Top

A collection of quotes and thoughts by Hannah Arendt on obey, right, education, totalitarianism, trump, movie, conservative, radical, revolutionary, act and human.

63 Mind-Blowing Quotes By Hannah Arendt On Power, Politics And Philosophy

Quick Facts

Famous As
Philosopher

Born On
14 October 1906 AD

Died On
04 December 1975 AD

Born In
Hanover, Germany

Died At Age
69

Hannah Arendt was a renowned German-American philosopher and political theorist. She wrote numerous articles and 18 books that expressed her views, thoughts and opinions on totalitarianism on judging and thinking. Her thoughts, writings and work have had a great influence on political philosophy till this day. She is considered to be one of the most illustrious thinkers of the 20th century. The Hannah Arendt Prize has been named in her honor. Her works, thoughts, opinions and viewpoints covered varied range of subjects including politics, nature of power, totalitarianism and direct democracy. Some of her most famous political works include, ‘The Life of Mind’, ‘Origin of Totalitarianism’, On Revolution’ and ‘The Human Condition’ etc. Presenting quotable quotes and sayings by Hannah Arendt on revolution, tyranny, conditions, think, sad, truth, liar, efficiency, precept, best, worst, leader, admit, thoughts, beautiful, words, discovery, ideology, power, violence, rules and more.

The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.

- Hannah Arendt

The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.

- Hannah Arendt

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.

- Hannah Arendt

There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking it-self is dangerous.

- Hannah Arendt

The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.

- Hannah Arendt

Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time

- Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewess, Hannah Arendt

Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.

- Hannah Arendt

Under conditions of tyranny it is far easier to act than to think.

- Hannah Arendt

Forgiveness is the only way to reverse the irreversible flow of history.

- Hannah Arendt

Clichs, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality.

- Hannah Arendt

The point, as Marx saw it, is that dreams never come true.

- Hannah Arendt

Love, by its very nature, is unworldly, and it is for this reason rather than its rarity that it is not only apolitical but antipolitical, perhaps the most powerful of all antipolitical forces.

- The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt

The third world is not a reality, but an ideology.

- Hannah Arendt

No punishment has ever possessed enough power of deterrence to prevent the commission of crimes.

- Hannah Arendt

Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda.

- Hannah Arendt

When all are guilty, no one is; confessions of collective guilt are the best possible safeguard against the discovery of culprits, and the very magnitude of the crime the best excuse for doing nothing.

- Hannah Arendt

And the distinction between violent and non-violent action is that the former is exclusively bent upon the destruction of the old, and the latter is chiefly concerned with the establishment of something new.

- Hannah Arendt

Action, as distinguished from fabrication, is never possible in isolation; to be isolated is to be deprived of the capacity to act.

- The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt

Men in plural […] can experience meaningfulness only because they can talk with and make sense to each other and themselves.

- The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt

Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.

- Hannah Arendt

As citizens, we must prevent wrongdoing because the world in which we all live, wrong-doer, wrong sufferer and spectator, is at stake.

- Hannah Arendt

Revolutionaries do not make revolutions! The revolutionaries are those who know when power is lying in the street and when they can pick it up. Armed uprising by itself has never yet led to revolution.

- Hannah Arendt

For politics is not like the nursery; in politics obedience and support are the same.

- Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Hannah Arendt

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.

- Hannah Arendt

Power and violence are opposites; where the one rules absolutely, the other is absent. Violence appears where power is in jeopardy, but left to its own course it ends in power's disappearance.

- Hannah Arendt

The greatest evil perpetrated is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons

- Hannah Arendt

When an old truth ceases to be applicable, it does not become any truer by being stood on its head.

- On Revolution, Hannah Arendt

Revolutions are the only political events which confront us directly and inevitably with the problem of beginning.

- On Revolution, Hannah Arendt

Courage is indispensible because in politics not life but the world is at stake.

- Between Past and Future, Hannah Arendt

One of the greatest advantages of the totalitarian elites of the twenties and thirties was to turn any statement of fact into a question of motive.

- The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt

Nobody is the author or producer of his own life story ... somebody began it and is its subject in the twofold sense, namely, its actor and sufferer ... but nobody is the author ...

