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Best Hannah Arendt Quotes

Hannah Arendt Quotes About  Education, Evil, Thinking, Politics, Love, Human Condition, Freedom, Human Rights, Fascism, Power & Tyranny! Philosophy and political theorist Hannah Arendt was a well-known German-American philosopher and political theorist. She wrote countless articles and 18 books expressing her ideas and opinions about authoritarianism, judgment, and thinking. When Hannah was a student at the University of Marburg, she began her political and radical associations and did work with Martin Heidegger for a short time.

Hannah Arendt Quotes

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She received her Ph.D. in 1928 from the University of Heidelberg. Under the guidance of Karl Jaspers, she completed her Ph.D. dissertation on Saint Augustine. Following her graduation, Hannah married Gunther Stern and started her political participation and agitation. In September, Hannah began collecting proof of the Nazi regime’s anti-Semitic policies. While she was active in anti-Nazi politics, the repressive Nazi Party became aware of Arendt’s actions.

When she arrived in the United States, Hannah started to write about her experiences in anti-Jewish Germany and the atrocities she saw in the concentration camp in ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism,’ published in 1951. She delivered an in-depth critique of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin’s harsh regimes using this book. During the post-World War II era, she rose to prominence as a leading thinker on Jewish issues, particularly in the context of totalitarianism. Arendt obtained US citizenship in 1951.

It wasn’t until 1958 that she wrote the breakthrough philosophical classic ‘The Human Condition.’ She drew inspiration for her book from Ancient Greek culture and set out to critically explore contemporary society’s limits. On December 4, 1975, she died. Her ideas, writings, and work had an enduring impact on political philosophy. Hannah is mainly regarded as one of the twentieth-most century’s influential intellectuals. Among the topics she addressed were politics, the nature of power, totalitarian regimes, and direct democracy.

Best Hannah Arendt Quotes

1. “Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.” — Hannah Arendt

2. “To be free in an age like ours, one must be in a position of authority. That in itself would be enough to make me ambitious.” — Hannah Arendt

3. “Man cannot be free if he does not know that he is subject to necessity, because his freedom is always won in his never wholly successful attempts to liberate himself from necessity.” — Hannah Arendt

4. “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.” — Hannah Arendt

5. “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.” — Hannah Arendt

6. “Wherever the relevance of speech is at stake, matters become political by definition, for speech is what makes man a political being.” — Hannah Arendt

7. “Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda.” — Hannah Arendt

8. “Our tradition of political thought had its definite beginning in the teachings of Plato and Aristotle. I believe it came to a no less definite end in the theories of Karl Marx.” — Hannah Arendt

9. “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.” — Hannah Arendt

10. “Under conditions of tyranny it is far easier to act than to think.” — Hannah Arendt

11. “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.” — Hannah Arendt

12. “The chief qualification of a mass leader has become unending infallibility; he can never admit an error.” — Hannah Arendt

13. “The defiance of established authority, religious and secular, social and political, as a world-wide phenomenon may well one day be accounted the outstanding event of the last decade.” — Hannah Arendt

14. “The more dubious and uncertain an instrument violence has become in international relations, the more it has gained in reputation and appeal in domestic affairs, specifically in the matter of revolution.” — Hannah Arendt

15. “The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.” — Hannah Arendt

16. “In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true.” — Hannah Arendt

17. “Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow.” — Hannah Arendt

18. “The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.” — Hannah Arendt

19. “The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.” — Hannah Arendt

20. “We have almost succeeded in leveling all human activities to the common denominator of securing the necessities of life and providing for their abundance.” — Hannah Arendt

21. “It is my contention that civil disobediences are nothing but the latest form of voluntary association and that they are thus quite in tune with the oldest traditions of the country.” — Hannah Arendt

22. “Total loyalty is possible only when fidelity is emptied of all concrete content, from which changes of mind might naturally arise.” — Hannah Arendt

23. “The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.” — Hannah Arendt

24. “Where all are guilty, no one is; confessions of collective guilt are the best possible safeguard against the discovery of culprits, and the very magnitude of the crime the best excuse for doing nothing.” — Hannah Arendt

25. “It is in the very nature of things human that every act that has once made its appearance and has been recorded in the history of mankind stays with mankind as a potentiality long after its actuality has become a thing of the past.” — Hannah Arendt

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