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You have misunderstood the relevance of Hannah Arendt

The thinker has been pillaged by those seeking to denounce Trump. They overlook her most vital insight

By Samuel Moyn  

Photo: Fred Stein/DPA/PA Images

In 1945, in an extraordinary essay entitled “Organised Guilt and Universal Responsibility,” German-Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt warned that it would not be easy to tell the good from the bad German. The Nazis themselves had made it infernally difficult to distinguish heroes from villains, with dissidents forced by their police state into fleeting gestures and words of resistance they could not prove. More important, virtually all Germans—even dissident ones—were implicated in an enormous administrative horror. No one could be an open…

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