- Hannah Arendt

The most redical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revulution

- Hannah Arendt

The ideals of homo faber, the fabricator of the world, which are permanence, stability, and durability, have been sacrificed to abundance, the ideal of the animal laborans.

- The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt

Evil in the Third Reich had lost the quality by which most people recognize it—the quality of temptation.

- Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Hannah Arendt

[Justice] demands seclusion, it permits sorrow rather than anger, and it prescribes the most careful abstention from all the nice pleasures of putting oneself in the limelight.

- Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Hannah Arendt

War has become a luxury that only small nations can afford.

- Hannah Arendt

The only antidote to the irreversibility of history is the faculty of forgiveness.

- Hannah Arendt

Good works, because they must be forgotten instantly, can never become part of the world; they come and go,leaving no trace. They truly are not of this world.

- The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt

Revolutionary action more often than not was a theatrical concession to the desires of violently discontented masses rather than an actual battle for power.

- The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt

It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lessons that this long course in human wickedness had taught us - the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.

- Hannah Arendt

For legends attract the very best in our times, just as ideologies attract the average, and the whispered tales of gruesome secret powers behind the scenes attract the very worst.

- The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt

Slavery became the social condition of the laboring classes because it was felt that it was the natural condition of life itself. Omnis vita servitium est.

- The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt

There is hardly a better way to avoid discussion than by releasing an argument from the control of the present and by saying that only the future will reveal its merits.

- The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt

Whatever can be taken away from a lasting enjoyment for its own sake cannot possibly be the proper object of desire.

- Love and Saint Augustine, Hannah Arendt

If the ability to tell right from wrong should have anything to do with the ability to think, then we must be able to ‘demand’ its exercise in every sane person no matter how erudite or ignorant.

- The Life of the Mind: The Groundbreaking Investigation on How We Think, Hannah Arendt

What are we “doing” when we do nothing but think? Where are we when we, normally always surrounded by our fellow men, are together with no one but ourselves?

- Hannah Arendt

...and if he suffers, he must suffer for what he has done, not for what he has caused others to suffer.

- Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Hannah Arendt

... Half of politics is "image-making", the other half is the art of making people believe the image

- Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics, Hannah Arendt

But this was a moral question, and the answer to it may not have been legally relevant.

- Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Hannah Arendt

In the Third Reich evil lost its distinctive characteristic by which most people had until then recognized it. The Nazis redefined it as a civil norm.

- Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Hannah Arendt

Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such,

- The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt

To sum up: politically speaking, it is insufficient to say that power and violence are not the same. Power and violence are opposites; where the one rules absolutely, the other is absent.

- On Violence, Hannah Arendt

The last century has produced an abundance of ideologies that pretend to be keys to history but are actually nothing but desperate efforts to escape responsibility.

- The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt

The only possible metaphor one may conceive of for the life of the mind is the sensation of being alive. Without the breath of life, the human body is a corpse; without thinking, the human mind is dead.

- Hannah Arendt

The crime of the Nuremberg Laws was a national crime; it violated national, constitutional rights and liberties, but it was of no concern to the comity of nations.

- Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Hannah Arendt

...half of politics is "image-making", the other half the art of making people believe the imager

- Hannah Arendt

To be sure, totalitarian dictators do not consciously embark upon the road to insanity. The

- The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt

Ipsedixitism

- The Life of the Mind: The Groundbreaking Investigation on How We Think, Hannah Arendt

The antisemites who called themselves patriots introduced that new species of national feeling which consists primarily in a complete whitewash of one's own people and a sweeping condemnation of all others.

- The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt

Under the most diverse conditions and disparate circumstances, we watch the development of the same phenomena—homelessness on an unprecedented scale, rootlessness to an unprecedented depth.

- The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt

...the solution to the Jewish question merely produced a new category of refugees, the Arabs, thereby increasing the number of the stateless and rightless by another 700,000 to 800,000 people.

- The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt

No human life, not even the life of the hermit in nature’s wilderness, is possible without a world which directly or indirectly testifies to the presence of other human beings.

- The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt

Factuality itself depends for its continued existence upon the existence of the nontotalitarian world.

- The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt