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Schmitt-Theory of the Partisan. Intermediate Commentary on the Concept of the Political

Schmitt-Theory of the Partisan. Intermediate Commentary on the Concept of the Political

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TheoryofthePartisan:IntermediateCommentaryontheConceptofthePolitical(1963)1
CadSchmitt
INTRODUCTION
Jliew
of/heInitialSituation1808-13
Thestartingpointofourconsiderationsconcernlngtheproblemof
thepartisanis
theguerrilla
war
that
theSpanishpeoplewaged
againstthearmyofaforeignconqueror
between
1808andHH3.Inthiswar,apre-beurgeois,pre-lndustrial,pre-conventionalpeopleforthefirsttimecon-frontedamodem,wetl-erganized,'regul.ararmythathadevolvedfromtheexperiencesoftheFrench
Revolution.
This
opened
newhorizonstotheartofwar,pavingthewayforanewunderstandingofthestrategyandultimatelyanewtheoryofwa:randpolitics.
I.Publishedoriginll'lly
3S
Them'iedesPurli,l'Cnll!ll:Zll'j~'chf!l'Ib(mu~rlc~mg
ZIIIIi
Begriff
desPoUtlsehen.
Znd
ed,
(Berlin:
Duneker
undHumbler,11)'75).DedicatedtoErnst
forslhoff
onhis
60th
Bil'lhday
(SeptemberIJ.1963).This
discussion.
Tlreoryof
rilePartisan,
erigi-
nated
in
twolecturesIdeliveredin11962;onMarch
15,~
PlllTIpLona.at
theinvitation
of
GeneraldeNavarraCollege;onMarch17,atthe'UniversityofSlll'llgossa.
al
meetingsorga-nized
by
[heGeneralPalarol(School,
at
the
i"vilationof
its
director.ProfessorLuisGarciaAria.~.Thelectureswerepublished
by
thePalafQ~
Profl:liSQrshipal
theendof1'%2.TheS'u'b-
Iille,
IntermedkueCommentol)'orllheConceptof
rlrePolilical.
hasreferencetothe
cencrete
moment
ofpublicafion,
when
tliJ!:
publisher[of
Tht,
('mICepr
of
tIll!
PoJ'iricaJ]
wasmakingmy
.1932work
availableonce
a.gain.
Inthelastdecades,
a
numberef'ccrollariesonthesubjeothuveappeared.Thisdiscussionisno!
stich
acerallary,butratheranindependenLirskelcily,
\I;"rk,
whosetheme
unavoidably
nOW!!
inlo
theproblem
orlit!!
distinction
betweenfriendand
enemy,
Thus.Iwouldlike
1.11,
oITerthiselaborationonmy
1962Ie,clu!'Csinthemedest
formofanImermediaiccommemary,and
in
thisway
10
makeitaccessibletoallthosewho
havefollowed
attenliyely
rhe
dimcult
dlscussicncfihe
,concept
of'the
pollitiCilI.
11
 
