Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Mr. Wynand

Hannah Arendt

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I've read Eichmann in Jerusalem and I found it to be a very good read. She not only dissects the dishonest nature of not only Eichmann's and several other Ex-Nazi defenses but also of the Isreali prosecution. I'm also told that the Origins of Totalitarianism was a great read. Having read Eichmann, I honestly feel her concept of the Banality of Evil gets a lot of bad press because people don't understand it. They think it means that evil people are normal. If you read the book, what she points out is that evil people like the rank and file Nazis have a great capacity of rationalization so that they can fool even themselves into thinking what they are doing is normal. It doesn't change the fact that they're being fundamentally dishonest and capable of great monstrosity, they still view themselves as normal folk doing what they should have, and some like Eichmann can just as easily twist themselves they other way.

To look at it another way, it can be seen as a case study in the need for focus and self-responsibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read any of those, but in The Human Condition Arendt says,

"I fail to see on what grounds...liberal economists can justify their optimism that the private appropriation of wealth will suffice to guard individual liberties-that is, will fulfill the same role of private property. In a jobholding society [individual] liberties...are constantly threatened, no by the state, but by society, which distributes jobs and determines the share of individual appropriation."

Arendt seems to think that a job is an individual right that can be taken away by society, and we know that employment is not a right. But her view on private property is even clearer with this,

"Consideration of private ownership should be overruled in favor of the ever-increasing process of social wealth." :dough:

Attack away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, this lowered my estimation of her.

Eichmann in Jerusalem is still a scathing exposure of the petty self-delusion and pathetic nature of the rank and file Nazis, and I am told the Origins of Totalitarianism is very good as well, but the above is... well, just plain stupid.

I'm not sure much more needs to be said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with Nyronus to the very last word.

I thoroughly recommend reading Hannah Arendt's three main books. I started with EIJ, The Banality of Evil which is literally moving, then, can't recall the exact name but "History of the Jews and Zionism and other Essays" in which, as in EIJ, shows immense intellectual honesty while portraying the non-holy, condition of both Herzl and the European Jewry of the late XIXc breaking many taboos that need to be broken.

Finally in Origins of Totalitarianism I learnt the distinction between the too usual Dictatorship and true Totalitarianism.

Sayin that an Objectivist shouldn't read Hannah Arendt because she was a Kantian semi-theist is akin to saying one shouldn't read Thomas Aquinas because he was a Catholic

As Ayn Rand herself admitted, she got inspiration in some individuals works (like Frank L Wright) but none in their person.

It was in her fiction works that we can find heroes of such integrity (hence, they are heroes).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read any of those, but in The Human Condition Arendt says,

"I fail to see on what grounds...liberal economists can justify their optimism that the private appropriation of wealth will suffice to guard individual liberties-that is, will fulfill the same role of private property. In a jobholding society [individual] liberties...are constantly threatened, no by the state, but by society, which distributes jobs and determines the share of individual appropriation."

Arendt seems to think that a job is an individual right that can be taken away by society, and we know that employment is not a right. But her view on private property is even clearer with this,

"Consideration of private ownership should be overruled in favor of the ever-increasing process of social wealth." banghead.gif

Attack away.

Yes, Arendt was arguing against Hayek. Her economic point of reference was Karl Polanyi.

 

Since the natural tendency of capitalism is to destroy itself by the rich getting richer, it thereby acts as a barrier to the formation of democratic institutions. Moreover, markets--which she was for--can only be maintained by strong state intervention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with Nyronus to the very last word.

I thoroughly recommend reading Hannah Arendt's three main books. I started with EIJ, The Banality of Evil which is literally moving, then, can't recall the exact name but "History of the Jews and Zionism and other Essays" in which, as in EIJ, shows immense intellectual honesty while portraying the non-holy, condition of both Herzl and the European Jewry of the late XIXc breaking many taboos that need to be broken.

Finally in Origins of Totalitarianism I learnt the distinction between the too usual Dictatorship and true Totalitarianism.

Sayin that an Objectivist shouldn't read Hannah Arendt because she was a Kantian semi-theist is akin to saying one shouldn't read Thomas Aquinas because he was a Catholic

As Ayn Rand herself admitted, she got inspiration in some individuals works (like Frank L Wright) but none in their person.

It was in her fiction works that we can find heroes of such integrity (hence, they are heroes).

Althoght i love Arendt, I believe she was absolutely wrong in her assessment of Eichman. At least the evil of his own doing was hardly 'banal'.

 

At his trial, Eichman did try to present himself as an obedient functionary who was just doing his job--and Arendt swallowed the story hook line and sinker. Rather, the biographical truth revealed that he was a hysterical Nazi anti-semite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...