28 January 2011

Consistency & coincidence

The omnipotence of the enemy or of the ruler for which modern day masses hunger and in which they yearn to believe is a contemporary version of the ancient world's wish to believe in an omnipotent god. This impulse toward omnipotent rule is a way for people to eliminate the need for accepting accidents. In a teleological world everything has to have a reason because everything has to have a purpose. Omnipotence assigns the possibility of purpose to the occurence of all events. 
Behind the need for every event to have a purpose is the conviction that every purpose reflects the working out of some sort of cosmic deservedness. That deservedness is what Arendt calls consistency. Accident – the lack of purpose and of deservedness – is what Arendt calls coincidence
"Totalitarian propaganda thrives on this escape from reality into fiction, from coincidence into consistency." (The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt, 1994; page 352). 

No comments:

Post a Comment