Friday, September 18, 2009

Quote of the Day

H/T to Jane Mayer at The New Yorker, who retrieved this quote from Hannah Arendt. from 1968, that seems appropriate as the Obama administration considers whether, and how, to try to hold anybody accountable for the torture and (let's use the word) criminality during the Bush administration:

"These definitions coincide with the terms which, since Greek antiquity, have been use to define the forms of government as the rule of man over man -- of one or the few in monarchy and oligarchy, of the best or the many in aristocracy or democracy, to which today we ought to add the latest and perhaps most formidable form of such dominion, bureaucracy, or the rule by an intricate system of bureaux in which no men, neither one not the best, neither the few nor the many, can be held responsible, and which could be properly called the rule by Nobody. Indeed,, if we identify tyranny as the government that is not held to give account of itself, rule by Nobody is clearly the most tyrannical of all, since there is no one left who could be asked to answer for what is being done. It is this state of affairs which isd among the most potent causes for the current world-wide rebellious arrest." -- Hannah Arendt

Or have we just become so numbed that we don't have the heart or the will or even any faint hope of success in holding government accountable?

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