Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Trial

If you understand Kafka correctly, this is not a dark parable or a "nightmare," it is a comic sketch about reality.  Consider these the gatekeepers of the law, each more fearsome than the last:

Consider the person who comes before the law:  Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who comes to question the qualifications of Brett Kavanaugh to sit on the nation's highest bench.  She seeks access to the law.  She seeks justice.  Justice should be available to all persons; but to get it, she has to go through the gatekeepers to the law; and they don't want to let her in.

It's really no more complicated than that.

We think Kafka's parable describes a totalitarian society, or a nightmare government a la Stalinist Russia or 1984.  No, it's a picture of the here and now.  The guards may close the door on her forever; or they may relent, aware they are exposed, not hidden by the walls of the law; aware they are seen for what they are, and their fearsomeness is just a pose, a description, a myth turned into legend about men who are really no more, and perhaps much less, than us.

As I write, reports swirl that Dr. Ford is calling the bluff of the guards; that she will testify in public, if need be, about what she says Brett Kavanaugh did to her decades ago.  More stories reveal the other person allegedly in the room is not the kind of character witness one could wish for in this matter, no more than one would want Roy Moore to offer his support.  One story is that Mr. Kavanaugh's fraternity on campus at Yale was booted off for their infamous "yes means no" chant.

It is not shaping up well for Mr. Kavanaugh, or the guards who protect the law from people like Dr. Ford.  And it's funny how close fiction and reality come, when you look at it the right way.

1 comment:

  1. The only way to deal with the likes of the Republicans in the Congress is to go after the softest targets among them, the ones who might have to fear losing a general election due to them voting for people like Kavanaugh. And who knows where they figure their self-interest lies.

    I'm driven by my observation of American politics, the decadence that democracy was driven into and the killed, on the one hand, and the academic decadence of materialist-atheism, which in the form of the c. 1950s-60s ACLU, played such a huge hand in getting us to where we are now and I have come to the same conclusion that Habermass did, that democracy is a product of Jewish justice and the Christian ethic of love and that without those, from those religious sources or who knows where, democracy as a guarantor of justice and love is not going to happen. Something else will fill in that gap in human action and experience.

    I also think that the decadence of Christianity in the modern period has a lot to do with this. I think American democracy may have, as Marilynn Robinson suggested, come from the commentary in the Geneva Bible. I wonder if George Fox's reading of the Geneva Bible might not have been the origin of the Quaker's contribution to that, as well. I wonder if the places in the original states where the King James Bible held most sway being the source of the original sin in the Constitution is that surprising. Though that's all speculative. You'd have to do an awful lot of research of the "founders" to pin that down. I am ashamed of how much of the present day depravity comes from Catholics and Catholic prep-schools and universities. The Jesuits who ran that prep school have a lot to answer for.