Hannah Arendt and the banality of evil - EXPeditions

Hannah Arendt and the banality of evil

by Lyndsey Stonebridge
  • Key point 1
    Arendt coined her famous phrase “the banality of evil” at the trial of Adolf Eichmann, as a way of describing the Nazi war criminal’s utter thoughtlessness about his crimes.
  • Key point 2
    Contemporary examples of “radical thoughtlessness” include sending elderly people back to their care homes to die from COVID-19.
  • Key point 3
    Thinking by itself is never enough. You have to take action to maintain a community in which you can have what Arendt called the “right to have rights”.