A Mistake Was Made

Oops — by me

Well, and there were mistakes made, but not by me ūüėČ

The remarkable thing is understanding never stays put. It is important always to get a new understanding … … … understanding can be improved
Saunders MacLane

She was misunderstood by many people: for she discarded the traditional political philosophy’s conceptual schema.

Hannah Arendt employed the famous phrase about “banality of evil” in her book about the trial of Adolf Eichmann. Now almost a clich√©, it is easy to forget the storm it once generated.¬†As a former victim of Nazi persecution in Germany who had later worked for the Zionist cause in Palestine, many Jewish writers had expected Arendt’s¬†book on the trial to reinforce their own conviction that Nazism represented a radically new type of evil. To her own surprise, Arendt was unable to oblige.

Conventionally Eichmann was viewed as a “evil monster”. ¬†However, after Arendt studied Eichmann during the trial and after, she did not see a¬†demonic force but a mediocre personality, that she concluded, who inhabited a thought world of platitudes. A banal obsession with process and following orders, not some special, radical type of evil, had enabled him to commit crimes on a massive scale. Arendt’s critics had misunderstood her if they ever thought that her Zionist past meant she was going to play the part of the “good Jew” in approaching Eichmann’s crimes.

Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.¬† ‚ÄĒ Margaret Thatcher

Some of her critics did not read much or any of her writings.  Some of them probably based their criticisms of Arendt on what their own cohort had said.

Based on their personal experiences with totalitarian regimes in their youth, Hannah Arendt and Ayn Rand were two individuals who pointed out the hypocrisy of the established Western World intellectuals.  They spoke truth to power, and were criticized, ignored, or ostracized because of it.

stalin-hitlerUnfortunately my blog about Hannah and Ayn had a flaw it it.

Watch what they say and do, if you can — don’t rely on second and third sources.

I knew a great deal about Ayn Rand, having read about and following her¬†for decades, and reading a couple of her books since I was a kid. ¬†I had studied Arendt to a degree, but not enough. ¬†I made a mistake. ¬†NO, my mistake was not on what their ideas were: Hannah and Ayn were very articulate, and had well formulated their prose. ¬†Those who don’t have their political, economic, and cultural religion blinding them can easily understand their point of view and their message.

My mistake was of a differing kind. ¬†I was mistaken in¬†what Hannah Arendt’s personality type was. ¬†I had hypothesized that Hannah Arendt was a Mastermind Rational, same as Ayn, [Contending¬†Rational (INTJ)], but Hannah Arendt not a Mastermind (as I later discovered, after my blog was published), rather, based on listening to an extended interview (in German, with subtitles) was it was clear to me that she was Architect Rational [Accomodating Rational (INTP)].

Architect Rationals need not be thought of as only interested in drawing blueprints for buildings or roads or bridges. They are the master designers of all kinds of theoretical systems, including school curricula, corporate strategies, and new technologies. For Architects, the world exists primarily to be analyzed, understood, explained – and re-designed. External reality in itself is unimportant, little more than raw material to be organized into structural models. What is important for Architects is that they grasp fundamental principles and natural laws, and that their designs are elegant, that is, efficient and coherent. [Please Understand Me II]

Mastermind Rationals do not feel bound by established rules and procedures, and traditional authority does not impress them, nor do slogans or catchwords. Only ideas that make sense to them are adopted; those that don’t, aren’t, no matter who thought of them. Remember, their aim is always maximum efficiency. Problem-solving is highly stimulating to Masterminds, who love responding to tangled systems that require careful sorting out. Ordinarily, they verbalize the positive and avoid comments of a negative nature; they are more interested in moving an organization forward than dwelling on mistakes of the past. [Please Understand Me II]

Most Rationals are reasonable human beings as long as they¬†don’t have to suffer fools.¬† This attitude made them¬†appear as both an arrogant human and a humble human at the same time.¬† Masterminds are not concerned with ideas, for their own sake, as much as the¬†Architects, but rather are interested in ideas for their use and utility in reality. Generally, the Masterminds are looking for interesting answers and Architects are looking for interesting questions. ¬†Architects must understand their field of study, use of those ideas by others and reality is secondary.

