Arendt-Theory of Totalitarianism

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Hannah Arendt’s Theory of Totalitarianism: Hannah Arendt is widely regarded as one of the most important, unique and influential thinkers of political philosophy in the Twentieth century. Arendt was greatly influenced by her mentor and one time lover, Martin Heidegger, whose phenomenological method would help to greatly shape and frame Arendt’s own thinking. Like Heidegger, Arendt was sceptical of the metaphysical tradition which tended towards abstract conceptual reasoning; ultimately at odds with the reality of human lived experience. Consequently, Arendt was highly dubious of being referred to as a philosopher, as she felt philosophy was, by its own essence, confined to the proverbial ivory tower. She believed political life was at …show more content…

“Ideologies-isms, which to the satisfaction of their adherents can explain everything and every occurrence by deducing it from a single premise” (Arendt. 315) Nazi Ideology had at its core, a politically and indeed racially motivated perversion of the Darwinian concept of a natural hierarchy of species, in which the stronger/more successful species would inevitably replace the weaker ones. Darwin’s profound insight into the ways in which organisms evolve was warped and misrepresented by the Nazis, who filtered it through their racist and nationalist worldview, justifying the extermination of Jews and other supposed degenerate races by claiming they were following and indeed implementing a Law of Nature. In Darwin, Arendt explains, the Nazi party had found what they saw as an unbending Natural Law, the very source from which positive (manmade) laws had been traditionally derived. “far from being "lawless," it goes to the sources of authority from which positive laws received their ultimate legitimation” (Arendt. 307) Arendt argues that this Law of Nature was taken to be a suprahuman edict which was used justify their campaign of terror and genocide, and furthermore usurp any positive laws which were counter-productive to their cause. Nature itself mandated the extermination of lesser “degenerate” races according to Nazi ideology. And so the carrying out and indeed hastening of the process of

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