“How could such a book speak so powerfully to our present moment? The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times, even if they are different and perhaps less dark, and “Origins” raises a set of fundamental questions about how tyranny can arise and the dangerous forms of inhumanity to which it can lead.” Jeffrey C. Isaac, The Washington Post Hannah Arendt's definitive work on totalitarianism and an essential component of any study of twentieth-century political history The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world, the use of terror, and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.
The great twentieth-century political philosopher examines how Hitler and Stalin gained and maintained power, and the nature of totalitarian states. In the final volume of her classic work The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt focuses on the two genuine forms of the totalitarian state in modern history: the dictatorships of Bolshevism after 1930 and of National Socialism after 1938. Identifying terror as the very essence of this form of government, she discusses the transformation of classes into masses and the use of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world—and in her brilliant concluding chapter, she analyzes the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination. “The most original and profound—therefore the most valuable—political theoretician of our times.” —Dwight Macdonald, The New Leader
The first volume of Arendt’s celebrated three-part study of the philosophical origins of the totalitarian mind. This volume focuses on the rise of antisemitism in Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Index.
Author: Peter Drucker
Release Date: 2017-09-08
Genre: Political Science
In The End of Economic Man, long recognized as a cornerstone work, Peter F. Drucker explains and interprets fascism and Nazism as fundamental revolutions. In some ways, this book anticipated by more than a decade the existentialism that came to dominate the European political mood in the postwar period. Drucker provides a special addition to the massive literature on existentialism and alienation since World War II. The End of Economic Man is a social and political effort to explain the subjective consequences of the social upheavals caused by warfare. Drucker concentrates on one specific historical event: the breakdown of the social and political structure of Europe which culminated in the rise of Nazi totalitarianism to mastery over Europe. He explains the tragedy of Europe as the loss of political faith, resulting from the political alienation of the European masses. The End of Economic Man is a book of great social import. It shows not only what might have helped the older generation avert the catastrophe of Nazism, but also how today's generation can prevent another such catastrophe. This work will be of special interest to political scientists, intellectual historians, and sociologists. The book was singled out for praise on both sides of the Atlantic, and is considered by the author to be his most prescient effort in social theory.
Few thinkers have addressed the political horrors and ethical complexities of the twentieth century with the insight and passionate intellectual integrity of Hannah Arendt. She was irresistible drawn to the activity of understanding, in an effort to endow historic, political, and cultural events with meaning. Essays in Understanding assembles many of Arendt’s writings from the 1930s, 1940s, and into the 1950s. Included here are illuminating discussions of St. Augustine, existentialism, Kafka, and Kierkegaard: relatively early examinations of Nazism, responsibility and guilt, and the place of religion in the modern world: and her later investigations into the nature of totalitarianism that Arendt set down after The Origins of Totalitarianism was published in 1951. The body of work gathered in this volume gives us a remarkable portrait of Arendt’s developments as a thinker—and confirms why her ideas and judgments remain as provocative and seminal today as they were when she first set them down. From the Trade Paperback edition.
