On “On the Nature of Totalitarianism” and On the Origins of Totalitarianism ch. 13 (both from 1953).
Is totalitarianism just an especially virulent form of tyranny, or something unique to the modern age? Arendt says that unlike other forms of government, totalitarianism is not animated by an active psychological principle that motivates its participants. Instead terror makes citizens incapable of agency altogether.
Sponsors: Get a free trial and save 20% on an annual membership of at TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/PEL. Learn about St. John’s College summer programs at SJC.edu/summer2021. Get a loan to lower your monthly payments at Upstart.com/PEL. Get $75 off your starter teeth-straightening kit via CandidCO.com/pel (code PEL). Get up to a $1000 donation matched at GiveWell.org/PEL (pick PODCAST and Partially Examined Life at checkout). Hear Wes’ “Stoic Guide to Happiness” at Himalaya.com/stoic (promo code stoic).