In 2016, after the death of Antonin Scalia, and during the Republican decision to block a vote on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, Senator Lindsey Graham made what appeared to be a principled statement. "I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever...
Gershom Scholem called them “plastic hours.” Hannah Arendt called them “Revolutionary situations.” George Packer argues we are likely now living through such a moment when “an ossified social order suddenly turns pliable, prolonged stasis gives way to motion, and people dare to hope. Plastic hours are rare. They require the right alignment of public opinion, political power, and events—usually a crisis.
Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by three police officers as he was reaching into his car with his three children in the back seat. All cautionary rhetoric aside—we don't know the full story, he may have been reaching for a weapon, he was clearly not listening to the police—one fact is not in dispute to anyone watching the video of the attempted murder: Jacob Blake did not deserve to be shot seven times from behind and paralyzed.
Politics and truth, Hannah Arendt reminds us, have never been on good terms. "Lies have always been regarded as necessary and justifiable tools not only of the politician's or the demagogue's but also of the statesman's trade." And yet, Arendt raises the question of "what injury political power is capable of inflicting upon truth."
On May 28, 1975, then Senator Joe Biden wrote a letter to Hannah Arendt.
Dear Miss Arendt, I read in a recent article by Tom Wicker of a paper that you read at the Boston Bicentennial Forum. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, I am most interested in receiving a copy of your paper. Thank you. Sincerely, Joseph R. Biden Jr. United State Senator.
Seeing What Is: “White Privilege,” “Antiracism,” The Police – Lessons from a Losing Culture on the Authority of Language at a time of MovementNikita Nelin
“We got engaged, preparing for a summer wedding, and started talking about kids. Then the pandemic hit. My industry crumbled and hers pressurized. Social distancing left us sheltered in place in our new neighborhood, as we watched the world outside first shudder, and then take to the streets, while we tried to reconcile our place in it with the disappearance our own dream.”
Hannah Arendt argues that the distinction between truth and lie can be eroded, over time, by "continual lying." When political leaders, institutions, the press, and respected figures habitually and continually state alternative facts, their lies—even if they are neither intended to be believed nor are believed—attack the very foundations of what Arendt calls the common world.