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December 15, 2007


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Jodi, what exactly is the argument against Hanna Arendt? I´ve been hearing a lot of criticism but unable to pin it down.

I always remember what she wrote in ´´The Origins of Totalitarianism´´ about the fact that the introduction of human rights enabled the emergence of the stateless person, and how the ´´animal symbolicum´´ was thereby stripped to ´´pure animal´´. I think the emergence of humanitarian military interventions proved her totally right in this regard, whatever other complaints were extended to her work, this book for me remains the ultimate guide on Nazism and Stalinism.

Paul Mihai Pavel

I wonder what do you think about the anti-romanian policy of the nazi italian government...

Mussolini is not dead...


I'm not disagreeing with Arendt here but glossing on her critique of human rights. So if by 'the argument against' you meant mine in this post, there is not one. Others have all sorts of different arguments with her. So, where you agree with her account totalitarianism, I do not.


Others have all sorts of different arguments with her.

I noticed in the leftist blogosphere that she gets a lot of rap, but I don't know exactly for what. With what do you not agree in her account of totalitarianism?


the concept


Your blog doesn't have a search function so I can't see what you said about totalitarianism as a concept as expounded by Arendt, but I was referring specifically to her discussion of human rights, which I find convincing and true, and which you apply in this post. Maybe in search for parody material I will soon read some of your old books, like Aliens in America, to look at your own political thinking, which interests me far more than your intellectual serfdom to the Slovenian psychoanalytic genius. I hate his guts even more having just read that Slovenlia already announced the coming of a new independent state in 2008, Kosovo.

I think Lacan's understanding of the Law is equivalent to the Christian one, which makes for an uncomfortable marriage because Marxism doesn't really talk to Christianity. In Serbia this has always been a source of deep disputes and divisions: Marxists couldn't really live with ''turn the other cheek'' and became vengeful. But the two factions did ultimately understand each other, not on the point of the Law, as dr. Zizek stupidly suggests, but on the point of survival. Marxism latched itself onto a very Serbian and Christian-Orthodox culture of collectivity and Slavic suffering. If it wasn't for this particular ethos, Russia would have never sacrificed so many of their own souls to end the Second War.

Now the Roman Empire will try to attack Russia again, but will encounter that same ethos, still triumphant despite years of humiliation!

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