Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quote of the Day: Hannah Arendt

I thought this might be appropriate for inauguration day:

Though this equality is only implicit in teh earthly city it permits us to understand interdependence, which essentially defines social life in the worldly community. This interdependence shows in the mutual give and take in which people live together. The attitude of individuals toward each other is characterized here by belief (credere), as distinguished from all real or potential knowledge. We comprehend all history, that is, all human and temporal acts, by believing--which means by trusting, but never by understanding (intelligere). This belief in the other is the belief that he will prove himself in our common future. Every earthly city depends upon this proof. Yet this belief that arises from our mutual interdependence precedes any possible proof. The continued existence of humankind does not rest on the proof. Rather, it rests on necessary belief, without which social life would become impossible. (Hannah Arendt, Love and St. Augustine, 101; ed. Joanna Vecchiarelli Scott and Judith Chelius Stark)

1 comment:

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Yes, we are interdependent, but some want total dependence, as enslaving another. This is not right or good. And I don't care about what purposes...demoralization and discrimnation is not what I call interdependence!

Interdependence recognizes one's need for the other, while also recognizing their own limitations...some would not want to suggest that they are limited in any way, whether in their knowledge about something, or their ability to "rule"...rulers must show respect and mutuality in their governing, otherwise there is not accountability...