Hannah Erendt

The Banality of Evil and the End of a Nation

The Banality of Evil and the End of a Nation

      The banality of evil is a phrase used by Hannah Arendt. It is the subtitle for one of her books, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. She uses the life of Eichmann and his trial to display the banality of evil in an unremarkable man. The inept, thoughtless Eichmann exemplified the power of systemic structures of evil that normalize intolerable genocidal murder without resistance from the concept of ‘good people’. We like to think that good-people are numerous in every society and will resist intolerable evil, we have learned through the holocaust that this is not so.