Between Exception and Normality: Schmittian Dictatorship and the Soviet Legal Order
Abstract: This article addresses Schmitt’s concept of sovereign dictatorship—a departure from the normal legal order aiming to bring about a new mode of legality—as applied to the Marxist, and then Soviet, “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Unlike Schmitt, Marx and Engels, as well as Soviet legal theorists, saw the space for law even while aiming to dispense with the legal form on the road to communism. This is best explained by Schmitt’s failure to recognize the importance of legal systems not only for controlling social conflict, but also for coordination, the need for which does not disappear in extraordinary circumstances. *This article was initially written as part of my LLM studies at Harvard Law School. I thank my supervisor, Professor Adrian Vermeule, for his guidance and advice, as well as other friends (and enemies) for motivating my project. I am also grateful to the Ratio Juris production team for their exceptionally thorough editing of my original text. Any mistakes remain my own.
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