My thinking is my fighting: la concezione arendtiana della politica

Anno LIII, n. 223, settembre-dicembre 2018

Anno LIII, n. 223, settembre-dicembre 2018
Centro Einaudi
Articolo completo/Full text


In the present paper my concern is to explore the connections in Arendt’s work between public life and political thinking, and the ways in which each informs the other. By approaching The Human Condition via the Arendt’s analytical couple of the “social” and the “barbarism”, and analysing in the detail an essay not often treated extensively, On Humanity in Dark Times: Thoughts about Lessing, my aim is to demonstrate that in Arendt the source of freedom and the political are identical or one. One the one hand, human freedom in this world is attainable only politically – if we are not to fall into the worldlessness trap –, while on the other, freedom is the sole reason for the subsistence and justification of politics. Participation in public life is the essence of human freedom and the polis is the realm in which individuals uniqueness is revealed. Politics stands above subject’s private life concerns and their social needs. It is not to be subordinated to other ends nor revolutionary goals. Starting and always confirming the arendtian anti-essentialist position, ultimately the paper suggests that the distinction between liberty and freedom puts Arendt’s political thought and her key concepts in a new light and offers elements of a distinctively Arendtian account of politics, and of an earthly political philosophy that still doesn’t miss its normative ambition