Hannah Arendt Quotes
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The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.
When evil is allowed to compete with good, evil has an emotional populist appeal that wins out unless good men and women stand as a vanguard against abuse.
Politically, the weakness of the argument has always been that those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.
This is the precept by which I have lived: Prepare for the worst; expect the best; and take what comes.
The greatest enemy of authority, therefore, is contempt, and the surest way to undermine it is laughter.
One of the greatest advantages of the totalitarian elites of the twenties and thirties was to turn any statement of fact into a question of motive.
There is a strange interdependence between thoughtlessness and evil.
Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.
There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.
Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.
Revolutionaries do not make revolutions. The revolutionaries are those who know when power is lying in the street and then they can pick it up.
Love, by its very nature, is unworldly, and it is for this reason rather than its rarity that it is not only apolitical but antipolitical, perhaps the most powerful of all antipolitical forces.
The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.
Political questions are far too serious to be left to the politicians.
The practice of violence, like all action, changes the world, but the most probable change is a more violent world.
Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.
The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide.
Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality.
Wherever the relevance of speech is at stake, matters become political by definition, for speech is what makes man a political being.
Men in plural […] can experience meaningfulness only because they can talk with and make sense to each other and themselves.
The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
Evil thrives on apathy and cannot exist without it.
I'm completely against [feminism]. I have no desire to give up my privileges.
Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time
To think and to be fully alive are the same.
All political institutions are manifestations and materializations of power; they petrify and decay as soon as the living power of the people ceases to uphold them.
The chief qualification of a mass leader has become unending infallibility; he can never admit an error.
In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism.
Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda.
We are free to change the world and start something new in it.
No cause is left but the most ancient of all, the one, in fact, that from the beginning of our history has determined the very existence of politics, the cause of freedom versus tyranny.
Nobody is the author or producer of his own life story ... somebody began it and is its subject in the twofold sense, namely, its actor and sufferer ... but nobody is the author.
Forgiveness is the only way to reverse the irreversible flow of history.
Although tyranny...may successfully rule over foreign peoples, it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national institutions of its own people.
Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.
If the ability to tell right from wrong should have anything to do with the ability to think, then we must be able to 'demand' its exercise in every sane person no matter how erudite or ignorant.
Economic growth may one day turn out to be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead into freedom or constitute a proof for its existence.
where everybody is guilty, nobody is.
The earth is the very quintessence of the human condition.
If we don't know our own history, we are deemed to live it.
What I propose, therefore, is very simple: it is nothing more than to think what we are doing
By its very nature the beautiful is isolated from everything else. From beauty no road leads to reality.
To expect truth to come from thinking signifies that we mistake the need to think with the urge to know.
Power and violence are opposites; where the one rules absolutely, the other is absent. Violence appears where power is in jeopardy, but left to its own course it ends in power's disappearance.
As citizens, we must prevent wrongdoing because the world in which we all live, wrong-doer, wrong sufferer and spectator, is at stake.
Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.
The climax of terror is reached when the police state begins to devour its own children, when yesterday's executioner becomes today's victim.
Every organization of men, be it social or political, ultimately relies on man's capacity for making promises and keeping them.
Under conditions of tyranny it is far easier to act than to think.
Thought and action must never part company.