Defining Denial


Paul Krugman on his NYT blog writes of false equivalencies created by redefining positions as they are restated. He often touts this tactic as inaccurate and disingenuous; however, I call it by a name I apply to its function–denial. /wr

That broad second step, responding to or defending a position, shades and changes the original meaning, in order to distract from real assessment and evaluation. I call denial.

The denial is not clinical as in addiction or psychology, but a broad, social action-concept centered in power. esp. political economy, law, and military strategy. It is essentially a false claim, but it does not examine its blame. It refuses a review of the logic it defends. Its power justifies its threat.

It is a pretense; a distraction, a misdirection. It is an unfortunate waste of time that hinders debate and progress. Denial is an effective tool as it shifts the debate to new terms while letting the old terms stand unchallenged.

It’s the prime defense of a smear.

 Dorothea Lange. GA,1936-1939. Library of  Congress.


Dorothea Lange. GA,1936-1939. Library of Congress.

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