Causes From Results
I’m particularly agasp at the occasional chapters in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath when he seems to set off on tangents of describing anything from the dusty, dreary settings of a small town general store to the socio-economic conditions and philosophical underpinnings of the time. One such tangent is chapter 14, in which he repeatedly stresses the distinction between causes and results, a chapter in which he states:
If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin, were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into “I,” and cuts you off forever from the “we.”
His premises state that it is the bare and basic needs of humans, even at their most individual level that drive the movements of history, but that they are also hidden from plain sight. They are masked by the pathologies we did not choose, and may not have chosen against if we had a choice.