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The thesis that the theory of charismatic–plebiscitary democracy developed by Max Weber in the wake of the Weimar Republic was developed to its ultimate consequences by Carl Schmitt in the final crisis of Weimar has been hotly debated since it was first advanced in the 1950s. This paper proposes a fresh look at the controversy. By comparing both authors’ concepts of politics in their relation to the problem of modernity, it argues that the Weber–Schmitt affair is neither a baseless legend nor a case of natural continuity. Instead, it should rather be understood in terms of a contingent affinity.