Quotes Categories

Hannah Arendt Quotes

(1906-1975), German-born American Political Philosopher

No civilization would ever have been possible without a framework of stability, to provide the wherein for the flux of change. Foremost among the stabilizing factors, more enduring than customs, manners and traditions, are the legal systems that regulate our life in the world and our daily affairs with each other.

Category: Law And Lawyers

Love, by its very nature, is unworldly, and it is for this reason rather than its rarity that it is not only apolitical but anti-political, perhaps the most powerful of all anti-political human forces.

Category: Love

Total loyalty is possible only when fidelity is emptied of all concrete content, from which changes of mind might naturally arise.

Category: Loyalty

Freedom from labor itself is not new; it once belonged among the most firmly established privileges of the few. In this instance, it seems as though scientific progress and technical developments had been only taken advantage of to achieve something about which all former ages dreamed but which none had been able to realize.

Category: Machinery

What will happen once the authentic mass man takes over, we do not know yet, although it may be a fair guess that he will have more in common with the meticulous, calculated correctness of Himmler than with the hysterical fanaticism of Hitler, will more resemble the stubborn dullness of Molotov than the sensual vindictive cruelty of Stalin.

Category: Masses

Man cannot be free if he does not know that he is subject to necessity, because his freedom is always won in his never wholly successful attempts to liberate himself from necessity.

Category: Necessity

It is my contention that civil disobediences are nothing but the latest form of voluntary association, and that they are thus quite in tune with the oldest traditions of the country.

Category: Nonviolence

The new always happens against the overwhelming odds of statistical laws and their probability, which for all practical, everyday purposes amounts to certainty; the new therefore always appears in the guise of a miracle.

Category: Novelty

If you ask a member of this generation two simple questions: ''How do you want the world to be in fifty years?'' and ''What do you want your life to be like five years from now?'' the answers are quite often preceded by ''Provided there is still a world'' and ''Provided I am still alive.'' To the often-heard question, Who are they, this new generation? one is tempted to answer, Those who hear the ticking. And to the other question, Who are they who utterly deny them? the answer may well be, Those who do not know, or refuse to face, things as they really are.

Category: Nuclear Age

Opinions are formed in a process of open discussion and public debate, and where no opportunity for the forming of opinions exists, there may be moods --moods of the masses and moods of individuals, the latter no less fickle and unreliable than the former --but no opinion.

Category: Opinions

It is in the very nature of things human that every act that has once made its appearance and has been recorded in the history of mankind stays with mankind as a potentiality long after its actuality has become a thing of the past.

Category: Precedents

Predictions of the future are never anything but projections of present automatic processes and procedures, that is, of occurrences that are likely to come to pass if men do not act and if nothing unexpected happens; every action, for better or worse, and every accident necessarily destroys the whole pattern in whose frame the prediction moves and where it finds its evidence.

Category: Prediction

Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.

Category: Promises

There is all the difference in the world between the criminal's avoiding the public eye and the civil disobedience's taking the law into his own hands in open defiance. This distinction between an open violation of the law, performed in public, and a clandestine one is so glaringly obvious that it can be neglected only by prejudice or ill will.

Category: Protest

The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.

Category: Revolutions And Revolutionaries