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Hannah Arendt

Find the best quotes, maxims and aphorisms of: Hannah Arendt

Biography : German-born American political theorist.
Born: 1906 - Died: 1975
Period:
20th century
Place of birth: Germany
Germany
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Action, with all its uncertainties, is like an ever-present reminder that men, though they must die, are not born in order to die, but to begin something new.
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Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.
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Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.

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The best of all will be those who know only one thing for certain: that whatever else happens, as long as we live we shall have to live together with ourselves.
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Finding the right words at the right moment is action.
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Unthinking people are like sleepwalkers.
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What I propose, therefore, is very simple: it is nothing more than to think what we are doing.
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The meaning of politics is freedom.
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The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
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The law of progress holds that everything now must be better than what was there before. Don’t you see if you want something better, and better, and better, you lose the good. The good is no longer even being measured.
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To be free in an age like ours, one must be in a position of authority. That in itself would be enough to make me ambitious.
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Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.
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Economic growth may one day turn out to be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead into freedom or constitute a proof for its existence.
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The ultimate end of human acts is eudaimonia, happiness in the sense of living well, which all men desire all acts are but different means chosen to arrive at it.
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The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.
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Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire for yourself. Give yourself peace of mind. You deserve to be happy. You deserve delight.
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This is the precept by which I have lived: Prepare for the worst expect the best and take what comes.
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In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism.
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No cause is left but the most ancient of all, the one, in fact, that from the beginning of our history has determined the very existence of politics, the cause of freedom versus tyranny.
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Revolutionaries do not make revolutions. The revolutionaries are those who know when power is lying in the street and then they can pick it up.
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The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide.
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By its very nature the beautiful is isolated from everything else. From beauty no road leads to reality.
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Death not merely ends life, it also bestows upon it a silent completeness, snatched from the hazardous flux to which all things human are subject.
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It is in the very nature of things human that every act that has once made its appearance and has been recorded in the history of mankind stays with mankind as a potentiality long after its actuality has become a thing of the past.
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No punishment has ever possessed enough power of deterrence to prevent the commission of crimes. On the contrary, whatever the punishment, once a specific crime has appeared for the first time, its reappearance is more likely than its initial emergence could ever have been.
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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.
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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.
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War has become a luxury that only small nations can afford.
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Poets are the only people to whom love is not only a crucial, but an indispensable experience, which entitles them to mistake it for a universal one.
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The sad truth of the matter is that most evil is done by people who never made up their minds to be or do either evil or good.
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One can say that to some extent fascism has added a new variation to the old art of lying — the most devilish variation — that of lying the truth.
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