Bookmarked Love the world anyway by Anand Giridharadas (The.Ink)

Talking to Hannah Arendt’s new biographer about propaganda, evil, forgiveness, hope, and loving the world enough to believe that it can change

Anand Giridharadas speaks with Ann Heberlein about the life and work of Hannah Arendt. The two explore Arendt’s brilliant, yet complex, thinking. Central to all this is a love of the world.

Arendt had been reconciled with the incompleteness of life, with the fragility of the world. She believes that it is a duty to love the world. Amor mundi, “love of the world,” means caring for life so that it can continue to exist. We must be able to love the world as it is, in all its brokenness and imperfection. To achieve that requires hope, hope that change is possible, hope for the future.

Associated with all of this is the importance of responsibility.

The potential to perform evil acts or to accept evil acts by others is present in us all. The antidote is not, as one might think, goodness, but rather reflection. Another concept that is central to Arendt’s thinking is responsibility. Since every individual is free and has the power to influence the world and other people’s lives through their attitudes and actions, they also have a responsibility.

Reflecting upon the current situation, Heberlein says that people like Eichmann were maintaining order, whereas those storming the Capitol were trying to challenge it all. Alternatively, Richard Evans suggests that Donald Trump is not a fascist.

On Arendt, Jenny Mackness provides a different introduction through a breakdown of the book Between Past and Future.