Tag: Michiko Kakutani

On Liars, Politics, Michiko Kakutani, Martin Jay, and Hannah Arendt

A long piece by Michiko Kakutani on “the death of truth” is making the rounds. In it, she quotes Arendt: Two of the most monstrous regimes in human history came to power in the 20th century, and both were predicated on the violation and despoiling of truth, on the knowledge that cynicism and weariness and fear can make people susceptible to the lies and false promises of leaders bent on unconditional power. As Hannah Arendt wrote in her 1951 book The Origins of Totalitarianism, “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 (ie the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false […]