Friday, August 6, 2010

Translating Wingnutspeak to English: The Kurtz Fallacy


Word of the Day:
The Kurtz Fallacy:
Quote of the Day:
I was particularly amused by the argument that Obama has never openly advocated socialism in his various publications. One key difference between American and European socialists is that the American variety resorts far more often to deliberate stealth.
Stanley Kurtz, NRO Guy on why the President is a socialist.
This one line, a Freudian Slip, if you will, sums up the Wingnutopian position quite nicely. As such as Kurtz can say: “Obama is a socialist; that other guy over there is a socialist and all of those people are socialists. Sure they never advocate ‘socialism’ but that is because they are TRICKY.”

That is the argument in a Nutshell.

Imagine if we were to turn this argument around and say “The former half term republican governor of a large western state is a Fascist. Sure she never has advocated Lebensraum, racial supremacy and world domination, but that is because she is TRICKY.”

The next line of reasoning goes like this:
Your conclusion does not seem right. Socialists pretty much have to believe in X, Y, and Z. Those guys you called Socialists don’t believe in X, Y and Z. How can they be socialists then?
Kurtz’s Wingnutopian response is like this:
“That is correct. Some socialists believe in X, Y and Z. However Socialists can also believe in things that I define as Socialism and thus, the President and that guy and those other people are Socialists because I define them as being such.”
You can’t make this up.

This is the Kurtz Fallacy. If Socialism requires the presence of sufficient levels of X, Y, and Z. The absence of sufficient levels of X, Y, and Z does not preclude the presence of Socialism if Kurtz says so.

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