In an essay on Arendt in this year’s Critique 13/13 Seminars, Seyla Benhabib asks whether it makes sense to read Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition as a core text in the somewhat arcane world of critical theory. For Benahabib, Arendt’s text is “critical” insofar as it “shares with the Marxist tradition a critique of the alienation of the homo faber from the products...
Power is indeed of the essence of all government, but violence is not. Violence is by nature instrumental; like all means, it always stands in need of guidance and justification through the end it pursues. And what needs justification by something else cannot be the essence of anything.— Hannah Arendt
With all the craziness going on here in the United States, it is sometimes hard to remember to pay attention to the world. But a number of essays this week remind us that the revolt against elite norms and elite institutions is a worldwide phenomenon. Siddhartha Deb writes about the decision of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party in India to revoke the special status of Kashmir, the only Muslim-majority state in India.
Joe Biden made news with another racial gaffe when he said “We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” John McWhorter argues that these gaffes, while problematic, are also indicative of a paradoxical tension around black achievement.
For the past two days I’ve been teaching Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism for the tuition free summer school program at The University of the Underground and The Hannah Arendt Center, at The School for Poetic Computation in NYC. ..