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Human beings have always been obsessed with fate. It hangs over them like a dark shadow. Fate implies finitude; the knowledge that life, whether of the individual or of the species, has natural limits. The fate of each person is their death, and the fate of the species is the extinction of life on the planet whether because of the finite span of existence of the sun, or some other natural cause. Fate in this sense has always been an important component of human culture, deriving its power as an idea from the fact that there are features of the human condition which are inevitable and unalterable. Life stands in opposition to it in a permanent creative tension.

ANDREW GAMBLE, Politics and Fate

Our fate is something which exists outside ourselves, and which once revealed expresses the meaning of our lives. Apart, however, from soothsayers who claim to have a means of foretelling exactly what will befall us, this kind of fate is only normally revealed after a life has ended. Only then can the meaning of that life be understood.

ANDREW GAMBLE, Politics and Fate

A persistent theme in western thought has been the dream of a world without politics and without conflict. Is it possible to realize such a society, or is the political an irreplaceable aspect of what it is to be human? Many of the utopias which have infested the western imagination are indeed unpolitical places; all the tasks which were previously performed by politics are programmed by an invisible hand or by a supreme intelligence and require no further attention. But many of these utopias were invisioned as an outcome of politics, after which politics could be dispensed with.

ANDREW GAMBLE, Politics and Fate


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