Constitutional review as an institution of modern democratic system - like nowadays in Austria - has the duty to guarantee the written constitution on the basis of republic principles. In December 1867 on initiative of the House of Representatives an Imperial Court of Justice was set-up mainly serving to check constitutional standards. The Imperial Court of Justice consisted of a president and his deputy as well as twelve full and four substitute members. The personal composition of the Imperial Court in a striking way did also reflect those elements of character, which its creators wanted him to dedicate. Its members mainly were kept in manifold functions to judiciary praxis and science; but activities at the Imperial Court in principle also were compatible with political offices. Most evitable got such connections with the political world in regard of parliamentary representations.
The paper presents the analysis of totalism undertaken by Maciej Starzewski, professor of the government law at the Jagiellonian University, during the interwar period (1918–1939). The lawyer defined totalism as a system of wielding power which showed distinct similarities to the model of the absolute state and which constituted a fundamental negation of democracy. Starzewski searched for the origin of this system in the crisis of parliamentarianism which was caused by the lack of appropriate basis for the democratic form of rule. According to Starzewski, every totalism was characterized by three features: the existence of a single party which allegedly constituted a narrow elite of a nation and which existed in order to realize its ideological objectives. He distinguished two types of totalisms: nationalist (Fascism and National Socialism) and internationalist (Bolshevism) ones. Starzewski evaluated totalism negatively, regarding democracy as superior proposition. In Starzewski’s opinion, totalism was supposed to lead to artificial societal conflicts, enormous sacrifices suffered in the name of an official ideology’s realization, sharp polarization of society into the ruling privileged elite (single party) and the ruled masses. Besides, this system was also supposed to be immune to reform and intrinsically connected to a person of a leader; the second factor was supposed to make the system’s implosion after a leader’s demise unavoidable. According to Starzewski, a total system could only function efficiently in a short term and could only be implemented in order to contain some serious danger which threatened the very existence of State and society. When the peril disappears, the return to the democratic model is needed.
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This study deals with the development of German political liberalism in Moravia from the end of the 1880s until World War I. It throws light on the manifesto and organizational changes connected to the transformation of the previously nationwide Deutschmaehrische Partei in the Deutsche Fortschrittspartei. It devotes much attention to the standing of German Liberals within the system of German political parties in Moravia and to the role of the most influential party personalities (A. Weeber, A. Promber, H. d'Elvert, R. M. Rohrer).