14/12/2011

Apontamentos para uma História do Presente

"No activity that served only the purpose of making a living, of sustaining only the life process, was permitted to enter the political realm, and this at the grave risk of abandoning trade and manufactiure to the industriousness of slaves and foreigners, so that Athens indeed became the 'pensionopolis' with a 'proletariat of consumers' which Max Weber so vividly described (...)
"Plato, who probably following Socrates, began to draw his examples and illustrations for the polis from everyday experiences in private life, but also in Aristotle when he, following Plato, tentatively assumed that at least the historical origin of the polis must be connected with the necessities of life and that only its content or inherent aim (telos) transcends life in the 'good life'.
"These aspects of the teachings of the Socratic school, which soon were to become axiomatic to the point of banality, were then the newest and most revolutionary of all and sprang not from actual experience in political life but from the desire to be freed from its burden, a desire which in their own understanding the philosophers could justify only by demonstrating that even this freest of all ways of life was still connected with and subject to necessity (...) As far as the members of the pollis are concerned, household life exists for the sake of the "good life" in the polis."

Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 1998 ed., 37.

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