Using Arendt to think about ELMA: Politics and totalitarianism
Drawing mainly on The Origins of Totalitarianism , this chapter will examine Arendt’s claims about plurality and exchange of ideas, and the relationship with freedom. Specifi cally I engage with the conditions in which totalitarianism develops, and it will be argued that the colonisation of professional practice through the TLP is an illuminative example of such conditions. In doing this I will examine the conditions in which ELMA has been designed, constructed and delivered to the profession. I will use Arendt’s historical and political thinking as a means of refusing ‘monocausal explanations’ and as such ‘create an understanding of the paths toward totalitarian domination and its novel crimes’ ( Jalu sˇ i cˇ 2007: 148). In approaching this here, and in the chapters that follow, I put the Arendtian analysis of a grave period in history for humanity alongside what is happening currently in public services education. In doing so I recognise distinctions but in using her methodologies to think with I expose similarities that need our responsible and serious attention. Notably I do this by examining a complex, multi-layered and shifting situation, which is stabilised in ways that are deemed normal and normalising.