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Democracy

Volume XIII, Number 4 | fall 2020

Miscellany

“By the end of the fifteenth century, when the power of theology was exhausted and the patriarchal understanding of the origin of kingship no longer satisfied people’s appetite for science, politics started to develop as a science,” wrote political theorist Carl Schmitt. “Dictatorship, in particular, is described as a specific arcanum dominationis of the aristocracy. Its purpose is to create an institution that frightens the people into believing that it constitutes an authority against which there is no possibility of provocation…In the state certain events are always necessary that conjure the impression of freedom, simulacra or decorative occasions designed to pacify the population.”

Even though counting heads is not an ideal way to govern, at least it is better than breaking them.

—Learned Hand, 1932

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