1) Compare two of the major myths of American history and consider what they tell us about American culture in the 19th century and in the present day. Explore in a powerpoint format the two eras and what you learned from examining two myths.
he fundamental theological dogma of the evilness of the world andman leads, just as does the distinction of friend and enemy, to acategorization of men and makes impossible the undifferentiatedoptimism of a universal conception of man (Schmitt: 1963:65) Schmitt seeks to return to Thomas Hobbes. However, the Thomas Hobbes hesearches for is not the contractual Hobbes who allows citizens someelement of self-control. Rather, he returns to Hobbes as the theoristof the state of nature. It is here that Schmitt seeks to ground hisnotion of the political. Man is originally living in contingent, riskycircumstances, when any man around him could be his enemy: indeed, ishis enemy. Schmitt notes (ibid: 61) “all genuine political theoriespresuppose man to be evil, meaning dangerous and dynamic.” It is thisdangerous man that political theory must confront: a man without theillusions of democracy and self-improvement. He notes (ibid: 65) “forHobbes… the pessimistic conception of man is the elementarypresupposition of a specific system of political thought.” Because man always requires an enemy, it is this conception of manthat can only be assuaged by sovereignty powerful enough the give apublic enemy: to command obedience in return for protection. Toresurrect such a man in Hobbes, it is necessary to remove Hobbes fromhis later work, which ‘taints’ him. In this task, Schmitt performs someinteresting manoeuvres. Normally, Hobbes is criticised today in afacile way by those who argue that there is no state of nature; thatman always presupposes culture, exchange and reciprocity. Hobbes makesclear in a footnote (1997:312) that the state of nature did not need tohave occurred: it is a model for politics. Most interpret this to meanit is a model for human nature. However, Schmitt interprets the stateof nature as the state of sovereignty in some senses. Sovereignty isalso an exception that sublimates the category of friend: enemy ontothe national stage. As Schmitt notes of international politics(1963:69): “in it, states exist among themselves in a condition ofcontinual danger, and their acting subjects are evil for precisely thesame reasons as animals are stirred by their drives.” What is faulty and interesting about Schmitt’s thesis is partly theextent to which it underlies all his other hypotheses. He argues thatpolitics presupposes the state. What this ignores is that there isalways already an encultured human, an encultured state. This is lessproblematic in Agamben’s formulation of Schmitt because he sees thisstate of sovereignty as reflecting the character of sovereignty itself:it does not require an original sovereignty, merely that the exceptionoccurs every time a sovereignty institutes itself. However, Schmittrequires that we begin from a point of enemy, and without this, thejustification for the total state begins to crumble. The violence of the original friend: enemy distinction is similar tothe violence with which he wants to bring down democracy and allow mento realise their need for dictatorship. Indeed, he makes (1963:58) theexplicit statement: “the word struggle (Kampf) like the word enemy, isto be understood in its existential primordiality (seinsmässigeursprünglichkeit).” Thus, in the struggle for the nation in the time oftotal mobilisation, we find the true relationship of singularsovereignty and the enemy: friend distinction presents itself. AsSchmitt notes (ibid: 32) “to the enemy concept belon>GET ANSWER