The Individual Within the Community
Chapter Two. The (Im)possibility of Justice as the Messianic 29
• C H A P T E R T W O • The (Im)possibility of Justice as the Messianic For the laws are very ancient, centuries of work have gone into their interpretation and by now this has probably become the law itself; there does indeed still remain a certain possible latitude of interpretation, but it is very limited. Besides, the nobility have obviously no call to let their personal interest sway into interpreting the laws to our disadvantage, since these are drawn up in the interests of the noblility from the very beginning; the nobles stand above the law, and that seems to be the very reason why the law has been given over exclusively into their hands. Of course, there is the wisdom in that—who doubts the wisdom of the ancient laws?—but equally there is distress for us; probably that is unavoidable. … One can really only express the matter in a kind of paradox: Any party which would repudiate, not only belief in the laws, but the nobility as well, would instantly have the whole people behind it; but such a party cannot arise, for no one dares repudiate the nobility. It is on this razor’s edge that we live. A writer once summed it up in this way: The one visible and indubitable law that is imposed upon us is the nobility, and could it really be our wish to deprive ourselves of this solitary law? —Franz Kafka (2001, 73) Justice in itself, if such a...
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