problem.
May
I ask you to
try
to read those pages 89/90 (in the
section: Wisdom oI the
Cell)
once attentively? I do not know iI you own the
booklet Ex Captivitate Salus. II
not,
it will be a special delight Ior me to send
it to you immediately.
It is
generally
as with the question oI the
possibility
oI a
"dictatorship"
in
the system oI Hegelian
philosophy
the question whether there can be an "en
emy"
in Hegel at all. For: either he is
only
a
necessary passing
stage oI
negation,
or invalid and insubstantial. OI the animal
Iunctions,
it means (p.
168)
that
they
would be
"something
which is invalid in and Ior
itselI."
I would be
sincerely
grateIul Ior a line on this
theme,
while I am not impa
tient,
Ior I
know that you are occupied with much work.
FaithIully,
(s)
106 Interpretation
Recently
the book
by
a
Nuremberg
(and
social-democratic) editor,
Beyer,
appeared about Hegel's time in
Bamberg
as an
editor; biographical,
under the
title "Zwischen Phanomenologie und
Logik"7
(Hegel as "coward"). II it interests
you,
I will send it to you.
1. "The
Monk,
The
Priest,"
these are Kojeve's own titles Ior these
paragraphs,
which appear in
225 and
226, respectively,
oI Miller's translation oI the
Phenomenology
(Hegel,
1977).
2. The passage cited
(Kojeve, 1958,
p.
583)
is not part oI Kojeve's Introduction
proper,
but an
appendix to
it,
showing
his schema oI the structure oI Hegel's
Phenomenology oI
Spirit. The aster
isks are part oI Kojeve's
numbering
system.
3. See Hegel.
1977,
223 and
225;
Miller translates both terms as
"characteristic."
4.
Schmitt,
1950.
5. Theodor Daubler
(1876-1934),
poet. His most Iamous
work,
Das Nordlicht
(1910),
a poem
oI 30,000
lines,
was much revised
during
his liIetime. Schmitt's Iascination with Nordlicht went
back to
1912;
in 1916 he published a
commentary
on the poem
(Schmitt,
1991).
6.
According
to
Tommissen,
this is Hans-Joachim
Arndt,
later proIessor oI political science in
Heidelberg. Amdt met Jacob Taubes (see note 3 to Kojeve's letter oI 1 l/VII/55
above)
at Harvard
in 1948.
Taubes'
description oI the encounter appears in Taubes
(1987),
p. 23 and pp. 67-68.
7.
Beyer,
1955.
Paris,
4/1 56
Dear Mr.
Schmitt,
thank you
very
much Ior your letter oI 14/XII and please Iorgive the late
reply: I
was,
until
recently,
in Tunis because oI the negotiations about the cus
toms union (which turned out
very
well). And now it is about Morocco. .
BeIore I answer your
letter,
I would like to wish you a good new year.
Perhaps we will have the
opportunity
to meet personally?
OI the publication oI the German edition oI
my
old book I know nothing:
Dr. Fetscher has not written me in a
long
time. I do not even know iI all
diIIiculties have been overcome. .
The old book is also to appear in
America,
but I do not know
anything
precise about that either. And as Iar as the book is
concerned,
it is still always
a project. I have
certainly
written about a thousand
pages,
but all oI this is
only
a
"preparatory
exercise."
Anyway,
Ior six months I have no longer worked on
it: no time.
Still,
I think about it now and again and matters are
gradually
becom
ing
clearer.
I do not know your "Ex captivitate
salus"
and would like to read
it,
like
everything
that Ilows Irom your pen.
The book about Hegel's time in
Bamberg
would also interest
me,
but I
really
do not want to burden you with it. I will
surely
have the
opportunity
to see it
here somewhere.
Now,
the
enemy
question:
The
"enemy
in his characteristic
Iorm"
is
certainly
the
devil,
more
precisely
Discussion: Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism 107
the Christian
devil,
who also appears in the "animal
Iunctions."
For Hegel ("Ior
us"
or "in
itselI") these Iunctions are
"invalid"
because man negates
them,
and
is
only
man and not just an animal as this negation alone.
For,
while the
"unhappy
consciousness"
(i.e. religious
man,
more
precisely Christ)
appears as
slave beIore death and the risk oI liIe in the struggle Ior recognition (his human
reality
and
honor)
and avoids the
struggle,
"Ior
itselI"
what is animal is not
"invalid"
but
powerIul,
i.e.
"diabolical."
One can thus
say
the Iollowing:
The real
enemy
is the
enemy
to the death: he can kill and be
killed,
is thus
body
and
thus,
iI one
likes,
"Iorm."
II one is prepared to kill him (i.e. iI one is
prepared to risk one's own
liIe),
then the
enemy
is
"invalid"
|nichtig|
and can
(at least as
enemy)
be destroyed.
II, however,
one is aIraid oI the
enemy,
then
he becomes
"diabolical"
and thus "powerIul": he is the
"master"
and one is his
"slave"
(at least insoIar as one does not Ilee Irom him into "another world").
"Whether there can be an
enemy
in Hegel at
all,"
you ask. As always: Yes
and No.
Yes,
insoIar as. and as
long
as there is a struggle Ior
recognition,
i.e. his
tory. World
history
is the
history
oI
enmity
between peoples (which does not
exist at all
among
animals: animals
"Iight"
Ior
something,
not out
oI
enmity).
No,
insoIar as and as soon as
history
(
struggle Ior
recognition)
has been
"sublated"
in Absolute Knowledge. Thus
enmity
is,
aIter
all,
only
a
"moment"
oI the
"Logic,"
i.e. oI human speech. The IulIilled reason oI the wise man (oI
Absolute
Knowledge)
also speaks (in the Phen. oI
S.)
about the
(past) enmity,
but the wise man never speaks out
oI
enmity,
nor to enemies.
Or,
expressed
diIIerently:
enmity
is
sublated,
i.e.
destroyed,
in mutual
recognition;
but one can
only really
recognize a
|Iormer|
enemy,
so that the
enmity
is also preserved
(sublated)
in the
recognition,
although in a sublimated
(sublated)
Iorm.
Hegel takes us this Iar. Now one could perhaps ask
oneselI,
iI in about
500 years the speech oI the wise man
(Hegel)
about
enmity
will still be under
stood.
Already today only
a Iew understand what the words
"enemy," "state,"
"war," "history"
mean. Most are
"against"
all this and in this respect
they
still
understand,
to a certain
extent,
what it means. But iI all this
really
disappears,
one will perhaps no longer
understand what that meant. Then there will also be
no Hegelian
"wisdom."
And as
long
as
enmity
still
exists,
there is still a wisdom
in Hegel's sense. For then one speaks
only
"Ior"
or
"against,"
and
only
"about"
something
. with
my
best
wishes,
FaithIully,
(s)
108 Interpretation
Plettenberg
1 1/5/56
Dear Mr.
Kojeve,
I
certainly
understand your
"Hegelian"
language and there
is,
Ior
me,
no
greater satisIaction than to read your explanations about Hamlet in your letter
oI 5/5
'
I am
eternally
grateIul to you Ior
it,
as well as Ior the passage on p. 253
oI your
Introduction,
a passage which I have
long
known and meditated. But I
am still not clear about the tragic in Hegel.
My
small
essay
"Hamlet or
Hekuba"2
is
only
a
lecture,
which had a particular theme (Hamlet

James,
i.e. the intru
sion oI the historical present oI 1600 in the
play)
as content. I did not want to
take
up
the general problem oI the tragic in the lecture. I
did,
however in
Excursus 2 want to speak oI the state. Please note the passage on p.
65,
lines
6-12 at the
top
in the book "Hamlet or Hekuba"! The state puts an end to the
hero-tragedy
aIter
Hegel;
Philosophy
oI Right 93 and
218;
at 93 (hero-W:
the addition in
Lasson3),
359 on
barbarism;
in 218 it says: "In the time oI
heroes (see the tragedies oI the
ancients"
etc. Shakespeare is thus still barbaric.
Nonetheless,
is Hamlet an "intellectual"? I Iind that the
play
is split in an obvi
ous way: Part I
(including up
to the death oI
Polonius)
is a revenge
play,
Part
2 a street ballad |Moritat|.
Only
in Part I does the Iather's ghost appear. What
does that mean? In Part 2 he has disappeared without a
trace,
is
simply
no
longer mentioned. The tragic
thing
does not lie in the
play,
but outside
it,
in
reality. It is splendid that you say: James 1
only
"coincidentally"
died a natural
death. Correct.
I do not want to write more
today,
but to thank you Ior your letter and to
express
my
best wishes Ior your health. The notiIication that you are not
Ieeling
healthy
distresses me
very
much. I had
attempted,
Ior several
weeks,
to organize
a lecture Ior you at the Rhein-Ruhr Club in DusseldorI. This club not to be
conIused with the heavy-industrial Industrie Club in DusseldorI has
mainly
mid-sized
industry
and independent entrepreneurs as
members,
is
very
exclusive
and a good
platIorm,
oI
which,
e.g.
Briining4
(the Iormer Reich
Chancellor,
now
in the
USA),
Carlo
Schmid5
(my
namesake,
a social
democrat)
and others have
made use. The Club has asked me to ask you iI you would be prepared to
deliver a lecture (with
discussion),
perhaps about the problem oI the underdevel
oped
regions6
or another (not
purely philosophical)
theme. Would you
really
consider it or is it pointless to pursue this idea: please write me that in all
openness and sincerity. For me it would be a particular
joy
to procure a platIorm
(iI also a modest
one)
in
Germany
Ior you in this
way,
and Ior me
personally,
the
possibility
oI
getting
to know you and to have a discussion with you.
Please Iorgive this attempt to see you
personally;
it stems Irom a
lively
wish
to thank you
personally
and to continue our
discussion;
there
is, moreover,
the
endeavor to make your name known in
Germany
and to introduce your Hegel
interpretation to the scholastic
mediocrity
oI the modern
university
business,
or
at least to make an attempt at it. A lecture in DusseldorI would perhaps stir
up
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism 109
more attention than a lecture in a
university
city,
which
today
stand together
under the aegis oI "cultural
exchange"
and have become hotbeds oI
conIormity
without ideas.
So will you send me a word about whether it suits you iI I pursue the Dussel
dorI
plan,
perhaps Ior this Iall or winter?
Yours
sincerely,
(s)
Hamlet is
"play,"
jeu
game},
street
ballad,
on the edge oI
comedy,
except
at both intrusion points
|Einbruch-Stellen|
.
1 . This letter is missing.
2.
Schmitt,
1956.
3.
Hegel,
1921. In the passage at
93,
Hegel considers hero-law as possible
only
in the state oI
nature,
i.e. where there are no
existing
ethical institutions. Schmitt was
particularly
interested in the
critical moment oI action which precedes and grounds these
institutions,
and thus diIIerentiated
between
VerIassung
(constitution)
and
VerIassungsgesetz (constitutional
law),
and the
corresponding
powers oI verIassunggebende Gewalt and verIassungsgesetzgebende Gewalt the power which cre
ates a
constitution,
and which issues constitutional
laws,
respectively. See Schmitt
(1965),
pp. 75
II. and 98. The Iull sentence at 218
reads,
"In heroic
times,
as we see in the
tragedy
oI the
ancients,
the citizens did not Ieel themselves injured
by
wrongs which members oI the royal houses did to
one
another"
(Hegel, 1967,
p. 140). Section 359 appears under the
heading
"The Germanic
Realm,"
which
is,
in Hegel's descriptions,
divided into two
realms,
one
mundane,
and the other "a world oI
beyond."
BeIore the advent oI the state
(360),
both are
externally
barbaric (pp. 222-23).
4. Heinrich
Briining (1885-1970)
was leader oI the Catholic Center
Party,
and Chancellor oI
Germany
Irom 1930 to
1932,
when he was replaced
by
Franz von Papen (1879-1969). He escaped
to the United States in 1934 and held an appointment at Harvard
University
Irom 1937 to 1952. In
1951,
he returned to
Germany,
where he taught political science at the
University
oI Cologne
(Man-
nes, 1999,
p. 14).
5. Carlo Schmid (1896-1979),
German proIessor oI law and political
science,
translator oI
Baudelaire into
German, and,
Irom
1949-1972,
a
sitting
member oI the Social Democratic
Party
in
Germany.
6. "Underdeveloped
regions"
appears here in English.
Paris,
21/5 56
Dear
ProIessor,
thank you
very
much Ior your
Iriendly
letter oI
11/V,
as well as Ior the
invitation oI the DusseldorI club. In principle I
would be pleased to give a
lecture there. Because I
am, however,
ill Ior the
moment,
I
cannot,
unIortu
nately,
promise
anything
Iirm. Perhaps one could Ioresee
something
Ior
January
or
February
1957?
The
theme:
"underdeveloped
seems to me to be
very
good. On
this
occasion I could perhaps also make
my
"Hegelian"
interpretation oI Marx
known:
what was the proletariat in the 19th
century
has
become the "under
developed"2
in the
20th,
with
everything
that Iollows Irom
that,
as
theory
and
practice.
110-
Interpretation
On the
tragedy
problem in Hegel:
1. I believe that Hegel himselI did not see the
"tragedy
oI the
intellectuals."
Yet I believe that
my
interpretation is
"orthodox."
2. II I understand Hegel
correctly,
a citizen is de
Iacto,
also always a bour
geois (the real
"master"
|Herr|
belongs in the
"mythical"
prehistory): either
as
"aristocrat"
or as actual
"bourgeois"
(rich or poor). II it is
so,
then the state
(
each actual state where the
"authority"
replaces the "struggle Ior
recognition)
puts an end to the tragedy:
precisely
because there is no "actual
master"
in the
state (more precisely: because the "real
masters"
can however
only
be
death-
worthy
criminals). I agree with this. Yet I believe that there are (or can
be)
people in the state (and thanks to the
state)
who are not
"bourgeois,"
on the
simple grounds that
they
are not citizens. These are
precisely
the
"intellectuals"
(and
monks??)
who live (or at least would like to
live)
in an autonomous ("im
mune")
Republique des Lettres. And in this republic there are also tragedies.
3. Your interpretation oI
tragedy
(as
"history") is,
in
my
opinion,
certainly
compatible with the Hegelian (somewhat
"Marxist")
interpretation.
Roughly
thus: there is also an actual "struggle Ior
recognition"
in the state. Not
only
between
individuals,
but between
"classes"
(to speak with Marx). Thus there
are also "tragic historical
situations."
Only
Hegel and Marx would notice that
these
"situations"
are not
absolutely
tragic,
Ior there is always a
revolutionary
(i.e. more
precisely bloody)
escape Irom them.
FaithIully,
(s)
1. In English.
2. In English.
Vanves,
30/XI 56
Dear
ProIessor,
lately
you had the kindness to plan a lecture Ior me in DusseldorI. In the
meantime,
as you
know,
I was ill. Thus I could
unIortunately
not give a Iirm
acceptance. Now it appears that I will be
coming,
Ior several
weeks,
to see
Iriends in
Germany,
in
January
1957.
I would be
very happy
iI I could meet you on this occasion. Perhaps that
could be combined with the lecture in DusseldorI? It would suit me
particularly
well iI I could hold this lecture between the 10th and the 20th oI January.
With
many
thanks in
advance,
IaithIully,
(s)
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism -111
5/12 56
Dear Mr.
Kojeve,
I am
very happy
about your letter oI
30/XI;
Iirst oI all because oI the news
that you are
healthy
again,
and
secondly
at the prospect
getting
to know you
personally. I am available to you
during
all oI
January
1957;
only
on the
evening
oI
January
21st I have a lecture at the Technical College in Aachen. I can also
come,
at
any
time,
to
DusseldorI,
or wherever you would like.
Plettenberg
is a
dreadIul hole oI small steel
industry
and is diIIicult to reach in the winter: the
analogy
with Machiavelli's reIuge in San Casciano does
not, unIortunately,
ex
tend to the
beauty
oI the landscape. ThereIore it is more practical iI we meet in
a larger city.
I have communicated with the Rhein-Ruhr-Club. Due to the break in discus
sions over the summer it is uncertain whether a lecture Ior the middle oI
January
can still be
successIully
organized. Time is a little bit
tight,
because the winter
program has
already
been established.
Still,
I want to do
my
best. I will
keep
you posted about it. II I can be useIul to you in
any
other
way
Ior your
journey
to
Germany,
it will be a genuine pleasure.
Sincerely,
(s)
Plettenberg
(Westphalia)
23/12 56
Dear Mr.
Kojeve,
may
I ask
you,
in
haste,
Ior some inIormation
regarding
the planned lecture
in DusseldorI? The board oI the Rhein-Ruhr-Club asked me to ask you about
the theme: could you link your ideas with a current theme: the Suez
Canal,
or
French colonial
policy,
or
something
oI the kind? The Club would like to hold
the lecture in the middle oI
January,
but Iears
that,
with the shortness oI
time,
not enough listeners will come iI the theme does not have a current aspect.
I would be
eternally happy
iI the lecture came about.
Naturally,
in a
city
such as
DusseldorI,
the larger share oI important listeners is in great
demand;
hence our
concern. I am
sending
you as an example an invitation to the previous
lecture. Could you
immediately
send the inIormation about yourselI (a Iew bio
graphical
notes,
as in the
accompanying
sample)
which will be printed with the
general
invitations?
Please Iorgive the haste! I give you
my
best wishes Ior the
coming
year and
hope that we meet in
January
in
DusseldorI!
Ever
IaithIully,
(s)
112 Interpretation
Vanves 24/XII 56
Dear
ProIessor,
many
thanks Ior your
letter,
which I have just received. Enclosed some bio
graphical notes: some oI these can
certainly
be deleted.
We
previously
considered the theme oI "Underdeveloped
Countries"1
(how
does one
say
that in
German,
by
the way?). It seems to me to be
very
current.
The title
could,
nonetheless,
be somewhat "spiced
up."
Such as:
The problem oI the underdeveloped
(?)
countries |or
(?)|
so-called "colonial
ism"
|and the
"Euro-AIrican"
idea|.
