Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers Term Paper

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Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers have very similar ideas on Totalitarian.

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The human trait that leads to the destruction of the society is the struggle for power. This is due to the fact that humans want to be above other human beings, which means control. Power can cause savagery. "Broadly reconstructed, in his later political work he argued that the emergence of European totalitarianism -- exemplified by both National Socialism and Communism -- was the result of a decline in political humanity and of an increasing primacy of modes of technical or instrumental rationality, which erode the authentic resources of human life. He therefore sought to offer an account of a human polity, able to provide an enduring bastion against totalitarian inhumanity. First, he argued, the human polity must be sustained by an integral cultural tradition, so that human beings can interpret the ciphers of their integrity in the ethical contents of a national culture. The political betrayal of humanity, he suggested, is usually flanked by, and in fact presupposes, a cultural betrayal of humanity, and totalitarian governance normally arises from the erosion or instrumental subjection of culture. In the nineteenth century Marx had argued that the reactionary malaise of German politics was caused by the fact that German society habitually allowed culture to stand in for politics and defined the relatively de-politicized educated bourgeois elite [Bildungsburgertum] as the pillar of social order and the arbiter of progress ("Karl Jaspers"). With that notion, it is clear that both political philosophers believed that the totalitarian power was not the best effective leadership for Germany because it did not promote democracy.

Term Paper on Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers Assignment

Arendt argued that even though the government defines crime and while the government has good intention in protecting its citizens from terrorism, in today's society, having the authority to go through someone's personal telephone and email communication while searching through their financial and medical records is truly an invasion of privacy, which is the same as what the German government did when they had a totalitarian power. Furthermore, this type of political power is unacceptable due to the fact it takes away from living in the land of the free due to the fact it is controlled and brings out savagery.

Of major importance is the role of the ex-Communists, who have brought totalitarian methods into the thing (not methods of government but methods used within the party). Because it is obvious that no one can know whether another person has really broken with the party or is only acting as if he had, everyone -- and that includes really good people! -- has accepted as a principle that the only proof of such a break is for the person in question to give the names of people he saw or met fifteen or twenty years ago. This forces into public view just about everyone who at any time quite innocently sympathized with the party (usually at a very young age or in outraged opposition to fascism or in agitation over the Spanish Civil War) and who has long since forgotten it all ("A Letter from Hannah Arendt to Karl Jaspers").

Even though this type of leadership helps law enforcement to reduce terrorism threats, it gives them the freedom to tap into anybody's personal information just on a hunch rather than actual fact.

Arendt's argument that with this leadership, people have freedom of speech, however it is controlled.

Such a reading takes into account the state of the world at the end of the World War II. For many years, leaders such as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt led democratic countries against totalitarian demigods such as Germany's Adolf Hitler and Italy's Benito Mussolini. Further, in the early 1950s, the world appeared to be divided into two camps: the so-called Free World of Western Europe and the United States, and the so-called Iron Curtain world of communist eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. ("Criticism").

Unfortunately, Arendt and Jasper's arguments can be refuted because as a society, police need that empowerment over criminals so that they can feel a little imitation when they are faced by them. This works because society as a whole does not want to be looked down upon on and will control themselves in public to avoid embarrassment. The criminal justice system can be more effective because people are extremely self-aware when being watched and will behave when they know they are being indirectly controlled. From there, knowledge is power and power is made for the police in order to have structure in prisons society.

In other cases, power can be transmitted along more sporadically. When someone asserts a statement, it becomes "power" when someone else (the other) takes the statement as "true." Power is not tangible, but rather depends on this economy of discourse. For example, when a media text asserts to an audience that a certain fact is "true," the statement becomes power when it is transmitted and carried through the economy of discourse" ("On Michel Foucault's "Transcendental Claim": A Reply to Jurgen Habermas").

Due to the fact that Foucault claimed that when power is transmitted through someone's word; the society could take that idea and control people better. From there, it is apparent that in recent years, the criminologist have reconstruct criminology's framework around Foucault theory. The statements that are made by the government are true because he ise the power among the prisoners, which gives them more control. By using this power, he can have upper hand on everyone on the island due to the fact that people become intimidated those who have a power over them.

Within society, the statements that are made by the government authorities are true because they are the power among people, which gives them more control and the authority to define crime. By using this power, police can have upper hand on crime and criminals due to the fact that people become intimidated those who have a power over them. In other words, the law was made for the police and criminal justice to gain and maintain a power over society. When people believe there is a power that can restrain them, they have more self-control in order to avoid others who look down on them and embarrassment.

Furthermore, the law was made to give society structure under the criminal justice system.

Despite what others believe, Arendt and Jasper's arguments are valid because of the type of government Germany used during their time period, which controlled society under every circumstance, that did not allow democracy. "The foundation's millions have accelerated a development that was already underway. Support for individual independent scholars, even if they belong to a university, is out of the question, because the foundations could never use up their money paying out such small sums. So everything goes into organized research, and the ancillary institutes gobble up the universities, which is to say, free research. This promotes types that are familiar to you but that are appearing in such great numbers here that they are becoming more dangerous than ever. They are the incompetents, the ignoramuses, who put a staff of college boys to work reading books for them. The whole business operates in a vacuum and produces no results. It is interesting only because by these means the intellectual proletariat is able to acquire positions of power or make positions of power out of ones that never had any power before. Totalitarian leadership came over the German government dominantly, which destroyed humanity.

Criticism." 8 May 2008. www.answers.com

Milstein, Brian. "On Michel Foucault's "Transcendental Claim": A Reply to Jurgen Habermas." Unpublished paper, New School for Social Research, New York 9 May 2008 (http://magictheatre.panopticweb.com/aesthetics/writings/polth-foucault.html).

DP (1977). Michel Foucault. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, translated by Alan Sheridan. New York: Vintage Books, 1977.

GM (1989).Friedrich Nietzsche. On the Genealogy of Morals, translated by Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale. New York: Vintage Books.

Letter from Hannah Arendt to Karl Jaspers" May 12, 2008. http://brooklynrail.org/2006/03/express/a-letter-from-hannah-arendt-to-karl-jaspers

Karl Jasper" May 12, 2008. http://brooklynrail.org/2006/03/express/a-letter-from-hannah-arendt-to-karl-jaspers

Jaspers responded to this characterization of Germany by claiming that societies which undermine the cultural role of the bourgeois elite are inherently unstable, and that the educated bourgeoisie has a primary role to play in upholding the preconditions of democratic culture. Second, he argued that the human polity must be based in free communication between citizens: communicative freedom is a prerequisite of public virtue. The human polity, he thus implied, is likely to be some kind of democracy, based in some degree of publicly formed consensus. Like Arendt, in fact, he concluded that social atomization creates cultures in which totalitarianism is likely to flourish, and that only unregulated debate in the public sphere can offset this latent pathology of mass society. Third, he argued that the resources of technological, scientific and economic planning employed by the political system should be kept at a minimum, and that the existence of an unplanned sphere of human interaction is necessary for the maintenance of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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