promise of politics
paper back version (2007 – words via hannah 1968) by hannah arendt
original notes on hannah arendt page.. adding this page.. and copying quotes/notes over and adding quotes/notes.. while re re re reading it..
notes/highlights from the promise of politics (most if not all bold words are quotes.. new format won’t let them be both quotes and bold – also single numbers above will be loc out of 3200):
intro – by jerome kohn
arendt came to understand that all rules – for good/evil and regardless of their source.. which purport to govern human action from w/o are apolitical and even anti political
Political judgment is not a matter of knowledge, pseudo knowledge, or speculative thought. It does not eliminate risk but affirms human freedom and the world that free people share with one another. Or rather, it establishes the reality of human freedom in a common world.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 74-75). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
the dichotomy between thinking/acting is characteristic of arendt as it is of no other modern thinker, and though neither of the books she proposed writing in the 1950s was to be called the promise of politics, it is her emphasis on the human ability to judge that makes that title appropriate for this selection of the writings
arendt when she was on the verge of giving it up (writing a book i think) wrote of her travail w marx and the tradition tp martin heidegger on ma 8 1954: ‘i cannot make it concrete w/o its all becoming endless’
there is something odd about that, since ordinarily for arendt, viewing subject from a variety of pov is what makes it ‘concrete’ and real.. in part it may be that the more she got to know marx the less she liked him.. arendt writes to jaspers ‘the more i read marx, the more i see that you were right. he’s not interested in freedom or in justice (and he’s a terrible pain in the neck in addition)’
along w kierkegaard and nietzsche, marx had rebelled against traditional patterns of thought, but neither they nor he, in arendt’s view, had been liberated form them. her own liberation sprang from the advent of totalitarianism, which was as diff as it could be from anything they had intended or foreseen.. and though being liberated form the tradition is not in itself a new way of thinking about politics, that is what it called for
it should be noted of course, that marx’s reduction of all human activities to the necessity of labor provoked arendt to differentiate labor from work as a world building activity and from action as the human capacity to begin anew.. in the human condition.. marx’s conflation of labor and work, leading to his notion of making history from a sort of blueprint of dialectical rules.. which for arendt meant at the expense of action and freedom.. figures prominently in the same work
planning/blueprinting/ruling.. at expense of freedom
moreover, its final form cannot even hypothetically be known, since arendt always exercised her freedom to alter any outlines, plans, and prelim writings for a work in progress when she set about organizing it for publication
her work on ‘into into politics’ was interrupted not only by her decision to fashion parts of it into the ‘exercises in political thought’ that comprise between past and future, and a large part of on revolution, but also by the monkey wrench of thoughtlessness she encountered while attending the trial of adolf eichmann in jerusalem in 1961.. the abyssal meaninglessness of not thinking would occupy her in eichmann in jerusalem (1963) and the subsequent writing that are not collected in responsibility and judgment, and broaden and deepen her deliberation on the meaning of plurality in the mind’s activities of thinking, wiling, and judging
it is often said that hannah arendt is a ‘difficult’ thinker, but insofar as that is accurate it is not because her thought is obscure but rather because of the inherent difficulty of what she sought to understand.. she was one of those rare individuals who experience understanding as a passion, which in these writings runs parallel to her passionate espousal of politics. when scarcely more than a child she sought understanding in philosophy.. but.. as young adult.. eyes opened to fragility of human affairs.. and since appear uncontrolled.. philosopher since plato rarely tae them seriously.. this does not mean that arendt ever stopped reading philosophy.. any more than she stopped thinking, but what she henceforth sought to understand.. the relation that human affairs bear, in their fragility.. to human freedom.. she had to discover for herself..
her trains of thought shift constantly w the perspective from which she regards whatever she is thinking about.. and more often than not its consequence has been that arendt’s ‘overall’ meaning, which she never even attempt to spell out, is lost
when first read this.. my notes were to steelemaley that i feel this way every day.. now wondering if overall meaning is more for whales.. meaning if we were legit free.. and cancer free.. overall meaning would seem/be irrelevant to the dance
1968.. the first words she addressed to her students were ‘no theories; forget all theories’ .. what she did not mean, she immediately added, was for us to ‘stop thinking’ for ‘thought and theory are not the same’.. she told us that thinking about an event is remembering it, that ‘otherwise, it is forgotten’.. and that such forgetting jeopardizes the meaningfulness of our world..
these stories matter, she said, *not because they are true but because in them the rapidly and radically changing appearances of the 20th cent are not explained away as a concatenation of events leading ‘god knows where’.. she convinced us that our predilection to view the realm of politics thru ideologies .. left, right, or center.. as subs for inspiriting principles of actions is **a means of abolishing our own spontaneity, apart form which action of any kind is incomprehensible.. just as human ingenuity, by applying ‘pure’ sci knowledge to tech, already possess the means to destroy the entire world..
*because they aren’t.. ie: they are stories of whales
**fromm spontaneous law et al.. huge..
my work on p of politics (kohn).. written in 1968.. though it is certainly not possible to tell the whole story of wha tis going on while it is going on, readers of the present volume stand to gain an understanding of a distinct way in which mentally remaining in the world of plural men and women , with their multiplicity of meanings or strictly relative truths, is at least as important and perhaps more urgent than reexperiencing the meanings of past events. stories are thought-things and though we w think in past dimension of time (‘every though it’s an after thought’).. we judge in the present .. as arendt puts it in this book: the ability to see the same thing from various standpoints stays in the human world; it is simply the exchange of the standpoint give us by nature for that of someone else w whom we share the same world, resulting in a true freedom of movement in our mental world that parallels our freedom of movement in the physical one’..
in other words, the ‘true freedom’ of judgment as well as action is not realized in vicarious experience, and in that sense judging rather than thinking is the political mental faculty par excellence..
Arendt says quite explicitly that thinking did not always require judgment to affect the world. That it does now is itself a *judgment of our world, and one so consequential that she would think us **foolhardy if we were to let it pass unremarked.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 259-261). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
*that it is sea world
**foolhardy to not notice that.. and change that.. et al .. hari rat park law
by choosing not to articulate his own opinion, which distinguishes socrates form the others, his thinking reps the humanity of all the others.. action for socrates is not commanded form w/o: in him the law of oncontradiction, which he is credited w discovering, governs his thinking, and as ‘bad conscience’ also governs his actions. no one before arendt, i believe, has insisted so firmly on that equation of thinking and acting in socrates.. what she means is that in socrates’ thinking, that is, in his living in accord w himself, the violation of another person would be the equiv of self violation..
huge.. thurman interconnectedness law.. et al
but it was not to last in athens. when socrates is unable to persuade his not so thoughtful judges of his conviction that thinking is good for them as citizens, he demos the validity of his conviction by dying for it rather than altering it.. that was his truth
of course plato did not intentionally begin a tradition, but the extraordinary power of his thought did just that when eh constructed an ‘ideocracy’.. the rule of the idea of the good, in which there was no further need for persuasion
the one transcendent truth of that idea, beheld by the philosopher not so much in solitude as in speechless wonder, supplanted the many relative truths that socrates relentlessly sought to bring to birth by question ing his fellow citizens.. in the end.. the citizens, by a remarkably slender margin, decided than answering socrates’ unending questions disrupted and impeded their pursuit of wealth/influence and other material interests. no doubt plato saw that they were right, but he keenly understood – and violently opposed the fact that their interests stood in the way of a more compelling ethical ideal.. what matters for the tradition is that plato intro’d the concept of rulership into the political realm, despite the fact that it originated in the thoroughly apolitical rule over household slaves.. ruling over slaves allowed the master to leave his private dwelling; liberated from tending to the necessitates of life, he could enter the public space the agora, where he moved among and spoke freely w his equals
wow.. so loaded.. ie: thinking of graeber care/free law .. but big unsettling w the whole plato’s ruling and slaves.. and w his equals bit
readers may wonder what socrates did, other than think and ask questions, and what he inspired others to do, except to submit to unjust judgments.. arendt might reply that her story had been about what socrates’ thinking prevented him from doing
socrates inspired others to submit?.. socrates supposed to law..?
so this shared human sameness is the equality that in turn manifests itself only in the absolute distinction of one equal from another.. if there fore action and speech are the two outstanding political activities, distinctness and equality are the two constituent elements of political bodies.. in that passage the political relevance of human plurality is made explicit, and it brings up something else about plato’s philosophic ‘tyranny of truth’ plato, arendt tells us, in suffering the reception of truth passively – literally as a passion – destroys the plurality that socrates experienced w/in himself when he thought, just as he did in others when he stopped thinking w himself to converse w them. plato frequently says that truth is ineffable, and if it cannot be put into words then his experience of one truth differs fundamentally from socrates’ quest for many truths..as this point readers may wonder if all we know about socrates doesn’t come from plato, if indeed socrates is not plato’s creation.. i think arednt would agree that everything that matters to her about socrates is what plato tells us about him.. plato’s intro of rulership from the private into the public realm is not only decisive in founding the tradition of political thought but it plato’s attempt to redress the injustice of socrates’ death..
there will be no division between rulers and rule in the classless society to come, but there will also be no division between public/private realms, and there will be nothing like what arendt means by political freedom
Human spontaneity, politically speaking, means that we do not know the ends of our actions when we act, and if we did we would not be free. When these categories are confused, especially today, politics ceases to make sense.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 319-320). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
for many of us, our awareness, if not immediate experience of brute, coercive force engenders a sense that politics moves thru the world propelled by the means of violence, and that, all talk of peace and freedom notwithstanding, politics has become not much more than an automatic process run amok, wasting everything we cherish
for arendt, all destructive force, even when it is unavoidable, is in itself antipolitical: what it destroys is not only our lives but also the world that lies between our lives and makes them human.. a human and humanizing world is not manufactured and no part of it that has been destroyed can ever be replaced.. to arendt, the world is neither a natural product nor the creation of god; it can only appear thru politics, which in its broadest sense she understands the set of conditions under which men and women in their plurality, in their absolute distinctness from each other, live together and approach each other to speak in a freedom that only they can grant and guarantee each other.. in her words: ‘only in the freedom of our speaking w one another does the world, as that about which we speak, emerge in its objectivity and visibility from all sides. living in a real world and speaking w one another about it are basically one and the same.. freedom to depart and begin something new and unheard of or .. the freedom to interact in speech w many others and experience the diversity that the world always is in its totality – most certainly was and is not the end purpose of politics.. something that can be achieved by political means.. it is rather the substance and meaning of all things political.. in this sense, politics and freedom are identical’
these oases are subject to ruin by those who attempt to adjust themselves to the conditions of desert-life, as well as by those who attempt to escape from the desert in to the oases.. in both cases the desert world encroaches upon and devastates the oases of their private lives
to last lines of book (that i quoted in huge letters).. and to sea world ness
the desert is a metaphor for our increasing loss of the world, by which arendt means our ‘twofold flight from the earth into the universe and from the world into the self’
the desert is a metaphor for something that already exists, and in the world’s constant need of renewal, of being ‘begun anew’.. always exists.. so far from being caused by public political life, the desert is the result of its absence
men and women political assembled in pursuit of a common goal generate power, which unlike force rises form the depth of the public realm an sustains it, as arendt says, as long as they remain joined in speech and action
at end of acknowledgments from denktagebuch: ‘in the moment of action, annoyingly enough, it turns out, first , that the absolute .. that which is above the senses.. the true, good, beautiful, is not graspable, because no one knows concretely what it is.. to be sure, everyone has a conception of it, but each concretely imagines it as something entirely diff.. insofar as action is dependent on the plurality of men, the first catastrophe of western philosophy, which in its last thinkers ultimately wants to take control of action, is the requirement of a unity that on principle proves impossible except under tyranny.. second.. third ‘
1 – socrates
the question of how it is possible to live w/o belonging to any polity.. that is in the condition of apolity or what we today would call statelessness.. even more serious was the abyss which immediately opened between thought and action, and which never since has been closed.. all thinking activity that is not simply the calculation of means to obtain an intended or willed end, but is concerned w meaning in the most general sense, came to play the role of an ‘afterthought’ that is after action had decided and determined reality. action.. on the other hand, was relegated to the meaningless realm of the accidental and haphazard.
