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The Human Condition: Freedom Expropriated by Corporations

The Human Condition: Freedom Expropriated by Corporations

Arendt’s ideas in The Human Condition have laid the foundation on which American society is grounded, and are particularly useful for looking at America today. American citizens have been displaced from the Arendtian model of the modern age. The American government has lost its freedom by having been expropriated from the realm of freedom in the vita activa. Capitalism and large corporations now wield the most power and economic influence in America today. This explanation has become increasingly more appropriate in describing the role of oil corporations in America, in light of the actions America has taken since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Freedom, as Arendt perceives it, can only exist in the form of a public space where all citizens, free from the demands of necessity, can come together and actively participate in political discourse. According to Arendt, this notion of freedom has disappeared with the modern age, where world alienation and introspection has led to a society removed from a common world, leaving humans isolated and lonely. America is a testament to Arendt’s views, in that such freedom no longer exists. The public realm has vanished; government has degenerated into mere administration, the business of government has become the privilege of the few, and the average American citizen is no longer a participant in the political process.

Capitalism in America has removed freedom from the political realm and expropriated politicians from their place in the world. Big business is holding the American government captive with excessive contributions in the form of soft money from political action committees. The ‘money chase’ des…

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…order to further take advantage of the government.

Arendt’s view of the vita activa, expressed in The Human Condition, can be applied to modern America. The political realm of democracy today has become expropriated from its place in the world, and the displacement of the average citizen in the Arendtian model has left the general public merely as a tool for capitalism to manipulate in order to get its way with the government. This directly opposes the classical ideal of freedom in vita activa and supports Arendt’s belief that such a freedom no longer exists in the modern age. Oil corporations have influenced recent American foreign policy towards the Middle East, and the American public has been deceived into believing that they are fighting for freedom, when in fact Americans have been used to pressure the government into taking action in the Middle East.

The Human Condition: Contemplation Key to Understanding

The Human Condition: Contemplation Key to Understanding

Ask the average American what the problems facing his country are, and you will get a battery of standard responses. Some people will say health care, others violent crime, and still others will say drugs. There will probably be some who complain of high taxes or express a need for gun control. Certainly, there is evidence to support the fact that these are all issues of great importance. However, these are only superficial, and there is a deeper problem that will not have a simple legislative solution. Americans have forgotten how to think critically. Hannah Arendt places great importance on living a contemplative life, and it is for this reason that her book, The Human Condition, is a worthwhile text. In it, she offers many insights as to what could help to make the American society better, and it is for this reason that she cannot be brushed aside.

In the ancient Greek city-state, a life of contemplation was considered to be the highest form of living. Philosophers were of more importance in the social hierarchy tha…

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