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Unformatted text preview: lent revolutionary dreams never come true
Hannah Arendt, Philosopher, ON VIOLENCE, 1969, p. 21 Who has ever doubted that the violated dream of violence, that the oppressed "dream at least once a day of setting" themselves up in the oppressor's place, that the poor dream of the possessions of the rich, the persecuted of exchanging "the role of the quarry for that of the hunter," and the last of the kingdom where "the last shall be first, and the first last"? The point, as Marx saw it, is that dreams never come true. The rarity of slave rebellions and of up-risings among the disinherited and downtrodden is notorious; on the few occasions when they occurred it was precisely "mad fury" that turned dreams into nightmares for everybody. In no case, as far as I know, was the force of these "volcanic" outbursts, in Sartre's words, "equal to that of the pressure put on them." To identify the national liberation movements with such outbursts is to prophesy their doom--quite apart from the fact that the unlikely victory would not result in changing the world (or the system), but only its personnel. To think, finally, that there is such a thing as a "Unity of the Third World," to which one could address the new slogan in the era of decolonization "Natives of all underdeveloped countries unite!" (Sartre) is to repeat Marx's worst illusions on a greatly enlarged scale and with considerably less justification. The Third World is not a reality but an ideology. VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION ONLY LEADS TO MORE VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION Michael Dillon, lecturer in politics and IR at the University of Lancaster, POLITICS OF SECURITY: TOWARDS A POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF CONTINENTAL THOUGHT, 1996, p. 150-151. Only violence, it seems, can secure an end to violence, yet not even violence can do that securely because violence, of course, begets violence. Offered as the final guarantor, it is also the chief threat to order: `the practice of violence ... changes the world, but the most probable change is to a more violent wor...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13