"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they can't become conscious". Why this is a paradox?

1 Answer

See below:


Let's start off by talking about what a paradox is - which is a statement or series of statements that, while logical on their own, interact as to lead to impossibilities or absurdities.


One of my favourites is:

The following statement is true.

The preceding statement is false.

If we follow the logic, the first statement says that the second statement is true. But the second statement says that the first statement is false... which means that the first statement should really read that the second statement is true... which means that the first statement should be true... and on and on and on... It's a logical absurdity.

The statements in the question go like this:

Until consciousness has occurred, rebellion can't happen.

Until rebellion has occurred, consciousness can't happen.

And so consciousness can't occur because rebellion can't happen because consciousness can't occur. We're led into a logical impossibility.

These statements are very much in the vein of the quandary of many new high school and college graduates just entering the work force:

I can't get a job until I have job experience.

I can't get job experience until I have a job.