Sunday, July 08, 2018

Discerning the Mob from the Body Politic by Hannah Arendt


On the importance of the mob to the inner-workings of totalitarianism by German-born, Jewish philosopher, Hannah Arendt:

"The mob is primarily a group in which the residue of all classes are represented. This makes it so easy to mistake the mob for the people, which also comprises all strata of society. While the people in all great revolutions fight for true representation, the mob always will always shout for the 'strong man', the 'great leader.' For the mob hates society from which it is excluded, as well as Parliament where it is not represented." (p. 107)

Arendt, H. (1973). The origins of totalitarianism (Vol. 244). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

In this quote from her book, THE ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM, Arendt captures so much of what we are living right now with mobilized mobs running around, seeking revenge, and scapegoating the weak.

We must all stand up to the mob and all the evil forces that threaten to eclipse the good and kindness that still exists in the world.  And we must do so in a good spirit and with a good intention.  That way, we will be centered in that which is good and honorable, allowing us to discern the mob from the body politic.  

Angela Valenzuela

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