After the publication of The Origins of Totalitarianism in 1951, Hannah Arendt undertook an investigation of Marxism, a subject that she had deliberately left out of her earlier work. Her inquiry into Marx’s philosophy led her to a critical examination of the entire tradition of Western political thought, from its origins in Plato and Aristotle to its culmination and conclusion in Marx. The Promise of Politics tells how Arendt came to understand the failure of that tradition to account for human action. From the time that Socrates was condemned to death by his fellow citizens, Arendt finds that philosophers have followed Plato in constructing political theories at the expense of political experiences, including the pre-philosophic Greek experience of beginning, the Roman experience of founding, and the Christian experience of forgiving. It is a fascinating, subtle, and original story, which bridges Arendt’s work from The Origins of Totalitarianism to The Human Condition, published in 1958. These writings, which deal with the conflict between philosophy and politics, have never before been gathered and published. The final and longer section of The Promise of Politics, titled “Introduction into Politics,” was written in German and is published here for the first time in English. This remarkable meditation on the modern prejudice against politics asks whether politics has any meaning at all anymore. Although written in the latter half of the 1950s, what Arendt says about the relation of politics to human freedom could hardly have greater relevance for our own time. When politics is considered as a means to an end that lies outside of itself, when force is used to “create” freedom, political principles vanish from the face of the earth. For Arendt, politics has no “end”; instead, it has at times been–and perhaps can be again–the never-ending endeavor of the great plurality of human beings to live together and share the earth in mutually guaranteed freedom. That is the promise of politics. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Bernard J. Bergen
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 1998
This highly original book is the first to explore the political and philosophical consequences of Hannah Arendt's concept of 'the banality of evil, ' a term she used to describe Adolph Eichmann, architect of the Nazi 'final solution.' According to Bernard J. Bergen, the questions that preoccupied Arendt were the meaning and significance of the Nazi genocide to our modern times. As Bergen describes Arendt's struggle to understand 'the banality of evil, ' he shows how Arendt redefined the meaning of our most treasured political concepts and principles_freedom, society, identity, truth, equality, and reason_in light of the horrific events of the Holocaust. Arendt concluded that the banality of evil results from the failure of human beings to fully experience our common human characteristics_thought, will, and judgment_and that the exercise and expression of these attributes is the only chance we have to prevent a recurrence of the kind of terrible evil perpetrated by the Nazi
Hannah Arendt and Karl Marx examines Hannah Arendt’s unpublished writings on Marx as the unified project Arendt originally intended. This book traces and evaluates the development of Arendt’s thought on Marx, how his thought could be used toward totalitarian ends, and his place in the tradition of Western political thought.
A unique and fascinating look at violent political change by one of the most profound thinkers of the twentieth century and the author of Eichmann in Jerusalem and The Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt’s penetrating observations on the modern world, based on a profound knowledge of the past, have been fundamental to our understanding of our political landscape. On Revolution is her classic exploration of a phenomenon that has reshaped the globe. From the eighteenth-century rebellions in America and France to the explosive changes of the twentieth century, Arendt traces the changing face of revolution and its relationship to war while underscoring the crucial role such events will play in the future. Illuminating and prescient, this timeless work will fascinate anyone who seeks to decipher the forces that shape our tumultuous age.
Author: Eric Voegelin
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
Release Date: 2000-12-01
The period covered by the material published in this volume marks the transition in Eric Voegelin's career from Louisiana to Munich. After twenty years in the United States, in 1958 Voegelin accepted an invitation to fill the political science chair at Ludwig Maximilian University, a position left vacant throughout the Nazi period and last occupied by the famous Max Weber, who had died in 1920. The themes most prominent in the fourteen items reprinted here reflect the concerns of a transition, not only in a scholar's career, and in the momentous shifts in world politics taking place around him, but also in the development of his understanding of the stratification of reality and the attendant demands for a science of human affairs adequate to the challenges posed by the persistent crisis of the West in its latest configurations and by contemporary philosophy. Several of the items herein originated as talks to a specific organization on problems facing German democratization and the development of a market economy amid the ruins of a fragmented culture and infrastructure in a society without historically evolved institutional supports for a satisfactory social and political order. Accordingly, pragmatic matters occupy a central place in a number of these pieces, especially the overriding question of how Germany could move from an illiberal and ideological political order into a modern liberal democratic one. Those accustomed to the theoretical profundity of Voegelin's writings may find welcome relief in the down-to-earth, commonsensical drift of this material addressed, often, to laymen and businessmen. But, of course, the philosophical subject matter lurks everywhere. It finds full expression in several instances as the controlling context of even the least pretentious presentations. One of the attractions of these essays is what the author brings forward as serviceable elementary guideposts under adverse conditions of intellectual disarray, social decay, and turmoil.
Four thought-provoking political essays by the author of The Origins of Totalitarianism. Taking an in-depth look at the tumult of the 1960s and ’70s, one of the great political philosophers of our era examines how these crises challenged the American form of government. “Lying in Politics” is a penetrating analysis of the Pentagon Papers that deals with the role of image-making and public relations. “Civil Disobedience” examines various opposition movements, from the Freedom Riders to the war resisters to the segregationists. And in two additional essays, Hannah Arendt delves into issues of revolution and violence. Wise and insightful, these pieces offer historical perspective on problems and controversies that still plague the United States in the twenty-first century.