Still,
I must, as a
bureaucrat,
naturally
be
very
careIul and deal with "princi
ples"
rather than concrete questions.
Personally,
I put no value on a large public. But I understand that the Club
is interested in it.
In
any
case I thank you
very
much Ior your eIIorts in the matter.
I will be
extraordinarily happy
to get to know you
personally
and to speak
with you.
With best wishes Ior the New
Year,
FaithIully,
(s)
PS: I assume that the Club will cover the travel costs? Or what are the arrange
ments?
K
1. In
English;
reading
"Underdeveloped"
where Tommissen's edition reads "Unterdeveloped
"
Vanves,
23/1 57
Dear
ProIessor,
I would like to thank you most
sincerely,
once
again,
Ior the
extremely
Iriendly
and nice reception in DusseldorI.
I hope that you will decide aIter all to come to Paris. The
city
is
really
agreeable and beautiIul.
I read the booklet about
power1
in the train as
always,
with great satisIac
tion. I am in Iull agreement with the content.
On this occasion I would like to ask you to
convey
to your daughter the most
cordial greetings.
As Iar as the publication oI
my
lecture is
concerned,
I must
unIortunately
reIrain Irom
doing
so Ior now: at the urgent advice oI
my
superiors! I hope that
the RR-Club will understand that.
At the same time I am
writing
to Mr.
Koch2
to express
my
thanks and to
apologize.
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism -113
With respectIul and
Iriendly greetings,
FaithIully,
(s)
1.
Schmitt,
1954a. See also note 6 to Schmitt's letter oI 7/6/55 above.
2. Then president oI the
Rhein-Ruhr-Club,
Justus Koch
(1891-1962)
had acted as a deIense
counsel Ior Paul
Komer, Goring's permanent
deputy,
in the "Ministries
Case"
at the
Nuremberg
Military
Tribunals (Trials
oI
War
Criminals, 1997,
p. 10).
Plettenberg
31/1 57
Dear Mr.
Kojeve,
many
thanks Ior your letter oI 23/1 ! For me it the most important
thing
is
that you not regret your
trip
to DusseldorI. Once I disregard the personal beneIit
I took Irom it
myselI,
I must above all state that your name has now become
eIIective Ior at least 20
young,
intelligent Germans. That seems to me to be a
good result.
Besides,
I hope that you repeat this attempt in
Germany
under better
external conditions and that this DusseldorI experiment did
not,
at
least,
have a
deterrent eIIect.
I can
hardly
open a
daily
newspaper without
immediately Iinding
articles in
it on the theme oI your lecture.
Perhaps, however,
you also received an impres
sion oI the diIIiculties one encounters
today
with a German public. Dr.
Schacht1
wrote me a longer
letter;
he just travelled to
Munich,
where he celebrated his
80th birthday. I am
sorry
that he was not
there,
Ior despite his advanced age he
oIten makes
very interesting
comments in the discussion. Also Mr. Kaletsch oI
the Flick
companies,2
whom I met the
Iollowing
Friday,
was
sorry
not to have
heard the lecture. He was occupied with the unIortunate de Menthon
incident.3
But I
Iind,
as I
already
said to
you,
that the
young
people who heard you were
the most important. From
my
"Gesprach iiber die Macht und den
Zugang
zum
Machthaber"
you will have understood the hidden pessimism which Iills me
towards everyone who participates in power. A Iriend in power is a Iriend
lost,4
as it goes in the "Education oI
Henry
Adams,"5
and Irom the "Re-Education oI
Carl
Schmitt"6
I would also like to add: A Ioe in power is a Ioe
doubled.7
That the lecture cannot be published is
regrettable,
iI also understandable.
For
me,
the personal
meeting
with you remains a great moment oI the autumn
oI
my
liIe. The
reading
oI your
"Introduction"
and oI your letters
becomes,
because oI
it,
a discussion oI immediate liveliness.
I
remain,
with best greetings and
wishes,
ever
sincerely
IaithIully,
(s)
114 Interpretation
Song oI
the old man
oI
the Mosel 1957
humanity
is now
being
integrated
the mosel is
being
canalized
the sacrament remains turned around
the
laity
remains without the chalice
hidden remains the dear god
the whole world becomes a
melting
pot8
the automatic becomes global
the
laity
takes veronal
Alexandre Kojeve
to commemorate the discussion
over Palatinate wine in DusseldorI
C.S.
1. Hjalmar Schacht (1877-1970): Banker and politician. President oI the Reichsbank (Imperial
Bank)
1923-1930 and
1933-1939,
member oI Hitler's cabinet 1935-1943. He resigned as Iinance
minister in 1937 aIter a Ieud with Hermann
Goring (1893-1945)
over economic
policy,
but re
mained a cabinet minister without portIolio until 1943. While he espoused the
Nuremberg
Laws,
Schacht opposed the invasion oI
Poland,
was in contact with resistance groups Irom 1940
onward,
and conspired in the Iailed
coup
attempt against Hitler in
July
1944. He was arrested and imprisoned
Ior these activities
shortly
aIterward,
but escaped execution. Schacht was tried
by
the International
Military
Tribunal at
Nuremberg
in
1946,
and
ultimately
cleared
(Fischer, 1995; Peterson,
1954).
2. Konrad Kaletsch
(1898-1978)
was a
high-ranking
executive oI the Flick companies begin
ning
in 1937. In
1947,
he and Iive other Flick executives were tried in one oI three
Nuremberg
trials directed against corporations on charges oI
employing
Jewish slave labor. Kaletsch was Iound
not
guilty,
although three oI his colleagues
(including
Flick president Friedrich
Flick)
were con
victed and served prison time
(Jung,
1992).
3. I was unable to uncover what this incident was. This is
probably
Francois de Menthon
(1900-
1984),
France's chieI prosecutor at the
Nuremberg
trials in
1945-1946,
as well as resistance leader
and justice minister Ior France's provisional government Irom 1943-1945.
4. "A Iriend in power is a Iriend
lost"
appears here in English.
5.
Adams, 1995,
p. 107.
6. In English.
7. "A Ioe in power is a Ioe
doubled"
appears here in English.
8.
"Melting
pot"
appears here in English.
Vanves 12/11 57
Dear
ProIessor,
thank you
very
much Ior the
amusing
poem.
Although it seems that the good
laity
does not even need Veronal. I have
recently
experienced
something completely
remarkable in this Iield with
so-
called
"politicians."
Perhaps you will decide on a
trip
to Paris aIter all: it would make me
very
happy
!
With respectIul
greetings,
FaithIully,
(s)
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism -115
Paris 4/IV 60
Dear ProIessor!
Thank you
very
much Ior the
Iriendly
transmission oI Tyrannei der
Werte,1
which
I,
as
always,
read with great interest and satisIaction.
I hope that we will soon have the
opportunity
to talk.
With respectIul
greetings,
FaithIully,
(s)
1.
Schmitt,
1979.
Colonialism Irom a European Perspective
Alexandre Kojeve
Ladies and Gentlemen!
BeIore I begin
my
lecture,
I would like to thank the Rhein-Ruhr-Club most
sincerely
Ior the
Iriendly
invitation.
And then I would also like to apologize Ior
my
poor German. It
is, however,
a
joy
to give a lecture in Hegel's language. But
my
German leaves much to be
desired,
and thereIore I must ask Ior a good deal oI indulgence.
Finally,
I would like to repeat what Mr. Koch
already
said to you.
Namely,
that
everything
that is said here is
my
own
opinion,
which I
present, throughout,
not as a French
bureaucrat,
but
exclusively
as private citizen |iI also as a Iormer
student at
Heidelberg|.'
I would also like to remark that in
my
lecture I
very consciously
and deliber
ately
want to avoid
anything
which is in
any way
political or could appear to
be so. I intend
radically
to depoliticize all the concepts I
discuss,
above all the
concept oI so-called colonialism. Thus I will examine and deal with all problems
Irom a
purely
economic,
exclusively
political-economic
|national-okonomi-
schen|
perspective.
The word
"capitalism"
was coined in the 19th
century,
and Karl Marx gave
this concept a
very
precise,
speciIically
economic meaning.
Marx
understood
by
"capitalism"
an economic system characterized
by
the
Iollowing. First: the
"capitalist"
economy
is an industrialized economy. Second:
the industrial
means oI production
belong,
in this
system,
not to the
physically
laboring
(with the
help
oI these
means) majority
oI the
population,
but to a
politically
as well as
economically
"leading," "guiding"
minority
or elite oI
so-
called
capitalists. Third: this system is set
up
so that the
working
majority,
the
116-
Interpretation
so-called
"proletariat,"
derives
absolutely
no advantage Irom the technical
prog
ress oI
industrialization, or,
iI you
like,
oI the
"rationalization"
oI production.
The progress oI industrial
technology
increased the labor
yield,
the "produc
tivity"
as it is called today. It thus creates a surplus value Irom labor. This
"surplus
value"
was
not, however,
paid out to the
working
mass,
but was re
tained
by
the capitalist minority. Thus the
working majority
oI the population
remained,
in spite oI technical
progress,
at the same standard oI
living,
which
was, moreover,
a minimum Ior subsistence and thus could
absolutely
not be
lowered. In
contrast,
technical progress permitted a constant increase in the capi
talist minority's income.
