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Hannah Arendt Quotes


A German American political philosopher.
(1906 - 1975)

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Action without a name, a who attached to it, is meaningless.
[Action]
 

By its very nature the beautiful is isolated from everything else. From beauty no road leads to reality.
 

Culture relates to objects and is a phenomenon of the world; entertainment relates to people and is a phenomenon of life.
 

Death not merely ends life, it also bestows upon it a silent completeness, snatched from the hazardous flux to which all things human are subject.
 

Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire for yourself. Give yourself peace of mind. You deserve to be happy. You deserve delight.
 

Economic growth may one day turn out to be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead into freedom or constitute a proof for its existence.
 

Equality is the result of human organization. We are not born equal.
 

Fear is an emotion indispensable for survival.
 

Few girls are as well shaped as a good horse.
 

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
 

For the trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide. In this sense, truth, even if it does not prevail in public, possesses an ineradicable primacy over all falsehoods.
 

Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.
[Action]
 

Ideas, as distinguished from events, are never unprecedented.
[Ideas]
 

In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism.
 

In politics, love is a stranger, and when it intrudes upon it nothing is being achieved except hypocrisy. All the characteristics you stress in the Negro people: their beauty, their capacity for joy, their warmth, and their humanity, are well-known characteristics of all oppressed people. They grow out of suffering and they are the proudest possession of all pariahs. Unfortunately, they have never survived the hour of liberation by even five minutes. Hatred and love belong together, and they are both destructive; you can afford them only in private and, as a people, only so long as you are not free.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
[Happiness]
 

Luck serves ... as rationalization for every people that is not master of its own destiny.
[Luck]
 

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.
 


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