Ferguson questions

1. This essay was written as a kind of conclusion to the book The Origins of Totalitarianism. What hints do you see in here of the argument Arendt made in that book: what are the origins of totalitarianism?

2. Arendt argues that totalitarianism is a novel form of government, and she has in mind both the Nazi regime and Stalin's Soviet Union as examples of totalitarianism. What is it that distinguishes totalitarianism from other forms of government? (e.g. from democracy, monarchy, tyranny, etc.)

3. A few key words can help you to better understand Arendt's argument. See if you can identify what she means by the following words:  terror, isolation, loneliness, ideology, movement (or laws of movement), solitude, and beginnings.

4. What does she mean in her final paragraph when she writes, "every end in history contains a new beginning?"