Mao, Schmitt and the Politics of Transition
The relationship of Mao’s and Schmitt’s political theories is compli cated. Some ‘similarities’ between them have already been briefly summarized (see the conclusion of Chapter 4). This chapter further presents the relationship of their theories from the perspective of the politics of transition. It will give a clear answer to the second research question set at the beginning of this book. A detailed anal ysis of Mao’s and Schmitt’s theoretical relationship can help clear up an important obstacle to the reception of Schmitt’s political theory in China. Their theoretical differences will show that it is not reasonable to deny the significance of Schmitt’s theory on the basis of the judgment that Schmitt and Mao are similar. Exploring their theo retical relationship will also give us a chance to reflect on the issue of whether Mao’s theory contributes to an understanding of the politics of transition. I argued in the first three chapters that Schmitt’s political theory is helpful in providing theoretical resources to understand the politics of transition. If there are ‘similarities’ between Schmitt and Mao, will Mao’s conception of politics as class struggle, his understanding of homogeneity and his approach to protect the political order be of comparable value to the politics of transition? If not, what are the drawbacks of Mao’s political theory?
KeywordsPolitical Power Political Theory Individual Freedom Political Order Class Struggle
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