Faulty logic

A good argument can always be destroyed with nonsense.

If you are familiar with the ways the Republican Party has operated under Karl Rove then you’ll have an idea. It maintained that all ideas are created equal and none were worse than others. It allowed them for example to put intelligent design against evolution as a just as perfectly good idea. The US media, which is vulnerable from any accusations of being “biased”, allowed the Republicans plenty of airtime and column inches to pitch all sorts of lunatic ideas, as if they were facts.

It succeeded in energizing the “base”, meaning religious right wingers, but has distanced older and more educated Republicans from the party. People who have read a few books  in their lives are less likely to buy into faulty logic (emphasis on less likely).

In Iceland faulty logic is having a field day. My favorite three:

1) Would you rather have the other guys running the country? Now that would be a disaster.
Used by staunch supporters of the Independent Party and Samfylkingin.

Meaning that if the current government resigned we would automatically hand the power to the Left/Greens, Progressive Party and the Liberal Party, all of whom are in disarray. This logic is faulty because it assumes that things would be so much worse if others were in charge. But things are extremely bad. They happened on the current government’s watch. Just because someone else “could” do worse doesn’t mean they would. It would actually be very hard to make a bigger mess.

It also implies a threat and invokes fear. If you vote us out you will suffer more.

Logic would say that the economic disaster happened on this government’s watch and that there are many shady things coming to light. Therefore it is even more dangerous for the country that the same people who were in places of power and influence are the ones that are supposed to clean up the mess. When disaster strikes an entire country, affecting the livelyhood of everyone then politicians should have to renew their mandate. And just because things are the way they are, as in how we govern our country, does not mean it cannot be changed if need be.

2) Iceland will lose its independence and control of its fishing grounds  if we join the EU.
Used by politicians and fisheries.

This implies that we are an independent country that is in full control of its biggest natural resource, the fishing grounds. If we joined the EU our self-governance would cease to exist, our control of the natural resource would diminish and our culture would suffer.

Culture and nationality is shaped by many things. Languague, weather, music etc. Culture and nationality can also become shackles that hold people down. People who are independent are in control of their destiny. People who must pay billions to foreign nations for generations because of shady actions of select group of businessmen and politicians are not in control of their destiny. This group of people has shackled a nation. Iceland is not independent until its citizen’s livelyhood is not compromised because of massive debts abroad.

This same group of people has also stolen the fishing grounds a long time ago. The fishing quota system has enabled the same select band of people to leverage the fishing grounds to the hilt, move ships and production away from the country and hire low paid foreign labor. The fish in the sea has been mortgaged massively and does not belong to the nation of Iceland anymore.

This group is obviously trying to keep hold of its powers and the valuables they have received from the nation. They are so afraid that they are not even prepared to enter talks with the EU to see what could come out of them.

Logic would tell anyone to keep their options open and see what benefits they could reap. But they would rather not.

3) The Euro is not the answer. The dollar, Swiss frank and Norwegian krona are.
Used by same as above.

This is diversion tactic. When all roads lead to Rome, the ones that don’t want to go to Rome point towards Milano, Napoli, Genoa…or Oslo for that matter.  They are trying to stall.

It is amazing how some people can criticize the Euro on the grounds that we would lose our fiscal independence to some entity abroad can then turn around in the next sentence and want the Norwegian krona. The NKR is a small international currency and what about putting all your eggs in one basket? Would Norway care that much more about us than the European community?

The world needs fewer currencies. Why should we not get become a part of one of the bigger currencies in the world, one which our trade is more connected to than any other, but instead become part of others that are just options because they are there.

Unfortunately the media in Iceland is in worse pinch than in the US. It doesn’t investigate or offer different opinions from experts. Politicians can usually get away with delivering soundbytes that are unopposed by newscasters or experts. Minister of Justice, Bjorn Bjarnason for example has delivered all the soundbytes above recently and never to a newscaster that he does not approve of.

So faulty logic prevails.


4 Responses to “Faulty logic”

  1. 1 kkjartansson December 6, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    I’d say point 2 is faulty logic as well. A lot of people are saying that we aren’t a sovereign state anymore because of the debt and the fish isn’t ours ’cause it was given out in corporate hand-outs years ago. So why wouldn’t we compromise our independece by joining the EU, it’s been compromised already!
    My problem with this is that it’s self-defeatist rethoric. ‘We’re so small and we’re so corrupt, we don’t deserve independence,’ is something a lot of people are saying these days. It’s nothing else than defeatism when people decide they’d rather have someone else think for them in the future rather than change these things themselves. In fact, the conditions have never been better for change. Our resources can be reclaimed from the oligarchy and the political system can be remade. There’s no chance of that happening if we assimilate in the embryonic Roman Empire…

  2. 2 drafnsson December 6, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    In the big picture, nations cannot afford to isolate themselves anymore. Through globalization we depend too much on each other.

    You twist the argument into it being made because we don’t deserve independence. But we do deserve it and therefore we should at least be open-minded enough to at least start discussions with united Europe.

    By calling it the embryonic Roman Empire you end up using nonsense to destroy the good argument that nations need to stick closer together, instead of isolating themselves.

    And are you saying that Europeans don’t think for themselves???? By that logic, anyone who elects a government gives up his right to think.

  3. 3 Kjartan December 6, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    When you’re in the EU the power is even farther away than with your local government meaning people have even less say than they have now. As a consequence, people have less say over how their communities are run and diversity is stifled. We can all live in a standardized, uniform world where there are no bent cucumbers or weird looking vegetables.
    Also, the rhetoric that nations can’t isolate themselves anymore implies that if a European nation decides not to partake in the EU it will automatically be excluded from all international trade and relations which is absurd. Besides, the EU is about isolation: isolating us, the good standing citizens of white Europe, from the hordes of dirty Africans (and basically anyone without money). It’s about exclusion, not inclusion.

    • 4 drafnsson December 8, 2008 at 1:15 pm

      To quote the good people of Prison Break. That is some captivity by negativity.
      We could just as well resign from all international organizations and treaty´s.
      I prefer to look further ahead and see this step forward towards unified Europe going further towards a unified world down the road.

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