Hannah Arendt: Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics (1972)

لقد أنهيت (في العام 2018) قراءة كتاب هانا آرندت حول أزمات الجمهورية (Crises of the Republic) وهو كتاب يجمع عدة مقالات رائعة حول: الكذب في السياسة، العصيان المدني، الثورة، والسياسة والثورة. وقد يستدل من كثرة الاقتباسات التي أشاركها أدناه بأنني وجدت هذا الكتاب غنيا جداً ويناقش كيف كذبت الحكومة على شعبها أثناء الحرب في فيتنام وما أتت به أوراق البنتاغون وأيضاً ناقشت العصيان المدني ودوره وكيف يشكل هذا عملياً اختلافا عن مخالفة القانون الفردية، وأخيرا عن الثورة.

أعترف أن الفصل عن الثورة هو الأجمل. فالكاتبة تناقش هذا الموضوع بأناقة كبيرة وتتنقل بين المصطلحات بطريقة مذهلة مبددة الشكوك حول الخلط الذي يقوم بالعادة بين القوة والسلطة والعنف والتي ترتبط في كل مرة تناقش الثورات. كما أنها ناقشت كيف أن الثوار لا يصنعون الثورات ولكنهم يعرفون بالضبط متى يلتقتون السلطة عندما تستلقي في الساحات العامة نتيجة الحراك الشعبي. وكأنها – طبعا الكتاب قديم وكتب في نهاية الستينات وبداية السبعينات – يغطي سبب فشل “الثورات” العربية في عصرنا الحالي.

أشجع المهتمين بالقانون والسياسة أن يقرأوا هذا الكتاب بل وأن يقرأوا أي كتاب لهانا آراندت فهي توسع الأفق بكتابتها وتغني الفكر باقتباساتها والتي تعبر عن معرفة كبيرة وعلم واسع.

(للمعلومات لهانا آرندت قصة شخصة مع النازية وهربها للولايات المتحدة ولاحقا تم انتقادها لموقفها المناهض لما قامت به إسرائيل في محاكمة خايمان حيث اعتبرت بعد ذلك عدوة دولة إسرائيل نتيجة هذا الموقف).

One of the important books of the amazing Hannah Arendt. Here are some quotes:

“Truthfulness has never been counted among the political virtues, and lies have always been regarded as justifiable tools in political dealings.” (Arendt 1972,  4).

“Lies are often more plausible, more appealing to reason, than reality, since the liar has the great advantage of knowing beforehand what the audience wishes or expects to hear.” (Arendt 1972,  6).

“[E]ven great power is limited power.” (Arendt 1972,  38).

“[S]o long as the press is free and not corrupt, it has an enormously important function to fulfill.” (Arendt 1972,  45).

“[A]n unexamined life is not worth living.” #Socrates. (Arendt 1972,  59).
“In the market place, the fate of conscience is not much different from the fate of the philosopher’s truth: it becomes an opinion, indistinguishable from other opinions. And the strength of opinion does not depend on conscience, but on the number of those with whom it is associated – “unanimous agreement that ‘X’ is an evil… adds credence to the belief that ‘X’ is an evil.” p.68.

“If history teaches anything about the causes of revolution – and history does not teach much, but still teaches considerably more than social-science theories – it is that a disintegration of political systems precedes revolutions, that the telling symptom of disintegration is progressive erosion of governmental authority, and that this erosion is caused by the government’s inability to function properly, from which the spring the citizens’ doubts about its legitimacy.” p.69.

“To think of disobedient minorities as rebels and traitors is against the letter and spirit of a Constitution whose framers were especially sensitive to the dangers of unbridled majority rule.” p.76.

“The civil disobedient accepts, while the revolutionary rejects, the framework of established authority and the general legitimacy of the system of laws.” An opinion that Hannah Arendt challenges as civil disobedient also wishes to change the world and rejects established authority. p.77.

“It is well known that the most radical revolutionary will become a conservative on the day after the revolution.” page unknown.
“[T]he constitution itself offers a quasi-legal way to challenge the law by breaking it, but… the Supreme Court has the right to choose among the cases brought before it, and this choice is inevitably influenced by public opinion.” p.80.

“We all live and survive by a kind of tacit consent, which, however, it would be difficult to call voluntary. How can we will what is there anyhow?” p.88.

“Dissent implies consent, and is the hallmark of free government; one who knows he may dissent knows also that he somehow consents when he does not dissent.” p.88.

“Every organization of men, be it social or political, ultimately relies on man’s capacity for making promises and keeping them.” p.92. 

“It is sometimes said that society will achieve the kind of education it deserves. Heaven help us if this is so.” Edward H. Levi, president of the University of Chicago, quoted in p.93.

“[T]he political doctrine is in fact that loophole through which the sovereignty principle and the reason if state doctrine are permitted to filter back, as it were, into a system of government which in principle denies them.” p.100.

[W]e are born perfectible, but we shall never be perfect.” p.128. 

“[Marx] turned Hegel upside down: he changed the direction of the historian’s glance; instead of looking toward the past, he now could confidently look into the future.” p.129.

“How reassuring, in Hegel’s words, “nothing else will come out but was already there.” p.130. 

“Alas, refutation of theory through reality has always been at best lengthy and precarious business.” p.130. 

“All politics is a struggle for power; the ultimate kind of power is violence.” p.134. 

“The extreme form of power is All against One, the extreme form of violence is One against All.” p.141. 

“The greatest enemy of authority is, therefore, contempt, and the surest way to undermine it is laughter.” p.144. 

“Where power has disintegrated, revolutions are possible, but not necessary.” p.148. 

“No government exclusively based on the means of violence has ever existed. Even the totalitarian ruler… needs a power basis.” p.149. 

“Power needs no justification, being inherent in the very existence of political communities; what it does need is legitimacy.” p.151. 

[P]ower is expansionist by nature.” p.171. 

“Racism, as distinguished from race, is not a fact of life, but an ideology, and the deeds it leads to are not reflex actions, but deliberate acts based on pseudo-scientific theories.” p.173.

“No doubts, “violence pays,” but the trouble is that it pays indiscriminately.” pp.177-8. 

“[T]he danger of violence… will always be that means overwhelm the end. If goals are not achieved rapidly, the result will be not merely defeat but the introduction of the practice of violence into the whole body politic.” 177.

“[T]he greater the bureaucratization of public life, the greater will be the attraction of violence. In a fully developed bureaucracy there is nobody left with whom one can argue, to whom one can present grievances, on whom the pressures of power can be exerted. Bureaucracy is the form of government in which everybody is deprived of political freedom, of the power to act; for the rule by Nobody is not no-role, and where all are equally powerless we have tyranny without a tyrant.” p.178.

What makes man a political being is his faculty of action; it enables him to get together with his peers.” p.179. 

“[T]he increase in weapons cannot compensate for the loss of power.” p.205. 

“The universities make it possible for young people over a number of years to stand outside all social groups and obligations, to be truly free. If the students destroy the universities then nothing of the sort will any longer exist; consequently there will be no rebellion against society either.” p.208.

The third world is not a reality but an ideology.” p.209. 

“[S]tate socialism, which is the same thing as state capitalism would be – that is, total expropriation. Total expropriation occurs when all political and legal safeguards of private ownership have disappeared.” p.212.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s