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Thinking in Dark TimesHannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics$
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Roger Berkowitz, Jeffrey Katz, and Thomas Keenan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230754

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823230754.001.0001

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Promising and Civil Disobedience

Promising and Civil Disobedience

Arendt's political Modernism

Chapter:
(p.115) Promising and Civil Disobedience
Source:
Thinking in Dark Times
Author(s):

J. M. Bernstein

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823230754.003.0011

This chapter argues that civil disobedience reveals that the truth of revolutionary founding is always a re-founding. If action is essentially beginning, and beginning is best exemplified by revolutionary founding, and founding finally is completed in the re-founding that is civil disobedience, then civil disobedience is the fulfilment of Arendt's political doctrine. Civil disobedience as refounding is renewing; it is the return of the new in its double conditionality: always dependent on the radical past it exceeds and the repressive present it repudiates; because so conditioned, it reveals the political as always failing (ready to be lost, again).

Keywords:   Hannah Arendt, democracy, civil disobedience

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