Loneliness, Imagination, & The Specter of Totalitarianism

“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

— Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Earlier this month, as part of the Courage to Be Program hosted by the Hannah Arendt Center, Penny Gill gave an inspired talk on what it means to act courageously. Drawing from her timely work, What in the World Is Going On?, Gill asked us to think about the narratives we weave about the world and how those narratives prevent us from acting in the world.

Loneliness by Hans Thoma (National Museum in Warsaw)
“To Whom Do You Belong? Fear, Courage, and Community” a lecture by Penny Gill (with introductions by Roger Berkowitz, and Courage to Be student fellow, Annah Heckman)

The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities at Bard College is an expansive home for thinking about and in the spirit of Hannah Arendt.

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