domingo, 12 de outubro de 2014

Benhabib sobre Eichman e Arendt

Seyla Benhabib (Yale) postou no blog The Stone (NY Times) um ensaio acerca da (eterna) controvérsia em torno do julgamento do ex-oficial nazista Adolf Eichmann em 1961 e suas repercussões na filosofia política (especialmente através da famosa interpretação dada por Hannah Arendt ao evento). Benhabib procura defender a tese arendtiana da "banalidade do mal" contra uma parte da literatura contemporânea que enxerga no réu - e naquilo que ele representava - apenas mais uma encarnação (ainda que radical) da longa tradição do anti-semitismo europeu.

- Benhabib: "Who's on Trial, Eichmann or Arendt?

Although Arendt was wrong about the depth of Eichmann’s anti-Semitism, she was not wrong about these crucial aspects of his persona and mentality. She saw in him an all-too familiar syndrome of rigid self-righteousness; extreme defensiveness fueled by exaggerated metaphysical and world-historical theories; fervent patriotism based on the “purity” of one’s people; paranoid projections about the power of Jews and envy of them for their achievements in science, literature and philosophy; and contempt for Jews’ supposed deviousness, cowardice and pretensions to be the “chosen people.” This syndrome was banal in that it was widespread among National Socialists.

But by coining the phrase “the banality of evil” and by declining to ascribe Eichmann’s deeds to the demonic or monstrous nature of the doer, Arendt knew that she was going against a tradition of Western thought that sees evil in terms of ultimate sinfulness, depravity and corruption. Emphasizing the fanaticism of Eichmann’s anti-Semitism cannot discredit her challenge to a tradition of philosophical thinking; it only avoids coming honestly to terms with it.