The Haunting of Justice

Light of Truth

“Whence things have their coming into being there they must also perish according to necessity; for they must pay a penalty and be judged for their injustice, according to the ordinance of time” – this is Anaximander( 610–546 BC) Fragment, translated by Heidegger. It speaks of the way natural things come into being and pass away. What is present emerges by approaching and passes away by departing; it does both at the same time, it lingers. The old text implies an inclusive thinking of ‘being together’ .There are things to come and there are things that went. These two absences are life ina relay race. They are connected. One cannot forget the connection. Appearing, disappearing and lingering calls for a fuller understanding of what one should term the ethico-political. Things develop and then decay, exhibiting thereby a kind of barter system in nature’s unchanging economy. The present, but also of being an unpresently present being i.e. the past and future. The source of coming-to-be for existing things is that into which destruction, too, happens according to necessity. They pay penalty and retribution to each other for their injustice according to the assessment of Time. The absent is by no means divorced from unconcealment or from the present. The present and the absent do not oppose one another; rather, the absent is to be thought as belonging to or participating in the present. What is absent is always, at the same time, present as absent. What is absent is merely the unpresently present understood with reference to the presently present. The presently present is not something that lies, like a severed slice, sandwiched between two absences. There are no slices, there is only intermingling or interlacing.
The ancient text speaks of injustice and retribution. The essential experience of injustice is the fundamental trait of things. In other words, the things are subject to injustice as if they were under its spell, belonging to its reign. Due to the very fact that, as we have seen, the transitory being, or the lingering awhile, takes place in “the jointure” between two absences the risk of being out of joint persists. Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet ( Act I, Scene V), “The time is out of joint: O cursed spite, / That ever I was born to set it right!” We live with ghosts.
Time, a refusal of one’s being-towards-death giving rise to an inauthentic existence. This, it seems, is an inescapable possibility, or constant temptation, which beings in a very general sense must face (up to): “Everything that stays awhile stands in this dis-jointure. Learning to live would amount to learn to live with ghosts, in the upkeep, the conversation with companionship, in the commerce without commerce of ghosts. To live otherwise, but more justly. No being-with the other, no friend without this with that makes being-with in general more enigmatic than ever for. Derrida quite manifestly wants derive an ethics and a politics responding to the demands of a justice, beyond law or right, which would not be “possible or thinkable without the principle of some responsibility, beyond all living present, within that which disjoins the living present, before the ghosts of those who are not yet born or who are already dead.
Disorder is the wilful rebellion against the order of becoming in favour of some sort of sovereign endurance. Injustice is the rebellion against the lawful appearance of givenness in favour of an insurrectionary sovereign will that seeks to impose itself. We can argue that there is no higher affirmation than to say, “I love you, I want you to be”—and not “I want you to have” or “I want you to rule.” At the very heart of our capacity to act, therefore, is the unconditional affirmation of the given. I love you – I want you to be. It is the fundamental gift. A right to have rights. We become aware of the existence. “For there is to be gift, it is necessary that the gift not to appear, that is not to be perceived or received as gift.” Gift even before recognition becomes gratitude. If the gift is another name of the impossible, we still think it, we name it, we desire it. We intend it. The experience of the other that commands writing, perhaps all writing, even the most masterful: the acts of gratitude.

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