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The Origins of Totalitarianism de Hannah…
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The Origins of Totalitarianism (original: 1951; edição: 1973)

de Hannah Arendt

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2,534224,205 (4.25)38
"How could such a book speak so powerfully to our present moment? The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times, even if they are different and perhaps less dark, and "Origins" raises a set of fundamental questions about how tyranny can arise and the dangerous forms of inhumanity to which it can lead."   Jeffrey C. Isaac, The Washington Post Hannah Arendt's definitive work on totalitarianism and an essential component of any study of twentieth-century political history The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time--Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia--which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world, the use of terror, and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.… (mais)
Membro:ivan.cankar
Título:The Origins of Totalitarianism
Autores:Hannah Arendt
Informação:Harvest Books (1973), Edition: New, Paperback, 576 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Origens do Totalitarismo de Hannah Arendt (Author) (1951)

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Impressão dominante: o livro é de muito difícil digestão! Além disso. O tema promete uma obra mais interessante do que de facto é. Todos os factos históricos, toda a sucessão de causas e consequências são sacrificadas a explicações filosóficas que não justificam nada por si só.
Segunda impressão: não é um livro mas sim três! Não é preciso desenvolver profundamente o anti-semitismo e o imperialismo para abordar o totalitarismo. Na verdade, o capítulo (ou livro) sobre o totalitarismo pode ser lido sem que se olhe sequer para os dois anteriores.

Terceira impressão: as análises e conclusões para todos os três temas são demasiado rebuscadas e acabam por ser pouco úteis. Os actores históricos, Hitler e Estaline incluídos, com a leitura deste livro deveriam aprender muito sobre os regimes que eles próprios montaram.
Quarta impressão: a escrita de Arendt é dogmática. Faz afirmações, que parecem conclusões de vários factos, mas sem explicações ou justificações resultando que por vezes nem se compreende o que pretende dizer.
Conclusão: tudo quanto a autora disse, seria mais interessante e útil se condensado em 10% das páginas. Assim, a obra é uma maçada, mas uma maçada incontornável pela sua importância. ( )
  CMBras | Jan 23, 2021 |
By the title, I might have gotten the impression that this might have been a full history and treatise on all Totalitarian regimes, but I'm not at all unhappy to see how the author narrowed it down to the full wealth of circumstances that gave rise to Nazi Germany and, to a lesser degree, Stalin's Russia.

More than that, Hannah Arendt proves to be an erudite master at breaking down huge subjects and many causes into easily digestible chunks.

The focus begins on the actual origins of racial targeting and the somewhat interesting disconnect between real grievances and a targeted terror movement starting early with the Rothschild banking, 19th century propaganda, and political climates including the Dreyfus account. (Very interesting stuff here.)

It leads, naturally enough, into MORE of the same charges and racially-charged Us/Them mentalities and exactly how the machinations of a few could inculcate a whole nation. The trick is to slowly, surely, make everyone guilty of the same kind of injustice, formalize it and redirect all culpability toward the Leader and wash your hands of the reality, and then hold on for dear life as everyone else you know is forced into looking over their shoulders to see if they might be next on the chopping block.

It's perfectly understandable. Totalitarianism is the utter eradication of self and self-destiny under the auspices of a single, irrepressible force. It runs on fear and distrust. Everyone under Hitler was in an untenable position and knew they could lose favor at any time.

Stalin worked the same way. The results were almost always similar as a whole. Many people died, and no one knew how to go on except by hanging on to the system that brought them there.

Ideology didn't really matter. Terror was the driving force, carried along by a fierce logical insistence that they were always right. Not even dissent mattered. The logical progression, taken to its extremes, was always used as the ultimate rationality.

This book showed us a wealth of information in every step. Starting out with imperialism and ending with totalitarianism, this book also gives us some other very important insights.

Believe it or not, they're insights that apply as equal now as they did then, and not as a pithy or ironic commentary on this or that politician we hate.

Mostly, it starts out as finding an Other to hate. It could just be any Us versus Them. Dehumanize them. Blame all your problems on them. And then make your supporters do something horrible. Turn your whole nation into people who are already guilty. Make sure they remain confused and uncertain. And then turn up the heat, making them all do worse things, progressively, until they see no way out but forward. Give them no other choice.

Easy blueprint.

Who is next? Women versus men? Another Race s**tstorm? Blue Vs Red? Rich versus the poor?

Quite sobering to see how we're pushing ourselves closer and closer to Totalitarianism all the time. All we need is one single Leader who can blackmail us all into doing his bidding, and here we go! ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Masterful. Read the third book, Totalitarianism. ( )
  sensehofstede | Mar 24, 2020 |
This was an absolutely stunning read. Arendt goes into great detail about. nearly, all elements of totalitarianism from its inception to its insidious effects. She provides exemplars which touch on the basis of the human psyche and reinforces them with a breadth of research that is truly stunning in itself. It is a remarkable and absorbing read that should be read by anyone interested in learning more about how governments work, Arendt's writing, or anyone interested in political philosophy. I am completely amazed, and was entertained and absorbed, in reading the text throughout its entirety.

Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote DanielSTJ | May 5, 2019 |
Summary: A work tracing the rise of totalitarian governments in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany to their origins in racism and class warfare, reactions to imperialism, and the mechanics that distinguish totalitarian states from other kinds of states.

The Origins of Totalitarianism is on my "Ten Books I Want to Read Before I Die" list. After over a month of reading, I can check this book off the list, but I can't dismiss it from my thoughts. It is long, the prose is demanding, and the ideas are critically important to our times. I certainly will not do the book justice in a blog-length review. But I hope I can give you a sense of what it is about and why I think the book is worth the effort.

The book is written in three parts. Many focus on the third, "Totalitarianism" and neglect the first two, on "Antisemitism" and Imperialism." The first part describe the rise of race thinking, particularly in the context of the nation-state, and how the Jews, as stateless persons were particularly vulnerable to racist attacks. This was epitomized in the Dreyfus Affair, in which a French Army officer, Alfred Dreyfus, of Jewish descent, was wrongly accused of treason and convicted, arousing latent fears about Jews in France, indeed fears about the motives of Jews in other European countries.

Imperialism arose, in Arendt's analysis as economic expansion came up against national limits. Arendt writes:

“Imperialism was born when the ruling class in capitalist production came up against national limitations to its economic expansion. The bourgeoisie turned to politics out of economic necessity; for if it did not want to give up the capitalist system whose inherent law is constant economic growth, it had to impose this law upon its home governments and to proclaim expansion to be an ultimate political goal of foreign policy.”

In turn, a form of continental imperialism arose, as an alternative to the existing parties characterized as "pan-Slav" or "pan-German." This played into ideologies that led to decline of the parliamentary nation states, institutionalizing either anti-Semitism, or anti-bourgeois sentiment (even after the bourgeoisie in Russia was eliminated).

The third part describes the methodology of totalitarian movements eventuating in totalitarian states. Such movements substitute masses for classes, kept in subjection by an inner ring of secret police using methods of terror to keep people in line, using camps and gulags to destroy real and projected enemies. Propaganda plays a critical role in creating an alternate reality that followers of the totalitarian leader prefer to truth, particularly in engendering fear of an "other" who threatens the state. Arendt writes,

“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

Arendt's book concludes, in its revised edition, with a chapter discussing how loneliness and isolation of individuals serve as pre-conditions for totalitarianism.

The one thing I missed in her analysis was a discussion of how the disruption of World War I and global economic depression contributed to the conditions giving rise to Stalinism and Nazism. It seems to me that these conditions offered fertile ground for the use of racist and classist attacks, widespread dissatisfaction with the existing nation-state (which she does touch on), and the appeal of a strong leader.

This book has gone through a resurgence of interest in light of current political developments in the US. The language of tyranny and totalitarianism has been thrown around, but in reality we are a long way from Arendt's description of governments that dominate every aspect of a person's life through government-sponsored terror, secret police, and concentration camps (apart from the temporary interning of undocumented refugees and their children).

Nevertheless, there are concerning trends that Arendt observes in these totalitarian societies that are present in American society:

--Nationalist organizations affirming one's racial identity while portraying other "races" as a threat to the nation's greatness.

--Deep dissatisfaction with established political parties and systems.

--The blurring of distinctions between fact and fiction, of truth and falsehood to uphold particular narratives of reality and the questioning of motives of any who challenge those narratives.

--The increasing isolation and loneliness of growing numbers of people, confined to echo chambers of virtual communities, instead of being surrounded by robust local communities.

--A growing focus on national political leadership, and particularly on finding strong figures who "get things done" as the critical element to a thriving national life, as opposed to local forms of government, voluntary associations, and private enterprise.

None of these of themselves eventuate in the totalitarian state of which Arendt writes. But these conditions could be exploited by leaders unafraid of using methods of totalitarian control to transform a democratic republic to a government that dominates every aspect of the human existence of its citizens.

I suspect the people of Czarist Russia and of early 1930's Germany believed that a totalitarian state "couldn't happen here." Perhaps that assumption is the most dangerous of all. Arendt's massive work traces how it did, and could. It persuaded me that it can happen here, and of the vital work each of us need to embrace in bridging rather than accentuating our divides, in protecting the institutions that help us separate fact from fiction, in renewing our neighborhoods and local communities, and in exercising deliberate care in those we elect to positions of power and trust. ( )
1 vote BobonBooks | Oct 28, 2018 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Arendt, HannahAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Baldunčiks, JurisTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Blumbergs, IlmārsDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Jakobsson, JimTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
May, NadiaNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Power, SamanthaIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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"How could such a book speak so powerfully to our present moment? The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times, even if they are different and perhaps less dark, and "Origins" raises a set of fundamental questions about how tyranny can arise and the dangerous forms of inhumanity to which it can lead."   Jeffrey C. Isaac, The Washington Post Hannah Arendt's definitive work on totalitarianism and an essential component of any study of twentieth-century political history The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time--Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia--which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world, the use of terror, and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.

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