Hannah Arendt considered calling her magnum opus Amor Mundi: Love of the World. Instead, she settled upon The Human Condition. What is most difficult, Arendt writes, is to love the world as it is, with all the evil and suffering in it. And yet she came to do just that. Loving the world means neither uncritical acceptance nor contemptuous rejection. Above all it means the unwavering facing up to and comprehension of that which is.
I continually hope that the right-wing narrative about left-wing intolerance (and even left-wing totalitarianism) is overblown. As a professor at Bard College—a liberal arts college that welcomes and relishes difficult conversations—I hope that the trend of censoring right-wing views is overblown and a passing fad.
I am a few years older than Matt Taibbi, but it turns out we both share an encounter with Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman’s Manufacturing Consent as a formative experience in our encounter with worlds of politics and journalism.
Quote of the Week
“In the first place, we don’t like to be called ‘refugees.'” Thus Hannah Arendt begins her 1943 essay “We Refugees,” where she describes the psychic anxiety that weighed upon the Jews of Europe as they fled their homes and performed the labor of assimilation.
The Hannah Arendt Center Conference “The Unmaking of Americans: Are There Still American Ideas Worth Fighting For?” posed a simple yet controversial question: Is America an exceptional country? In other words, Is there an American Idea? And if yes, what is the idea on which America is founded?
Wil S. Hylton interviews Paul Coates. Coates was a Black Panther Party leader in Baltimore in the late 1960s and early ’70s. He founded a prison literacy program, owned of a bookstore devoted to community service, and established the publishing company Black Classic Press to disseminate the work of...
The New York Times is running a series of articles on privacy called the Privacy Project. James Martin has an excellent essay on the double way that privacy is addressed in the Bible.