Tag: politics

Hannah Arendt on Action and the Pursuit of Happiness

“What is happiness, anyhow? … so impalpable — a mere breath, an evanescent tinge,” Walt Whitman wondered in his diary precisely 100 years after the Founding Fathers wove the pursuit of that evanescent tinge into the material of what Whitman thought-about America’s “democratic vistas.” The notion of “the pursuit of happiness” has been with us

Neither Victims Nor Executioners: Albert Camus on the Antidote to Violence

“Progress isn’t everlasting, will at all times be threatened, should be redoubled, restated and reimagined whether it is to outlive,” Zadie Smith wrote in her spectacular essay on optimism and despair. Seventy years earlier, simply after the shut of World War II, one other genius of the occasions addressed this predicament and its attendant query

Zadie Smith on Optimism and Despair

“All the goodness and the heroisms will rise up again, then be cut down again and rise up,” John Steinbeck wrote to his best friend at the peak of WWII. “It isn’t that the evil thing wins — it never will — but that it doesn’t die.” Caught in the maelstrom of the moment, we