Article Image
News Link • Government Debt & Financing

2011 - The Year Of Catch 22

As I began to think about what might happen in 2011, the classic Joseph Heller novel Catch 22 kept entering my mind. Am I sane for thinking such a thing, or am I so insane that asking this question proves that I’m too rational to even think such a thing? In the novel, the “Catch 22″ is that “anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy”. Hence, pilots who request a fitness evaluation are sane, and therefore must fly in combat. At the same time, if an evaluation is not requested by the pilot, he will never receive one (i.e. they can never be found “insane”), meaning he must also fly in combat. Therefore, Catch-22 ensures that no pilot can ever be grounded for being insane – even if he were. The absurdity is captured in this passage: There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. “That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” he observed. “It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed. - Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

Join us on our Social Networks:


Share this page with your friends on your favorite social network:

Free Talk Live