12CARLSCHMlIT
Thepartisanfightsasanirregular.Butthedifferencebetweenregularandirregularcombatdependsonacleardefinitionofwhatis"regular,"andfindsonly
in
modernformsofwarorganization,whichoriginated
in
thewarsthatensuedaftertheFrenchRevolution,
its
realantithesisand
thereforeits,true
deflnition,
In
history,
therehave
alwaysbeenwarregulationsandrulesofengagement,andconsequentlytherehavebeenalso
transgressionsand
violationsofthese
rules.Examples
thatcan
be
definedasinstancesofpartisanwarhaveoccurred
in
all
periods
of
great
crisis,inGermanyduringtheThirtyYearsWar(1618-48»)andinallcivilandcolonialwars
in
worldhistory.In
el'a'borating
a
general,theory
ofthepartisan
it
isimportantnottoforgetthatthesignificanceofhis"irregularity"dependsontheimportanceattributed
the"regular"ilia,!thepartisanstrugglequestions,
It
isprecisely
this
regularityofthestate,aswellasofthearmy,thatreceivesfromNapoleon
at
newandexactdefinition,bothfortheFrencharmedforcesandthestate.ThecountlessIndianwarsofthewhiteconquerorsagainst
the
Americanredskinsfromthe17th
to
the19thcentury,aswellas
the
riflemen's
methodsduringtheAmerican
War
ef
lndependenceagainsttheregularEnglish
anny
(l774~83).and
the
civilwar
in
the
Vendee
betweenChouansandJaeobins(I793~96)mustallbelocated
in
apre-
Napoleenlc
stage.
Tbe
newart
of
warofNap
0
Ie
Oil'S
regular
anny
wastheresultofanew
way
offighting-arevolutionary
o,ne,2
Thepartisanofthe1808Spanishguerrillawarwasthefirstwhodaredtofightirregularlyagainstamodern,regular
army,
Inthefall
of
~808,
Napoleon
haddefeatedtheregularSpanisharmy.Thefirst
Spanish
guerrillawarbeganonlyafterthisdefeat.Eventodaywestilldonothaveacomplete,documented
history
of
'the
Spanishpartisan
war.
AccordingtowhatFernandoSolanoCostaclaims
in
hisessay
LosGuerrilieras.
sucha~l'istoryseems
necessary.
butitisa
difficult
task,sincetheSpanishguerrillawarconsistedofat
least
200
regional
smallwars
in
Asturias,Aragon,Catalonia,Navarra,Castileetc.,eachunder
iii
differentleader.
2.
Eberhard
Kessel,
"DieWandlung
der
Kriegsku.nst
im
Zeilalter
tierftanz()sischenRcyolutitlll,"ill
HistorischeZt!it.fCh,.i/1.
Vol,148(1933)pp.248
r;
andVol.191(1960),
pp.
397IT.,whichis
<I
reviewofRobert.S.Quimby,
TIt!!
/Jtll:/cgrouruJ
ojNapole4f1icWU1'-
jore:
TheTheoryoj
MililuryTacticsin
EighteenthCentury
France
(New
YOlk:
ColumbiatlnlversityPress,1957);Werner
Hehlweg,
PYeII$.l·i.~chJ!Rtdi:J/'mzrJilund
n'1lQ/rltirm/Jrer
Krieg.
Supp..18ofthe
Wehrwissenschqft/icllfJn
Rlmdsclluu
(Sept.1962).liP.49'-50:"Fromthenew\\layoftightingoftherevolutionarymassarmy.Napoleondevelopedacompletesysteminanexemplary
way:
its
mililllry
operationson
B
grandstyle.
its
grealUlctic
andltsgretll
strstegy,"
IhePrussianofficerandpublicistJuliusvonVosswrote
Ihat
Napoleon'swhole1806campaign"could
be
defined
!lSI!
guerrilla
war
onagrandscale,"p,14.
 
