Order the autumn edition here

The emergence of totalitarianism

Hannah Arendt – Vita Activa
Regissør: Ada Ushpiz.
(Israel 2016)

New forms of totalitarianism are very relevant today, and thus the philosopher Hannah Arendt.







(See the movie's link at the bottom of the comment.)

What did Israeli Ambassador Raphael Schutz think when he, with his two security guards, sat and watched the film screening of the documentary Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt with subsequent panel debate? The embassy had supported the event at the Artists' House in Oslo this February. The topic we discussed was about totalitarianism, something Hannah Arendt specifically wrote about in the book The Origin of Totalitarianism (1951) – which currently sells tremendously well on Amazon.

Peace researcher Henrik Syse addressed Arendt's point about public spaces with sufficient physical and mental spaciousness to allow free speech and discuss all kinds of issues. As chairman of the panel, I could not help but refer to Schutz in the Chamber, since he represents Israel, which is seen by many as a modern form of a totalitarian state – where the exclusion of Palestinian views is clear. And in Israel, for example, one can be punished if one calls for an academic and cultural boycott because of Israel's occupation.

Israeli Rina Rosh, who was behind the film's research, says that the organization Breaking the Silence – former Israeli soldiers who have become opponents of the occupation – was recently expelled from the art venue Barbur in Tel Aviv where they had a larger meeting. The city's mayor was quickly informed by the Israeli Ministry of Culture that the city's own premises will not be used for political events. Henrik Syse then adds by reminding the hall – a hall with high ceilings – that asking questions is one of the most human things about us.

The totalitarian is growing also forward where one no longer distinguishes between truth and falsehood, something President Trump's exercise of power and «alternative. . .

Dear reader.
To continue reading, create a new free reader account with your email,
or logg inn if you have done it before. (click on forgotten password if you have not received it by email already).
Select if necessary Subscription (69kr)

Truls Liehttp: /www.moderntimes.review/truls-lie
Editor-in-chief in MODERN TIMES. See previous articles by Lie i Le Monde diplomatique (2003–2013) and Morgenbladet (1993-2003) See also part video work by Lie here.


  1. […] In the current situation is precisely the intense and conflict-creating agitation that takes place in the media and in power-loving academic circles where, in support of their commercial and private economic interests, they maintain an equal […]

  2. Raphael Schutz, Israel's ambassador to Norway, responds to Ny Tid:

    "Israel is open and pluralistic"
    The editor of Ny Tids makes false claims about Israel, the ambassador believes.

    Truls Lie mentioned the fact that I watched the screening of the documentary Vita Activa about Hannah Arendt's legacy, followed by two security guards. He has also included in the event's program that Rina Rosh, the Israeli participant in the panel, works in the "occupied East Jerusalem".

    What these two facts have in common is that they are completely irrelevant to Hannah Arendt and her philosophy. On the other hand, the examples clearly constitute what I expressed in my speech at the event – there are people who are not interested in Arendt's work per se, but who rather use it as a means in their anti-
    Israeli campaign. Truls Lie is clearly one of them.

    His bias is evident when he writes that many see Israel as a modern form of a totalitarian state, and that Israel can be punished for calling for a boycott. I can describe this as "alternative facts", but I prefer to be less diplomatic – these are simply lies. There are countless examples of Israel being an open and pluralistic society, such as the Israeli Knesset, our democratically elected parliament. In the Knesset, there are about 15 (out of 120 representatives) Muslim parliamentarians, who consider themselves Israeli citizens with Palestinian heritage, and who express their opinions freely. Only an ignorant person can express himself about the "exclusion of Palestinian opinions" in Israel.

    Since Lie mentioned the fact that I was present at the event with two security guards, I would like to mention that these are Norwegian. They belong to PST and were assigned to me from the first moment I set foot on Norwegian soil, based on the threat picture I am exposed to. In other words, I do not have security guards around the clock due to a form of pride, due to paranoia or because I like it, but as a result of decisions made by the Norwegian authorities. I suggest that Truls Lie ask himself the question of the extent to which distorted and biased ideas about Israel, as he expresses them in his article, can contribute to the atmosphere that requires the presence of security guards around me.

Give an answer

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn about how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -spot_img

You may also likeRelated