Anonymous's Glory

Ashley E. Gorham


Hannah Arendt is unusual among contemporary political theorists for many reasons, not least of which is her apparent praise for the pursuit of glory. Yet, far from arguing for its enduring relevance, Arendt seems to suggest the pursuit is obsolete, as the individual heroic actor has been supplanted by anonymous process in modernity. Here, the hacktivist collective Anonymous is used to illustrate the enduring significance of glory in politics, as it pursues, seemingly paradoxically, an Arendtian-style glory with its hacktivism. Through their use of pseudonymity, Anonymous’s actions afford a kind of revelation and, in this way, offer a chance at glory and immortality, while respecting the collective’s opposition to individual celebrity, and also protecting the offline identities of actors. With its combination of identification and obfuscation, Anonymous’s pseudonymous pursuit of glory offers a model for political action today.


Anonymous, Arendt, anonymity, glory, hacktivism

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