The Concept of the Political: ab-original insights

anup dhar

“If another mass attachment takes the place of the religious one, as socialism seems currently to be doing, the same intolerance towards outsiders will ensue as in the War of Religion, and if differences of scientific opinion ever managed to to attain a similar importance for masses, the result would be the same for this motivation as well”. Freud in Mass Psychology and the Analysis of the ‘I’.

Schmitt begins the book The Concept of the Political with despair: “one seldom finds a clear definition of the political”. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that “the concept of the state presupposes the concept of the political”; in one way or another the “political” is generally juxtaposed to the “state” “or at least is brought into relation with it”; “the state thus appears as something political, the political as something pertaining to the state”.

Gandhi and Tagore question this tradition of the stapling of the state and the political. Both question the traditional stapling of state and the political. Both make an attempt to rescue the political from its statist or nationalist moorings. Both questioned the monopoly of the state on politics. Both put to crisis the “identity of [the total] state and society”.