Lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living

Arendt in the West Wing

On the way out after a talk on Arendt last week, a friend turned to me and said, “so, I guess you’re pretty pissed off.” And indeed I was; I’m not especially knowledgeable or enthusiastic about Arendt, but she’s certainly more interesting than her American epigones (but I repeat myself; are there any Arendtians anywhere but America?). Arendt, with her anti-modern republicanism, was not in any straightforward sense a liberal; yet, with American Arendtians, the topic always comes back, sooner of later, to the special excellence of the American political community. Or, rather, the hypothetical excellence of the American political community because, of course, all Arendtians agree that politics is in grave danger: the social always lurks, waiting to swallow it up. In last week’s Arendtian extraveganza, this protectiveness towards the political took the form of enjoining people to forget the tartuffery of “social democracy” now that George Bush threatens something much more important: the Constitution! Read moreā†“