Hannah Arendt’s Philosophy of Natality by Patricia Bowen-Moore

By Patricia Bowen-Moore

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By Patricia Bowen-Moore

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44 Hannah Arendt's Philosophy of Natality II BIRTH INTO POLITICAL THOUGHT: TOTALITARIANISM AND THE PERVERSION OF NATALITY Hannah Arendt was launched into the field of political philosophy with the publication of her analysis of totalitarianism and the historical conditions which led to the problem of 'absolute evil' posed by this unparalleled event of the twentieth century. Arendt's analysis of the evils of totalitarianism consisted of a systematic treatment of the seminal factors which constituted the experience of totalitarian movements.

This beginning is not ... '16 Augustine's distinction clarifies the reality which is creation and the reality which is man. Both have their origin in an absolute beginning (a Creator-God): the beginning of the world (principium) is the act of creation by God and this indicates an absolute origin outside of time; the beginning of man (initium) refers to the human capacity to initiate beginnings in time and therefore accounts for a relative beginning. I? This situation raises a question pertaining to the very nature of beginning in terms of an entirely human context.

7 Arendt describes it thus: The supreme goal of all totalitarian governments is not only the freely admitted, long-range ambition to global rule but also the never-admitted attempt at the total domination of man. The concentration camps are the laboratories in the experiment of total domination, for human nature being what it is, this goal can be achieved only under the extreme circumstances of a human-made hell. Total domination is achieved when the human person, who somehow is a specific mixture of spontaneity and conditioned being, has been transformed into a completely 46 Hannah Arendt's Philosophy of Natality conditioned being whose reactions can be calculated even when he is led to certain death.

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