Hannah Arendt , Carlo Schmid (Transl. by: Alexey Salikov 1, 2 )
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University , 14, Nevskogo Street, Kaliningrad, 236041, Russia

The Right of Revolution: A Conversation between Hannah Arendt and Carlo Schmid

2016, vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 56–74 [issue contents]
This text presents a record of the conversation between Hannah Arendt and Carlo Schmid, which was broadcast on October 19, 1965, on the third television channel of Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Northern German Broadcasting), and coincided with the publication of Arendt’s book On Revolution. The conversation between Arendt and Schmid is thematically connected with other works of Arendt concerning revolutionary topics (Die ungarische Revolution und der totalitäre Imperialismus, Between Past and Future, The Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, and On Violence). The conversation partners discuss the nature and characteristics of revolution, the differences of the French and American revolutions, the significance of freedom and of the social question, the system of councils or elementary republics, the link between progress and happiness, and finally, why revolutions occur and why they fail. Arendt considers revolution as the beginning of something new, and the manifestation of the true spirit of the political. Arendt sees the essence of revolution in the radical transformation of the social system, where old power relations should disappear, and new institutions for the realization of freedom should appear. However, for this to happen, people need to work together. As a result of co-action appearing in the public space, human freedom should be realized. In comparing the French and American Revolutions, Arendt concludes that only the American Revolution was successful, because it made the people's participation in public affairs possible. The focus of the French Revolution gradually shifted to the social question, which led to the fall of the revolutionary spirit and, ultimately, to the defeat of the revolution. Nevertheless, the French Revolution became the model for all subsequent revolutions in the world.
Citation: Arendt H., Schmid C. (2016) Pravo na revolyutsiyu. Razgovor mezhdu professorom Karlo Shmidom i filosofom Khannoy Arendt (1965) [The Right of Revolution: A Conversation between Hannah Arendt and Carlo Schmid]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 15, no 1, pp. 56-74 (in Russian). DOI: 10.17323/1728-192X-2016-1-56-74.
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