Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ruining a Good Arguement

We like good arguement in the Tavern. It can cause people to dig deep and find the roots of  'Ishoos' (as some insist in calling them) and defend their positions with facts, logic, deduction - and some passion.

But there are those that care little for the first three and cause ructions with the last. Franz Kafka was not the first and won't be the last to examine the bugger-factor, the messing with the mind and reality. It spoils the fine ales as well as ruins lives.

We live in an age when some people seek to overturn reality and substitute their own neuroses and psychotic demands. The social fabric falls apart, worn down from being rubbed the wrong way. 

We have 'surrogate' motherhood where babies are grown to 'spec' by poor women in under-developed countries and rejected if not up to scratch by the wealthier couples in developed ones. 

At the same time we have marriage being systematically destroyed, babies murdered in the womb by the million and homosexual couples demanding to be parents in a 'family'.  
And it is all touted as 'Good'.

We have Courts of Law that dispense with evidence and examination and rely almost entirely on ideology and accusation. Some are misnamed 'Family' Courts where the destruction of the family is the main aim. Not that it is stated that way. Instead they have the Hitleresque mantra, "in the best interests of the Children", while depriving those children of their parents or worse, taking a child from an innocent and loving parent and handing it over - with large sums of money - to liars, perjurors and false accusers. The lawyers and the State launder the money.
This, too, is touted as 'Good'.

Another 'good' is having someone with a grievance against someone else, for some trivial slight usually, taking action against other people who have nothing to do with the event. 

They go to 'Tribunals' where huge sums of money are awarded. It is 99% women complaining about 'harrassment'. The accused harrasser has usually been accused of doing precisely what the 'employer' has told him (always a him) NOT to do, but the employer is held responsible. The Shareholders have to pay.

That is YOU, as most large businesses are owned by shareholdres who put money into insurance, banks and superannuation who do most of the investing in those businesses.

It is for your own 'good', it seems. 
It is Zozchial Justitz.

We even have people 'in high places' calling Islam the 'Religion of Peace' while our TVs are full of mayhem, murder, calumny and barabarism, all emanating from that evil creed.

As it is, so has it been.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; 
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; 
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes  
And clever in their own sight!
Isaiah 5.20

Wendy was in the bar delivering her cool, calm, collected thoughts about the current trends in public discussion, with the usual supects lined up for identification. 

Wendy McElroy is a feminist and welcome in the Tavern.** (I bet that suprised you.). A Canadian and quite well published, she has always followed her own path.


The term "kafkatrapping" describes a logical fallacy that is popular within gender feminism, racial politics and other ideologies of victimhood. 
It occurs when you are accused of a thought crime such as sexism, racism or homophobia. 
You respond with an honest denial, which is then used as further confirmation of your guilt. You are now trapped in a circular and unfalsifiable argument; no one who is accused can be innocent because the structure of kafkatrapping precludes that possibility.

The term derives from Franz Kafka's novel "The Trial" in which a nondescript bank clerk named Josef K. is arrested; no charges are ever revealed to the character or to the reader. Josef is prosecuted by a bizarre and tyrannical court of unknown authority and he is doomed by impenetrable red tape. In the end, Josef is abducted by two strange men and inexplicably executed by being stabbed through the heart. The Trial is Kafka's comment on totalitarian governments, like the Soviet Union, in which justice is twisted into a bitter, horrifying parody of itself and serves only those in charge.
Kafkatrapping twists reason and truth into self-parodies that serve victimhood ideologues who wish to avoid the evidence and reasoned arguments upon which truth rests. The term appears to have originated in a 2010 article written by author and open source software advocate Eric S. Raymond
He opens by acknowledging the worth of equality before the law and of treating others with respect. But, he notes, "good causes sometimes have bad consequences." 
One such consequence is that tactics used to raise consciousness can veer "into the creepy and pathological, borrowing the least sane features of religious evangelism."
Raymond offers various models of how kafkatrapping operates. He calls the two most common ones A and C.
Model A: The accuser states, "Your refusal to acknowledge that you are guilty of (sin, racism, sexism, homophobia, oppression...) confirms that you are guilty of (sin, racism, sexism, homophobia, oppression...)." 
Harking back to The Trial, Raymond explains how the novel's plot parallels the structure and purpose of the accuser's nonargument. No specific acts are named in the accusation, which makes the claim unfalsifiable. 
The vague charge constitutes a thought crime, which also makes it unfalsifiable. As with The Trial, the process seems designed to create guilt and to destroy resistance so that you become malleable. Indeed, "the only way out ... is ... to acquiesce in his own destruction." 

Even if you are innocent, the only path to redemption is for you to plead guilty and accept punishment. Ideally, for the accuser, you even come to believe in your own guilt.

Model C is a common variant on the same theme. You may not have done, felt or thought anything wrong but you are still guilty because you benefit from a position of privilege created by others. 
In other words, you are guilty because of your identification with a group such as "male," "white," or "heterosexual." The accusation makes you responsible for the actions of strangers whose behavior you cannot control and who may have died long ago. 
Raymond writes, "The aim ... is to produce a kind of free-floating guilt ... a conviction of sinfulness that can be manipulated by the operator [accuser] to make the subject say and do things that are convenient to the operator's personal, political, or religious goals." 
To be redeemed, you must cease to disagree with your accuser and condemn your entire identity group.

What happens when an accuser confronts someone in the same identity group to which he or she belongs? For example, one woman may question aspects of politically correct feminism being presented by another. An entirely different phenomenon occurs. Obviously, the questioner will not be encouraged to condemn herself for being a woman or to excoriate all women. Instead, she will be defined out of the group.
This has happened to the growing numbers of women, who, like Wendy herself, have blown the whistle on Feminism.

