David Marchese interviews Tom Stoppard about the rising virus of antisemitism.
Over and again we hear the refrain: “Listen to the experts.” Amidst a crisis that has witnessed a disastrous response from President Trump and the federal government and from many states and cities—Mayor Bill DeBlasio has been particularly inept causing untold misery for New Yorkers like myself—there is a desire to have the experts guide us.
In “I Am (Not) a Monster,” a new movie by Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun, Dr. Hayoun travels around the world dressed as Hannah Arendt to ask thinkers and activists about the origins of knowledge. Ben Hayoun, a Senior Fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center and the founder of the University of the Underground, begins with Arendt’s idea that “To act is to begin something new.”
Writing for the New York Review of Book, Fintan O’Toole dissects Trump’s failed leadership. Faced with a real emergency, Trump has been unable to set aside his self-promoting narcissism to guide the American people. O’Toole highlights the extent to which Trump’s delimited worldview as a business leader has influenced his posturing in managing the pandemic, examining at elisions in his language and refusal to face reality.
Seth Cotler points us to a book review written in 1983 by Samuel T. Francis that makes clear how much of the politics of populism and racism we are experiencing today was already visible to those with eyes to see it. The review of a book by Kevin Philips argues that the frustrations with America’s obsolete constitutional and political system will bring about a racially charged right-wing revolution in the United States.
Hannah Arendt Center Associate Fellow Jana V. Schmidt writes about the publication of the first Critical Edition of Hannah Arendt’s Complete Works. Schmidt’s ranging engagement reaches out to the broader reception of Arendt’s work and the posthumously published volumes of her work.
Hannah Arendt worried greatly about the rise of science. She took Niels Bohr seriously when he argued that “causality, determinism, and necessity of laws belonged to the categories of ‘our necessarily prejudiced conceptual frame’.” The new physics “defies description in terms of the ‘prejudices’ of the human mind[and] defies description in every conceivable way of human language.” Which is one reason why Albert Einstein...
In The Point’s “Quarantine Journal” Dawn Herrera Helphand reflects upon Hannah Arendt’s observation of the “infectious charm and petit Bonheur of the French way of life.” Herrera Helphand argues that Arendt’s reflection is a critique of petit bourgeois materialism to make the case against “coziness” in late capitalism.