Hannah Arendt and the Banality of Evil

Source: The Jolly Libertarian
by Marco den Ouden

“When Hannah Arendt went to Jerusalem to report on the Eichmann trial in 1961, she expected to confront a monster. What she saw disturbed her even more. She saw a cypher, a non-entity, a petty bureaucrat who, by his own account, was merely doing his job like any good worker should. What startled her was the realization that evil need not have an explicitly evil motive to be evil. Evil actions could simply be evil by default. She called this the banality of evil. People just going about their daily lives could be evil with no evil intent, just by refusing to think about what they were doing.” (05/11/22)

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