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Showing posts from February, 2017

#9 – 02/03/17: The Jewish Writings

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 Even if the Jews were to win the war, its end would find the … achievements of Zionism in Palestine destroyed … The “victorious” Jews would live surrounded by an entirely hostile Arab population, secluded inside ever threatened borders, absorbed with physical self-defence to a degree that would submerge all other interests and activities.HannahArendt, 'To Save the Jewish Homeland'

In this session we will explore excerpts from Arendt's so-called 'Jewish writings'. Starting with her incendiary essays from the early 1940s, we will trace her development of ideas about the struggle for Jewish emancipation, culminating in the prophetic 'To Save the Jewish Homeland'.

These writings bring out some of the questions of political violence and revolution that we have examined in previous sessions. They also document Arendt's views regarding Jewish nationalism as well as the Israel and Palestine conflict (which, by the time of 'To Save the Jewish Homeland' h…

#8 – 16/02/2017: On Violence

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No one engaged in thought about history and politics can remain unaware of the enormous role violence has always played in human affairs. —Hannah Arendt,On Violence
Arendt’s dismissal of African histories, literatures, and languages as nonexistent subjects is troubling. [...] She presents Blacks as trapped in a dream world of escapism and suffering from irrational rage, while desribing a "potentially" violent backlash from the white community as perfectly rational. And as with her analysis of the violence of imperialism/colonialism and the violence of decolonisation, Arendt is far less condemning ofthe oppressors' offensive violence than she is of the defensive violence of the oppressed. —Kathryn T. Gines, Hannah Arendt and the Negro Question
Hannah Arendt's On Violence (1970)is a short but multifaceted text. Pitched as a direct response to the events and debates of the 1960s, Arendt's reflections set out to critique the escalating civil rights and anti-Vietnam prote…