Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt

German-born American political theorist

Lived from: 1906-1975

Quotes: Hannah Arendt

Quotes 1 till 15 of 29.

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    Man cannot be free if he does not know that he is subject to necessity, because his freedom is always won in his never wholly successful attempts to liberate himself from necessity.
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    No cause is left but the most ancient of all, the one, in fact, that from the beginning of our history has determined the very existence of politics, the cause of freedom versus tyranny.
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    The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide. In this sense, truth, even if it does not prevail in public, possesses an ineradicable primacy over all falsehoods.
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    Action without a name, a ''who'' attached to it, is meaningless.
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    Death not merely ends life, it also bestows upon it a silent completeness, snatched from the hazardous flux to which all things human are subject.
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    Economic growth may one day turn out to be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead into freedom or constitute a proof for its existence.
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    It is in the very nature of things human that every act that has once made its appearance and has been recorded in the history of mankind stays with mankind as a potentiality long after its actuality has become a thing of the past.
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    It is my contention that civil disobediences are nothing but the latest form of voluntary association, and that they are thus quite in tune with the oldest traditions of the country.
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    Love, by its very nature, is unworldly, and it is for this reason rather than its rarity that it is not only apolitical but anti-political, perhaps the most powerful of all anti-political human forces.
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    No punishment has ever possessed enough power of deterrence to prevent the commission of crimes. On the contrary, whatever the punishment, once a specific crime has appeared for the first time, its reappearance is more likely than its initial emergence could ever have been.
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    Nothing we use or hear or touch can be expressed in words that equal what we are given by the senses.
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    Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda.
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    Opinions are formed in a process of open discussion and public debate, and where no opportunity for the forming of opinions exists, there may be moods - moods of the masses and moods of individuals, the latter no less fickle and unreliable than the former - but no opinion.
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    Power and violence are opposites; where the one rules absolutely, the other is absent. Violence appears where power is in jeopardy, but left to its own course it ends in power's disappearance.
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    Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.
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