Arendt's apparent exclusion of violence from politics — her definitionally-enforced distinction — actually linked politics and war together in a historically and conceptually rich relationship. She criticized the dominant Western traditions of social and political thought for borrowing their models of politics from the realm of organised violence, of command and obedience. But it is her political thought that is deeply influenced by the enduring significance of war. It may be necessary now, more than ever, to learn how to think with Arendt, a time that has delivered us moral and political catastrophes, which while not exceeding her day, strongly resemble and are directly linked to those she directly confronted. Postcolonial conflicts, revolutions and occupations, wars of annihilation and crimes against humanity, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and accusations of Islamo-fascism — these are among the social forces relating and separating peoples and states through organised violence.
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