re re re read.. i don’t know.. fromm spontaneous law et al
our tradition of political thought began when the death of socrates made plato despair of polis life and at the same time.. doubt certain fundamentals of socrates’ teachings.. the fact that socrates had not been able tot persuade his judges of his innocence and his merits, which were so obvious to the better and younger of athens’ citizens, made plato doubt the validity of persuasion.. we have difficulty in grasping the importance of this doubt, because ‘persuasion’ is a very weak and inadequate translation of the ancient peithein, the political importance of which is indicated by the fact that peitho, the goddess of persuasion, had a temple in athens.. to persuade, peithein, was the specifically political form of speech, and since the athenians were proud that they, in distinction to the barbarians, conducted their political affairs in the form of speech and w/o compulsion,, they considered rhetoric, the art of persuasion, the highest, the truly political art..
but persuasion is coercion .. any form of m\a\p.. esp the p
and this first part is huge to why laws/judges/courts et al.. is killing us
platonic truth, even when doxa is not mentioned, is always understood as the very opposite of opinion.. the spectacle of socrates submitting his own doxa to the irresponsible opinions of the athenians, and being *outvoted by a majority, made plato despise opinions and yearn for absolute standards.. **such standards by which human deeds could be judged and ***human thoughts could achieve some measure of reliability, from then on became the primary impulse of his political philosophy, and influenced decisively even the purely philosophical doctrine of ideas
oi.. * ** *** all red flags
plato himself was the first to use the ideas for political purposes, that is, to *intro absolute standards into the realm of human affairs, where, w/o such transcending standards, everything remains relative.. as plato himself used to point out.. we do not know what absolute greatness is, but experience only something greater or smaller in relationship to something else
*we need to let go of any form of m\a\p
the opposition of truth and opinion was certainly the most anti socratic conclusion that plato drew from socrates’ trial.. socrates, in failing to convince the city, had show that the city is not safe place for the philosopher, not only in the sense that his life is not safe because of the *truth he possesses.. but also in the much more important sense that the city cannot be trusted w preserving the **memory of the philosopher..
? yeah.. not sure if either * or ** are conducive to human being ness..
the old argument against the sophoi of wise men, which recurs in aristotle as well as in plato, that they do not know what is good for themselves (the prereq for political wisdom) and that they look ridiculous when they appear in the marketplace and are a common laughingstock.. was turned by plato against the city
? are we supposed to look non ridiculous in the ridiculous market ness of the marketplace..?
in order to comprehend the enormity of plato’s demand that the philosopher should become the rules of the city, we must keep in mind these common ‘prejudices’ which the polis had w respect to philosophers but no w respect to artists and poets.. only the sophos who does not know what is good form himself will know even less what is good form the polis.. the sophos the wise man as rule, must be seen in opposition of the current ideal of the phronimos, the understanding man whose insights into the world of human affairs *qualify him for leadership, though of course not to rule.. philosophy, the love of wisdom, was not thought to be the same at all as this insight, phonesis..
everyone allowed everywhere.. no one ruling/leading (or if semantics bothering you.. everyone ruling/leading)
plato did not deny that the concern of the philosopher was w eternal, *nonchanging, nonhuman matters..
so *dead things..? ie: intellect ness et al
greeks saw this danger in philosophy. philosophy, the concern w truth regardless of the realm of human affairs – and no love of the beautiful, which everywhere was represented in the polis, in statues and poetry ,in music and the olympic games – drove its adherents out of the polis and made them unfit for it.. when plato claimed rulership for the philosopher because he alone could behold the idea of the good, the highest of the eternal essences, he opposed the polis on two grounds: 1\ philosopher’s concern w eternal didn’t make him good for nothing 2\ eternal things were even more ‘valuable’ than they were beautiful.. version of same statement: not man but a god is measure of all human things
let go of any form of m\a\p
526plato, obviously, was guided by the greek proverbial ideal, (the beautiful and the good) and it is therefore significant that he made up his mind for the good instead of the beautiful.. seen from the pov of the ideas themselves, which are defined as that whose appearance illuminates, the beautiful, which cannot be used but only shines forth, had much more right to become the idea of ideas.. the diff between the good and the beautiful, not only to us but even more so to the greeks, is that *the good can be applied and has an element of use in itself.. only if the realm of ideas is illuminated by the idea of the good could plato use the ides for political purpose and in the laws, erect his ideocracy, in which **eternal ideas were translated into human laws..
**resonating w what happens when we don’t let go enough to see *(legit free people doing/being their art)
The tragedy of Socrates’ death rests on a misunderstanding: what the polis did not understand was that Socrates did not claim to be a sophos, a wise man. Because he doubted that wisdom is for mortals, he saw the irony in the Delphic oracle that said he was the wisest of all men: the man who knows that men cannot be wise is the wisest of them all. The polis did not believe him, and demanded that he admit that he, like all sophoi, was politically a good-for-nothing. But as a philosopher he truly had nothing to teach his fellow citizens.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 542-546). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
the conflict between the philosopher and the polis had come to a head because socrates had made new demands on philosophy precisely because he did not claim to be wise.. and it is in this situation that plato designed his tyranny of truth, in which it is not what is temporally good, of which men can be persuaded, but eternal truth, of which men can not be persuaded, that is to rule the city.. what had become apparent in the socratic experience was that only rulership might assure the philosopher of that earthly immortality which the polis was supposed to assure all its citizens. for while the thoughts and actions of all men were threatened by their own inherent instability and human forgetful ness.. the thoughts of the philosopher were exposed to the willful oblivion. the same polis, therefore, which guaranteed its inhabitants an immortality and stability which they never could hope for w/o it.. was a threat and a danger to the immortality of the philosopher..
the chief distinction between persuasion and dialectic si that the form always addresses a multitude whereas dialectic is possible only as a dialogue between two. socrates’ mistake was to address his judges in the form of dialectic, which is why he could not persuade them
loaded.. rather .. that we assume judges and persuasion for human being ness
socrates insisted in talking the matter thru w his judges as he used to talk about all kinds of things w single athenian citizens or w his pupils; and he believed that he could arrive at some truth thereby and persuade the others of it.. yet persuasion does not come from truth, it comes form opinions and only persuasion reckons and knows how to deal w the multitude.. to plato *persuading the multitude means.. forcing upon its multiple opinions one’s own opinion; thus persuasion is not the opposite of rule by violence, it is only another form of it..t
huge.. public consensus always oppresses someone(s) et al
the myths of a hereafter, w which plato concluded all his political dialogues w the exception of the laws, are neither truth nor mere opinion; they are designed as stories which can frighten, that is, an attempt to use violence by words only. he can do w/o a concluding myth in in the laws because the detailed prescription and even more details catalogue of punishments make violence w mere words unnecessary
the assumption was that the world opens up differently to every man according to his position in it.. and that the ‘sameness’ of the world, its commonness.. common to all.. or objectivity.. resided in the fact that the same world opens up to everyone and that despite all differences between men and their positions in the world.. and consequently their doxai (opinions) ‘both you and i are human’..
the word doxa means not only my opinion but also splendor and fame.. as such it is related to thepolitical realm.. whic is ht epublic shpere in which everybody can appear and show who he hismelt if.. to assert one’ sown opinioin beonged to being able to show oneself, to be seen/heard by others..
?not sure we need/crave that
to greeks.. this was the one great privilege attached to public life and lacking in privacy of household.. where one is neither seen/heard by others.. (the fam, wife, children, slaves, servants were of course not recognized as fully human).. in private life one is hidden and can neither appear nor shine, and consequently no doxa is possible there.. socrates, who refused public office and honor, never retired into this private life, but on the contrary moved in the marketplace in the very midst of these doxai
just as nobody can know beforehand the other’s doxa, so nobody can know by himself and w/o further effort the inherent truth of his own opinion.. socrates wanted to bring out this truth which *everyone potentially possesses.. if we remain true to his own metaphor of maieutic.. we may say: socrates wanted to make the city moe truthful by delivering each of the citizens of their truths.. the method of doing this is dialegeshtahi, talking something thru.. but this dialectic brings forth truth not by destroying doxa or opinion, but on the contrary by revealing doxa in its own truthfulness..
*what matter is already in us.. lets’ uncover/facil that
socrates did not want to ed the citizens so much as he wanted to improve their doxai, which constituted the political life in which he too took part..
it is therefore obviously still quite in the socratic tradition that plato’s early dialogues frequently conclude inconclusively, w/o a result.. to have talked something thru, to have talked about something.. some citizen’s doxa
it is obvious that this kind of dialogue, which doesn’t need a conclusion in order to be meaningful, is most appropriate for and more frequently shared by friends.. in other words, politically speaking. socrates tried to make friends out of athens’ citizenry, and this indeed was a very understandable purpose in a polis whose life consisted of an intense uninterrupted contest of all against all.. ceaselessly showing oneself to be the best of all. in this agonal spirit, which eventually was to bring the greek city states to ruin because it made alliances between them well nigh impossible and poisoned the domestic life of the citizens with envy and mutual hatred.. the commonweal was constantly threatened..
the nicomachean ethics where aristotle explains that a community is not made out of equals, but on the contrary of people who are diff/uneq.. the community comes into being thru equalizing..this equalization takes place in all exchanges as between the physician and the farmer and it is based on money
the political, nonecon equalization is friendship, philia.. that aristotle sees friendship in analogy to want and exchange is related to the inherent materialism of his political philosophy, that is, to his conviction that politics ultimately is necessary because of the necessities of life from which men strive to free themselves.. just as eating is not life but the condition for living.. so living together in the polis is not the good life but its material condition.. he therefore ultimately sees friendship from the viewpoint of the single citizen, not from that of the polis: the supreme justification of friendship si that ‘nobody would choose to live w/o friends even though he possessed all other goods’
For Aristotle, friendship is higher than justice, because justice is no longer necessary between friends...t
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 629-630). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
the political element in friendship is that in the truthful dialogue each of the friends can understand the truth inherent in the other’s opinion
good toward non hierarchical listening.. bad toward thinking life is about understanding truth.. the listening is for connection not knowledge/truth/whatever.. or.. could say truth is that connection ..
one friend understands how and in what specific articulateness the common world appears to the other, who as a person is forever uneq or diff..
