Monday, April 20, 2009

Jackie Chan's Absurdity

Actor Jackie Chan has recently given a statement that Chinese people need to be controlled, and is receiving a negative backlash.

I must admit, every time I hear such an argument for establishing/maintaining an all-powerful government I cannot help but shake my head at the absurdity. In such arguments it is asserted that individuals are innately irrational and cannot manage their own lives. Their solution: put individuals in charge of those individuals.

This is the fallacy of arbitrary exclusion, or, if a politician is making the claim, the fallacy of self-exclusion. The fallacy entails that one make an assertion that logically subsumes an entire category (e.g. all X's are A) but then arbitrarily and implicitly excludes particular instances. In the case of the politician, he is stating at the same time that he is rational and that all individuals are irrational. They fail to see that a group, a collective, is not a separate entity with a special nature, but rather a collection of individuals.

Sadly enough, the contradiction has gone over the heads of many societies, thereby allowing absolute government control to take place. But they are always star-crossed by reality from the beginning. The politicians not only succeed in destroying the people they control, but also at destroying themselves.

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