Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hannah Arendt 
I'm still reverberating from the wonderful movie staring Barbara Sukowa.

In Arendt's provocative 1963 report in The New Yorker on the Jerusalem trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann, she argued he was not the personification of evil, but a pathetic bureaucrat. 
Arendt coined the term the 'Banality of Evil', exemplified by Eichmann’s defense that he was simply following orders. She concluded this was not intrinsic evil, it was a failure to think and a repudiation of humanity.  Consequently, she was pilloried by many in the powerful New York Jewish community for being a 'self-hating Jew' and having no emotions over the suffering of millions of Jews in the holocaust. One contemporary neo-con accused her of showing a ‘perversity of brilliance’.