Arendt-Loneliness And Totalitarianism
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Arendt equates loneliness directly with the idea of a totalitarian government. In order to effectively do this however, she first must differentiate between isolation and loneliness, and under what circumstances isolation turns into loneliness. It seems to me that as long as you, as a human being, are in control of the feeling, and the feeling/emotion/state of being is not in control of you then it is isolation. Someone can choose to be isolated, in the true sense of the word (not the medical or law enforcement sense). To the contrary, as someone becomes lonely, the person is no longer in control of feeling that way. Arendt seems to say that even if you are around people, you can be lonely, but not isolated. In a much more modern sense, I look at this and think of some of the symptoms of depression. No matter who you are around, and how many people it is, you still feel lonely. Arendt also alludes to the idea that loneliness also occurs when people stop noticing you. When your, “metabolism with nature is of concern to no one.”
Both the public and, in turn, the private realm of life are destroyed through this loneliness. This is done through the experience of not feeling like you belong to the world. Arendt says this is one of the most radical and desperate experiences of man. To me, as I read this I thought of two examples right away. The first is the idea of a factory worker or an assembly line. Doing a mundane, repetitive job over and over, and never actually feeling like you have an effect of the way the product turns out; I can easily see how that would make someone feel like they are very disconnected from the world in which they live. We discussed, via Marx, that in many cases, you may work on the assembly line to create something in which you can never feasibly own. For instance, a Jaguar automobile assembly line is a good example of this. Most of these employees will undoubtedly never own a Jaguar based on the money they are making at the assembly line which is creating them.
The second example I thought of when reading about the destruction of public and private life, was the idea of political efficacy. I feel this is a real problem especially in modern United States. As clichÐ”© as it is, and as hard as “they” are working to