Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Metaphor for the Times

Today the rain and dank weather works as a reminder of change. The hot and humid summer will give way to autumn and that will usher in winter—a long period of cold and hope for spring. It is all so ordered—yet into this order a spate of hot days in autumn or unseasonable weather in summer or winter. Then each season brings along its own unpredictable patterns. We know when hurricane season occurs and which months will produce the most tornados or the greatest snowfall. We have expectations of the norm , but occasionally events occur outside these norms. These events beyond the norms act as metaphors for life.

Today I listened to an interview with Lyndsey Stonebridge who spoke about Hannah Arendt for these times. It has been decades since I read The Origin of Totalitarianism, but as Lyndsey spoke I realized that the book was relevant for our time. What makes a people prime for moving from one place to a more authoritarian place in the world? One answer that Arendt explored was loneliness—people feel as outsiders, without a voice, alone. 

There’s a recently published book that pulls together many of Arendt’s essays. She has become a writer for our time. 


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