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This project argues that Black Lives Matter's use of social media for political activity challenges the definition Hannah Arendt gives for her socio-political theory on human plurality. Arendt describes human plurality as the necessary condition for the functions of speech and action in political activity. For Arendt, appearance in the physical world is an essential element for human activity to be considered valid. She characterized the modern age of technology as the rise of the social, in which she warned was a danger to political life. Her position was that nation-state power lies in the idea of the public and private distinctions being blurred by the new social realm, which finds its political form in the nation-state. How do we reconcile with the fact that Arendt would disagree with BLM's use of social media for political activity, since it blurs the line between the public and private, yet she would agree with the outcome of BLM's opposition to nation-state power? I propose a potential alternative view of human plurality that accounts for social media being used as an effective means for political activity.
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Lovett, Cleveland, "Hannah Arendt in Conversation with Black Lives Matter: Is Human Plurality in Critical Condition?" (2022). Senior Projects Spring 2022. 245.
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