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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

9 - Political Idolatry

from Part II - History of Theory


Elsewhere I have published a series of articles describing a register in which a version of Carl Schmitt’s claim that “all the concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts” was coherent, and perhaps even true in some cases. In those articles, I argued that what was, perhaps, the theoretical turning point of the French Revolution – the Abbé Sieyès’ argument for the mode of representation of the National Assembly in the mandat imperatif debates of 1789 – was an uncanny echo of the theologian Nicolas Malebranche’s argument from a century earlier regarding the mode of representation of the church.