Pensar sin barandales

“I have a metaphor . . . which I have never published but kept for myself. I call it thinking without a bannister. In German, Denken ohne Gelander. That is, as you go up and down the stairs you can always hold onto the bannister so that you don’t fall down. But we have lost this bannister . . . [In totalitarianism] those who were still very firmly con­vinced of the so-called old values were the first to be ready to change their old values for a new set of values, provided they were given one. And I am afraid of this, because I think that the moment you give anybody a new set of values–or this fa­mous ” bannister”-you can immediately exchange it. And the only thing the guy gets used to is having a “bannister”.”

Hannah Arendt en “Hannah Arendt on Hannah Arendt”