Borges on Totalitarian Thought

7 08 2008

Ten years ago any form of symmetry with the appearance of order – dialectical materialism, anti-Semitism, Nazism – was enough to charm all men. Why not then submit to Tlön, to the thorough and vast evidence of a completely ordered planet? Needless to say that reality itself is ordered. Perhaps it is, but according to divine laws – read: inhuman laws – that we will never in the end perceive. Tlön will be a labyrinth, but it is a man-made one, a labyrinth meant to be solved by men… Enchanted by its rigor, humanity forgets and forgets again that it is a rigor of chess players, not of angels.

-Jorge Luis Borges, “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius”