Ludwig von Wittgenstein and
Friedrich Nietzsche - Aphorisms

Hannah Arendt Quotes

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1. Caution in handling generally accepted opinions that claim to explain whole trends of history is especially important for the historian of modern times, because the last century has produced an abundance of ideologies that pretend to be keys to history but are actually nothing but desperate efforts to escape responsibility.



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2. Half of politics is "image-making", the other half is the art of making people believe the image



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3. Terror becomes total when it becomes independent of all opposition; it rules supreme when nobody any longer stands in its way. If lawfulness is the essence of non-tyrannical government and lawlessness is the essence of tyranny, then terror is the essence of totalitarian domination.



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4. No punishment has ever possessed enough power of deterrence to prevent the commission of crimes.



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5. Only a man who does not survive his one supreme act remains the indisputable master of his identity and possible greatness because he withdraws into death from the possible consequences and continuation of what he began.



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6. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.



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7. The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.



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8. The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.



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9. The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.



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10. The greatest evil perpetrated is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons.