Love & Sex Magazine

Conceptual Ledge

By Maggiemcneill @Maggie_McNeill

May 13, 2021 by Maggie McNeill

Statists are fond of pretending that the slippery slope is a "fallacy", because they don't want you to think about how either legal precedent or human psychology work; as I wrote years ago in " The Devil's Toys ",

...In the common law tradition, laws are defended from those who would challenge them by arguing precedent: demonstrating that a new law or practice strongly resembles others already in existence which have never been challenged (or better yet, withstood such challenges) constitutes evidence that the new act is also permissible. But there's another factor, a psychological and moral one: once people get used to an idea, they're much more likely to support laws that reflect that attitude...Those who rejoice when a private corporation deletes a writer's article, and would gloat if she were fired, are already receptive to the idea of censorship; enacting the practice into law and establishing censors to act "on behalf of the public" is only one step further...

In the past decade, we've seen so many tyrannies enabled by these mechanisms, there's very little point in my rehashing them; however, useful idiots being first and foremost idiots, they just keep on cheerleading for face-eating leopards that they believe will never eat their faces, because they either believe or want everyone else to believe that the slippery slope is a "fallacy". There is indeed such a thing as a "slippery slope fallacy", but it's different from the real principle of tyranny via incremental extension of legal precedent; what makes the difference between the two is what one might call a "conceptual ledge", a break in the chain of logic that those employing a slippery slope fallacy intentionally gloss over. The difference is so clear and simple only a fanatic or other victim of dangerously-disordered thinking could miss it: an example of the real slippery slope is the way that surveillance powers approved for use against "terrorists" were in fact mostly used to persecute people for drugs, while an example of the slippery slope fallacy looks like this:

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