31 October 2010

Delight in doom

20th century mob action was unique in the willingness of the decadent segments of the ruling class to organize the mob, and in the mob's hero worship of those decadent leaders. This institutionalization of mob action, both from above and from below, is the contemporary version of what in the Bible was referred to as avodah zara
"These men, who despised the people and who had themselves but recently emerged from a ruinous and decadent cult of estheticism, saw in the mob a living expression of virile and primitive 'strength.' It was they and their theories which first indentified the mob with the people and converted its leaders into national heros. It was their philosophy of pessimism and their delight in doom that was the first sign of the imminent collapse of the European intelligentsia."  (The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt, 1994; page 112).

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