I came across a great new word today at ESR’s blog. “Kafkatrapping

The term Kafkatrapping is based on the story “The Trial” by Kafka. (whole story here)

The definition: 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…}.”

There are several variants of it explicitly discussed and described in the blog post. Well worth reading. We run into it a lot from the left, and among anti-rights activists generally.


9 thoughts on “Kafkatrapping

  1. Well, since the whole basis of Modern Leftist Ideology is based on Marxism, and since the Religious Fanatics who support Marxist Ideology KNOW that everything THEY think, say and do is Right, then under their Mindset, of course those who are the “Enemy” will deny anything that they are Accused of, thus proving their Guilt.

    Which is why I no longer even attempt to try and have a Rational Discussion with Lefties anymore. I’d probably have more luck convincing a Radical Islamist that what he is doing is wrong.

    • Well, both are a matter of faith in the face of all evidence.
      But pointing out, explicitly, and recognizing it, are both useful.

      • Yes — referring to Marxism as a religious cult is always good for some entertainment.

  2. Are you sure that Franz Kafka invented this type of non-reason? Pretty much every double-talking dictator ever used this system. The Medicis come to mind. Now, to be fair, this level of absurd WAS titled with Kafka’s stamp: “Kafkaesque”…

    • I’d not be surprised if it has been around for a LONG time, but as far as I know, a specific term and formal definition as a logic fail is much newer. If it’s one of Aristotle’s logical fallacies I don’t remember it.

  3. It reminds me of the circular logic of some cops; “Your invoking of your 4th and 5th amendment rights means you must have something to hide which gives me probable cause to search you and your vehicle.” True event, Volusia county Fla.

    • Which is why it has to be explicitly stated in law that it can’t be done that way… whether the cops abide by that or not is another matter.

      • So the response to one law being ignored is for another law to be passed that the first law is not allowed to be ignored?
        Reminds me of “restraining orders” — those don’t work, either.

  4. For some reason this reminds me of the Witch trial scene in one of the Monty Python movies. Life imitates art.

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