Why do so many people quote Carl Schmitt? After all, he was an out-and-out Nazi. Even someone as scrupulous as Christopher Caldwell quotes Schmitt in the weekend  FT. And it isn't as if Schmitt's statement is so wise. Here it is: "Sovereign is he who decides whether there is a state of emergency." I think it's pretty obvious and banal.

If you are at all interested in Schmitt you might read Bernard-Henri Levy's devastating treatment of him in BHL's new book, Left in Dark Times.