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To Covet the Past: A Post-Election Epistle to the Contemplative

“Never has our future been more unpredictable, never have we depended so much on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of common sense and self-interest – forces that look like sheer insanity, if judged by the standards of other centuries.”

The above quote is taken from a book first published in 1951, by Hannah Arendt, regarded by some today as an influential political theorist. The excerpt appears in the opening of The Origins of Totalitarianism, written in the wake of World War II. After having lived through “Two world wars in one generation, separated by an uninterrupt...


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