this kind of understanding – seeing world from other ‘s pov.. is the political kind fo insight par excellence.. being able to communicate between citizens and their opinions so that the commonness of this world becomes apparent.. if such an understanding – and action inspired by it – were to take place w/o the help of the statesmen, then the prereq would be for each citizen to be *articulate enough to show his **opinion in its truthfulness and therefore to ***understand his fellow citizens..
ie: imagine if we
Socrates seems to have believed that the political function of the philosopher was to help establish this kind of common world, built on the understanding of friendship, in which no rulership is needed..t
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 639-640). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
huge.. we need a means to make all the irrelevant s.. irrelevant
‘know thyself’ and the other related by plato ‘it is better to be in disagreement w the whole world than being one, to be in disagreement w myself’..
the latter is the key sentence of the socratic conviction that virtue can be taught and learned
socratic understanding, the delphi ‘know thyself’ meant: only thru knowing what appears to me – only to me; and therefore remaining forever related to my own concrete existence – can i ever *understand truth.. absolute truth
rather.. *grok interconnectedness
alive ness not about knowing absolute truth. rather grokking absolute interconnectedness
On this level, the Socratic “I know that I do not know” means no more than: I know that I do not have the truth for everybody; I cannot know the other fellow’s truth except by asking him and thereby learning his doxa, which reveals itself to him in distinction from all others.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 648-650). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
for socrates the chief criterion for the man who speaks truthfully his own doxa was ‘that he be in agreement w himself’.. that he not contradict himself and not say contradictory things.. which is what most people do and yet what each of us somehow is afraid of doing..
wilde not-us law.. et al
Only someone who has had the experience of talking with himself is capable of being a friend, of acquiring another self.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Location 661). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
the condition is that he be of one mind w self, in agreement w self.. because somebody who contradicts himself is unreliable.. the faculty of speech and the fact of human plurality correspond to each other, not only in the sense that i use words for communication w those whom i am together in the world..but in the even more relevant sense that speaking w myself i live together w myself
the fear of contradiction is part and parcel of splitting up, of no longer remaining one, and this is the reason why the axiom of contradiction could become the fundamental rule of thought..
The philosopher who, trying to escape the human condition of plurality, takes his flight into absolute solitude, is more radically delivered to this plurality inherent in every human being than anyone else, since it is companionship with others that, calling me out of the dialogue of thought, makes me one again—one single, unique human being speaking with but one voice and recognizable as such by all others.
huge.. not about escaping the oasis/oikos (last bold quote from book).. about hearing/seeing/trusting/being it..
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 672-674). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
what socrates was driving at is that living together w others begins w living together w oneself.. socrates’ teaching meant: only he who knows how to live w himself is fit to live w others.. the self is the only person from whom i cannot depart, whom i cannot live, w whom i am welded together..
this possibility is of the greatest relevance to politics, if we understand the polis and the public political realm in which men attain their full humanity, their full reality as men,, not only because they are(as in the privacy of the household) but also because they appear
socrates’ answer is contained in his frequently reported advice: ‘be as you would like to appear to others’ that is appear to yourself as you would want to appear if seen by others
yeah.. way deeper than that.. magis esse quam videri et al
the reason you should not kill, even under conditions where nobody will see you, is that you cannot possibly want to be together w a murderer.. by committing murder you would deliver yourself to the company of a murderer as long as you live..
deeper.. ie: wouldn’t be being anymore.. because killing self.. killing our interconnectedness.. thurman interconnectedness law et al
the self w whom i am together in solitude can never itself assume the same definite and unique shape or distinction which all other people have for me; rather, this self remains always changeable and somewhat equivocal (ambiguous). it is in the form of this changeability and equivocality that the self reps to me, while i am by myself, all men, the humanity o fall men
the it is me ness
he will see all other people in the image of his own action
what socrates added to this id was the dialogue of myself w myself as the primary condition of thought. the political relevance of socrates’ discovery is that it asserts that solitude, which before and after socrates was thought to be the prerogative and professional habitus of the philosopher only, and which was naturally suspected by the polis of being antipolitical, is, on the contrary, the necessary condition for the good functioning of the polis, a better guarantee than rules of behavior enforced by laws and fear of punishment
nobody can doubt that such a teaching was an always will be in a certain conflict w the polis, which must demand respect for its laws independent of personal conscience..
whoa.. this is jury duty.. had to agree to go w law in end and not conscience.. so.. why a trial? why the ridiculous time sucking process of selecting a jury.. i fin end have to abandon conscience.. to law
we on the other hand, who have had our experience w totalitarian mass orgs whose primary concern is to eliminate all possibility of solitude.. except in the nonhuman form of solitary confinement.. can easily testify that if a min amount of being alone w oneself is no longer guaranteed..et al
brown belonging law.. et al
quiet in room.. et al
No man can keep his conscience intact who cannot actualize the dialogue with himself, that is, who lacks the solitude required for all forms of thinking..t
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 728-729). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
the only thing that philosophers from then on wanted w respect to politics was to be left alone; and the only thing they demanded of govt was protection for their freedom to think. if this flight of philosophy from the sphere of human affairs were exclusively due to historical circumstance, it is more than doubtful that its immediate results .. the parting of the man of thought from the man of action .. would have been able to establish our tradition of political thought, which has survived 2500 yrs of most varied political and philosophical experience w/o its foundation being challenged..
oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space et al
the more a philosopher becomes a true philosopher, the more he will separate himself from his body; and since as long as he is alive such separation can never actually be achieved, he will try to do what every free citizen in athens did in order to separate and free himself from the necessities of life: he will rule over his body as a master rules over his slaves.. if the philosopher attains rulership over the city, he will do no more to its inhabitants than he has already done to his body.. his tyranny will be justified both in the sense of the best govt and in the sense of personal legitimacy.. that is ,.. by his prior obedience, as a mortal man, to the commands of his soul as a philosopher.. all our current sayings that only those who know how to obey are entitled to command, or that only those who know how to rule themselves can legit rule over others.. have their roots in this relationship between politics and philosophy.. the platonic metaphor of a conflict between body/soul, originally devised in order to express the conflict between philosophy and politics, had such a tremendous impact on our religious and spiritual history that it overshadowed the basis of experience from which it sprang.. just as the platonic division itself of man into two overshadowed the original experience of thought as the dialogue of the two in one, which is the very root of all such divisions.. this does not mean to say that the conflict between philosophy and politics could smoothy be dissolved in to some theory about the relationship between soul/body.. but that nobody after plato had been as aware as he of the political origin of the conflict, or dared to express it in such radical terms
huge (and loaded) re read
who must now find their way in the darkness of the cave (philosophers left cave/seaworld.. saw the light.. then came back).. why philosophers do not know what is good for them.. and how they are alienated from the affairs of men – is grasped in this metaphor: they can no longer see in the darkness of the cave, they have lost their sense of orientation, they have lost what we would call their common sense.. when they come back and try to tell the cave dwellers what they have seen outside the cave, they do not make sense; to the cave dwellers, whatever they say is as though the world were ‘turned upside down’ (hegel).. the returning philosopher is in danger because he has lost the common sense needed to orient himself in a world common to all, and, moreover, because what he harbors in his thoughts contradicts the common sense of the world..
indeed.. the two political most significant words designating human activity, talk and action are conspicuously absent from the whole story.. the only occupation of the cave dwellers is looking at the screen.. the cave dwellers.. in other words, are depicted as ordinary men, but also in that one quality which they share w philosophers: they are rep’d by plato as potential philosophers, occupied in darkness and ignorance w the one thing the philosopher is concerned w in brightness and full knowledge..
the dangers which await the returning philosopher.. he does not tell us why he cannot persuade his fellow citizens, who anyhow are already glued to the screen and thereby in a certain way ready to receive ‘higher things’ as hegel called them, to follow his ie and choose the way out of the cave..
plato: there is no other beginning of philosophy than wonder
The wonder which man endures or which befalls him cannot be related in words because it is too general for words..t
why we need a means to undo our hierarchical listening
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 838-839). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
that this speechless wonder is the beginning of philosophy became axiomatic for both plato and aristotle.. and it is this relation to a concrete and unique experience which marked off the socratic school from all former philosophies.. to aristotle, no less than to plato, ultimate truth is beyond words
idiosyncratic jargon as speechless wonder
just as plato opposed doxa (opinion) to truth so aristotle opposes political insight to political spirit.. this wonder at everything that is as it is never relates to any particular thing, and kierkegaard therefore interpreted it as the experience of no-thing of nothingness..
huge on sans label(s) ness..
and as soon as the speechless state of wonder translates itself into words, it will not begin w statements but will formulate in unending variations what we call the ultimate questions.. what is being.. who is man.. what meaning has lie.. what is death.. etc.. all of which have in coon that they cannot be answered scientifically
deeper.. beyond those questions to itch-in-the-soul.. not a seeking of answers/solutions.. but a folloing/listening fo/to wonder/whimsy
Socrates’ statement “I know that I do not know” expresses in terms of knowledge this lack of scientific answers. But in a state of wonder, this statement loses its dry negativity, for the result left behind in the mind of the person who has endured the pathos of wonder can only be expressed as: Now I know what it means not to know; now I know that I do not know.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 850-852). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
it is from the actual experience of not knowing, in which one of the basic aspects of the human condition on earth reveals itself.. that the ultimate question arise .. not form the rationalized, demonstrable fact that there are things man does not know, which believers in progress hope to see fully amended on e day, or which positivist may discard as irrelevant.. in asking the ultimate unanswerable question, man establishes himself as a question asking being.. this is the reason that science, which asks answerable questions, owes its origin to philosophy, an origin that remains its ever present source throughout the generations.. were man ever to lose the faculty of asking ultimate questions, he would by the same token lose his faculty of asking answerable questions.. he would cease to be a question asking being, which would be the end not only of philosophy, but of science as well..
again.. not so much about answering (assumed/loaded/whalespeak) questions.. ie: to gain knowledge.. but aobu listening to curiosity.. to gain/restore/uncover our interconnectedness
and the diff between the philosophers, who are few, and the multitude is by no means.. as plato already indicated.. that the majority know nothing of the pathos of wonder, but rather that they refuse to endure it.. this refusal is expressed in doxadzein, in forming opinions on matters about which man cannot hold opinions because the common and commonly accepted standards of common sense do not here apply.. having opinions goes wrong when it concerns those matters which we know only in speechless wonder at what is
The philosopher, who, so to speak, is an expert in wondering and in asking those questions which arise out of wondering—and when Nietzsche says that the philosopher is the man about whom extraordinary things happen all the time, he alludes to the same matter—finds himself in a twofold conflict with the polis. *Since his ultimate experience is one of speechlessness, he has put himself outside the political realm in which the highest faculty of man is, precisely, speech—.. is what makes a man a political being
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 867-870). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
he is to an extent alienated form the city of men, which can only look w suspicion on everything that concerns mann in the singular
since the pathos of wonder is not alien to men but, on the contrary, one of the most general characteristics of the human conditions, and since the way out of it for the many is to form opinions where they are not appropriate, the philosopher will inevitably fall into conflict w these opinions.. which he finds intolerable..
And since his own experience of speechlessness expresses itself only in the raising of unanswerable questions, he has indeed one decisive disadvantage the moment he returns to the political realm. He is the only one who does not know, the only one who has not distinct and clearly defined doxa to compete w other opinions, the truth or untruth of which common sense wants to decide.. that is.. that sixth sense which we not only all have in common but which fits into us and thereby makes possible a common world it the philosopher starts to speak into this world of common sense, to which belong also our commonly accepted prejudices and judgments, he will always be tempted to speak in terms of non sense.. or to use once more hegel’s phrase.. to turn common sense upside down..
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 877-883). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
For what is true for this wonder, with which all philosophy begins, is not true for the ensuing solitary dialogue itself. Solitude, or the thinking dialogue of the two-in-one, is an integral part of being and living together with others, and in this solitude the philosopher too cannot help but form opinions—he too arrives at his own doxa. His distinction from his fellow citizens is not that he possesses any special truth from which the multitude is excluded, but that he remains always ready to endure the pathos of wonder and thereby avoids the dogmatism of mere opinion holders... in order to be able to compete w this dogmatism.. plato proposed to prolong indefinitely the *speechless wonder which is at the beginning and end of philosophy
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 888-892). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
to the philosopher, politics.. if he did not regard this whole realm beneath his dignity.. became the field in which the *elementary necessities of human life are taken care of and to which absolute philosophical standards are applied. politics, to be sure, never could conform to such standards and therefore, by and large was judged to be an unethical business, judges so not only by philosophers but also in the centuries to come, by many others, when philo results, originally formulated in opposition to common sense, had finally been absorbed by the public opinion of the educated.. politics and govt or rulership were id’d and both considered to be a reflection of the wickedness of human nature, just as the record of the deeds and sufferings of mean was seen as a reflection of human sinfulness. yet while plato’s inhuman idea state never became a reality.. and the usefulness of philosophy had to be defended throughout the centuries.. since in actual political action it proved utterly useless.. philosophy rendered one signal service to western man.. because **plato in a sense deformed philosophy for political purposes, philosophy continued to provide standards and rules, yardsticks and measurements w which the human mind could at lest attempt to understand what was happening in the realm of human affairs.. it is this usefulness of understanding that was ***exhausted with the approach of modern age..
***exhaustion from that dance leads to rational/common-sense obsession.. loaded everywhere.. voluntary compliance.. structural violence in order to keep order.. in the tragedy of the non common.. aka: sea world.. we have to let go of any form of m\a\p
and that means that the problem of philosophy and politics, or the necessity for a new political philosophy from which could come a new science of politics is once more on the agenda
the tradition of political thought
What Montesquieu feared is that only customs were left as stabilizing factors in eighteenth-century society, and that the laws which, according to him, “govern the actions of the citizen,” thereby stabilizing the body politic as customs stabilize society, had lost their validity. Not quite thirty years later, Goethe writes to Lavater in a similar mood: “Like a big city, our moral and political world is undermined with subterranean roads, cellars, and sewers, about whose connection and dwelling conditions nobody seems to reflect or think; but those who know something of this will find it much more understandable if here or there, now or then, the earth crumbles away, smoke rises out of a crack, and strange voices are heard.”
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 960-965). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
It lies in the nature of a tradition to be accepted and absorbed, as it were, by common sense, which fits the particular and idiosyncratic data of our other senses into a world we inhabit together and share in common. In this general understanding, common sense indicates that in the human condition of plurality men check and control their particular sense data against the common data of others
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 969-971). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
since then common sense has been bound and nourished by tradition
*praise is needed because of the frailty of human action, which along among all other kinds of human achievement is even more fleeting that life itself, utterly dependent on remembrance in the praise of the poets or the recording of historians, whose works, although they were not yet deemed to be greater than the feats themselves.. were alway recognized to possess more permanence.. *the hero.. the ‘doer of great deeds and speaker of great words’.. needed the poet.. not the prophet but the seer.. whose divine gift sees in the past what is worth telling in the present and the future..
when we speak and think of action, which after all is one of the most important and perhaps even the central concept of political science, we have in mind a categorical system of means and ends, of ruling and being ruled, of interests and moral standards
the sense that human greatness can reveal itself nowhere else but in doing and suffering is still apparent in burckhardt’s notion of ‘historic greatness’.. and it has always been present in poetry and drama.. ti was never even considered by our tradition of political thought, which begins after the ideal of the hero, the ‘doer of great deeds and speaker of great words’ had given way to that of the statesmen and lawgiver, whose function was not to act but to impose permanent rules on the changing circumstances and unstable affairs of acting men
this roman religion, based on foundation, made it a holy duty to preserve whatever had been handed down from the ancestors,.. traditions thereby became sacred and not only permeated the roman republic but also survived its transformation into the roman empire.. it preserved and handed down authority, which was based on the testimony of the ancestors who had witnessed the sacred foundatoin..religion, authority ,and tradition thus became inseparable from one another, expressing the sacred binding force of an authoritative beginning to which one remained bound thru the strength of tradition
the christian church, as a public institution that inherited the roman political conception of religion, could overcome the strong anti institutional tendency of the christian creed that s so manifest in the new testament.. summoned by constantine even before the fall of rome to win for the declining empire the protection of the ‘the most powerful god’ and to rejuvenate the roman religion.. it’s foundation became and has remained.. not mere christian faith or jewish obedience to divine law, but rather the given testimony of the autores from which it derives its own authority as long as it hands it down.. because the church.. had kept intact the essentially roman trinity of religion, authority, and tradition.. it could eventually becomes rome’s heir and offer men ‘in membership of the christian church the sense of citizenship which neither rome nor municipality could any longer offer them
the break resulted in several ‘churches’ instead of one catholic church.. but it did not and never intended to abolish a religion that rests on the authority of those who witnessed its foundation as a unique historical event and whose testimony is kept alive by tradition.. since then.. the breakdown of any of the three – religion, authority, tradition – inevitably has carried w it the downfall of the other two
The concept of rule, as we find it in Plato and as it became authoritative for the tradition of political thought, has two distinct sources in private experience. One is the experience which Plato shared with other Greeks, according to which rule was primarily rule over slaves and expressed itself in the master-servant relationship of command and obedience. The other was the “utopian” need of the philosopher to become the city’s ruler, that is,..
to enforce in the city those “ideas” which can be perceived only in solitude. They cannot be imparted to the multitude in the conventional manner of persuasion, the specifically Greek way of winning prominence and predominance, because their revelation and perception are not communicable in speech at all, ..
and least of all in the manner of speech that characterizes persuasion.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1124-1127). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
philosophy is, so to speak, antitraditional by nature
Plato, to be sure, when he remarked that the origin of philosophy is the pathos of wonder at everything that is, was not aware that tradition, whose chief function it is to give answers to all questions by channeling them into predetermined categories, could ever threaten the very existence of philosophy. But this threat is implicit in the modern philosophers Leibniz and Schelling, and explicit in Heidegger, when they declare that the origin of philosophy resides in the unanswerable question: Why is there anything at all and not rather nothing? Plato’s violent treatment of Homer, who at the time had been considered the “educator of all Hellas” for centuries, is for us still the most magnificent sign of a culture aware of its past without any sense of the binding authority of tradition.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1150-1153). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
forgiving attempts the seemingly impossible, to undo what has been done, and that it succeeds in making a new beginning where beginnings seemed to have become no longer possible.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1193-1194). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
forgiving is an action that guarantees the continuity of the capacity for action, for beginning anew, in every single human being. .
equity – everyone getting a go .. everyday.. anew..
..who, without forgiving and being forgiven, would resemble the man in the fairy tale who is granted one wish and then forever punished with that wish’s fulfillment.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1208-1210). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
montesquieu’s revision of the tradition
plato looked for the best of all govts.. he thought it a matter of course that the best form of govt would also be the most unchangeable and unmovable thru the ever changing circumstances of men
but lawfulness, as montesquieu understood it, *can only set limitations to actions and never inspires them.. the greatness of the laws of a free society is that they never tell us what we should do, but tell us only what we must not do..
it further means that if these principles are no longer valid, if they lose their authority so that virtues in a republic or honor in a monarchy is no longer believed in, or if, in a tyranny, the tyrant ceases to fear his subjects of the subjects cease to fear themselves, and their oppressor, then each form of govt comes to its end..
virtue, montesquieu says, springs from love of equality, and honor from love of distinction.. unfortunately montesquieu does not tell us from what aspect of the human conditions fear, the inspiring principle of action in tyrannies, arises.. in any case this ‘love’ or as we shall say the fundamental experience from which the principles of action spring is for montesquieu the binding link between the structure of govt rep’d in spirits of its laws and the action of tis body politic..
conversely, for many centuries christian churches remained indiff to the question of slavery while clinging fast to the doctrine of the equality of all men before god
from hegel to marx
the striking thing about these self interps is that inversion and reversal can occur only w/in a set of givens that must first be accepted as such.. the ‘revaluation of values’ turns the platonic hierarchy of values upside down, but never steps outside the confines of those values.. concept of history is fundamentally similar
the end of the tradition, it appears begins w the collapse of the traditions’ authority, not w any challenge to it substantial content as such.. traditions and in such away that everything previously considered true now assumes the aspect of a perspective, over against which there must be the possibility of a multitude of equally legit and equally fruitful perspectives
a specifically political sense scarcely does justice to marx’s extraordinary influence on the humanities.. that influence has nothing to od w the method of vulgar marxism – never employed by marx himself – which explains all political and cultural phenom from the material circumstances of the production process.. what was new/extraordinarily effective about marx’s view was the way in which he regarded culture, politics, society, and econs w/in one functional context, which, as it soon turns out, can be arbitrarily shifted from one perspective to another
operations of this sort, however, in which thinking proceeds w/in tradition concepts while ‘merely’ rejecting tradition’s substantial authority, contain the same devastating contradiction that inevitably lies in all the many discussion of..
the past, to the extent that it is passed on as tradition, has authority; authority, to the extent that it present itself as history, becomes tradition; and if authority does not proclaim, in spirit of plato, that god and not man is measure o f all things.. it is arbitrary tyranny rather than authority..
it is here that the thread of tradition is first truly broken,, and this break is an event that can never be ‘explained’ by intellectual trends of demonstrable influences from the history of ideas.. if we regard this break from the perspective of the path that leads form hegel to marx, we can say that it occurred at t he moment when not the idea, but logic unleashed from the idea, seized the masses..
marx himself explained the essence of his relation to and departure from hegel in a statement taken from the so called 11th thesis on feuerbach ‘philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it’..
but this break by marx w tradition likewise takes place w/in the framework of tradition.. what marx never doubted was the relationship between thinking and acting as such. the feuerbach thesis clearly states that only because and after the philosophers had interpreted the world could there come a time to change it
yeah.. i think this is huge.. and we keep missing how it’s blocking/blinding us.. ie: 1\ can’t seem to get out of history enslave/same song.. because 2\ keep assuming we can’t change w/o knowing/intoxicating/blinding ourselves on/with history ness
Administration was supposed to be no-rule, but it actually can only be rule by nobody, that is, bureaucracy, a form of government in which nobody takes responsibility. Bureaucracy is a form of government from which the personal element of ruler-ship has disappeared, and it is also true that such a government may rule in the interest of no class. But this no-man-rule, the fact that in an authentic bureaucracy nobody occupies the empty chair of the ruler, does not mean that the conditions of rule have disappeared. .. nobody rules.. trait in common w the tyrant/tyranny.. There are many people in a bureaucracy who may demand an account, but there is nobody to give it, because “nobody” cannot be held responsible.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1447-1449). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
As far as the ruled are concerned, the net of the patterns in which they are caught is by far more dangerous and more deadly than mere arbitrary tyranny.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1456-1457). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
The rule of nobody—not anarchy, or disappearance of rule, or oppression—is the ever-present danger of any society based on universal equality. The concept of universal equality within the tradition of political thought means nothing other than that no man is free.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1459-1460). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
rohan is famous for having stated that kings rule nations, and interest rule kings
behind marx’s theory of interest stands the conviction that the only legit gratification of an interest lies in labor
oi.. we have wrong (non legit) interest if it needs gratification.. esp if we think it’s labor
Marx was the first to define man as an animal laborans, as a laboring creature. He subsumes under this definition everything tradition passed down as the distinguishing marks of humanity: labor is the principle of rationality and its laws, which in the development of productive forces determine history, make history comprehensible to reason. *Labor is the principle of productivity; it produces the truly human world on earth.
*this sentence.. oi.. norton productivity law et al
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1471-1474). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
classical econ never differentiated between simple labor, which produces for immediate consumption and the production of objects in the sense of the homo faber.. the crucial factor here is that in his theory of productive forces based on human labor, marx resolved this confusion in favor of labor, thus attributing to labor a productivity it never possesses
a new twist in deterministic philosophy, which in its old, familiar fashion ‘necessarily’ sees freedom somehow emerging out of necessity. for marx’s glorification of labor removed none of the reason advance by the tradition in denying political equality and full human freedom to man as laborer
Neither Marx nor the introduction of machinery was able to undo the fact that man is forced to labor in order to live, that labor is therefore not a free and productive activity but is inextricably bound up with what compels us: the necessities that come with simply being alive. It was Marx’s great achievement to have made labor the center of his theory, because labor was exactly what all political philosophy, once it no longer dared to justify slavery, had averted its gaze from. But for all that, we are still left without an answer to the political question posed by the necessity of labor in human life and by the paramount role it plays in the modern world.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1487-1491). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
the end of tradition
Plato’s contempt for politics, his conviction that “the affairs and actions of men (ta tön anthröpön pragmata) are not worthy of great seriousness” and that the only reason why the philosopher needs to concern himself with them is the unfortunate fact that philosophy—or, as Aristotle somewhat later would say, a life devoted to it, the bios theôrëtikos—is materially impossible without a halfway reasonable arrangement of all affairs that concern men insofar as they live together.
At the beginning of the tradition, politics exists because men are alive and mortal, while philosophy concerns those matters which are eternal, like the universe. Insofar as the philosopher is also a mortal man, he too is concerned with politics. But this concern has only a negative relationship to his being a philosopher: he is afraid, as Plato so abundantly made clear, that through bad management of political affairs he will not be able to pursue philosophy. Scholë, like the Latin otium, is not leisure as such but only leisure from political duty, nonparticipation in politics, and therefore the freedom of the mind for its concern with the eternal (the aei on), which is possible only if the needs and necessities of mortal life have been taken care of.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1499-1502). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
As Cicero, in his futile attempt to disavow Greek philosophy on this one point—its attitude to politics— ironically pointed out, *if only “all that is essential to our wants and comforts were supplied by some magic wand, as in the legends, then every man of first-rate ability could drop all other responsibility and devote himself exclusively to knowledge and science.”* In brief, when the philosophers began to concern themselves with politics in a systematic way, politics at once became for them a necessary evil.
ie: groceries appear et al.. rp.. (wand.. kind of like coding money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence w/ubi as temp placebo.. needs met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring.. quit obsessing on ‘necessities’ that don’t satisfy)
but – and this is huge – doesn’t work unless it’s all of us.. again.. graeber care/free law
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1511-1515). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
getting politics back to that.. for the common good.. what perhaps, networked individualism can do for us today. if not.. why did we work so hard for the efficiency/connectedness if not for it to be useful..? no?
more than that, the proper end of politics is in a way its opposite, namely, nonparticipation in political affairs, schole, the condition of philosophy or rather the condition of life devoted to it. in other words, no other activity appears as antiphilosophical, as hostile to philosophy, as political activity in general and action in particular, w the exception of course of what as never deemed to be strictly human activity at all, such as mere laboring..
politics does not even have an origin of its own: it came into being only because of the elementary and prepolitical fact of bio necessity, which makes men need each other in the arduous task of keeping alive.. politics in other words, is derivative in a twofold sense: it has its origin in the prepolitical data of bio life, and it has its end in the postpolitical, highest possibility of human destiny. and since it is the curse of prepolitical necessities to require laboring, we may not say that politics is limited by labor from below and by philosophy from above..
in plato’s republic, politics is supposed to watch and manage the livelihood and the base necessities of labor on the one hand, and to take its orders from the apolitical theoria of philosophy on the other.. plato’s demand for a philosopher king does not mean philosophy itself should /could be realized in an ideal polity.. but rather that rulers who value philosophy more than any other activity should be permitted to rule in such a way that there may be be philosophy that philosophers will have schole and be undisturbed by those matters that arise form our living together, which, in turn have their ultimate origin in the imperfections of human life..
the contempt for politics, the conviction that political activity is a necessary evil, due partly to the necessities of life that force men to live as laborers or rule over slaves who provide for them, and partly to the evils that come from living together itself, that is, to the fact that the multitude, .. threatens the security and even the existence of every individual person, runs like a red thread throughout the centuries that separate plato from modern age.
in secular terms.. in the melancholy reflection of James Madison, that government surely is nothing but a reflection on human nature, which would not be necessary if men were angels; now in the angry words of Nietzsche, that no government can be good about which the subjects have to worry at all.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1549-1550). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
What matters, in addition to the inherent degradation of this whole realm of life through philosophy, is the radical separation of those matters that men can reach and attain only through living and acting together from those that are perceived and cared about by man in his singularity and solitude.
What matters is the unbridgeable abyss that opened and has never been closed, not between the so-called individual and the so-called community (which is a late and phony way of stating an authentic ancient problem), but between being in solitude and living together.
Compared with this perplexity, even the equally ancient and vexing problem of the relationship, or rather nonrelationship, between action and thought is secondary in importance. Neither the radical separation between politics and contemplation, between living together and living in solitude as two distinct modes of life, nor their hierarchical structure, was ever doubted after Plato had established both.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1556-1564). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
rightly but futilely, cicero objected that he who was devoted to ‘knowledge and science’ would flee his ‘solitude and ask for a companion in his study, be it in order to teach or to learn, to listen or to speak’
resonate w our findings.. when legit free.. crave others
the two decisive statements that abruptly and as it were inarticulately sum up his thought on the matter: ‘the philosophers have only interpreted the world.. the point is to change it’.. and ‘you cannot supersede philosophy w/o realizing it’.. are so intimately phrased
not only does the concept of law recede into the background, as did the concept of rule in montesquieu’s description; it is altogether eliminated, because all positive legal systems, according to marx, are ideologies, pretexts for the exercise of rule of one class over another.. the same, however does not happen to the state, even though the state frequently is also regarded by marx only as an instrument of class rule and therefore as a secondary phenom
Class rule is directly realized in political government, and therefore the state retains a reality that by far outweighs the merely ideological function of laws. State power is the expression of class antagonism, and without this weight of actual physical power, expressed in the possession of the means of violence and represented for Marx chiefly by the army and the police, his claim for a dictatorship of the proletariat as the last stage of rule and oppression would make no sense. To Marx, ..
the political realm has been completely dominated by the division between ruling and being ruled, between oppressing and being oppressed, which in turn is based on the division between exploiting and being exploited.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1586-1587). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
what is significant in our context is that this law can never be used in order to establish the public realm.. the law of history/development.. is a law of movement and thereby in flagrant contradiction of all other concept of the law that we know form our traditions.. traditionally, laws are stabilizing factors in society whereas here law indicates the predictable and scientifically observable movement of history as it develops.. from his new concept of law no code of legal prescriptions, which is to say no positive, posited laws can ever be deduced.. because it necessarily lacks stability and in itself is nothing but the indication and exponent of motion
lenin in the state and revolution: ‘we do not deny the possibility of excesses on the art of individual persons.. but no.. special machine of.. repression is needed for this; this will be done.. as simply/readily as any crowd of civilized people.. even in modern society, parts two people who are fighting or interferes to prevent a woman from being assaulted’.. when there is no more poverty, ,such excesses will inevitably ‘wither away’
huge.. when get back/to grokking enough ness..
a nother way to live..
majoring on ‘necessities’ that can never satisfy/protect.. will only grok in the legit freedom of ie: graeber care/free law
marx’s four forms of rulership are only variation of the first, the ancient rule over slaves, in which he rightly saw a domination which underlies all ancient forms of govt
aristotle distinguishes 3 classes of men: 1\ labor for others.. slaves 2\ labor for selves for livelihood.. not free 3\ because possess slaves and don’t labor (for self or others) are admitted to the public realms.. the actual living experience of rulership was not located in the public realm but in the private sphere of the household.. whose head ruled over his fam and his slaves.. is still manifest in the many ‘ie’s of rulership which have been given since the beginning of our tradition,, and which almost always are taken from this institution of private life
a relationship that is characteristic of the supervisory function of a master *telling his servants how to accomplish and execute a give tak. in other words.. action becomes more execution, which is determined by somebody who knows and therefore does not himself act..
marx.. challenges the resignation of philosophers who do no more than find a place for themselves in the world.. instead of changing the world
intro to politics
politics is based on the fact of human plurality. god created man, but men are a human , earthly product, the product of human nature
Politics deals with the coexistence and association of different men. Men organize themselves politically according to certain essential commonalities found within or abstracted from an absolute chaos of differences.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1661-1662). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
.. in practical, political terms, the family acquires its deep-rooted importance from the fact that the world is organized in such a way that there is *no place within it for the individual, and that means for anyone who is different. **Families are founded as shelters and mighty fortresses in an inhospitable, alien world, into which we want to introduce kinship.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1669-1675). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
**oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space
There are two good reasons why philosophy has never found a place where politics can take shape. The first is the assumption that there is something political in man that belongs to his essence. This simply is not so; man is apolitical. Politics arises between men, and so quite outside of man. There is therefore no real political substance. Politics arises in what lies between men and is established as relationships. Hobbes understood this.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1678-1682). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
It is so difficult to comprehend that there is a realm in which we can be truly free, that is, neither driven by ourselves nor dependent on the givens of material existence.
but/and .. today we can ie: imagine if we
..Freedom exists only in the unique intermediary space of politics. we escape from this freedom into the ‘necessity’ of history. a ghastly absurdity
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1690-1695). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
god’s creation of the plurality of men is embodied in the absolute difference of all men from one another, which is greater than the relative difference among peoples, nations or races.. but in that case, there is in fact no role for politics. from the very start, politics org’s those who are absolutely different w a view to their relative equality and in contradistinction to their relative differences..
prejudice against politics and what in fact politics is today
Underlying our prejudices against politics today are hope and fear: the fear that humanity could destroy itself through politics and through the means of force now at its disposal, and, linked with this fear, the hope that humanity will come to its senses and rid the world, not of humankind, but of politics.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1709-1711). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
if politics is defined in its usual sense, as a relationship between the rulers and the ruled..
political in the broadest sense of the word.. that is.. something that constitutes and integral part of those human affairs that are the context in which we go about our daily lives..
in this respect, prejudice differs from judgment. what it shares w judgment, however, is the way in which people recognized themselves and their commonality, so that someone caught up in prejudices can always be certain of having an effect on others, whereas what is idiosyncratic can hardly ever prevail in the public and political sphere and has an effect only in the intimacy of privacy..
unless we listen deeper and use ie: idiosyncratic jargon as our common language.. our means to hear/communicate
There really is no social structure which is not based more or less on prejudices that include certain people while excluding others. The freer a person is of prejudices of any kind, the less suitable he will be for the purely social realm.
less suitable for realm of sea world that is..
