Carl Schmitt levels two kinds of criticism against liberal parliamentarism. First, Schmitt seeks to refute the liberal conception of politics (which assumes the possibility of rational will formation) on the basis of his own existential view of the political (which employs the distinction between friend and foe). Second, Schmitt attempts to show why and how the evolution of our political system, specifically the development of mass democracy, has made parliament an obsolete institution. This approach is both more dangerous and plausible, because it does not presuppose an acceptance of Schmitt's own controversial conception of politics, and relies on observations about the parliamentary system that are shared and deplored equally by many liberals. In The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy, Schmitt does not confront directly what he considers to be fundamental principles of the parliamentary system—rational and public discussion—but rather shows that since these principles are unrealizable given the changes which the system has undergone, parliamentary institutions remain an empty shell, devoid of any justification and credibility.
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