Arquivo para October 13th, 2020

What is politics?

13 Oct

Politics has become an absolute imperative, even in pandemic times when health and sanitary issues should occupy the top of the concerns, they do not subside, and the polarization that has been serious for a few years becomes even more dramatic, polarizing even topics that should be unanimous, such as health.

Hannan Arendt has a thought-provoking essay, published as posthumous works, and organized and compiled by Ursula Lutz, and dating from 1950, had a publication in Brazil in 1998.

Concerned with the dramas of its time, two wars, it also seems to point to our current scenario: “the positive sense of the” political thing “starts from two basic experiences of our century, which overshadowed this sense and transformed it into its opposite: the emergence of totalitarian systems in the form of Nazism and Communism, and the fact that today politics has technical means, in the form of the atomic bomb, to exterminate Humanity and, with it, all kinds of politics ”, described the preface Kurt Sontheimer, from the German version of 1992.

Arendt in Fragment 1, elaborates seven assumptions and discusses them: 1. The policy is based on the plurality of men, 2. The policy deals with the coexistence between different, 3. When one sees more than participation in the family, that is , active participation in plurality, you start to play God, that is, to act as if you could leave, in a natural way, the principle of diversity. Rather than generating a man, we try to create man in the image of himself (I stretched this on purpose), 4. Man, as philosophy and theology know him, exists – or is realized – in politics only with regard to the equal rights that the most different guarantee themselves.

I would say that these are almost proto-principles, but it is in the following 3 that he bases his thinking on philosophy.

The fifth will have subtopics. Philosophy has two good reasons for not limiting itself to just finding the place where politics arises. The first is: a) Zoon politikon: * as if in man there was something political that belonged to his essence, in this the author disputes Aristotle saying that politics is “among men”, b) The monotheistic conception of God, in whose image man must have been created.

The sixth: it is difficult to understand that we must actually be free in a field, that is, neither moved by ourselves nor dependent on the given material. Freedom exists only within the particular scope of the intra-political concept. We are saved from this freedom just in the “necessity” of history. An abominable absurdity.

The seventh: It may be that the task of politics is to build a world as transparent to the truth as God’s creation. In the sense of the Judeo-Christian myth, this would mean: man, created in the image of God, was given the genetic capacity to organize men in the image of divine creation. Probably absurd – but it would be the only possible demonstration and justification for the idea of ​​the law of Nature.

It is only from there that the author begins her introduction on the question of what is politics, in times of polarization the theme is urgent.


Arendt, Hannah, (1998) “O que é política” (1950), obras póstumas 1992, compiladas por Ursula Ludz. Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Brasil.