Wikipedia defines this term as follows:

“Kafkaesque” is an eponym used to describe concepts, situations, and ideas which are reminiscent of the literary work of the Austro-Hungarian writer Franz Kafka, particularly his novels The Trial and The Castle, and the novella The Metamorphosis.

The term has been described as “marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity: Kafkaesque bureaucracies” and “marked by surreal distortion and often a sense of impending danger: Kafkaesque fantasies of the impassive interrogation, the false trial, the confiscated passport … haunt his innocence.”

It is interesting that the word or rather term “Kafkaesque” is finding its way more and more into descriptions
of laws and legislation that dominate our lives at the expense of our freedoms.

What this means to you and me is that obscene legislation such as the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 will:

  • Assume you guilty
  • Remove your ability to defend yourself
  • Remove any funds by which to engage legal representation
  • Put the burden of proof of innocence on you
  • Remove any evidence upon which you may depend from you
  • Put the evidence you need to prove innocence into the hands of your accuser
  • Deny you access to legal aid by causing loss in the civil domain

This is the tip of the POCA iceberg but it creates situations which a Crown Court Judge described as “Kafkaesque” because it places the defendant into limbo between criminal and civil courts, neither of which understands nor cares about the others domain and neither of which have any real understanding of the legislation “imposed on them by Parliament” and “left for them to interpret” – this is modern justice in Britain.

POCA is but one example of legislation that is being abused by the state and by tin-pot councils who are happy to spend millions of pounds of public funds pursuing non-terrorist and non-organised crime in an argument of perhaps £20 in VAT.

Kafkaesque is real, it is here and it can be applied to anyone – including you!



Incrementalism is a method of working by adding to a project using many small (often unplanned), incremental changes instead of a few (extensively planned) large jumps. Wikipedia, for example, illustrates the concept by building an encyclopedia bit by bit, continually adding to it. In a similar vein, according to legend Virgil wrote the Aeneid in an incremental process, averaging three lines per day,[1] and the Georgics even more slowly at an average of one line per day.[2] Logical incrementalism implies that the steps in the process are sensible.[3] In public policy, incrementalism refers to the method of change by which many small policy changes are enacted over time in order to create a larger broad based policy change. This was the theoretical policy of rationality developed by Lindblom to be seen as a middle way between the Rational Actor Model and bounded rationality as both long term goal driven policy rationality and satisficing were not seen as adequate.

Commentary:  Clearly, successive governments are paying homage to this concept; the slow erosion of civil liberties, step-by-step, a small portion at a time, one small right here, one small liberty there until finally we’ve all been painted into a small corner unsure where to turn – with each direction leading to possible criminalisation due to 8000 new laws passed by the previous Labour government and no end in sight by the current one.