“That’s mere reality.”
David Keirsey

Both Rationals are arrogant, Architects are the most arrogant in the natural way: all you have to do is ask them ;-).

Hannah Arendt’s prime directive to herself was to¬†“understand.”

Wir mussen wissen, wir werden wissen.
(We must know, we will know)
David Hilbert

“Never accept an idea as long as you yourself are not satisfied with its consistency and the logical structure on which the concepts are based. Study the masters. These are the people who have made significant contributions to the subject. Lesser authorities cleverly bypass the difficult points.”
Satyendranth Bose

openquoteThere are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.closedquote¬†— Hannah Arendt

Other Architect Rationals include: James Madison, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Emmy Noether, Paul Dirac, Robert Rosen, David Keirsey, Albert Einstein, Lonnie Athens, David Bohm

A Thorn In The Side..

The enmity was mutual.

In a typical parliamentary exchange in which Botha warned her against breaking the law, she said:

“I am not frightened of you. I never have been and I never will be. I think nothing of you.”

A principled, singular individual for 13 years, alone in the group in her contention.

Diminutive, elegant and indefatigable, she¬†confronted the forbidding Afrikaner prime ministers ‚ÄĒ Hendrik F. Verwoerd, John Vorster and P. W. Botha ‚ÄĒ who became synonymous with apartheid‚Äôs repression of the black and mixed-race populations. She was dismissive of the death threats she received by telephone and in the mail, and undaunted in her showdowns with the men she described as apartheid‚Äôs leading ‚Äúbullies,‚ÄĚ who in turn dismissed her as a ‚Äúdangerous subversive‚ÄĚ and a ‚Äúsickly humanist.‚ÄĚ

Subversive Humanist indeed.

For decades,¬†she was among the most venerated of white campaigners urging an end to racial rule, becoming known as a “cricket in the thorn tree” for her outspoken views.

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The Need for Transcendence

The  Unbearable  Lightness  of Being

He didn’t want to.

He had written poetry, plays, and several books. Even worked in a beer factory, under duress. He wasn’t a politician.

On the other hand, he had been in jail multiple times because of “political activity.” Many years in jail, for his writings. He would hide them in all kinds of places: even in plain view, as plays. You know, in that double meaning or even triple — in that abstract metaphoric way. Pushing the limits — against the banal evil. They would catch on occasionally — back to jail.

1989. Into the Theatre of the Absurd.¬†Reality — There were¬†challenges of governing a nascent democracy,¬†when things mattered. No jails to be had, except, maybe, the jail of power. With the breakup of the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet Union finally disappeared in two years time. ¬†That banal Communist bureaucracy crumbled.

“In this postmodern world, cultural conflicts are becoming more dangerous than any time in history. A new model of coexistence is needed, based on man’s transcending himself.”

He didn’t want to. He knew. But he was elected to do…

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Two of Kind: On the Third Degree

They are two of kind; they are so… different.  They are same.  They are different.  He is the father, and she, the daughter.

Can they have a relationship?

They are alike in a fundamental way: they have the same Temperament and Type.  Different in other ways: male versus female, different generations, and different life experience.

Competitive.  Contending.

Two Crafter Artisans.

Co-stars in the hit movie, Paper Moon, the daughter, 10 years old at the time, Tatum O’Neal, won an Academy award for her performance, as a tough-kid in a father-daughter grifter team in the Depression.  She was the youngest actor to get an Oscar ever.  They were inseparable at the time, when Ryan O’Neal took care of her, because her mother and his ex-wife, Joanna Moore, was an alcoholic, and neglected to take care of  her.

‚ÄúWe were a team,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúwe were very close; I was closer to her than any of my wives,‚Ä̬† Ryan O‚ÄôNeal has said.

But then it all changed.

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