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Hannah Arendt and the banality of evil
by Lyndsey Stonebridge
About this EXP
Lyndsey Stonebridge, Professor of Humanities and Human Rights at the University of Birmingham, talks about Arendt’s reaction to Eichmann’s trial.
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”.
Other EXPs by Lyndsey Stonebridge
Preparing for the impossible: Hannah Arendt's legacy
How Hannah Arendt helped me think