Volume 3, 2019
Taking Responsibility for the World
Politics, the Impolitical and Violence in Hannah Arendt
The purpose of this article is to analyse the issues of war and violence in the thought of Hannah Arendt, drawing on articles published in the newspaper Aufbau between 1941 and 1945. In these texts Arendt argues for the organisation of a Jewish army to engage in the struggle against Nazism. Here I attempt to show that this call for a Jewish army is not in contradiction with the separation between power and violence that Arendt posited. With this objective, I will compare Aufbau’s writings not only with On Violence, but above all with Was ist Politik? and I will try to interpret this comparison by means of the concept of impolitical, elaborated by the Italian philosopher Roberto Esposito. This way I will suggest a new reading of the relationship between politics and violence. It is not a matter of considering the Jewish question only as a starting point to analyze Arendt’s thought, or to interpret her claim in favor of a Jewish army as the result of a specific historical context, but also to see how these positions spring from a will of transformation of this same context and are coherent with the development of her thought.