Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) is an interesting political philosopher. In this post we would like to share two quotes from The Human Condition.
Poverty forces the free man to act like a slave.
The Human Condition p. 64
To own property meant here to be master over one’s own necessities of life and therefore potentially to be a free person, free to transcend his own life and enter the world in common.
The Human Condition, p. 65
Though the first quote might seem to be obvious, in particular presented out of context, it does, however, signifies the second quote. The second quote essentially presents a political defense of property rather than an economic one. In modern discourse we usually hear the arguments of economists why private property is essential, while the political, i.e. republican, argument is paid little attention.
Without property, i.e. the condition of poverty, one is vulnerable to become the victim of the whims of others, as one depends on other to meet one’s necessities of life. This is, however, no justification of the infinite accumulation of property. Interesting to note, Arendt makes a distinction between property and wealth.
Arendt, Hannah 1998  . The Human Condition (second edition). University of Chicago Press, Chicago.