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Hannah Arendt

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Michael Angelone

on 16 October 2013

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Transcript of Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt
Total Domination (pp. 279-292)

Paragraphs 1-3:
Totalitarian regimes seek total domination by eliminating individuality, reducing human beings to mere animals or things. This goal is achieved by ideological indoctrination and by absolute terror in the concentration camps. The camps verify the regime's ideology and sustain its power
What if we do nothing?
Idea 1
Idea 2
Para. 9-10
Recalling the horrors of the concentration camps does little to help us understand totalitarianism. And such recollection cannot alter people's characters or serve as a basis for new political communities. Our fear of concentration camps should demonstrate that the most standard for judging events is whether or not those events support totalitarian domination.
Describe the idea you think is best
para. 4-6
The elimination of individuality is possible in the camps because of their complete isolation from the outside world. This isolation explains why reports from camp survivors have an unreal quality that raises doubts about their credibility. Such doubts work to the advantage of the totalitarian regime because the enormity of the crimes committed in the camps makes the perpetrator's false claims of innocence seem more credible than the victim's truthful accounts.
para. 7
Totalitarian regimes did not invent their methods of total domination; rather, these methods, including the use of concentration camps, have historical precedents. Totalitarian regimes borrow from the past the principle that "everything is permitted" but then move beyond that principle to a new one--that "everything is possible."
para. 8
The concept that "everything is possible" defies common sense. Therefore, ordinary people often refuse to accept, or even think about, the inexplicable horrors that occur in totalitarian regimes.
para. 11-14
Simplistic arguments that good may come from evil are refuted by the reality of the camps, where the limited evil of murder is replaced by a more radical evil: the total elimination of human beings as if they had never existed. The division of camp inmates into various categories masks this radical evil. But the true horror of the camps is their separation of all inmates from the world of the living, an impersonal indifference to life and death that obliterates everything. The presence of this radical evil creates an all-or-nothing outlook for modern politics, a sense that the very existence of humankind is at stake if the concentration camp system prevails.
para. 15-17
There are no parallel situations--whether forced labor, banishment, or slavery --that can help us understand the horror of the camps.The economic uselessness of the camps only heightens their incredibility and mad unreality.
para. 18-19
This unreality makes the camps conceivable only as an imagined life after death, with three types of camps corresponding to Hades, Purgatory, and Hell. The three share one feature: they treat inmates as if they no longer exist among the living,
Refer back to the pros and cons
Explain how it will help
Describe the next steps
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
Full transcript