The Solitude of Power. A Reflection on the Political

From Florence University Press Journal: Cambio

University of Florence
1 min readMar 18, 2020


Giorgio Grimaldi, Università di Urbino Carlo Bo

In 1954 Carl Schmitt writes a dialogue entitled Dialogue on Power and on Access to the Powerful, in which he notices and examines the solitude of those who hold and exert power.

He describes a twine of power, in which on one hand those who have command are in a state of dependence, and on the other hand those who should only represent the intermediate passage between the vertex (individual or assembly) and the basis (the people) are raised to a decision élite.

This twine of power reflects, in a sort of variant, the master/servant dialectics of the Hegelian Phenomenology of Spirit, in which, at the end of the dialectics, the two extremes of the relationship overturn.

This dialectics actually dissolves domination, that is, the power exerted through the relation of master/servant, every time, differently varied.

Instead, Schmitt thinks of power only as domination. Hence, we have to distinguish power from domination. Via this crucial distinction it will be possible to aptly think and practice democracy.


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