Carl Schmitt on Culture and Violence in the Political Decision
Pan explores politics as representation--rather than as violence--by identifying the ethical context and popular support for decisions. The state of exception involves competing conceptions of culture, among which the sovereign must decide, and the validity of this decision depends upon the ability of the national community to act as a viable political entity. The decision establishes values by creating a unique and substantive form that translates the popular will--which preexists the decision and therefore constrains the sovereign--into an institutional framework. Therefore, a cultural and partially aesthetic representational aspect precedes the foundational moment of politics.