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justice, if such a thing exists

Justice is never found in the present order, is never present to itself, is never gathered unto itself. Justice is rather the relation to the other, the dis-juncture that opens the space for the incoming of the other. The essence of justice, thus, is to have no essence, to be in disequilibrium, perpetually disproportionate with itself, never to be adequate to itself, never identical with itself. Justice never exists, and that is essential to justice, for justice . . . is the impossible, our passion, which we desire with a desire beyond desire, what we love like made. Justice calls, justice is to come, but justice does not exist. Indeed, it would be the height of injustice to think that justice exists, that it existed once in Greece whose true sons are Germans, or that it is here, for example, in the good old U.S.A., in the middle of American apartheid, the National Rifle Association, the unimaginable violence of our streets, the growing extremes of poverty and wealth, and the demoralizing, demagogic degradation and corruption of democracy that we witness with every political campaign. Justice haunts us, disturbs our sleep, stalks us like the specter of old Marx whom we can’t quite bury, keeps us up pacing the floors well into the night, has us seeing ghosts. The specter of justice disturbs the assured distinction between what is and what is not, between to be and not to be, which is a bit of sleeplessness over being about which we can be instructed rather better by Hamlet than by Heidegger.

|| John D. Caputo, Deconstruction in a Nutshell: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida, p. 154-5


About david b. clark

a husband and father || a student of philosophy, theology, history, literature, music, art, computer science


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