Olivia Guaraldo

«The Freedom to Be Free». On the circularity of politics and the autonomy of revolutions in Hannah Arendt

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Keywords: Arendt; Revolution; Freedom; Politics.

This essay elaborates on Hannah Arendt's until recently unpublished essay "The Freedom to Be Free: the Conditions and Meaning of Revolution" (dated 1966-1967 and now included in the volume "Thinking Without a Banister. Essays in Understanding", 1954-1975, New York 2018). My claim is that in this essay Arendt partially reconsiders her theory of revolutions by amending her controversial position as regards the so-called «social question», by criticizing more explicitly the traditional link between revolution and violence, by establishing a clearer nexus between revolution and natality. This essay re-defines revolutions as autonomous political beginnings, and in so doing offers another version of her notion of the vita activa as "circular" dimension, one that has its end in itself.

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