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  •  I'm a big Hannah Arendt fan, (0+ / 0-)

    though this may be a matter of bias since I was a Ph.D. student at the New School for Social Research where she taught until her death.

    What's always struck me about her writing is the deeper lesson that it teaches: tremendous moral courage is required to state the obvious.

    The banality of evil? Everyone recognizes it, but to name it is to threaten the presumed and unassailable piety of nearly all of society.

    That evil is banal, pedestrian, so very small and yet its costs so very large holds a particular kind of up to every member of society, showing them just how much they have failed and continue to fail to do. The evil of the world shows us to be the sinners (if you'll forgive the phrase from an atheist) that we are.

    It's all well and good to accuse the reactionary and the tyrant, but few have had the courage to accuse themselves and everyone around them. Arendt is one of these. Bolaño, in 2666, is another.

    For anyone that hasn't read her works On Totalitarianism and The Human Condition in particular, I'd highly recommend them. She was both ahead of and well behind her time.

    -9.63, 0.00
    "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

    by nobody at all on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:24:12 PM PST

    •  Books? (0+ / 0-)

      Perhaps something online to start with if anyone has a link.

      •  Sorry that wasn't clear— (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lava20

        search Amazon or your local bookseller for "On Totalitarianism" (this is the title of the aging set of volumes that I have; newer versions seem to be titled "The Origins of Totalitarianism") or "The Human Condition."

        -9.63, 0.00
        "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

        by nobody at all on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:48:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I also notice that I left the word "mirror" out of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lava20

        a sentence in my first comment (I'm sure you found the place).

        I should also clarify that I never studied under her (far too young) but that she remains a major figure at the institution and it hosts a research center in bearing her name.

        -9.63, 0.00
        "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

        by nobody at all on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:53:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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