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1760-1762). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
political arena.. where we cannot function at all w/o judgment, in which political thought is essentially based..
prejudice conceals some previously formed judgment.. which evolved into prejudice only because it was dragged thru time w/i its ever being reexamined or revised..
The danger of prejudice lies in the very fact that it is always anchored in the past—so uncommonly well-anchored that it not only anticipates and blocks judgment, but also makes both judgment and a genuine experience of the present impossible.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1768-1769). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
if we want to dispel prejudices, we must first discover the past judgments contained w/in them.. if we neglect this.. whole battalion of enlightened orators and entire libraries of brochures will achieve nothing
part of the problem/judgment/prejudice.. lit & num as colonialism et al
judgment has 2 meanings: 1\ org ing and subsuming the individual under the general/universal, orderly assessment by standards according to which decisions are made 2\ when confronted w something new.. judgment that knows no standards.. has to do w man’s ability to make distinctions that w his ability to org and subsume.. ie: about aesthetics and taste.. which kant observed.. we cannot ‘dispute’..
if it is the function of prejudice to spare the judging individual from having to open himself to, and thoughtfully confront, every facet of reality he encounters, then worldviews and ideologies are so good at this that they somehow shield us form all experience by making ostensible provision for all reality
The failure of standards in the modern world—
..the impossibility of judging anew what has happened and daily happens, on the basis of firm standards recognized by everyone,
..and of subsuming those events as cases of some well-known general principle, .. All such interpretations tacitly assume that human beings can be expected to render judgments only if they possess standards, that the faculty of judgment is thus nothing more than the ability to assign individual cases to their correct and proper places within the general principles which are applicable to them and about which everyone is in agreement.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1797-1801). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
and perhaps we do that by noticing the unlikely .. Ellen
on judgment w/o standards not taken seriously.. the reason for this is that in fact such judgment are never of a compulsory nature, never force others into agreement .. but rather can only persuade.. moreover, the idea that there is something compulsory about such judgments is itself a prejudice
for as long as standards remain in force, there is no compulsory proof inherent in them; standards are based on the same limited evidence inherent in a judgment upon which we *all have agreed and not longer need to dispute or argue about..
yeah.. no longer need to waste or energyin dispute ness.. but *all have agreed..? not yet happened..
the only compulsory proof comes as result of our categorizing , or our measuring and applying standards, of our method of ordering the individual and concrete, which by the very nature of the enterprise, presumes the validity of he standard.. this categorizing and ordering, in which nothing is decided except whether we have gone about our task in a demonstrably correct/incorrect way, has more to do w thinking as deductive reasoning that w thinking as an act of judgment.. the loss of standards, which does indeed define the modern world in its facticity and cannot be reversed by any sort of return to the good old days or by some arbitrary promulgation of new standards/values.. is therefore catastrophe in the moral world only if one assumed people are actually incapable of judging things per se.. that the most we can demand is the correct application of familiar ruels derived from already established standards
what we need is to let go of any form of m\a\p
life not about judging in the first place
that it (human thinking) judge only if it had cut and dried standards in hand.. then would be correct to say.. as seems to be generally assumed, that in the crisis of the modern wold it is not so much the world as it is man himself who has com unhinged..
modes of behavior can never be the object of systematic research, or they can be only if one excludes man as an active agent, the author of demonstrable events in the world, and demotes him to a creature who merely behaves differently id diff situations, on whom one can conduct experiments, and who, one may even hope, can ultimately be brought under control..
so too.. alive behaving ness can never be mode able
there is not a moment’s doubt that it is man who has lost his bearing or is in danger of doing so, or who, at any rate, is what we need to change..
any response that places man in center of our current worries and suggests he must be change before any relief is to be found id profoundly unpolitical.. for at the center of politics lies concern for the world, not for man..
? to me.. only thing that will change us.. deep enough to change us.. is itch-in-8b-souls
And we can no more change a world by changing the people in it—quite apart from the practical impossibility of such an enterprise—than we can change an organization or a club by attempting to influence its members in one way or another. If we want to change an institution, an organization, some public body existing within the world, we can only revise its constitution, its laws, its statutes, and hope that all the rest will take care of itself. This is so because wherever human beings come together—be it in private or socially, be it in public or politically—a space is generated that simultaneously gathers them into it and separates them from one another. Every such space has its own structure that changes over time and reveals itself in a private context as custom, in a social context as convention, and in a public context as laws, constitutions, statutes, and the like. Wherever people come together, the world thrusts itself between them, and it is in this in-between space that all human affairs are conducted.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1832-1833). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
is she talking the need for synchronicity here…? Jane ness.. mechanism in place..?
is not in the least worried about such externalities and thus about ultimate real dangers, but escapes into an interior where at best reflection is possible, but not action or change..
those abilities (productivity/action) belong to nature of man; if they prove inadequate, must we not then change the nature of man before we can think about changing the world?
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1857-1858). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
The answer to the question of the meaning of politics is so simple and so conclusive that one might think all other answers are utterly beside the point. The answer is: The meaning of politics is freedom.
not unless we mean something like graeber care/free law
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1861-1862). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Perhaps things have changed so much since classical times, when politics and freedom were deemed identical, that now, under modern conditions, they must be definitely separated.
we must still deal w fact that since antiquity, no one has believe meaning of politics is freedom; and in modern world.. politics has been seen as means for protecting life sustaining both society’s life sustaining resources and productivity of its open/free development
politics threatens the very thing that, according to modern opinion, provides its ultimate justification—that is, the basic possibility of life for all of humanity. If it is true that politics is nothing more than a necessary evil for sustaining the life of humanity, then politics has indeed begun to banish itself from the world and to transform its meaning into meaninglessness. ..
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1892-1898). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
the meaninglessness in which politics finds itself is evident from the fact that all individual political questions now end in an impasse.. we cannot so much as conceive of a satisfactory solution
to ask in all seriousness what such a miracle might look like, and to dispel the suspicion that hoping for or, more accurately, counting on miracles is utterly foolish and frivolous.. it might be useful to remind ourselves that the entire framework of our physical existence.. rests upon a sort of miracle..
It is clear from these examples that whenever something new occurs, it bursts into the context of predictable processes as something unexpected, unpredictable, and ultimately causally inexplicable—just like a miracle. In other words every new beginning is by nature a miracle when seen and experienced from the standpoint of the processes it necessarily interrupts. …This, of course, is merely an example to help explain that what we call real is already a web which is woven of earthly, organic, and human realities, but which has come into existence through the addition of infinite improbabilities.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1911-1917). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
For the processes that we are dealing with here are, as we’ve said, of a historical nature, which means they do not proceed according to the pattern of natural developments but are sequences of events whose structure is so frequently interspersed with infinite improbabilities that any talk of miracles seems odd to us. But that is simply because the process of history has arisen out of human initiatives and is constantly interrupted by new initiatives.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1918-1921). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
viewed objectively and from outside, the odds in favor of tomorrow unfolding just like today are always overwhelming..
equity – everyone getting a go.. everyday.. anew..
the miracle of freedom is inherent in this ability to make a beginning..
The idea that freedom is identical with beginning or, again to use a Kantian term, with spontaneity, seems strange to us because, according to our tradition of conceptual thought and its categories, freedom is equated with freedom of the will, and we understand freedom of the will to be a *choice between givens or, to put it crudely, between good and evil.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1931-1935). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
If the meaning of politics is freedom, that means that in this realm—and in no other—we do indeed have the right to expect miracles. Not because we superstitiously believe in miracles, but because human beings, whether or not they know it, as long as they can act, are capable of achieving, and constantly do achieve, the improbable and unpredictable.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1944-1947). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
left of 1948
the meaning of politics
..almost all the definitions in our tradition are essentially justifications.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1953-1954). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
politics so we are told is an absolute necessity for human life, not only for the life of society but for the individual as well.. because man is not self sufficient but is dependent in his existence on others, provisions must be made that affect the existence of all, since w/o such provisions communal life would be impossible. the task, the end purpose, of politics is to safeguard life int eh broadest sense.. politics makes it possible for the individual to pursue his own ends, to be, that is, unmolested by politics..
i think we keep messing/obsessing with the wrong necessities.. ie: there’s a nother way.. it’s not so much that we’re dependent on others.. but that the dance is interconnected..
..as Madison once remarked, since our concern is the communal life of men and not angels, provisions for human existence can be achieved only by the state, which holds a monopoly on brute force and prevents the war of all against all.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1963-1964). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
whoa. wrong on that. no?
what distinguishes the communal life of people in the polis from all other forms of human communal life.. is freedom.. this does not mea that the political realm was understood as a means to make human freedom.. a free life.. possible.. being free and living in the polis were one and the same.. but only in a certain sense.. for to be able to live in a polis at all.. man already had to be free in another regard.. he could not be subject as a slave to someone else’s domination or as a worker to the necessity of earning his daily bread
Man must first be liberated or liberate himself in order to enjoy freedom, and being liberated from domination by life’s necessities was the true meaning of the Greek word scholl or the Latin otium—what we cal today leisure. This liberation, in contrast to freedom, was an end that could, and had to, be achieved by certain means. This crucial means was slavery, the brute force by which one man compelled others to relieve him of the cares of daily life.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Location 1982). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
whoa. so slavery as means to freedom.. but none of us are free if one of us is chained..
Without those who are my equals, there is no freedom, which is why the man who rules over others—and for that very reason is different from them on principle—is indeed a happier and more enviable man than those over whom he rules, but he is not one whit freer. he too moves in a sphere in which there is no freedom whatever
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 1996-1997). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
our only concern here was to provide a brief retrospective glance at what was originally included in the concept of politics, so that we might be cured of our modern prejudice that politics is an ineluctable necessity, and that it has existed always and everywhere.. a necessity.. is precisely what politics is not.. in fact, it begins where the realm of material necessities and physical brute force end.. politics as such has existed so rarely and in so few places that only a few places…
the notion that human freedom must be sacrificed to historical development.. a process that can be impeded only when human beings act and interact in freedom
in every such case, the concept of politics.. is replaced by the modern concept of history.. political events/action are absorbed into the historical process and history comest to mean, the flow of history.. the political means to integrate human beings into the flow of history in such away that they are so totally caught up in its ‘freedom’ inits ‘free flow’ that they can no longer obstruct it but instead become impulses for its acceleration
this is accomplished by means of coercive terror applied from outside and *coercive ideological thinking unleashed form within.. a form of thinking that joins the current of history and becomes, as it were, an intrinsic part of its flow..