I
say
deliberately: "increase in
income"
and not in standard oI living. For
just as there is a minimum Ior
subsistence,
there is also a maximum Ior
living
|Lebensmaximum|
, or,
let us just
say
a
living
optimum which is not surpassed.
And this optimum had
already
been attained
by
the
"leading"
minority long
beIore industrialization. Marx called it
very
good, moreover,
and said so even
in his scientiIic works.
Thus,
in Iact
only
a
very tiny
part oI the capitalist surplus value was con
sumed. Almost
everything
was
"invested"
and thus served the Iurther
progress,
i.e. the constant expansion and
"perIection"
|?|
oI industrialization or rational
ization oI the national economy.
However,
as I have
mentioned,
the
"capitalism"
Marx has in view was set
up
so that the
working majority absolutely
did not proIit Irom this progress.
And while
they
did not become poorer in absolute terms (which was
completely
impossible
anyway),
they
did become so relatively: the diIIerence between
their income
and}
the combined income oI the elite became ever greater.
From this Marxist
theory
oI capital Iormation and surplus
value,
Marx him
selI and the so-called Marxists oI the 19th
century
derived the well-known social
and political consequences. The so-called "social
Revolution"
was prophesied
as a historical necessity. It was said: capital Iormation Iounded on surplus value
destroys the social
equilibrium;
the entire system will thus collapse sooner or
later. And this violent collapse oI capitalism was called "social
revolution."
Now,
it can be
ascertained,
without Iurther
ado,
that the Marxist soothsayers
erred. For
precisely
in the
really
capitalist
countries,
there was no "social revolu
tion."
|And
today
not a single serious person
seriously
asserts that there is still
any possibility
Ior such a revolution in these
countries.|
But while it is no longer possible to
deny
these Iacts
seriously
today,
it is
possible to interpret them Ialsely. One could assert that Marx erred in his predic
tion because the theoretical Ioundations oI these predictions were Ialse. |And
that was
actually
asserted
very oIten.| But,
in
my
opinion,
such an interpretation
is not
only
Ialse in
itselI,
but also dangerous. For Marx
erred,
in
Iact,
not be
cause he was
theoretically wrong,
but rather right.
For how did this
error,
certainly generally
recognized
today,
actually
come
about? It was not that there was no revolution in the
West,
although the
capital-
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism -117
ism Marx described continued to exist there. It was also not because oI this that
Marx
erred,
because (as one liked to assert in the last
century)
absolutely
noth
ing
like the capitalism he described existed. In
Iact,
Marx
erred,
Iirst oI
all,
because in his time
capitalism was
exactly
what he said it
was,
and
secondly,
because this capitalism resolved its economic deIects
or,
iI one
likes,
"contra
dictions"
discovered and described
by
Marx.
Namely,
in the direction Marx
himselI indicated. To be
sure,
not in a
"revolutionary"
and
"dictatorial,"
but in
a peaceIul and democratic way.
Marx and the Marxists
really
erred in
only
one way.
They
assumed that
capitalists were
exactly
as naive and
shortsighted,2
exactly
as unwise and
blind,
as the bourgeois political economists and intellectuals
generally,
who believed
themselves to have
"reIuted"
Marxist
theory
in books oI
varying
thickness.
Now,
had it
really
been
so,
Marx would
certainly
not have erred in this way.
But it
was,
in
Iact,
not this way. The capitalists published the
"anti-Marxist"
books,
sometimes even (as
young students)
read
them,
but
they
did
exactly
the
opposite oI what could be drawn Irom these books.
Namely,
they
rebuilt capital
ism in a Marxist way.
To put it
brieIly,
the capitalists saw
exactly
the same
thing
as Marx saw and
said |although
independently
oI
him,
and with some delay|.
Namely,
that capi
talism can neither
progress,
nor even
exist,
iI the "surplus
value"
produced
through industrial technologies is not divided between the capitalist
minority
and the
working
majority. In other
words,
the post-Marxist capitalists under
stood that the
modem,
highly
industrialized capitalism oI mass production not
only
permits,
but also
requires,
a constant increase in the income (and oI the
standard oI
living)
oI the
working
masses. And
they
behaved accordingly.
In
brieI,
the capitalists did
exactly
what
they
ought to have done
according
to Marxist
theory
in order to make the "social
revolution"
impossible,
i.e. unnec
essary. This
"Marxist"
reconstruction oI the original capitalism was accom
plished more or less anonymously.
But,
as
always,
there was a great ideologue
here,
too. He was called
Henry
Ford. And thus we can
say
that Ford was the
only
great,
authentic Marxist oI the 20th century. |All other so-called theorists
were,
more or
less,
"Romantics"
who, moreover,
distorted the Marxist theories
in order to
apply
them to
noncapitalist
relations,
i.e.
precisely
to economic sys
tems Marx did not have in
view.|
Nevertheless,
aIter Ford
Iully consciously
did what advanced capitalists had
already
done beIore
him,
more or less unconsciously,
along
came intellectual
theorists who
developed Fordist ideas under the name "Full
Employment,"3
in
a learned language
incomprehensible to the average
person;
and
they
were so
successIul in this that it became
really
diIIicult to understand that it had to do
with
Fordist
ideas,
which were
properly
Marxist and
thereIore,
as soon as
they
were realized,
actually
reIuted
pseudo-Marxist theories.
Be
that as it
may,
the Iact is that
today,
the capitalism described and criticized
by
Marx,
i.e. old-style
capitalism,
which
created investment capital
by
artiIi-
118-
Interpretation
daily limiting
the income oI the
working
class to the minimum Ior
subsistence,
no longer exists in
any
industrialized
country
except Ior Soviet Russia. Where
it
is, moreover,
called
"socialism"
iI not
"communism"
|,
but demonstrates the
same sociopolitical (police-related on the one
hand,
and
revolutionary
on the
other)
side eIIects as the European capitalism oI the 19th century. In Iull conIor
mity
with Marxist theory.
For,
Irom this theory's
perspective,
it does not matter
whether the surplus value is invested
by
private individuals or state bureaucrats.
It is
only
important that the capital
-Iorming
surplus value is calculated such that
the
working
masses are kept close to the minimum Ior
subsistence.|
II
Now,
ladies and
gentlemen,
what I have said is
absolutely
not new. |These
are
plainly
truisms
today.|
And you will
certainly
ask yourselves
why
I am
speaking
about it. All the more because
my
lecture is not entitled
"capitalism"'
but
"colonialism."
Now,
I have spoken about Marx and Marxist
capitalism,
as well as its peace
Iul and democratic
"political,"
iI you like
overcoming, because,
in
my
opin
ion,
this old-style capitalism has not been so
totally
and
Iinally
overcome as
appears at Iirst glance.
Indeed,
not
only
because it continues to exist in Soviet
Russia (and in the so-called
satellites)
under the more or less correct name
"socialism,"
but also because it
unIortunately
also lives on in the
West,
where it is also called
"colonialism"
today.
Marx
himselI, however,
had
only
western Europe in mind. And in his time
that was also
Iully
justiIied. It is less
justiIied, however,
that even
today many
oI those who repeat or who criticize him have the same world view as an ancient
Roman political economist might have had. Except that the United States oI
North America are also included in this "orbis
terrarum"
"earthly
globe"}.
In
reality, however,
aIter the 2nd World War in
any
case,
the so-called
"Western
world"
is
absolutely
no longer just European or Euro-American. It is
also,
and perhaps even
predominantly,
at least in the
long
term,
AIrican and
Asian.
Now,
when this World is looked at as a
whole,
i.e. as it
really
is,
it is not
diIIicult to see that the Marxist deIinition oI capitalism is
very
well suited to
this
world,
and indeed with all the
consequences which Iollow
"logically,"
i.e.
not
only
"actually,"
but also
"necessarily."
Indeed,
we see that nowadays the most important means oI production be
longs to a
Euro-
American
minority
which alone proIits Irom technological
prog
ress,
as it expands this minority's income Irom year to
year,
while the
AIro-
Asian
majority
does not become
poorer,
to be
sure,
in an absolute sense (which
is
certainly physically impossible),
but does become
relatively
more impover
ished. At the same
time,
it is
absolutely
not true that this is a matter oI two
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism -119
economically
divided systems. For there is a vigorous economic interaction be
tween
Euro-
America and
AIro-
Asia. But the system is constructed such that the
one,
smaller part becomes richer
every
year through
it,
while the
other,
larger
one
absolutely
never raises itselI above the absolute minimum Ior subsistence.
In other words: in no industrialized
country
except Ior Russia
today
is
there a
"proletariat"
in the Marxist
sense,
i.e.
really
poor classes oI the popula
tion who can
only
just subsist and have no real aIIluence. |In the so-called
"capitalist"
countries
everybody
is,
more or
less,
equally
rich and not
poor;
Ior
everybody
there lives in
relative,
to be sure
aIIluence.|
But iI one takes the
real world as a
whole, however,
then one
immediately
sees a gigantic
proletariat,
precisely
in the true Marxist sense oI this word. And because it has to do with
an economic
unit,
i.e. an economic
system,
one can thus
certainly say
that there
is also a "surplus
value"
in the Marxist sense oI the
term,
which in its
totality
only
reaches those countries
which, alone,
govern the industrial means oI pro
duction.
