The Species of Kafkatrapping

This will likely go the rounds in the rightosphere, but I would be remiss if I did not pass it along. When a prog accuses you of being racist because you won’t admit how racist you are? Or that your denial of your racism is proof of your racism?That’s a logical fallacy called a kafkatrap:

Having shown how manipulative and psychologically abusive the kafkatrap is, it may seem almost superfluous to observe that it is logically fallacious as well. The particular species of fallacy is sometimes called “panchreston”, an argument from which anything can be deduced because it is not falsifiable. Notably, if the model A kafkatrap is true, the world is divided into two kinds of people: (a) those who admit they are guilty of thoughtcrime, and (b) those who are guilty of thoughtcrime because they will not admit to being guilty of thoughtcrime. No one can ever be innocent.

The Salem Witch Trials (and elsewhere) and the Communist purges of the 1930’s, operated on a similar logic. I would include the medieval Inquisition in that number, except the Inquisition was perfectly willing to acquit people, and may have even acquitted the majority of those who came before it.

Do Read The Whole Thing.

Matt Yglesias Never Watched The Wire

Let us all stomp, like Stacy McCain, like Andy at Ace, upon the socialist fallacy of the day:

@mattyglesias

The concept of “redistribution” falsely implies that the existence of property is prior to the existence of the state.

I assume this to be a commonplace on the Left: that property cannot exist absent the state, so the state is free to distribute property as best suits its own needs. It was a commonplace in the feudal past, as well.

I love it when a plan comes together.

But to hold this few means to say that, prior to the existence of a government, no one thought of anything in terms of “mine”, and it is not possible to think of things as “mine” unless you can demonstrate so in court. But this notion is preposterous:

Bodie refers to the corner he dies at as “my corner”. In the world of The Wire (and presumably, in every inner-city), the “corner” is the place of narcotics distribution. Much of the conflict in inner-city drug trade involves control of corners (there’s a sub-plot in Season 2 of The Wire involving this). Said control is enforced by force of arms alone. If another gang tries to take a corner you have traded at, you must fight them, and kill them if necessary. It’s all very well for Matt Yglesias’ lilywhite ass to muse on the “myth of ownership.” For Bodie, his corner was the only real thing he knew.

Property is use and transference. Gangs use the corner to distribute their product. A kingpin may transfer a corner from one flunkie to another. He may even agree to let another gang use it as part of an agreement, thus transferring it. All of this happens not only outside the purview of the state, but in direct opposition to it. Legally, those “corners” do not belong to the gangs (I don’t know who they belong to, save the city itself). But who else does anything with it? And more to the point, who is stopping them? No one stopped Bodie from trading at his corner until another Gang-Starr gave him the double-tap. Whereupon the corner belonged to whoever Marlo, in the exercise of his seigneurial rights, decided should have it.

The state does not create property. Men claim parts of the earth as theirs to use. When they tire of defending that claim with weapons, they create the state to free their property from violence. The effectiveness of the state in doing so determines how much legitimacy the state enjoys. In The Wire, the state cannot even prevent juveniles from engaging in illegal activity on the state’s own property. Which is at least part of the reason that streets upon streets of empty rowhouses in Baltimore sit, unowned.

“Don’t Shoot Me, It Was Not About You, It Was About What This Place Stands For.”

Dear Progressives,

You are allowed, given your insistence on your spiritual superiority, to treat violence as some kind of gaucherie that the Unwashed perform. Such is at least consistent.

But if you yourself stoop to violence, do not attempt, after being disarmed, to plead against violence on the grounds that your violence was only ideologically motivated.

It doesn’t make it better.

Yours Truly,

All Those Horrible Conservatives That You Are So Much Better Than

The Joy of Baby-Killing

In my anti-gay-marriage apologia, I mused about what new taboo the cultural left would set its targets on once gay marriage became the norm. Protein Wisdom has found it“after-birth abortion” infanticide.

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled. […]

This is what reason does when divorced from first principles: it finds a rationale for any kind of behavior, and then determines, since a rationale exists, that it must be ethically acceptable. Any argument against the behavior must thus prove the rationale invalid, or else, however impeccably reasoned from first principles, said argument must be “irrational.”

So the left is readying itself to declare more and more humans to be un-persons.

Just like old times...