sábado, 24 de março de 2018

FORMALISM

"What people then get used to is not so much the content of the rules, a close examination of which would always lead them into perplexity, as the possession of rules under which to subsume particulars. In other words, they get used to never making up their minds. If somebody then should show up who, for whatever reasons and purposes, wishes to abolish the old "values" or virtues, he will find it easy enough provided he offers a new code, and he will need no force and no persuasion-no proof that the new values are better than the old ones-to enforce it. The faster men held to the old code, the more eager will they be to assimilate themselves to the new one; the ease with whicli such reversals can take place under certain circumstances suggests indeed that everybody is asleep when they occur. This century has offered us some experience in such matters: How easy was it for the totalitarian rulers to reverse the basic commandments of Western morality-"Thou shalt not kill" in the case of Hitler's Germany, "Thou shalt not bear false testimony against thy neighbor" in the case of Stalin's Russia."

Arendt, Hannah, Thinking and Moral Considerations , Social Research, 38:3 (1971:Autumn), p.417

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