A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 03, 2013
Kafkatrapping

"Kafkatrapping” (Kafka + trapping) was coined by the blog Armed and Dangerous on July 18, 2010, and popularized by the blog Legal Insurrection on September 1, 2013. The term’s name is from German language author Franz Kafka (1883-1924), who wrote about an innocent person’s torture by the state in The Trial.

For example, a person accuses a white person of being racist against blacks. According to “Kafkatrapping,” the question is a trap—if the white person denies being a racist, that’s even more proof of racism. Ed Driscoll of PJ Media, on September 3, 2013, wrote that “Kafkatrapping” was particularly useful to describe “white-liberal white-baiting link-baiting gone wild.”


Wikipedia: The Trial
The Trial (original German title: Der Process, later Der Prozess, Der Proceß and Der Prozeß) is a novel written by Franz Kafka in 1914 and 1915 but not published until 1925. One of Kafka’s best-known works, it tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed to neither him nor the reader.

Like Kafka’s other novels, The Trial was never completed, although it does include a chapter which brings the story to an end. Because of this, there are some inconsistencies and discontinuities in narration within the novel, such as disparities in timing.

Armed and Dangerous
Kafkatrapping
Posted on 2010-07-18 by esr
(...)
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.

Twitter
Klejdys ‏
@klejdys
“Kafkatrapping” - “Your refusal to acknowledge that you are guilty of sin {X} confirms you are guilty of sin {X}.” http://trunc.it/9rhe4 #fb
6:48 AM - 25 Jul 10

Twitter
Tim Seibel‏
@TimSeibel
@ cubachi A new word for the political lexicon:  Kafkatrapping. 
http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2122
10:27 AM - 25 Jul 10

Legal Insurrection
Kafkatrapping
Posted by William A. Jacobson Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 9:31pm
A reader writes:

In White-liberal white-baiting link-baiting gone wild you mentioned this:

Make an outlandish statement about White people.
Watch White people react in denial.
Use denial reaction as proof you were right all along.

There’s a word for this logical Fallacy. It’s called Kafkatrapping.

In short it takes the form of using denial of guilt as proof of guilt. Here’s the blog that explains it very well.

I think the term should be used more widely.


Absolutely, and thanks for the heads up.

Kafkatrapping now not only is in our vocabulary, it’s a “tag” (I need to go back and add it to past posts).

PJ Media
Kafkatrapping
By Ed Driscoll
September 3rd, 2013 - 12:48 pm
“Kafkatrapping” isn’t a term that he coined, but I imagine this post from William A. Jacobson at his Legal Insurrection blog will help put it into wide circulation, particularly in regards to “white-liberal white-baiting link-baiting gone wild,”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Tuesday, September 03, 2013 • Permalink