Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-x64cq Total loading time: 0.471 Render date: 2022-05-18T07:38:08.187Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

5 - Speaking “As If”

Carl Schmitt and Rhetoric as Ritual

from PART II - Eloquence and the Moderns

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2021

Rob Goodman
Affiliation:
Ryerson University, Toronto
Get access

Summary

Chapter 5 reads Carl Schmitt’s Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy as an account of a rhetorical crisis. Schmitt characterizes twentieth-century parliamentary speech as an empty ritual and proposes a turn toward effective rituals of speech that might supplant it. Schmitt’s assimilation of rhetoric and ritual is an important insight. But his rhetorical theory takes a troubling, authoritarian turn in its understanding of the conditions under which ritual becomes meaningful. For Schmitt, “eloquence is only possible against the background of an imposing authority,” and ritual must actively shape the political world. But with a richer understanding of ritual, we can retain what is of value in Schmitt’s account without following him to his authoritarian conclusions. Just such a richer understanding of ritual is available in the work of Adam Seligman et al. For them, ritual is action in the “subjunctive” mood, “the creation of an order as if it were truly the case.” Ritual is not an effort to shape the world, but a response to the world’s perceived brokenness. In this light, what the rhetorical tradition has to offer us is not a way of resolving the tension between speech and action, but a way of living in that tension.

Type
Chapter
Information
Words on Fire
Eloquence and Its Conditions
, pp. 158 - 183
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Speaking “As If”
  • Rob Goodman, Ryerson University, Toronto
  • Book: Words on Fire
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009042840.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Speaking “As If”
  • Rob Goodman, Ryerson University, Toronto
  • Book: Words on Fire
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009042840.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Speaking “As If”
  • Rob Goodman, Ryerson University, Toronto
  • Book: Words on Fire
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009042840.009
Available formats
×