Catch-22s often result from rules, regulations, or procedures that an individual is subject to, but has no control over, because to fight the rule is to accept it.
Another example is a situation in which someone is in need of something that can only be had by not being in need of it (e.g, a bank will never issue someone a loan if they need the money).
One connotation of the term is that the creators of the "catch-22" situation have created arbitrary rules in order to justify and conceal their own abuse of power. " Yossarian demanded, stamping about in anger and distress. " "They don't have to show us Catch-22," the old woman answered.
Joseph Heller coined the term in his 1961 novel Catch-22, which describes absurd bureaucratic constraints on soldiers in World War II. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn't really crazy." There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. "The law says they don't have to." "What law says they don't have to?
The term is introduced by the character Doc Daneeka, an army psychiatrist who invokes "Catch 22" to explain why any pilot requesting mental evaluation for insanity—hoping to be found not sane enough to fly and thereby escape dangerous missions—demonstrates his own sanity in creating the request and thus cannot be declared insane. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. " "Catch-22." According to literature professor Ian Gregson, the old woman's narrative defines "Catch-22" more directly as the "brutal operation of power", stripping away the "bogus sophistication" of the earlier scenarios.
This phrase also means a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to, he was sane and had to. Besides referring to an unsolvable logical dilemma, Catch-22 is invoked to explain or justify the military bureaucracy.
In chapter 6, Yossarian is told that Catch-22 requires him to do anything his commanding officer tells him to do, regardless of whether these orders contradict orders from the officer's superiors. At another point in the book, a prostitute explains to Yossarian that she cannot marry him because he is crazy, and she will never marry a crazy man."Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing." "What the hell are you talking about? " "The soldiers with the hard white hats and clubs. She considers any man crazy who would marry a woman who is not a virgin." Yossarian shouted at her in bewildered, furious protest. This closed logic loop clearly illustrated Catch-22 because by her logic, all men who refuse to marry her are sane and thus she would consider marriage; but as soon as a man agrees to marry her, he becomes crazy for wanting to marry a non-virgin, and is instantly rejected. Just because she considers all men who would marry her, a damaged woman with no virtue, insane, she does not say that all men who don't want to marry her are sane.At one point, Captain Black attempts to press Milo into depriving Major Major of food as a consequence of not signing a loyalty oath that Major Major was never given an opportunity to sign in the first place.Captain Black asks Milo, "You're not against Catch-22, are you?" In chapter 40, Catch-22 forces Colonels Korn and Cathcart to promote Yossarian to Major and ground him rather than simply sending him home.