*democratic admin et al
the household, which a free man could leave at will, was not just the place where man was ruled by necessity and coercion, but also the place where the life of every individual – though bound up in that necessity and coercion – was secured.. where everything was *organized to provide enough of life’s necessities.. thus only that man was free who was prepared to risk his own life.. and it was the man w the unfree and servile would who clung too dearly to life..
*org as the poison.. let’s org differently
courage is the earliest of all political virtues, only by stepping out of our private existence and the familial relationship to which our lives are tied can we make our way into the common public world that is our truly political space..
this public space does not become political until it is secured w/in a city, is bound that is to a concrete place that itself survives both those memorable deeds and the ames of the memorable men who performed them and thus can pass them on to the posterity over generations
most important activity of a free life moves from action to speech.. from free deeds to free words
This freedom consists of what we call spontaneity, which, according to Kant, is based on the ability of every human being to initiate a sequence, to forge a new chain.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 2107-2109). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
it is only in our own time that we have come ot realize the extraordinary political significance of a freedom that lies in our being able to begin anew.. probably precisely because totalitarian regimes have not been content simply to squelch freedom of opinion, but have also set about on principle to destroy human spontaneity in all spheres. This in turn is inevitable wherever the historical-political process is defined in deterministic terms as something that is preordained from the outset to follow its own laws and is therefore fully knowable. But what stands in opposition to all possible predetermination and knowledge of the future is the fact that the world is daily renewed through birth and is constantly dragged into what is unpredictably new by the spontaneity of each new arrival. Only if we rob the newborn of their spontaneity, their right to begin something new, can the course of the world be defined deterministically and predicted.
gotta let go of scramblingness
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 2118-2119). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
all political freedom would forfeit its best and deepest meaning without this freedom of spontaneity,..
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Location 2133). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
spontaneity depends on organization forms of communal life only to he extent that it is ultimately the world that can organize it
a great many human activities can proceed only at some remove from the political sphere.. this remove an essential condition fro certain kinds of human productivity.. this is not at all the case w the freedom to speak w one another, which is possible only in interaction w others
ie: need an oikos embed.. oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space
to the greeks, private life seem ‘idiotic’.. becaue it lacked the diversity that coms w speaking about something and thus the experience of how things really function in the world
this freedom of movement.. to start anew and interact in speech w many others.. is the substance/meaning of all things political
coercion and brute force are always means for protecting or establishing or expanding political space, but in and of themselves are definitely not political. They are phenomena peripheral to politics and therefore not politics itself.
yeah that.. huge red flag
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 2162-2164). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Plato, the father of political philosophy in the West, attempted in various ways to oppose the polis and what it understood by freedom by positing a political theory in which political standards were derived not from politics but from philosophy, by developing a detailed constitution whose laws correspond to ideas accessible only to the philosopher, and ultimately by influencing a ruler whom he hoped would realize such legislation—an attempt that nearly cost him his freedom and his life. Founding the Academy was another such attempt. This act stood in opposition to the polis because it set the Academy apart from the political arena, but at the same it was also done in the spirit of this specifically Greco-Athenian political space—that is, insofar as its substance lay in men speaking with one another.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 2174-2179). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
so a new space now – coming to reality..? where speaking isn’t the one substance.. ie: words aren’t the only means… no longer limiting us..
we don’t need academies.. et al.. what we need is a means to undo our hierarchical listening
The free space of the Academy was intended as a fully valid substitute for the marketplace, the agora, the central space for freedom in the polis. In order for their institution to succeed, the few had to demand that their activity, their speech with one another, be relieved of the activities of the polis in the same way the citizens of Athens were relieved of all activities that dealt with earning their daily bread.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 2185-2191). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
For the household (and the tasks performed in it to sustain life) was never justified as a means to an end—as if, to put it in Aristotelian terms, “life” per se is a means to the “good life” possible only in the polis. This was neither possible nor necessary, because the means/ends category has no application whatever within the realm of life per se. The purpose of life, and all activities of labor bound up with it, is obviously the sustaining of life itself, and the impulse behind the labor to sustain life does not lie outside of life, but is included in the life process, which forces us to labor just as it forces us to eat. If we want to understand the connection between household and polis in terms of ends and means, then life sustained within the household is not a means to the higher purpose of political freedom, but rather, control over the necessities of life and over slave labor within the household is the means by which a man is liberated to engage in politics. And in fact, just such a liberation by domination—the liberation of the few, who enjoy the freedom to philosophize by ruling over the many—is what Plato proposed in the form of the philosopher-king, but his proposal has never been taken up by any philosopher after him and has never had any political impact.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 2197-2204). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
the academy guaranteed to the few an institutionalized space for freedom..
slaves to free from necessities in house.. academy to free from necessities/market in public.. neither enough.. both cancer.. need a diff sort of ie: graeber care/free law.. beyond age 5 et al
The few, wherever they have isolated themselves from the many—be it in the form of academic indifference or oligarchic rule—have manifestly ended up depending upon the many, particularly in all those matters of communal life requiring concrete action. . politics concerns self w everything that guarantees existence of freedom.. ie: admin and provision of life’s necessities.. ….. Politics becomes on the one hand a necessity that stands in opposition to freedom, and yet on the other hand is the prerequisite for freedom.
wrong necessities.. let’s try ie: a nother way
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 2216-2221). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
on polis providing life’s necessities.. decided by people talking/persuading one another.. but that was precisely what no longer mattered once the justification for politics was seen as guaranteeing freedom fro the few
Freedom as the end purpose of politics establishes limits to the realm of politics; the criterion for action within that realm is no longer freedom but competence and efficiency in securing life’s necessities.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 2234-2235). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
the degradation of oltiics at the hands of philosophy, depnds entirly on the separation of the many from the few
In other words, its political impact has always been limited to those few for whom the authentic philosophical experience, in all its overwhelming urgency, has been the overriding issue—an experience that ..
..by its very nature leads us away from the political realm of living and speaking with one another.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 2239-2240). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
next section.. is it relating to this..
how somehow in the combining of – do it for all – mixed in with the govt we now have… means stifle. stifle spontaneity ness. thus stifle human ness..?
makes me think of formalizing informal learning. and the change of the observed. can they dance together..? or rather.. perhaps.. does the dance beg that every aspect lives in spontaneity.. perpetual beta.. undefined ness..? meaning.. that kind of politics/govt would be fine.. but it’s far from what we have.. because it’s decided new everyday.. like Yaacov’s defn of democratic ed.
At first glance it may appear as if early Christianity simply demanded that this same, as it were, academic freedom from politics that the classical schools had claimed for themselves be applicable to everyone.
Arendt, Hannah (2009-01-16). The Promise of Politics (Kindle Locations 2244-2246). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
on measuring degree of freedom w/in political body by the religious and academic freedom it tolerates.. that is .. the size of the nonpolitical space for freedom that it contains/maintains
it has to do its work in hiding, because to be seen and heard inevitably takes on the glow of appearance in which all holiness – no matter how hard it tries not to – instantly becomes hypocrisy.
so hidden that left hand does not know what right hand is doing..
in any case, the motive for assuming the burden of earthly politics is love of one’s neighbor, not fear of him
on how to gather w/o place of assembly becoming place of display.. on removing everything connected w appearance and display..
whatever we may say about such hypothetical possibilities/alts.. the decisive point is that .. secular politics remained tied to 1\ necessities and 2\ protection
a nother way.. beyond 1 and sans 2
..purpose of govt, … is to protect the free productivity of the society and the security of the individual in his private life.
this however in no way changes the fact that the activities required for sustaining life and property .. or indeed for improving life and augmenting property.. are matters of necessity and not of freedom..
yeah.. not.. so loaded.. ie: wrong necessities
what the modern era expected of its state, and what this state indeed achieved to a large extent, was the release of men to develop their socially productive energies, to produce in common the good they required for a ‘happy ” life.
ever since rise of nation-state.. duty of govt is to defend a society’s freedom against internal and external enemies, with force if necessary.
…politics is a means and freedom its highest end.
not being free: 1\ whe person subject to force of antoher 2\ when person subject to life’s naked necessities.. labor is the activity that corresponds to he coercion by whichlife itself forces ust to provide ourselves w these necessiticites
in all premodern societies a person could free self from this labor by coercing others to labor for him.. by force and domination..
in modern society the laborer is subject to no brute force and no domination. he is coerced by the direct necessity inherent in life itself.. .. here then.. necessity replaces force..
yeah.. not.. wrong necessities means still force.. structural violence et al
here then necessity replaces force.. but question remains: is it easier to resist the coercion of brute force or of necessity..
same song because same non legit ness
on.. until labor automated.. all become laborers
necessity, not freedom, rules the life of society; and it is not by chance that the concept of necessity has come to dominate all modern philosophies of history.. t
huge to a nother way.. org’d around legit necessities .. aka: essence of human bing
so fitting.. as politics as a means to free us to our energy/art.. has now stifled us.. evidence for a shrewd/systemic pruning.. no? since we now can organize for ongoing self-organizing (and around legit needs).. ie: everyone has something else to do – spontaneously and synchronously…
on force (phenomenon of individual or few) vs power (possible only among the many) .. and then on freedom (for women and workers) from working via force to working via necessity.
the brute *force sometimes necessary for the defense of politics and those *provision for sustaining life that must first be secured before political freedom is possible.. have now moved to the center of all political activity by applying *force as the means whose highest end is supposed to be sustaining and organizing life..
the crisis lies in the fact that the political arena now threatens precisely what once appeared to be its sole justification. in this situation, the question about the meaning of politics is itself altered.
on prejudices.. as a reflection of things we automatically share with one another but no longer make judgments about because we no longer … experience them…. no one can live w/o them (prejudices) because a life completely free of prejudice would demand a superhuman alertness.. a constant readiness of real word each moment.. as if every day were the first day or last day of creation.
exactly. let’s do that now. everyday ness. prejudice decreases as discrimination (awakeness in the now) decreases…
and perhaps that happens when we truly free art\ists..
