Analysis of Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendts

Being a journalist who worked for the newspaper of The New Yorker, Hannah Arendt’s book Eichmann in Jerusalem or what is called a Report on the Banality of Evil is based much on the Eichmann trial in Israel in 1961. The book aroused a heated debate and much controversy given the critical era in which it was published.&nbsp. When we give a glance at the book, many questions crop up. For example, can we say that thinking can hamper evil? In other words, can self-reflection help a human being avoid evil? To what extent people are responsible for their deeds? Hannah Arendt subscribes to this view. In the book, she introduced the thesis that Eichmann is actually unable to think and reflect. This has consequently led him to the pursuit of evil. His tendency to engage in the genocide might be ascribed essentially to his banality and stupidity. He was the kind of thoughtless bureaucrat, who is most essential to the functioning of the totalitarian regime.

Indeed, the most outstanding and distinguished political philosopher Hannah Arendt was one of her age’s brilliant intellectuals. She used to give much importance to human thinking. However, in the book of Eichmann in Jerusalem, she endowed the readership with a utilitarian rationale for thinking. If practiced properly and more appropriately, thinking can plainly enable people to avoid any moral disaster. For many years, Arendt has consecrated most of her efforts in building many theories about how to think and what it means to think, especially in practical terms about moral and political matters.1

Prominently, Arendt has overvalued the power of thinking because she was much alive to the reality that thinking exerts a tremendous impact on human behavior. Arendt’s portrayal of what is referred to as a “new type of criminal” was not a real and factual portrayal of Eichmann. The thesis that Arendt’s advanced in the book really sounds very substantial and provocative.