"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind.” - Bob Marley

Thursday, December 29, 2011

KafkaTrapping - "Subconscious Racism"

On a forum I no longer visit, a black woman attributed opposition to Obama to:

deep ceded (sic) racism that appears to be at a subconscious level for some white people in this country, especially older white men.
I'll ignore hereafter that the woman committed both ageism and sexism in her bogus accusation.

I immediately understood the inherent, vicious, evil in the argument attributing political beliefs and actions to "subconscious racism", as noted briefly here.

However, I subsequently found a much better description - and dismantling - of this flawed type of "argument" by Eric S. Raymond here:


Significant excerpts:

One very notable pathology is a form of argument that, reduced to essence, runs like this: “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…}.” I’ve been presented with enough instances of this recently that I’ve decided that it needs a name. I call this general style of argument “kafkatrapping”, and the above the Model A kafkatrap. In this essay, I will show that the kafkatrap is a form of argument that is so fallacious and manipulative that those subjected to it are entitled to reject it based entirely on the form of the argument, without reference to whatever particular sin or thoughtcrime is being alleged. I will also attempt to show that kafkatrapping is so self-destructive to the causes that employ it that change activists should root it out of their own speech and thoughts.

My reference, of course, is to Franz Kafka’s “The Trial”, in which the protagonist Josef K. is accused of crimes the nature of which are never actually specified, and enmeshed in a process designed to degrade, humiliate, and destroy him whether or not he has in fact committed any crime at all. The only way out of the trap is for him to acquiesce in his own destruction; indeed, forcing him to that point of acquiescence and the collapse of his will to live as a free human being seems to be the only point of the process, if it has one at all.

This is almost exactly the way the kafkatrap operates in religious and political argument.
It is essential to the operation of all three of the variants of the kafkatrap so far described that the subject’s attention be deflected away from the fact that no wrongdoing by the subject, about which the subject need feel personally guilty, has actually been specified. The kafkatrapper’s objective is to hook into chronic self-doubt in the subject and inflate it, in much the same way an emotional abuser convinces a victim that the abuse is deserved – in fact, the mechanism is identical.
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 subject must be prevented from noticing that this logic convicts and impeaches the operator of the kafkatrap!

[Emphasis added.]

Further adding to the evil of the Black and/or Liberal accusation of "white racism" in regard to opposition the radical policies of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid axis is that the "racism" is imaginary.

Those who level these charges observe a large group of people with whom they disagree politically and infer racism - either that or they just outright lie about it - because their own "arguments" and policies are so weak that they must never be subjected to actual rational discourse.

Race relations in America may well be getting worse since the election of Obama.  But it's not because of anything that Whites or Conservatives did.

No comments:

About Me

I'm a 57 year old geek. I voted Democratic for 20 years, because I disliked the Republicans more. But now, nobody really speaks for me. I'm for Guns, for more correct government regulation of the financial world, against illegal immigration and amnesty. (in 2008 I ended up voting Republican - too many questions about Obama, and voting against anybody who voted for TARP 1.) In 2010 I voted a stright republican ticket because the Democrats have completely lost their minds.