The
way
in which this "surplus
value"
is obtained and retained
is,
Irom the
economic
perspective,
completely
irrelevant. It is important
only
that this sur
plus value contributes to the capital accumulation in the industrialized countries.
And thus one
can,
although not
calmly
and
conIidently,
nevertheless still
say
that the modern Western economic system is also
completely
"capitalist,"
in the
Marxist sense oI the word.
Nonetheless,
an important
diIIerence,
not
only
in the
psychologico-political,
but also in the economic
respect,
exists between the system where the surplus
value is extracted Irom the
working
masses within the
country
and that where
this surplus value is taken in other countries. And this diIIerence can be
termino-
logically
Iixed iI the concepts
capitalism,
socialism and colonialism are deIined
in the
Iollowing
way.
By
capitalism we can understand the
classic,
European
capitalism oI the 19th
century,
i.e. the system where the surplus value is ex
tracted within the
country
and is invested
by
private persons.
By
socialism (I
do not mean the theoretical
socialism,
which existed nowhere
yet,
but the system
which
actually
exists
today
in the Sovietized
countries),
by
Soviet socialism will
be understood that system in which the surplus
value, is,
just as in
capitalism,
raised within the
country,
but where this surplus value is invested
by
the state.
Finally,
the word
"colonialism"
will indicate the system where the surplus
value,
as in
capitalism,
is not invested
by
the
state,
but
privately,
but where it is raised
not inside but outside oI the country.
These deIinitions
immediately
indicate, then,
that real capitalism does not
exist
anywhere
anymore,
as well as that colonialism is still related to this van
ished
capitalism. Thus one understands
how it is that
contemporary
Marxists
take a
position on colonialism which is analogous to that which Marx took
up
against
classic capitalism. On the one
hand,
they
establish that the
diIIerence}
between
the
AIro-Asian
majority
and the
Euro-American
minority
is
constantly
expanding;
on the other
hand,
they
inIer Irom this that this
system,
because oI
120 Interpretation
this lack oI
equilibrium,
will collapse. In
addition,
they
assume,
like
Marx,
that
they
are the
only
ones to make these observations and to draw these conclusions
Irom
them,
whereas the
present-day
colonialists,
in
contrast,
will be just as blind
and stupid as the capitalists were in Marx's day.
Now,
were it
really
thus,
the neo-Marxists could
certainly
be correct in their
prediction
concerning
capitalism. And it is Ior
precisely
this reason that I
said,
at the
beginning
oI
my
lecture,
that it would be
extremely
dangerous to interpret
Ialsely
the Iacts that Marx's prediction with respect to capitalism went wrong.
|For we saw that capitalism did not
collapse,
although its
"contradiction"
re
vealed
by
Marx continued to exist. In
reality
there was no social revolution
in the
West,
because Western capitalism itselI eliminated this
contradiction,
in
a
peaceIul,
democratic
way,
at
that,
while
reconstructing
its
"economy"
in a
"Fordist"
way.
And|
From this historical Iact one can
logically
draw
only
one
conclusion:
namely
that,
in order to prevent the collapse oI
colonialism,
this
colonialism will have to be reconstructed in a rational
way,
which is analogous
to the
way
in which the capitalists
beIore,
around and aIter Ford reconstructed
the old capitalism.
Ill
The situation is quite peculiar
and,
in a certain
way,
disturbing. In old capital
ism,
the
"Marxist"
contradiction was
actually
and
actively
overcome in practice
by
"Fordist"
capitalists themselves.
Only
aIter this did the new scientiIic
theory
oI so-called Full
Employment4
emerge,
and
states,
in accordance with the
already-
existing
economic
system,
only
adjusted later. In
contemporary
colonialism,
however,
the situation is
perIectly
reversed. There are
already many
good theo
retical works about the problem
(as,
Ior
example,
in the context oI the United
Nations);
there are also positive governmental
statements5
and programs (such
as,
Ior
example)
President Truman's Iamous "Point IV"6). But the practitioners
oI the
economy
take a
reserved,
even sceptical position and behave as iI the
whole business has
nothing
to do with
them,
because it has to do with a so-called
political problem.
Now it is
certainly
a political problem and perhaps even the political problem
oI the 20th century.
But,
as has been
mentioned,
I would like to disregard that
completely. And that all the more
so,
since the problem is
undoubtedly
and
even, perhaps,
above all an economic problem.
For,
to put it
colloquially,
i.e.
appropriately: poor clients are bad
clients,
and iI the
majority
oI a Iirm's clients
are
poor,
i.e.
bad,
then the Iirm itselI is a bad Iirm in
any
case,
not a sound
one,
but
particularly
not when the
Iirm,
in order to avoid
going
bankrupt,
must
expand
every
year. And not one person will be surprised iI such a Iirm goes
bankrupt one Iine day. |Expressed in
"nobler"
language,
this simple assertion is
called the "law oI
|?|."
But it remains true
today nonetheless.|
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism -121
Thus one must
really
ask the question today: how can colonialism be eco
nomically
reconstructed in a
"Fordist"
way,
so to speak? On the Iace oI
it,
there
are three conceivable
methods,
and all three have
already
been suggested.
First,
one can work on the Iamous "terms oI
trade."7
That
is,
in good
German,
one can
pay
more Ior
goods,
i.e.
mainly
raw
materials,
produced
by
the underde
veloped countries than has been the case until now. The purpose is to stabilize
the prices oI raw
materials,
and to do so at a level which not
only
allows the
exporting
countries to
live,
and not
only
to live
securely,
but also to live continu
ally
better,
just as the
importing
countries
continually
live better. In other words:
modern colonialism could do the same
thing
as old capitalism
did, namely,
to
understand that it is not
only
politically,
but also
economically
advantageous
not to
pay
as little as possible Ior
labor,
but as much as possible. That was the
real purpose oI the much-discussed
"Commodity
agreements."8
Well,
they
were
much
discussed, anyway,
and in
many
languages,
too |: Iive months at the
Havana conIerence oI
'47,
Iour months in the GATT in Geneva in '54|. And
all countries were
Iinally ready
Ior it. It was all the more pleasant when it
was established that there were underdeveloped people in the underdeveloped
countries who could
absolutely
not understand
why,
Ior
example,
oil produced
in the Middle East should cost almost halI as much less than oil in Texas. Or
also
why,
iI there were a so-called world
union,
precisely
these raw materials
would go Ior almost
nothing
at
all,
while industrial prices would change rela
tively
little. And so on.
So,
as has been
mentioned,
all countries were in agreement
in Geneva. But: one
country
was against it
and,
what is
more,
on "principled
grounds."
But that was enough. And thus
nobody
speaks about it Ior the mo
ment
any
more.9
For the
only
principled
country
was called the USA.
Secondly,
one could proceed directly. One
could, namely,
collect the surplus
value Irom raw materials and
anything
else
colonial,
as
beIore,
but not invest it
in the
already
industrialized and rich
countries,
but in the
underdeveloped,
poor
countries in which the surplus value is
being
extracted anyway. And this could
be done
by
world organizations suited to it:
SUNFED,10
or
something
oI the
kind. This has also
already
been much discussed: Ior
years,
and "internation
ally."
|Although not
exactly
as I have just
done,
but in a
"noble"
way,
as it
meant that the industrialized countries were to come to the aid oI the underde
veloped
ones,
in that
they
were to be Iinanced
by
an international
investment
institution. And then
everybody
was
Iinally
(I mean aIter 5 years oI studies and
conIerences)
without exception . in
agreement to
Iind, altogether,
$250
million,
and to put it at the disposal oI all the
underdeveloped countries. But
the sum has still not been
Iound
probably
because it is so
very
small
|
And it is still
being
spoken about . in the United Nations!
Thirdly,
one can
proceed
directly,
not internationally,
but
nationally
instead.
That
is,
a given
industrialized
country
can extract the colonial surplus value with
the one (indeed,
the
right)
hand,
as all
industrialized countries do
nowadays,
but
with
the
other
(thus the
leIt)
hand invest this surplus
value,
or even more than
1 22 Interpretation
that,
in one or more underdeveloped countries.
Now,
iI such a
country really
invests the entire surplus
value,
or even more than
that,
in this
way,
one
can,
to
be
sure,
no longer speak oI colonialism in the conventional sense. For then one
is
certainly,
de
Iacto,
no longer
taking
anything,
and is even
giving
something.
And when the
country
in question spends Iar more than is collected
by
it,
then
it must even
really
be called anticolonialist.
As Iar as I
know,
this third method is applied
by only
two countries
today,
namely by
France and
by
England. As Iar as France is
concerned,
no matter
how high one calculates the extracted colonial surplus value to
be,
i.e.
including
the
markup
Ior French
goods,
preIerential
tariIIs, etc.,
nonetheless it emerges
that,
since the
war,
France invests Iive to six times more in its colonies and
Iormer colonies than these colonies and ex-colonies
supply
in surplus value.
And while I know the
corresponding
English Iigures less
precisely,
I do know
that about the same is true Ior England.
To summarize the
contemporary
situation in the Western
world,
one can thus
say
the Iollowing:
First: the stronghold oI
"principled"
colonialism is in
Washington;
Second: all industrialized countries are de Iacto colonial except France and
England.
IV
I
certainly
do not need to
bring
to anybody's attention that what has just
been said should be taken cum grano salis with a grain oI salt}.
Or,
in German:
it was a joke. But the philosophers call such a joke "Socratic
irony"
(which,
moreover,
can be more or less successIul). In other words:
my
lecture
is,
at
root,
meant
seriously
and
is,
in one
way
or
another,
"pedagogical."
What is meant
seriously
is that the real problem oI our time and oI our world
is not
political,
but economic colonialism. For in general political colonialism
no longer exists at all.
Only
a
very
Iew countries
today
are still under a
truly
colonial
"regime."
And even
iI,
because oI
these,
local diIIiculties exist or could
arise,
then the whole Western world will
certainly
not be destroyed
by
them.
This colonialism is no longer a world problem. In
my
opinion, however,
eco
nomic colonialism is a world problem and a mortal danger.
What is also
seriously
meant is that not
only
is it possible to conduct colo
nialism without
having
colonies,
but
that,
in
Iact,
all industrialized countries
more or
less11
unconsciously
are
colonialist,
in the sense that these countries
alone derive advantage Irom technological progress in that
they
become richer
every
year,
while the backward countries remain
exactly
as poor as
beIore,
and
thereIore become
relatively
poorer
every
year.
What is
seriously
meant, Iinally,
is that the problem cannot
really
be solved
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism 123
as
long
as the
practitioners oI economics continue to stand aside. Modern colo
nialism requires a new collective
"Ford"
just as
urgently
as the old capitalism
needed
many
Fords,
who emerged
spontaneously
at the time. I mean people
who produced Ior a mass
market,
which
they
created themselves
only
when
they
increased the
wages,
i.e. the production
costs,
Ior economic
reasons,
with
out
expecting
that the state would
only
create this mass market Ior theoretical
or political reasons.
All oI this seems to me to be the law oI the
contemporary
world. In Greek:
the nomos oI the Western Earth.
I just
read,
in one oI the wittiest and most brilliant essays that I have ever
read,
that the ancient Greek nomos develops Irom three roots: Irom
taking,
Irom
division and Irom
grazing,
i.e. Irom use or consuming. And that seems to me
to be
absolutely
right. But the ancient Greeks did not know that the modem
nomos also has a
Iourth,
perhaps
central, root,
namely
giving. This root oI the
socio-political and economic law oI the modern Western world escaped the
ancient Greeks: maybe because
they
were a small heathen
people,
and not a
great Christian power? Who knows?
One
thing
I know Ior certain.
Namely,
that what has just been said is abso
lutely
no criticism oI ProIessor Carl Schmitt. For his
"division"
implicitly
in
cludes
my
"giving": iI
everything
has
already
been
taken,
one can
naturally
divide
only
iI some give
away
what the others
receive.12
I
only
wanted to point
out
that,
Irom the etymological
perspective,
the verb "to
give"
perhaps sounds
better than the verb "to
take"
even iI it means
practically
the same thing! Thus
we
say,
Ior
example,
that we
pay
our taxes
ourselves,
and not that
they
are
taken
away
Irom us!
And words have even a much larger
meaning
than is
normally
believed. In
the Iinal
analysis,
aIter
all,
man is distinguished Irom animal
by
language. And
precisely
Irom this linguistic perspective it is not
going
at all well Ior our West
ern world. The
old,
taking
capitalism,
which gave the domestic masses as little
as
possible,
was
rechristened
"socialism"
in Russia (at least aIter it was national
ized). But our
modem,
giving
capitalism,
which gives the domestic masses as
much as
possible,
still has no name. At
least,
not insoIar as it is giving. For
insoIar as it is
taking,
even iI
only
Irom
abroad,
it is called
"colonialism."
And
who does not know this name nowadays? But the
very
latest
thing,
I want to
say giving
colonialism,
which gives the backward countries more than it takes
Irom
them,
is still
anonymous. It
is,
to be
sure,
only
a newborn child |thus small
and
weak,
but is it not also
unusually
beautiIul?|.
But,
in
accordance with the
modern
Christian
custom,
a newborn child should be baptized and named |And
that seems to be a
good,
a
smart, custom.|
But
named or
unnamed the nomos oI the modern Western world
is,
Ior
me, undoubtedly
what I have
called,
in an
improvised and
thoroughly
bad
way,
"living
And because this colonialism is
"law,"
all industrialized
124 Interpretation
countries
will,
sooner or
later,
submit to it:
particularly, however,
those coun
tries which have no so-called
"colonies"
to which
they
give
anything,
and which
thus abandon themselves to the purest Iorm oI
taking
colonialism, and,
more
over
normally
with an excellent conscience.
V
Were it
really
so,
then it would be time to ask
oneselI: in what
amount,
in
which
way,
and to whom are the legally-required disbursements to be made in
the Iramework oI
giving
colonialism? I would just like to take
up
this question
beIore I Iinish.
So Iirst oI all: How much should one pay? That is a diIIicult question and I
would not like to take a position on that generally. I can
only
remind that the
United
Nations'
experts calculated that the entire problem oI the underdeveloped
countries could be solved iI all the developed countries invested about 3 per
cent oI their national revenue in the backward countries. II that is true or
not,
I
do not know. |I do
know, however,
that 3 per cent in the United States would
mean a considerable amount. In western
Europe, too,
that would yield a
lot.|
But I know
that,
independently
oI the theoretical calculations
mentioned,
France
has,
in
Iact,
invested about 3 per cent oI its national revenue in its colonies
annually
since the war.
Moreover,
without
being
ruined
by
that . . |But I con
cede that the operative motives there were
purely
oI an economic kind. At least
they
were not always
so,
and not everywhere.|.
And,
iI one might extrapolate the French experience in this
area,
it appears
that
"giving
colonialism"
in the Western world as a whole could manage on
about $10 billion. That is
certainly
a
burden,
indeed a
heavy
burden. But the
French example shows that this burden
is,
by
Iar,
not unbearable.
Secondly: How should one give?
Now,
I have neither time nor the desire to
speak about
Commodity
Agreements.13
|I would
only
like to remark
sincerely
that I have never succeeded in
understanding
the grounds Ior the American
aversion. Thus I
personally
tend,
oI
course,
to see a so-called prejudice in that.
But I could also be
wrong.|
I
must, however,
conIess that I think our American
Iriends are right in one
respect,
namely
that
Commodity
Agreements14
alone
cannot solve the entire problem. Direct contributions would have to be added in
any
case. And here the question arises oI what should be given in this direct
manner. To
this,
in
Iact,
two
very
diIIerent
even,
iI one
likes,
contradictory
answers are given today.
The American direct contributions
consisted,
until
now,
almost
exclusively
oI consumer goods |which are
certainly absolutely
not
primarily
oI the
Coca-
Cola
type,
as is sometimes
maliciously
asserted|. In
contrast,
the French and
English direct contributions are
exclusively
on-the-spot
investments (in which
consumer goods are not
only
not given
away,
but are even
usually
sold more
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt, Colonialism 125
expensively
than
they
cost on the world
market). |And I would like to
remark,
in
passing,
that in this respect the
Anglo-French method is analogous to that
which Russia is
applying
in China
today.|
It is diIIicult to
say
which oI these two
methods is to be Iavored.
For,
on the
one
hand,
it
is,
psychologically,
decidedly
easier to give
away
surplus consumer
goods than to
invest,
particularly
where we are
dealing
with investments in
competing
Iirms. And it is perhaps
better, anyway,
to give
something
than noth
ing
at all. But on the other
hand,
it must not be
Iorgotten that the industrializa
tion oI the
backward countries has become a
world-myth nowadays and
that,
until
now,
this myth is
being
realized in a
spectacular
way only
outside the
Western
world,
by
which I mean in China. From a
long way
oII,
in
Europe,
it
is hard to see
it,
but Irom
India,
which is
closer,
one can
already
see it much
better!
|Moreover,
I believe that the
industrialization oI the backward countries
with gigantic
populations is just as
necessary
as it would be
necessary
Ior mass
production to raise the
buying
power oI the domestic masses
;
it}
is an eco
nomic necessity. Thus I must conIess that I
personally greatly
Iavor the
English-
French method oI on-the-spot
investment to the American method oI
giving
away
readymade
goods.|
Thirdly: To whom should one give? For
many
reasons I believe
that,
on the
one
hand,
the
international means oI aid is
by
Iar not the best
one,
and
that,
on
the other
hand,
a regional aid would
be,
in
itselI,
greatly
preIerable to national
aid. Even on
purely
economic grounds.
Namely
because there
are,
still
today,
actually
natural economic regions. But these regions
are,
Irom the perspective
oI
giving
colonialism,
not equal.
