Today’s Tom Woods Letter, which all the influential people receive every weekday. Be one of them.
Do you know what it means to “beg the question”?
Most people don’t.
It doesn’t mean to avoid the question, or to beg that a question be asked.
E.g., “He promised lots of big spending programs, but that begs the question of how he’ll pay for them.”
That’s wrong. That’s not begging the question. That’s just raising the question.
To beg the question is to assume the thing you are supposed to prove.
Let George Burns and Gracie Allen demonstrate begging the question.
Gracie: Gentlemen prefer blondes.
George: How do you know that?
Gracie: A gentleman told me so.
George: How did you know he was a gentleman?
Gracie: Because he preferred blondes.
Begging the question is precisely what happens in pretty much every government course in high school or college. Government is a solution in search of a problem for most teachers and professors. They already know the conclusion they want to reach, so they’re going to search for rationalizations. And their knee-jerk defenses, which simply assume the necessity of government to solve particular problems, consistently beg the question.
(That’s a long lead-in. Can you tell usage errors drive me crazy?)
I thought about this on today’s episode of the show. This morning I saw someone on Facebook complaining about the alleged dishonesty of the right-wing. And yes, the neoconservative right-wing is pretty bad, particularly when it comes to foreign affairs.
But for my money, the left has the right beat any day of the week.
I talked about Gloria Steinem on anorexia nervosa, Mitch Snyder on homelessness, campus activists on rape, environmentalists on DDT, Ralph Nader on traffic safety, and pretty much all progressives on child labor, discrimination, and the minimum wage. The record isn’t pretty.
And it all boils down to: government has to solve this problem, because without government this problem can’t be solved.
Feast your ears:
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