Insights

The Catch-22 of Modern Democracy

Blog #308 – reading: about 1.0 minute

Imagine you’re a fighter pilot. You know it is insane to fly a dangerous mission. So you ask to be grounded because of your mental state. Big mistake! Because you recognize the insanity of the mission, they automatically declare you sane.

That’s Catch-22, as Joseph Heller described it in his book of the same name. (At least, that’s how I understand Catch-22.)

Catch-22 ensures that a pilot cannot be grounded for being crazy. (Because if you are, you will fly.)

Now consider this. You must be nuts to be happy that our infrastructure is failing; our environment is rotting; our privacy is public; our highest court is suspect; our food is recalled. (You may add to the list as you see fit.)

However, if you complain about any of this, then we can assume that you are sane enough to understand the need for it to be fixed.

Catch-22 ensures that citizens cannot be against government. (Even if they say they are.)

But you’re not against government, you say. You’re just against “big” government. Well, keep in mind that pilots cannot choose to fly short missions, ones that don’t get them near the job to be done.

Surely, doing that would indeed be insane.


Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide Independence Days anywhere.