The Origins of Totalitarianism by Arendt – Book Report/Review Example

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The paper “ The Origins of Totalitarianism by Arendt” is an  apposite example of book review on politics. Totalitarianism refers to a political structure where individuals or citizens of a country or state are subject to the absolute authority of the government in the pursuit of its objectives and goals. In a totalitarian regime, the locals find it extremely challenging to survive since the police and government agents operate outside the constraints of the legal framework. Arendt depicts an in-depth understanding of the challenges of the regime to man. She also exhibits awareness of the changes noted in the economic and social institutions as a result of the regime.

The results of such a regime are superfluous individuals that exhibit cruelty, resentment, and violence. The negative attributes of the subjects of totalitarian regimes emanate from the absence of a sense of responsibility for the adverse effects of the negative behavior and the absence of restraint from the behavior. The essay explains the contribution of totalitarianism towards changing the nature of humans with specific emphasis on why the regime strives to transform human nature and whether the transformation is a feasible goal in itself. Why totalitarianism strives to transform human natureAccording to Arendt, totalitarianism transforms human nature since it strives to obliterate the conditions that are necessary for people to live a normal life as well as one’ s humanity.

Arendt’ s argument explains the reason why she considers Nazi crimes to be crimes against humanity. According to Arendt, totalitarian rulers use simple devices to deceive individuals thereby generating coercive instruments from ideologies. There are two important statements that emanate from Arendt’ s statement. The first point that Arendt emphasizes is the fact that neither Stalin, not Hitler was responsible for the socialist and racist nature of their regimes.

However, they played their role of being ideologists by understanding the politics behind eliminating ideological complexity. The understanding enabled them to create political weapons from ideologies (p 470). Secondly, Arendt also reveals the ‘ infallible’ image of the leaders propagated by the parties of their regimes that reclines on the fact that they are agents that intend to implement the ideological laws of history or nature. The fact remains that in their quest to implement the so-called ‘ ideological laws’ of nature and history, the leaders transform the human nature of their subjects thereby giving rise to totalitarian regimes. Totalitarian rule also strives to transform human nature since it sacrifices the immediate interests of all the individuals under the regime.

Therefore, rather than considering the interests of the people that live within the totalitarian regime, the rule advocates and cultivates what it considers to be the Law of Nature or the Law of History. The laws hold the first principles of sacred status.

Moreover, the claims made by the laws are immune from falsification by logic or experience. As a matter of fact, the empirical realm and ideological thinking exhibit completely different and contradicting attributes. For instance, ideological thinking creates a ‘ no sense functioning world’ . The ideological explanatory theory defines how facts are viewed under ideological thinking. An accepted premise suffices to be the genesis of deducing everything (p 469). As a result, logical deduction also entails ideological argumentation.  

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