Arendt a la Taminieux

Arendt’s account of politics is contaminated by its mimetic relation to her mentor Heidegger’s account of politics. When engaging with a locutor, there is always a region of underlying agreement assumed in order to form a ground on which to engage. In this way, even the most diametrically opposed and hating interlocutors invariably take for granted more than they disagree on. Moreover, the more they engage in dispute, the more similar they come to resemble one another. That is, the taken-for-granted world or imaginary or ‘for-the-sakes-of’ grounding their views and arguments tend to align more and more. In this way, the dispute moves towards being a more local dispute against a shared Background, rather than a dispute between different Backgrounds. This is why unionists can jump the table; and why major political parties come to exude a managerialist ethos; and why Trotskyists can mutate into rabid neo-cons.

To me it seems that the key move in Arendt’s difference with Heidegger is to unpick the way Heidegger too quickly mashes together the world of practice and activity consigning it to the realm of ‘the Same’ and then contrasting this with the higher vocation of authentic Dasein as a philosophical engagement with its own unique factical finitude and death.

Structurally Arendt mimics these relations but reverses their valence.  Read more of this post