Wisdom on Wednesdays—Our choice


Esto Perpetua, oil on canvas, c. 1945, 36 x 30 in.
This painting was inspired by a book by Hilaire Belloc, Esto Perpetua: Algerian Studies and Impressions, a copy of which Belloc sent to Schmitt in April 1913. The fruit of Belloc’s travels to the Maghreb region of North Africa in 1905, its potent evocation of the long-lost Roman and Christian patrimony of the area—once the home of St. Augustine of Hippo—proved irresistible to Schmitt.

“We have reached the period of totalitarianism; of total slavery.  Our choice is between the Servile State of avaricious materialism (factory civilization) and total Christianity.”

from the essay “Images” (1943)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—The old Christian idea of sin

Second Night border

The Second Night, 1929, oil on canvas, 48 x 40 in.
From a contemporary black and white photograph; present location unknown.
For Carl Schmitt’s own “explanation” of this painting, see the article “The Artist Explains His Work,” from February 2015 issue of the CSF e-newsletter Vision.

“Today in America the old Christian idea of sin is fast disappearing.  There remains (and is encouraged) a vast sense of social guilt. The only sin is treason to society (the state).”  (1961)