26 December 2010

Desert through the back door

"Franz Kafka knew well enough the superstition of fate which possesses people who live under the perpetual rule of accidents, the inevitable tendency to read a special superhuman meaning into happenings whose rational significance is beyond the knowledge and understanding of the concerned. ... He exposed the pride in necessity as such, even the necessity of evil, and the nauseating conceit which identifies evil and misfortune with destiny." (The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt, 1994; page 245). 
When people do not have a well articulated and well developed sensibility of justice-as-deservedness they invent notions of fate and destiny and 'rational' and 'scientific' explanations that allow them to make sense of their worlds. They import desert through the back door, as it were, even when the desert is invented and artificial. 

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