[with capabilities we have today to automate much of menial work, to innovate much of undesirable work – ie: peepoople ness making current sanitation irrelevant…et al]
since atomic bomb our mistrust has been based on .. fear.. that politics and the means of force available to it may well destroy humanity. also.. that hope is as justifiable as fear
the crucial point is that the law – although it defines the space in which men live with one another without using force – has something violent about it in terms of both its origins and its nature.
on catastrophes not resulting in our doom but rather constitute an unceasing progress driven by those same explosions..
man sees himself as the exponent of the catastrophic process he has unleashed.. his essential function now being ot serve the advancing process and assist in its acceleration.. man’s success in exploiting nature to increase his own strength twofold or even 100 fold can be regarded as a rape of nature.. on the enslavement of man to the process he has unleashed..
on the power to persuade and influence, which reigned among equals and determined all things w/o force or coercion
that is force/coercion.. any form of m\a\p
in short, a lack of freedom was the prereq for the undivided unity that was as essential for living together in the family as freedom and struggle were for the communal life of the polis.. this makes the free arena of politics look like an island, *the only place form which the principle of brute force and coercion has been excluded from human relations.. whatever remains outside this small space.. the family on the one hand and the relations of the polis itself to other political units on the other.. remains subject to the principle of coercion and the right that comes w might.. thus in the view of antiquity, the status of the individual was so completely dependent on the space in which he happened to move at any given time that a man who, as the adult son of a roman father, ‘was subject to his father.. might also as a citizen find himself in a position to command his father’
*yeah.. not so much .. ie: democratic admin et al
all loaded/wrong.. what we need is ie: oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space
in other words, human beings in the true sense of the term can exist only where there is a world, and there ca be a world in the true sense of the term only where the plurality of the human race is more than a simple multiplication of single species
consequently a law is something that links human being together, and it comes into being not be diktat or by an act of force but rather thru *mutual agreements.. formulation of law, of this lasting tie that follows the violence of war, is itself tied to proposals and counterproposals .. that si to speech, which in the view of both the greeks and romans was central to all politics
loaded/wrong.. not/never legit *mutual agreements.. and don’t need war/law/speech to bring us together.. to see our discrimination as equity
here, then, the law is something that establishes new relationships between men, and if it links human beings to one another, it does so not in sense of natural law, in which people recognize same things as good/evil on basis of a voice of conscience implanted..as it were, by nature or as commandments handed down from above and promulgated for all people.. but in the sense of an agreement between contractual partners..
not by commandments.. by something already in us.. and consensus never happens w/o oppression of that discrimination as equity.. war is a cancer not a connector
in order to correctly asses the extraordinary political fruitful ness of the roman concept of law.. quite a part from an moral considerations, which must remain secondary for our study here.. we must briefly review the very diff greek understanding of what law originally is.. for the greeks, law is neither an agreement nor a contract; it certainly does not arise between men in back and forth exchange of words/action, and thus does not itself belong in the political arena, but is essentially conceived by a lawgiver and must first exist before it can ever enter in the political realm.. as such, it is prepolitical, but in the sense that it is constitutive for all further political action and interaction..
just as walls of city, to which heraclitus once compared the law, must first be built before there can be a city identifiable by tis shape/borders, the law determine the character of its inhabitants, setting them apart and making them distinguishable from the inhabitants of all other cities.. the law is a city wall that is instituted and erected by one man, inside of which is created the real political realm *where many men move about freely
part of cancer is that distinguishing ness is not discriminatory enough
siddiqi border law et al
*none free if one chained.. so not
what matters is the marking of borders and not the formation of ties/linkages.. the law is , so to speak, something by which the polis enters into its continuing life, something it cannot abolish w/o losing its id.. and violation of the law is an act of hubris, the overstepping of a limit placed on life itself..
the crucial point is that the law.. although it defines the space in which men live w one another *w/o using force.. has something violent about it in terms of both its origins and its nature..
*so using force
it comes into being by means of production, not action; the lawgiver resembles the architect of the city and its builder, not the politikos and citizen.. the law produces the arena where politics occurs and contains in itself *the violent force inherent in all production
norton productivity law et al
as a made product, it stands in opposition to anything that has come into being naturally and needs no assistance, either form gods/men.. in order to exist.. everything that is not natural and did not come into being on its own contains a law according to which it was produced, each sort of thing embodying its own law, and there is no more relationship between these laws than there is between the products of each law
how did i miss this before..
‘violent force inherent in all production’.. et al.. everything not natural (ie: production) .. needs a law
for the people subject to it, this force expresses itself in the authority of the law: they are the masters and commander in the polis, where no one has the right to command his peers..
red flag to polis ness as free space.. if legit free wouldn’t needs laws
thisis not just becasue despotism prevailed in households
despotism: absolute power.. esp in cruel/oppressive way
because most of our experience with politics has been gained on the battlefield of brute force, it is only natural that we understand political action in the categories of coercion and being coerced, of ruling and being ruled, since it is in those categories that the true meaning of all violence is revealed.
law first emerges because a treaty must now be arranged between the native inhabitants and the newcomers.. rome is founded on this treaty, and if it is rome’s mission ‘to place all earth beneath its laws’ that means nothing less than incorporating the entire earth into a system of treaties, .. for the romans .. politics began as foreign policy, that is, as the very thing the greek mind had completely excluded from politics.. likewise, although the political realm itself could arise and endure for the romans only w/in the scope of he law this ream only arose and expanded when diff nations encountered each other.. the encounter itself occurs as war, and the latin word populous originally meant ‘troop strength’.. but this war is not the end but rather the beginning of politics, or of a new political sphere arising out of peace treaties and alliances..
the nomos limits actions and prevents them from dissipating into an unforeseeable, constantly expanding system of relationships, and by doing so gives actions their enduring form, turning each action into a deed that in its greatness.. that is.. in its surpassing excellence.. can be remembered and preserved.. thus the nomos becomes a counterforce to the transience of everything mortal, as it was experienced so uniquely in the age of greek tragedy, to the transience of the spoken word and to the fleeting moment of the accomplished deed.
from the perspective of the vanquished, in any case, it might very will appear as if what the romans called ‘rule’ was synonymous w plunder, murder, and theft, and that legendary roman pease.. was merely a name for the desert they left behind
we are so accustomed to understanding law/justice in terms of the 10 commandments, as precepts and prohibitions whose sole purpose in to demand obedience, that we easily forget the spatial character of laws. all laws first create a space in which they are valid, and this space is the world in which we can move about in freedom.. what lies outside this space is w/o law and even more precisely, w/o world; as far as human community is concerned, it is a desert
*loaded/wrong unless just 2 laws.. ie: 2 conversations.. be you .. for us..
we previously noted that what has been destroyed by human hands can be produced again by human hands, but that statement does not apply to this in between world. which does not owe its creation to production but to human action.. for the world of relationships that arises out of action – man’s essential political activity – is considerably more difficult to destroy than the manufactured world of things, in which the builder or fabricator remains the sole lord and master.. but once this world of relationships is destroyed, then the laws of political action, whose processes can indeed be reversed only w great difficulty.. are replaced by the law of the desert, which, as a wasteland between men, unleashes devastating processes that bear w/in them the same lack of moderation inherent in those free human actions that establish relationships.. we are familiar w such processes of devastation from history, and there is hardly a single instance in which they could have been halted before they dragged a whole world w its entire wealth of relationships to its doom
life in sea world
does politics have any meaning at all
in additions to 3 elements of every political action 1\ end it pursues 2\ goal it has in mind 3\ meaning it reveals .. there is a 4\ action – sets in motion – fundamental conviction a group of people share.. ie: 1\ honor in monarchies 2\ virtue in republics 3\ fear under tyranny 4\ fame of homer 5\ freedom of athens 6\ justice 7\ equality.. innate value in every human.. the extraordinary significance of these principles is not only that they first move humans to act but that they are also the source of constant nourishment for their actions
are there any goals at all .. w/in political realm.. by which we might reliably orient ourselves.. and if so.. utopian?.. if devoid of principles.. aren’t we tossed about in various directions?.. to point of absurdity and buried in principles/wellsprings that set it into motion?
depends on defn of politics..
the only meaning an action employing brute force can reveal is the immense power of compulsion in human intercourse.. even when the end is freedom, the meaning contained w/in such an action itself is coercion by violence.. ie: revolutions in which we must force men to be free.. replace the depotism of kings w the tyranny of freedom..
then the end is not legit freedom..
only thing that can mitigate this murderous conflict between meaing and ends.. inherent to both wars/revoltuions.. is a goal.. for the goal of all force is peace.. the goal, but not the end, sinc eit is by the goal that we must judge all indivudla uses o ffoce..
since most of our experience w politics has been gained on battlefield of brute force, it is only natural that we understand political action in the categories of coercion and being coerced.. of ruling and being ruled.. since it is in those categories that the true meaning of all violence is revealed.
we are inclined to regard peace, which as a goal is intended to put force in its place and constrain its destructive momentum, as something that comes from beyond he realm of politics to keep polities in check; just as we are inclined to great *periods of peace, which even in our century have also inserted themselves between catastrophes, as those 5-10 yr intervals in which polities lets us **catch our breath
yeah *not yet happened.. ie: ** catching our breath is not peace
clausewitz on war as continuation of politics.. politics continuation of war.. the means of force periodically replace w those of cunning.. then on kant’s: ‘nothing should happen in war to make a later peace impossible’.. set on its head so that we live in a peace in which nothing may be left undone to make a future war still possible
psychology tries to ‘help’ us, it helps us ‘adjust’ to those conditions, taking away our only hope, namely that we, who are not of the desert though we live in it, are able to transform it into a human world
hari rat park law et al
the danger lies in becoming *true inhabitants of the desert and feeling **at home in it.. the greater danger is that here are sandstorms in the desert, that the desert is not always quiet asa cemetery where, after all, everything remains possible, but can whip up a movement of its own.. thee storms are totalitarian movements whose chief characteristics is that they are *extremely well adjusted to the conditions of the desert
in fact they (the storms) reckon w nothing else and therefore seem to be the most adequate political form of desert life
Both psychology, the discipline of adjusting human life to the desert, and totalitarian movements, the sandstorms in which false or pseudo-action suddenly bursts forth from deathlike quiet, present imminent danger to the two human faculties that patiently enable us to transform the desert rather than ourselves, the conjoined faculties of passion and action. It is true that when caught up in totalitarian movements or the adjustments of modern psychology we suffer less; we lose the faculty of suffering and with it the virtue of endurance. Only those who can endure the passion of living under desert conditions can be trusted to summon up in themselves the courage that lies at the root of action, of becoming an active being.
itch-in-the-soul (notice) as data to connect, dream, do
psychology only tries to make us so accustomed to desert life that we no longer feel the need for oases.. the oases are those fields of life which exist independently or largely so from political conditions.. what went wrong is politics, our plural existence, and not what we can do and create insofar as we exist in the singular: *in the isolation of the artist, in the solitude of the philosopher, in the inherently worldless relationship between human beings and it exists in love and sometimes in friendship – **when one heart reaches out directly to the other, as a in friendship.. or when the in between, the world, goes up in flames, as in love
if they who must spend their lives in the desert, trying to do this/that, constantly worrying about its conditions, do not know how to use the oases, they will become desert inhabitants even w/o the help of psychology.. in other words, the oases, which are not places of ‘relaxation’ but life giving sources that let us live in desert w/o becoming reconciled to it, will dry up
fuller too much law et al
the opposite danger is much more common.. its usual name is escapism: to escape form the world of the desert, from politics, into.. whatever it may be, is a less dangerous and more subtle form of ruining the oases than the sandstorms that means their existence, as it were, from w/o.. in attempting to escape, we carry the sand of the desert into the oases..
The lack of endurance, the failure to recognize and endure doubt as one of the fundamental conditions of modern life (ie: kierkegarrd.. trying to escape doubt, carries his very doubt into religion when he leaped into faith)
when the in-between, the world, goes up in flames, as in love. (politics as the inbetween people)
we ruin the life-giving oases when we go to them for the purpose of escaping,.. t
in its need for beginners that it may be begun anew
note: this text is the conclusion of a lecture course titled ‘the history of political theory’ which arendt gave at uni of california berkeley in spring of 1955
there’s a nother way