Let
us,
to begin
with,
take the
regions,
which lie outside the Western
world,
oI the Mongolian
empire,
Iirst Iounded
by
Ghengis
Kahn,
and which
recently
became
politically
and
economically
reestablished. There we
see,
in contrast to
the 200 million
relatively
industrialized
Russians,
about 700 million underdevel
oped Asians. I e.: each Russian would have to
carry
3.5
"underdeveloped"
peo
ple on his shoulders Ior
many
decades. That is a
heavy,
very heavy
burden. But
perhaps still not an unbearable burden
|provided, however,
that the Russians
continue to Iollow the course oI police-supported consumer asceticism|.
Let us then look at the
sterling
zone. Here things look much worse. For here
each Englishman would have to
carry
about 10
"underdeveloped"
Asians on his
shoulders. And that would be
absolutely
unbearable. In spite oI the much-prized
British
"austerity,"15
which
is, however,
decidedly
less
"ascetic"
than Soviet
socialism,
and which
rests, moreover,
on a pure moral-religious and not on a
police
|polizeiliche|
Ioundation. Thus it seems that in this
region,
the Iuture
giving
colonialism must be not
purely
English,
but
Anglo-Saxon,
i.e.
Anglo-
American.
II,
however,
one also adds
India,
with Indonesia and
Indo-China,
to the total
North
and South American
region,
even iI
only
partially,
in this
way
one arrives
at a per
capita burden on the Americains which is
proportionately
larger than is
126 Interpretation
the burden on the Russians oI the Chinese. Because however, in the
very long
run,
the American national product is
becoming
much higher than the Russian
one,
it will thus be possible Ior America to attain
decidedly
better results than
Russia without
giving up
the "American
way
oI
liIe"16
|, which, moreover,
is
not a path oI
"austerity,"
to
say nothing
oI "asceticism"|.
And
now,
last but not
least,17
the European region. Like the Mongolian
one,
this region also has an
old,
very
old,
history. For this region was once called
the Imperium Romanum and
economically
preserved itselI
astonishingly viably
and robustly.
Indeed,
modern historians have established that this economic re
gion would have preserved
itselI,
i.e. reestablished
itselI,
even despite the bar
barian
wars,
iI the Islamic conquest oI the
Mediterranean,
which was the con
necting
link oI one single economic
world,
had not converted it into a border
between two
worlds,
so that Ior centuries it longer served commercial
traIIic,
but became almost
exclusively
a theater oI
military
games.
But people have meanwhile become more
serious,
more
adult;
and the time
is
certainly
not Iar oII where
they
will no longer
play
at all. Thus one can
certainly calmly
and
conIidently say
that the economic conditions oI the Medi
terranean region's economic
unity
have been restored. And here one must
say
that,
Irom the perspective oI
giving
colonialism,
this economic region is a region
which has been blessed
by
God. For each inhabitant oI the industrialized coun
tries north oI the Mediterranean
only
needs to look aIter one halI oI an inhabit
ant oI the backward southern and eastern countries oI this region in order to
attain the
same,
or even
better,
results as anywhere else in the whole world.
And halI a man per head
is,
Ior
Europe,
no burden at
all,
but instead
is,
so to
speak,
just
stabilizing
ballast,
which is well known to be
very
useIul,
but which
nonetheless does not make itselI Ielt directly.
Thus one is all the more astonished when one reads in the newspapers that
giving
colonialism in the Mediterranean must get its Iinancial resources Irom
Iar away. For these resources could in Iact be Iound much Iarther
away,
indeed.
For the sums
concerned,
and which are spoken
oI,
are
relatively
so small that
they
are
really
"a l'echelle
europeenne"
on the European
scale},
even iI one
likes to
speak, rightly,
oI
"small"
or even
"smallest"
Europe,
in contrast to the
contemporary
superpowers.
|These sums are all the more natural when in this "small
Europe"
there are
at least two or three countries which must notice that the high rate at which
they
are
becoming
wealthier is
economically
destabilizing. Thus these countries
would like to become wealthier somewhat more
slowly,
and
they
use
perIectly
adequate means Ior that: more
importing,
reducing
tariIIs,
etc. All oI this
is,
undoubtedly,
very
clever and even wise. But it should perhaps not be Iorgotten
that,
in
Iact,
all these resources can serve to improve liIe
by only
a little in a
place where one
already
lives "like God in
France"
|wie Gott in
Frankreich|
The
really
poor members oI the economic
Mediterranean region will not become
richer in this way. II
nothing
more serious than this is
done,
iI
giving
colonial-
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism 127
ism is not practiced as
well,
then the southern and eastern Mediterranean clients
will
remain,
as
beIore,
poor
clients;
and that also means: bad or even "danger
ous"
clients.|
I must
stop
here! I have
already
spoken a
lot,
as well as long. And I notice
that I have not even begun
my
actual lecture. For what was just said was
only
an introduction to it.
Thus I must summarize
my
lecture
very
brieIly.
The title reads:
Colonialism Irom the European perspective. I should thus
have explained how
colonialism looks Irom this perspective: at least in
my
opinion.
Now,
how does it look to me? Or: how
should
it,
in
my
opinion,
look
in reality? In other words: what should it be?
My
answer is the Iollowing:
First: it should not be a
taking
but a
giving
(iI you like: a
dividing,
or
sharing)
colonialism. |And it would be good to Iind a
Iitting
name Ior
it.|
Secondly: it should not give
away
readymade
goods,
but invest
productively
on the spot.
Thirdly: as
really
European
giving
colonialism it should cover the entire area
(and perhaps
only
the
area)
which lies around the Mediterranean and which has
historically
proven itselI to be a viable economic
region;
an area which
is,
how
ever,
nowadays
only
halI-covered in
my
view,
adequately by
French
giving
colonialism.
That can suIIice as an outline oI
my
theme. For the actual execution oI this
theme, however,
I have no more time and I'm
very sorry
Ior that!
That all the more so as I
have,
so
Iar,
only
stated mere truisms. And that
is,
Ior
listeners,
always somewhat disappointing. So I must also apologize Ior that.
But I must conIess that I
personally
have a weakness Ior
truisms,
precisely
because
they
are truths. The
original, however,
iI it is not
perIectly
brilliant,
always runs the risk oI
showing
itselI,
sooner or
later,
simply
to be wrong.
And I
absolutely
wanted to avoid the risk oI
coming
to DusseldorI at the
Iriendly
invitation oI the R-R
Club,
but
stating something
Ialse.
1. Text in square brackets appeared in the German text but was omitted Irom Kojeve's French
version oI the text as published in Commentaire
(Kojeve,
1980 and 1999).
2.
Reading kurzsichtig
where Tommissen's edition reads durzsichtig.
3. In English.
4. "Full
Employment"
appears here in English.
5. In Tommissen's edition these two words are
illegible,
but
they
appear in Kojeve's own
French translation (Kojeve, 1999,
p. 560).
6. In English.
7. In
English.
8. In
English.
9. Several
commodity
agreements were
subsequently successIully
constructed under the
so-
called
New
International Economic Order
(NIEO)
in the
1970s,
but all except Ior the rubber com
modity
agreement
Iailed, mainly
due to lack oI political support
(Gilbert,
1996).
10.
The
Special United Nations Fund Ior Economic Development was proposed
by developing
nations in
1952 as an alternative to the World
Bank,
controlled
by wealthy
states,
particularly
the
128 Interpretation
United States. A UN committee was Iormed and recommended the Iormation oI SUNFED,
a $250
million third-world capital
Iund,
in 1953. The third-world states pressed
hard,
but the United States
ultimately
prevailed in 1959 with its compromise solution: the International
Development Associa
tion
(IDA)
oIIered the third world loans on much easier terms than the World Bank
did,
but was
run
by
the World Bank
(Nossiter, 1987,
pp.
34-37;
United
Nations,
1953).
11.
Reading
weniger where Tommissen's edition reads eniger.
12. Schmitt takes
up
this point in a 1959 essay: "In a world made
by
people Ior people and
sometimes
unIortunately
also against people man can give without
taking"
(Schmitt, 1995,
p. 583).
13.
"Commodity
Agreements"
appears here in English.
14.
"Commodity
Agreements"
appears here in English.
15. In English.
16. In English.
17. "Last but not
least"
appears here in English.
18. I.e. in luxury.
REFERENCES
Adams,
Henry. The Education
oI Henry
Adams. London:
Penguin,
1995.
AuIIret,
Dominique. Alexandre Kojeve: La
philosophie, Vetat,
la Iin de I 'histoire. Paris:
Bernard
Grasset,
1990.
Bauer,
Bruno. Die Posaune des jungsten Gerichts iiber Hegel den Atheisten und
Anti-
christen. Ein Ultimatum. Leipzig: Otto
Wigand,
1841.
The Trumpet
oI
the Last Judgement against Hegel the Atheist and Antichrist:
ein Ultimatum. Translated
by
Lawrence Stepelevich.
Lewiston,
NY: E. Mellen
Press,
1989.
Bendersky,
Joseph W. Carl Schmitt: Theorist Ior the Reich.
