Arendt and social change in democracies

Abstract
This article explores Hannah Arendt's insights into the forms of social control operating especially in democracies, together with the possibility of resistance to such control. Since the way in which one defines freedom informs one's understanding of the techniques that suppress, regulate, and modify behaviour, the article begins by sketching Arendt's notion of freedom, and compares this to its liberal counterpart. That discussion leads to Arendt's conception of power, whose corollary is freedom, and whose suppression amounts to control. The institutional and ideological infrastructure that accompanies the encroachment of ?the social? ? which Arendt links to the hegemony of liberalism ? is conceived as rendering the individual both powerless and apathetic. The article concludes with suggestions regarding resistance to modern forms of control, viewing Arendt's ontology as a source of tenable strategies for the deepening of democracy
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    Arne Johan Vetlesen (2001). Hannah Arendt on Conscience and Evil. Philosophy and Social Criticism 27 (5):1-33.
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