„Persecution of powerless or power-losing groups may not be a very pleasant spectacle, but it does not spring from human meanness alone.“
— Hannah Arendt, buch Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft
Part 1, Ch. 1, § 1.
The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951)
Kontext: Persecution of powerless or power-losing groups may not be a very pleasant spectacle, but it does not spring from human meanness alone. What makes men obey or tolerate real power and, on the other hand, hate people who have wealth without power, is the rational instinct that power has a certain function and is of some general use. Even exploitation and oppression still make society work and establish some kind of order. Only wealth without power or aloofness without a policy are felt to be parasitical, useless, revolting, because such conditions cut all the threads which tie men together. Wealth which does not exploit lacks even the relationship which exists between exploiter and exploited; aloofness without policy does not imply even the minimum concern of the oppressor for the oppressed.