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On Revolution (1963)

af Hannah Arendt

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En refleksion over forholdet mellem vold og handling, revolution og frihed, politik og privatliv, bl.a. med en fortolkning og sammenligning af den amerikanske revolution i 1776 og den franske i 1789.
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Engelsk (7)  Spansk (2)  Fransk (1)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (11)
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> Babelio : https://www.babelio.com/livres/Arendt-Essai-sur-la-revolution/159835

> Auricoste Isabelle. Hannah Arendt, Essai sur la Révolution, Paris, Éditions Gallimard, 1967.
In: L'Homme et la société, N. 4, 1967. pp. 267-269. … ; (en ligne),
URL : https://www.persee.fr/doc/homso_0018-4306_1967_num_4_1_1053
  Joop-le-philosophe | Dec 18, 2022 |
Über ein Jahr haben mein Lesefreund Gerhard und ich nun dieses Buch zusammen gelesen.
Dieses Jahr fand eine intensive Beschäftigung mit Hannah Arendt statt, wir haben auch Podcasts gehört und andere Literatur über sie und von ihr gelesen.
Vieles an dem Buch fand ich erhellend und fast 60 Jahre nach der Entstehung erstaunlich aktuell. ( )
  Wassilissa | Nov 6, 2021 |
If you know nothing about Arendt, I imagine this book will be incomprehensible and at the same time seem really radical. Knowing a little bit about her, as I do, rather undermines that. Perhaps if you know a lot about her, you can swing back round to radical? That would be nice.

Arendt argues that the American revolution should have been the model for the 20th century revolutions in, e.g., South America and Africa, but instead the revolutionaries took the French revolution as their model. At the same time, she's not interested in pretending that 20th century America has anything to do with Revolutionary America (the best thing about Arendt, by far, is that she just doesn't say what you expect people to say. Defenders of the American Revolution today say that America is more or less a fulfillment of the 'founders'' intentions, but needs to be more like them (either by being more democratic, or by being more libertarian). Arendt says America today is really pretty unpleasant. Refreshing).

Why take the U.S. revolution as a model? Because it was not concerned with the 'social question.' The U.S. revolution, on Arendt's understanding, was entirely concerned with *creating* a strong state, which could hold together the various colonies, and provide an enduring space of political action. It was primarily a political, not a social, revolution.

The French revolution took place in a very different context: mass impoverishment. Once the revolutionaries had taken power, their attention was naturally diverted to this enormous inequality. They started to see themselves as defenders of The People--not a polity. And once you're on the side of the people, Arendt argues, you naturally accept no limitations on your own power. Hence, the terror.

Weird as this is, it gets even weirder when she explains why the U.S. revolution did not ultimately succeed: because poor people immigrated to the U.S. from Europe. Poor people don't care about 'politics,' so the space for discussion the founders set up was allowed to atrophy.

In other words, she wants to say that there can be no successful revolution where there are poor people. Why would you want a revolution where there are no poor people? So a self-chosen elite (her term) can talk about things rationally in a space set up for such discussions. What would they talk about? It's unclear.

How can Arendt combine great analytical rigor and an understanding of historical context (e.g., the American revolution could call on pre-existing legal and political systems at the state and municipal level, and needed only to replace the 'crown' as the sovereign, whereas the French revolution did not have such a history to draw upon, and felt the need to create everything anew, with terrible consequences) with claims as erroneous as her suggestion that the U.S. formalized and institutionalized the idea of political opposition (there is no 'opposition' in the U.S., as far as I can tell, whereas there is in Westminster-derived systems), and as horrific as "poor immigrants ruined America"?

As ever, her fear of structural *explanations* pushes her into political and even moral turpitude. The American revolution was not set up to deal with mass capitalist society, and so its institutions struggle in the present. But those concepts (mass, capitalist, society) aren't allowed into Arednt's analysis. To account for the failure of the American revolution--as interpreted according to Arendt's key concept of 'action'--she has to find an agent on whom to pin the blame. It must be the poor Europeans, because if you admit that there are poor Americans, you would have to explain how poor people came to exist in a country that, according to Arendt, lacked poverty until the 19th century.

Don't tell the slaves. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Traductor, Pedro Bravo
  RocioVerastegui | Apr 15, 2019 |
LIBRARYTHING calls this another version, but thinking was a work in progress with Mrs Arendt, so this German translation of On Revolution is considerably reviewed by her and should -if anything- be called a second, revised, edition while keeping in mind that -if we had but time enough and love there would have been a third and fourth edition (in all probability). ( )
  TheoSmit | Jun 21, 2018 |
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Berrane, MarieTraductionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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De Haan, IdoOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Wars and revolutions--as though events had only hurried up to fulfil Lenin's early prediction--have thus far determined the physiognomy of the twentieth century.
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The momentous role that hypocrisy and the passion for its unmasking came to play in the later stages of the French Revolution, though it may never cease to astound the historian, is a matter of historical record. The revolution, before it proceeded to devour its own children, had unmasked them, and French historiography, in more than a hundred and fifty years, has reproduced and documented all these exposures until no one is left among the chief actors who does not stand accused, or at least suspected, of corruption, duplicity, and mendacity.
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En refleksion over forholdet mellem vold og handling, revolution og frihed, politik og privatliv, bl.a. med en fortolkning og sammenligning af den amerikanske revolution i 1776 og den franske i 1789.

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