It is indeed my opinion now that evil is never â€œradical,â€ that it is only extreme, and that it possess neither depth nor any demonic dimension. It can overgrow and lay waste the whole world precisely because it spreads like fungus on the surface. It is â€œthought-defying,â€ as I said, because tho
... whatever men do or know or experience can make sense only to the extent that it can be spoken about. There may be truths beyond speech, and they may be of great relevance to man in the singular, that is, to man in so far as he is not a political being, whatever else he may be. Men in the plural,
Even though we have lost yardsticks by which to measure, and rules under which to subsume the particular, a being whose essence is a beginning may have enough of origin within himself to understand without preconceived categories and to judge without the set of customary rules which is morality.
The human condition comprehends more than the condition under which life has been given to man. Men are conditioned beings because everything they come in contact with turns immediately into a condition of their existence. The world in which the vita activa spends itself consists of things produced
The point, as Marx saw it, is that dreams never come true.
The history of humanity is not a hotel where someone can rent a room whenever it suits him; nor is it a vehicle which we board or get out of at random. Our past will be for us a burden beneath which we can only collapse for as long as we refuse to understand the present and fight for a better future
Well, demonization itself can help ... to provide an alibi. You succumb to the Devil incarnate, and as a result you're not guilty yourself.
Men who no longer can make sure of the reality which they feel and experience through talking about it and sharing it with their fellow-men, live in the same nightmare of loneliness and uncertainty which, in a normal world, is the terrible fate of insanity.
It is in the nature of all party systems that the authentically political talents can assert themselves only in rare cases, and it is even rarer that the specifically political qualifications survive the petty maneuvers of party politics with its demands for plain salesmanship.
The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
Economic growth may one day turn out to be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead into freedom or constitute a proof for its existence.
No cause is left but the most ancient of all, the one, in fact, that from the beginning of our history has determined the very existence of politics, the cause of freedom versus tyranny.
Power is actualized only when word and deed have not parted company.
the rule of Nobody ... is what the political form known as bureaucracy truly is.
Legends have always played a powerful role in the making of history. ... Without ever relating facts reliably, yet always expressing their true significance, they offered a truth beyond realities, a remembrance beyond memories.
If this practice [of totalitarianism] is compared with [â€¦] [the desert] of tyranny, it seems as if a way had been found to set the desert itself in motion, to let loose a sand storm that could cover all parts of the inhabited earth. The conditions under which we exist today in the field of politic
As witnesses not of our intentions but of our conduct, we can be true or false, and the hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices exc
Every thought is an afterthought.
Men always want to be terribly influential, but I see that as somewhat external. Do I imagine myself being influential? No. I want to understand. And if others understand--in the same sense that I have understood--that gives me a sense of satisfaction, like feeling at home.
The chief qualification of a mass leader has become unending infallibility; he can never admit an error.
And the distinction between violent and non-violent action is that the former is exclusively bent upon the destruction of the old, and the latter is chiefly concerned with the establishment of something new.
Exactly for the sake of what is new and revolutionary in every child, education must be conservative; it must preserve this newness and introduce it as a new thing into an old world.
The end of rebellion is liberation, while the end of revolution is the foundation of freedom.
Action, as distinguished from fabrication, is never possible in isolation; to be isolated is to be deprived of the capacity to act.
Although tyranny...may successfully rule over foreign peoples, it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national institutions of its own people.
Love, by its very nature, is unworldly, and it is for this reason rather than its rarity that it is not only apolitical but antipolitical, perhaps the most powerful of all antipolitical forces.
There exists in our society widespread fear of judgingâ€¦[B]ehind the unwillingness to judge lurks the suspicion that no one is a free agent, and hence doubt that anyone is responsible or could be expected to answer for what he has doneâ€¦Who has ever maintained that by judging a wrong I presuppose
Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.
Could the activity of thinking as such, the habit of examining whatever happens to come to pass or to attract attention, regardless of results and specific content, could this activity be among the conditions that make men abstain from evil-doing?
every end in history necessarily contains a new beginning ...