Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hannah Arendt

I attended the "Thinking in Dark Times: The Legacy of Hannah Arendt" conference at Bard College this weekend ( I was struck by the relevancy of her thinking to the times we live in. Arendt valued constitutional republics, of which the US was once the premiere example.
I was also struck by the disconnect between some of the presenters analysis of her work as a public intellectual thinking in dark times --she thought and wrote on the political issues of her time from the Holocaust through the Pentagon Papers--and the dark times we are living in today.
We live in dark times for our constitutional republic: our constitution has been decimated. The president not only is dismissive of international treaties and documents [for instance, the ABM Treaty --see:, and the "pesky" according to Bush (9/17/06) Geneva Conventions] , he has called the Constitution "a god damned piece of paper" (see:

We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis. These are very dark times for our constitutional republic.

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