This is called the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. It occurs when someone is confronted with an example that disproves a universal claim. The British philosopher Antony Flew described the fallacy, which he also named. One day Hamish McDonald reads an article in the Glasgow Morning Herald which reports on an attack by a sex maniac in England. 
Hamish declares aloud, "No Scotsman would do such a thing!" The next day, the Glasgow Morning Herald reports on an even worse attack in Scotland. Rather than reject his original statement, Hamish exclaims, "No true Scotsman would do such a thing." 
Thus, conservative women like Sarah Palin are not true women; blacks who question the validity of 'white privilege' cease to be viewed as truly black.

Other techniques are often associated with kafkatrapping. (Note: For a tactic to be true kafkatrapping, it has to involve an unfalsifiable claim.) 
Associated techniques that prove your guilt could include:

Requesting a clear-cut definition of what you are charged with – for example, homophobia;
Pointing out an injustice committed by the accuser's identity group;
Applying a single standard to everyone, e.g., refusing to accept that blacks cannot be racist;
Expressing skepticism about any aspect of the victimhood ideology, including the plausibility of anecdotal evidence;
Being ignorant of or uninterested in the subject;
Arguing against the ideology;
Saying "some of my best friends are X."
Kafkatrapping would seem to be a win-win situation for an accuser. And, in the short term, this may be true but its 
long-term impact can be devastating.

A movement becomes widespread because its voice is truth – at least, largely so – and its demand for justice is valid: For example, homosexuals have been hideously abused through much of history.
Hmmmm. Quite an assertion, but with little evidence. And when compared with normal, everyday heterosexual men who have been slaughted in wars down the ages and totally destroyed by Family Courts for half a century now, the average homosexual has been mearly inconvenienced. 

When a movement discards the truth and justice that made it grow and favors abusive attacks instead, it is in decline. The abuse also quashes any productive discussion of real issues. Raymond observes, 
"manipulative ways of controlling people tend to hollow out the causes for which they are employed, smothering whatever worthy goals they may have begun with and reducing them to vehicles for the attainment of power and privilege over others."

A separate problem arises if the accuser honestly believes the kafkatrapping. A woman who believes all men are oppressors is unlikely to cooperate with them in a good will attempt to solve social problems. 
She is more likely to seek a position of dominance over men, which she justifies in the name of self-defense or as a payback that is her due. 
This heightens tension between the sexes and obstructs sincere attempts to resolve problems. 
A kafkatrapper true believer becomes increasingly isolated from people who are seen as "the enemy" because they disagree; 
the true believer becomes increasingly unable to even communicate with or have empathy for a broad spectrum of people. 
The kafkatrapper 'wins' the argument but loses a shared humanity.

- See more at:

**Wendy herself falls into Kafkatrapping quagmire. She insists on holding onto the label 'Feminist' even though she is a 'self-made' woman of great intellect, honesty and integrity. It is a minor flaw with major consequences. 

I, personally, like her anyway and raise a tankard with her.



  1. This "kafkatrapping" is something I've seen many times. The key is the unfalsifiability that makes the accuser omnipotent. This is a phenomenon common among all forms of identity politics and collectivism too, including what the MRM has been transformed into by leftist dialectic.

    1. Add to that, Mr E, the proliferation of 'courts' and 'tibunals' that codify Kafka in their processes, facilitating the mess we are in. It would only take one such 'court' or 'tribunal' to come down like a dozen firkins, rolling over a false accuser and sending the mangled mess of to plaster the floor of a cell for the system to unravel. But.... there is too much 'career' and money in it for all the rent-seeking scum. It is they who perpetuate this evil.

  2. Rocking Mr E is right too.

    Wendy herself falls into Kafkatrapping quagmire. She insists on holding onto the label 'Feminist' even though she is a 'self-made' woman of great intellect, honesty and integrity. It is a minor flaw with major consequences.

    Yep, all through the piece, this was troubling me. Post coming up methinks.

    1. I will look forward to it. Wendy has always called herself an Independent Feminist but has also worked with and for men's rights. She has quite a colourful history on several fringes but I will leave that for customers to find out from her. :)

  3. the true believer becomes increasingly unable to even communicate with or have empathy for a broad spectrum of people.

    People who believe in ideas, causes etc. often fall into that trap and alienate others turning them off from ideas that are important to understand.

  4. It depends very much on the particular 'belief', Cherie. And, of course, on the personality (A broad term. I know) of the 'believer'. The most extreme and condemnatory beliefs do tend to deform the people who hold them. I am often wont to say 'do not believe everything you think'. People can be captured by a system of thought and instead of them (the people) examining their thoughts as they would an object, the thought can appear to own them. They are 'in Thrall'.

    That can indeed put others off those people. It can have the effect of bringing about alienation along with blindness to evidence and the involvement of pertinent factors that effect the overall matter. But that is a natural consequence.

    1. From an early age I was encouraged to think for myself and never told what to think. In day to day life that has always caused me challenges. I have a different view from most people I meet in day to day life who believe what they are told to think by the media etc... And I can't help saying, that is not quite right...

      Perhaps I should just hold my tongue ;-)

    2. Hold your tongue? Good Lord 'No'. There are plenty enough people who should and you do not need to join them.

  5. Lots of very good thought-provoking systems of thinking here and some good points throughout. I'll probably ruminate on this more over time. ;)

    Indeed . . . we live in a world of "tolerance" with thought police.

  6. The only answer is to follow the example of Hank Rearden and refuse to plead, or even to recognise the validity of the charge of which one is accused. Either that or respond with another question, "Who is John Galt?"


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..