Sunday, March 18, 2018

Hannah Arendt's "The Banality of Evil": Things Haven't Changed in 50 Years


Much debate in the U.S. boils down to whether domestic matters such as health care or social security should be prioritized or whether international issues are more important. Most people opt for the former. I place myself in the latter category. There are various reasons for this, among them the fact that military spending blocks the effort to improve the lives of people in the U.S. But there’s another reason which is ethical. Some may have already seen this video of the Baghdad airstrikes which Chelsea Manning turned over to Wikileaks. One thing is to read about what happened, another thing is to watch it on your screen and hear the voices and see the images. I just came across it as a link in a NY Times article (about the hacker Adrian Lamo) I was reading. Here it is:  

Watching it what comes to my mind is what Hannah Arendt (as a journalist working out of Jerusalem) said about Eichmann (which the Israeli establishment didn’t like at all). Evil people are not only madmen like Hitler. They’re also “normal” people (bureaucrats among others) who sit behind desks and talk a normal language with a normal voice pitch. Arendt called it the “banality of evil.” This is an example of that.


2 Comments:

At March 19, 2018 at 7:22 AM , Blogger katt said...

My name is Kate Brownstein and I am a student at Carrboro High School in Carrboro, North Carolina. I recently finished reading Crude Nation in my Global Issues class. This book led me to want to know more about how has the Pink Tide and the spread of socialism in Latin America has differed in Venezuela than in other countries and why it went so bad in Venezuela. I am reaching out to you in the hope that you will be willing to speak to me for around 15 minutes about this topic. If you have any interest please let me know how to best reach out to you.

 
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