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Arendt Studies

Volume 3, 2019

Edgar Straehle
Pages 93-109
DOI: 10.5840/arendtstudies201810916

Rethinking the Relationship Between Past, Present, and Future
Arendt’s Account on Revolution

In this paper, I focus on Arendt’s concept of revolution in order to tackle the intricate relationship among past, present and future in the fields of action and politics. For this purpose, I propose to rethink the concept of authority and to show its possible connection with action and revolution. On the basis of her reflections on the American Revolution, I claim that authority and Arendt’s concept of power are not incompatible and can appear together. On the other hand, I hold that if power seeks to found, establish and consolidate a new republic, it requires to be endorsed by authority. Authority can provide a horizon of longevity that is not present within power and can enable the task of foundation to succeed.

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