Princeton,
NJ: Princeton
University
Press,
1983.
Beyer,
Wilhelm Raimund. Zwischen Phdnomenologie und
Logik;
Hegel als Redakteur
der Bamberger Zeitung. FrankIurt am Main: G.
Schulte-Bulmke,
1955.
Bordo,
Michael
D.,
et al. France and the Breakdown
oI
the Bretton Woods International
Monetary
System.
Washington,
DC: International
Monetary
Fund,
1994.
Cointet,
Jean-Paul. Marcel Deat: Du socialisme au national-socialisme. Paris: Librairie
Academique
Perrin,
1998.
Daubler,
Theodor. Das Nordlicht. Munich and Leipzig: G.
Muller,
1910.
DuIrenne,
Mikel. "Actualite de
Hegel."
Esprit 16 (Sept. 1948): 396-408.
Fischer,
Albert. Hjalmar Schacht und Deutschlands "JudenIrage.
"
Cologne,
Weimar and
Vienna:
Bohlau,
1995.
Gilbert,
Christopher L. "International
Commodity
Agreements: An
Obituary
Notice."
World Development
24,
no. 1 (Jan. 1996): 1-19.
Hegel,
G. W. F. Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts. 2d ed. Edited
by
G. Lasson.
Leipzig
F.
Meiner,
1921.
Hegel's
Philosophy oI
Right. Translated
by
T. M. Knox. OxIord: Clarendon
Press,
1967.
The
Phenomenology oI
Spirit. Translated
by
A. V. Miller. OxIord: OxIord Uni
versity
Press,
1977.
Discussion:
Kojeve-Schmitt,
Colonialism 129
Heine,
Heinrich. Heinrich Heine. Vol.
23,
BrieIe
1850-1856,
ed. Fritz H. Eisner. Berlin:
Akademie-Verlag,
1972.
Heinrich Heine: Sdkularausga.be.
Werke, BrieIwechsel,
Liebenszeugnisse. Vol.
10,
Pariser Berichte 1840-1848. Berlin:
Akademie-Verlag,
1979.
Heinrich Heine:
Gestdndnisse,
Memoiren und Kleinere autobiographische
SchriIten,
vol.
15,
ed. Gerd Heinemann. Hamburg: HoIImann und
Campe,
1982.
Jung,
Susanne. Die Rechtsprobleme der Niimberger Prozesse dargestellt am VerIahren
gegen Friedrich Flick. Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr (Paul
Siebeck),
1992.
Kojeve,
Alexandre.
Hegel;
eine
Vergegenwartigung
seines Denkens. Komentar zur
Phd-
nomenologie des Geistes. Translated
by Iring
Fetscher and Gerhard Lehmbruch. Stutt
gart:
Kohlhammer,
1958.
Introduction a la lecture de Hegel. 2d ed. Paris:
Gallimard,
1968.
"The Idea oI Death in the
Philosophy
oI
Hegel."
Translated
by
Joseph J.
Car-
pino. Interpretation
3,
no. 2-3 (1973): 114-56.
"Ford est
Dieu,
Marx est son
prophete."
Commentaire 9 (1980): 135-37.
Esquisse d'une phenomenologie du Droit. Paris:
Gallimard,
1981.
"Du colonialisme au capitalisme
donnant."
Commentaire 87 (1999): 557-65.
Mannes,
Astrid Luise. Heinrich Bruning:
Leben, Wirken,
Schicksal. Munich:
Olzog
Ver
lag,
1999.
Marantz,
Paul. "Internal Politics and Soviet Foreign Policy: A Case Study.
"
Western
Political
Quarterly
28,
no. 1 (March 1975): 130-46.
Marten,
Heinz-Georg. Der niedersachsische Ministersturz: Protest und Widerstand der
Georg-
August-Universitat Gottingen gegen den Kultusminister Schluter im Jahre
1955. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck &
Ruprecht,
1987.
Meier,
Heinrich. Carl Schmitt & Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue. Translated
by
J.
Harvey
Lomax. Chicago and London:
University
oI Chicago
Press,
1995.
Mohler,
Armin. Carl Schmitt BrieIwechsel mit einem seiner Schuler. Berlin: Akademie
Verlag,
1995.
Mohler, Armin,
ed. FreundschItliche Begegnungen: FestschriIt Iur Ernst Junger zum 60.
Geburtstag. FrankIurt am Main: Vittorio
Klostermann,
1955.
Nossiter,
Bernard. The Global Struggle Ior More. New York: Harper &
Row,
1987.
Peterson,
Edward. Hjalmar Schacht: For and Against Hitler. Boston: Christopher Pub
lishing
House,
1954.
Riemer,
Friedrich Wilhelm,
ed.
BrieIwechsel zwischen Goethe und Zelter in den Jahren
1796 bis
1832,
vol. 2. Berlin: Duncker und
Humblot,
1833.
Mittheilungen iiber Goethe,
vol. 2. Berlin: Duncker und
Humblot,
1841.
Schmitt,
Carl. Die
BegriII
des
Politischen. Hamburg: Hanseatische
Verlagsanstalt,
1933.
Ex
captivitate salus:
ErIahrungen der Zeit 1945/47. Cologne:
Greven, 1950,
and
Berlin: Duncker & Humblot,
1950.
"Nehmen/Teilen/Weiden Ein Versuch,
die GrundIragen jeder
Sozial-
und
Wir-
tschaItsordnung
vora
NOMOS her
richtig
zu
stellen."
GemeinschaIt und Politik
1,
no.
3 (Nov. 1953):
18-27.
Gesprach iiber die
Macht und den
Zugang
zum Machthaber. PIullingen:
Neske,
1954a.
Land und Meer. 2d ed.
Stuttgart:
Reclam,
1954b.
"Die
Geschichtliche
Struktur des
Heutigen Welt-Gegensatzes von Ost und West:
Bemerkungen zu Ernst Jungers
SchriIt: 'Der Gordische
Knoten.' "
In FreundschItliche
130 Interpretation
Begegnungen: FestschriIt Iiir Ernst Jiinger zum 60.
Geburtstag,
edited
by
Armin
Mohler,
pp. 137-67. FrankIurt am Main: Vittorio
Klostermann,
1955.
Hamlet oder
Hekuba;
der Einbruch der Zeit in das Spiel. DusseldorI: E.
Dieder-
ichs,
1956.
"Nomos-Nahme-Name."
In Der bestdndige AuIbruch. FestschriIt Iiir Erich
Przywara,
edited
by
SiegIried
Behn,
pp. 92-105. Nuremberg: Glock und Lutz
Verlag,
1959.
VerIassungslehre,
4th ed. Berlin: Duncker &
Humblot,
1965.
Der Nomos der Erde im Volkerrecht des Jus Publicum Europeaum. 2d ed. Ber
lin: Duncker &
Humblot,
1974.
Legalitdt und Legitimitat. Berlin: Duncker &
Humblot,
1980.
Theodor Ddublers
"Nordlicht"
: drei Studien uber die
Elemente,
den Geist und
die Aktualitat des Werks. Berlin: Duncker &
Humblot,
1991.
Gesprach iiber die Macht und den
Zugang
zum
Machthaber;
Gesprach iiber
den Neuen Raum. Berlin: Akademie
Verlag,
1994.
.
"Nomos-Nahme-Name."
In Carl Schmitt:
Staat, Grossraum, Nomos,
edited
by
Gunter
Maschke,
pp. 573-91. Berlin: Duncker &
Humblot,
1995.
. The Concept
oI
the Political. Translated
by
George Schwab. Chicago and Lon
don:
University
oI Chicago
Press,
1996.
Schmitt, Carl,
Eberhard Jungel and
Sepp
Schelz. Die Tyrannei der
Werte,
edited
by Sepp
Schelz. Hamburg: Lutherisches
Verlagshaus,
1979.
Schwab,
George. "Carl Schmitt Hysteria in the United States: The Case oI Bill Scheuer
mann."
In Politische Lageanalyse: FestschriIt Iur Hans-Joachim Arndt zum 70. Geb
urtstag
am 15. Januar
1993,
edited
by
Volker Beismann and Markus JoseI Klein.
Bruchsal: San Casciano
Verlag,
1993.
Sombart,
Nicolaus.
"Kojeve."
In Schmittiana
VI,
edited
by
Piet
Tommissen,
pp. 64-74.
Berlin: Duncker &
Humblot,
1998.
Strauss,
Leo. On
Tyranny,
ed. Victor Gourevitch and Michael S. Roth. Chicago and
London:
University
oI Chicago
Press,
2000.
Taubes,
Jacob. Ad Carl Schmitt: Gegenstrebige Fugung. Berlin: Merve
Verlag,
1987.
Tommissen,
Piet. Schmittiana VI. Berlin: Duncker &
Humblot,
1998.
Trials
oI
War Criminals BeIore the
Nuernberg
Tribunals under Control Council Law
No.
10,
vol. 12. BuIIalo: William S. Hein &
Co.,
1997.
United Nations Department oI Economic AIIairs. Report on a Special United Nations
FundIor Economic Development. New York: United
Nations,
1953.