Logical Fallacies in the Press

Hank blogs about yet another hit job on libertarianism in the press, this time coming from some hack named Michael Lind in Salon. Unfortunately, the whole thing is based upon a logical fallacy that is buried in the seventh paragraph of the piece. Lind wonders aloud:

But think about this for a moment. If socialism is discredited by the failure of communist regimes in the real world, why isn’t libertarianism discredited by the absence of any libertarian regimes in the real world?

This is a basic logical fallacy known as (in Latin) argumentum a silentio, or an argument from silence. An argument from silence is a conclusion drawn based on the absence of evidence. Logical fallacies coming from the enemies of freedom are not always to be ignored, and Hank did us all a service by trying to earnestly straighten out Lind’s fallacious reasoning, but at the same time, we know from careful research that most arguments are based off of dishonesty, plain and simple.

Here is the upside, though: as Dr Gibson points out, the fact that the press is even paying attention to libertarian arguments suggests that more savagery from the Left is coming our way. Given that the Left is morally and ideologically bankrupt, this should serve as some small comfort to those of us who yearn for a less paternalistic and condescending society.

Addendum (6/6): Will Wilkinson has more over at Democracy in America. Tom Woods chimes in as well.

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