The Banality of Evil, 21st Century Edition

Hannah Arendt is famous for her writings on the banality of evil. Her basic observation is that atrocities such as those seen in World War II were able to happen precisely because ordinary people became — through unconscious obedience and an individual failure to think — wheels in a grotesque machine. “How could that happen?” or “I would never have taken part in this!” are common instincts when reading about such historical events. 

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