THEORrOFTHEPARTISAN11
whosenameisshroudedinlegendsandmyths.
3
JuanMartinDlez,whobecame
aterrorfor
theFrench
underthe
name
Empecinada
[the
incorrigible],wasoneofthemandrenderedunsafetheroadconnecting
MadridtoSaragossaf
This
partisanwarwas
wagedon
bothsides
with
themost
gruesome
crueity.aJ'Id
.it
is
DO
wonderthatmorehistoricalm.aterialwasgiventothepress
by
cultivatedwriters,the
only
onesabletowrirebooksandmemoirs..than
by
fheguerrillafighters.Obviously,theseintellectualswerepro-French
ajranc€8ados.
AI:myrate.betweenmythandlegends,ontheoneband,anddocumentedhistory,ontheother,thegenerallinesofourinitialsituationremainclear:Accordingto
Clausewitz,
halfof
the
entire
Frencharmy
was
oftenposted
in
Spain,and
3.
Inthepublications
oftheGenera'!
Palat'oxSchool.
see
La
Guerra
Modcrna
(1955):FamandadeSalas
Lopecz.
GUI11"rillill
y
quilllQJ;
colflomus
(Vol.II.
pp.
18.1-211);in
IA
Guerrade
10
Independentla
EspoiiolD
y
losSi/iosde
Zaragoza
(1958);JoseMariaJoverZIImora,"'lLaGuerra
Espanola
delaIndependentis'enelMarcodelasGuerrasEure-
peasdeLlberacten(1808-1814),"pp.41-165;FernandoSolanoCosta."La
Rcsistencia.
Pepular'enla
Guerra
de
Is
Independencia:
Los
Guerrllleros,"pp.387-423;Antonioe'er-ranoMonlalvo."EIPuebloenlaGuerradelalndependencie:
La
ReslstenciaenlasCiudades,"
pp,
463-530.
Luis
GarciaArias'twofundamentalessays,"SabreIsLiciludde
18Guerra
Modema.'·
and
"EI
Nuevo
Concep!ode'DefensaNacional"canbe
found.
respectively.
in
La
Ci!lerr:a
Moderna
y
la(flganlsaciollllllemacio7la/'
(Madrid:lnstltuiodeBstudiosPoliticos.
1962)"
Vol.I;and
in
Du,fonslJNaciofla/
(I960).Attheendoftheprevi-ouslydtedarticle,Costapointsoutthat.hitherto,thereisno
documented
historyofl1IeSpanishpopular
movemenlll~insl
Napoleon.Yel.we
must.consider
hisessay,
along
w,ith~ha.1of
Jo....
r
Zamora,
an
olJlSUlnding
summary,andrecall
wil!h
grutitude
that
forus,
it
has
beenanimportantsource
I)f
in
formation.
Spanishhistorical
works
deal
withguerri
Iia
warsinvariousways,butthey
have
notprovidedfor
loday"s
readersasufficiently
comprehen-sive
picture.SeeCondedeTorene,Modesto
Lafuente,
Rodriguezde
Solis.
Jose
M.GarciaRodriguez}and.
ina
verydetalledaccount,JoseGomez.deAttache,
in
Vols.4,5,7,9,II,
Illldl4
of
his
historyof
the
war
or
Independence.
An
examination
of
French,English,
and
German
publications
wouldleadustooFarastray,Foranexcellentoverviewofall
'these,
seeFernandoSolanoCosta,"I::IGuerilla
y
suTrasecndencia"
in
'the'
publications,
ofthe
(cJflJ{ITtS(J
Historicolmemaci(mal
de
/0
Guerra
J'
suEpm.'o
(Saragossa:lnstltucionFernandoe'lCatolico,March-April1959).See
also
Sant,iagoAmadoLoriga,
Aspet:losMiI-
iftl/vstie
fa
Guerra
tie
ttl
!JldepilmJf!1I(:;a,
and
Juan.MereaderRiba,
LaOrganizacion
administrativaFronr:esca
I1If
Espana,
inthesameselofpubI
icalions.
4.Costa.··tosGuerilleros,"
up.eit.,
pp.
387.4'02.
and
405;GregorioMarailon
haspublishedaSpanishrranslalionorthesectionon
Empltc{nado
if!,
frederick
Hardma.n.
['rmin.miarScenes
amiSketclre.~
(Edinburgh
and
London:W.Blackwood
&
Sons,I846).
[See
EIEmpecinadovtst«par
lin
ing/tis
(Beenos
Aires:Espasa.·CaallJ'e,1946),witha
pr,ol('lgUEl
byMaranon].InVol.14.JosedeArteehe
has
publishedasanappendixalee-
lureon
Empecinada.
A
longwith
Empectnado,
rnentl
Oil
sheu
Idbemade
0
f
Priest
Meri
no.
10
whol1i1the
lastaccountintheabo....-clted
Empecinado
publishedby
MeraHon
isdedi-cated.
Empecinado
andPrieSIMerinofoundlhemselvesstandingontwo
drFferenl
bllrri~
cadeswhen,in1823.thefrenchinvaded
Spainon
the
dlreedvcs
oftheHoly
Alliance;
Empf!dflodo,
On
the
side
of
lhe
constitutionalists;PriestMerino.
onthe
side'
ofthe
French
absolutists.

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