Das Private ist politisch, das Politische ist privat. Korrespondenzen zwischen familiärer und staatlicher Ordnung im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert – und heute

Dieter Thomä


This article examines three different ways of establishing connections between political models and the realm of the family. It scrutinizes and criticizes the patriarchal homology between political and private father figures (Filmer vs. Locke), casts light on the political bearings of sympathetic rela- tions which are modeled based on maternal love (Adam Smith and Condorcet), and examines the revolutionary ideal of fraternity (Friedrich Schiller). The author distinguishes symbolic (paternal), synergetic (fraternal) and sympathetic relations and analyzes their bearings for modern democracies. He takes issue with the liberal separation between the private and the political, as it tends to lose sight of the marked correspondences between these spheres. He also questions the conservative idea of a family compensating for the discontent in the public realm. Gender concepts and generational issues turn out to be intertwined with theories of the political.


Familie; Patriarchat; Sympathie; Brüderlichkeit; Demokratie



DOI: https://doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2011.4.3.659