A democratic consensus? Isaiah Berlin, Hannah Arendt, and the anti-totalitarian family quarrel

Think 17 (48):25-37 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Amid the ongoing political turmoil, symbolized by the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, books and articles abound today to encourage us to re-read anti-totalitarian classics ‘for our times’. But what do we find in this body of work originally written in response to Nazism and Stalinism? Do we find a democratic consensus forged by a shared anti-totalitarian commitment? I doubt it. Considering the cases of Isaiah Berlin and Hannah Arendt, this article highlights discord beneath what may today appear like a post-war democratic consensus. I argue that the anti-totalitarian literature of the last century encompassed multiple political philosophies, which sometimes differed irreconcilably from each other.

Similar books and articles

Isaiah Berlin and the totalitarian mind.Cécile Hatier - 2004 - The European Legacy 9 (6):767-782.
Reflections on antisemitism.Christopher Hitchens - 2010 - In Roger Berkowitz (ed.), Thinking in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics. New York: Fordham University Press.
China the Anomaly Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the Maoist Regime.Peter Baehr - 2010 - European Journal of Political Theory 9 (3):267-286.
Political violence and terror: arendtian reflections.Dana Villa - 2008 - Ethics and Global Politics 1 (3).

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-02-08

Downloads
1,082 (#12,042)

6 months
162 (#19,731)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Kei Hiruta
University of Oxford

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations