“Whataboutism”

Repressive regimes often reply to criticism by pointing out that their critics behave in “seemingly” similar ways. For instance, during the Cold War Soviets responded to US reports about their widespread human rights violations by highlighting racism in the US or human rights violations in right-wing dictatorships. This is a fallacy (ie. an argument that uses poor reasoning), because it does not address the original criticism, does not really show in anyway that the original accusation is false. The US diplomats gave this a name: “whataboutism”.

A ridiculous new example comes from North Korea, which is ruled by probably the most brutal and oppressive regime on Earth. It just released its human rights report on the US, which refers to continuing racism, unemployment and national surveillance in that country and concludes that the US is a “living hell”. Although some of the facts are correct (e.g. the US has a very large prison population), the North Korean report blows them way out of proportion. More importantly, regardless of the conditions in the US, North Korea remains a miserable hellhole.

This makes me think, will Turkey one day publish its own human rights report about other countries to hide the fact that it is no longer a full democracy? 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s