Totalitarianism thrives, she continued, in conditions where ...

Totalitarianism thrives, she continued, in conditions where people are profoundly isolated from one another and “when the most elementary form of human creativity, which is the capacity to add something of one’s own to the common world, is destroyed.”

Each new thing we add to the world is another birth; our having been born is what guarantees us the ability to act, to work as agents in our societies. Once that creativity, as she defined it — birth, politics, action, people coming together to create new lives and new realities — had been completely extinguished, you had a mass society of atomized individuals who could be completely coerced into doing anything their leaders ordered.

Creating and building things as a form of self-realization and resistance.

This also echoes the work of Robert Putnam about how a cohesive society relies on individuals connecting with each other through things like clubs and small organizations.