Cyberspace: Identifying the Real and Absolute Enemy

Carl Schmitt distinguishes between der Wirkliche Feind and the Absolute Feind (the real enemy and the absolute enemy). The latter is “die eigene Frage als gestalt” (His own question as shaped). The absolute enemy is the inability to change convictions, alliances, and opinions. The absolute friend is always very near to you, consisting of everyday routine skills; it is your blind spot. The real enemy can differ from time to time and period to period. Each historical situation demands the capabilities to define as those real enemies the ones that can redefine all that you hold normal, dear, and take for granted. It is clear that only rarely do these threats to ontologies, (what you “are,” what you hold yourself to “be,” what you believe to be “normal,” “just,” and “fair”) lead to classical or asymmetric warfare. One cannot fight depression, weather, climate change, or religious beliefs, because there is no clear definition of what a victory would mean—other than having things not happen. Nor can temporary success be clearly defined. Most important, however, these situations offer no context or markers—openings—to make an informed choice about the kind of weapons that could either be used for defense or offense.