Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The "Darth Vader" Solicitation

David Prowse as Darth Vader in The Empire Stri...
David Prowse as Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Remember in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, when Darth Vader offered Luke Skywalker a chance to join him to rule the Galaxy? (The twist after that is voted #1 twist of all times) This is AFTER Vader sliced off Luke's hand, mind you. Clearly, the offer will not be accepted.

Did you know that Moamar Khadaffi offered one of the most prominent dissidents in Libya a chance to join him to work through the problems, in order to avoid the revolution that eventually killed him? The offer was turned down as well. The dissident knew then that making such an offer means Khadaffi will lose and the rebels will win.

Clearly, such offers are almost NEVER taken seriously.

So why do defenders of potential scams (and outright scams) make such offers?

Sometimes the offer is worded as "join and see for yourself." Following is one example from "shine" defending the TVI Express Scam (dated November 2011).

Sometimes, they will even offer to pay for your membership.

The "solicitation" is a variant of "You don't understand us" red herring, where the defender implies that the critic does not fully understand overall picture. However, instead of making any corrections, the defender simply assumes a superior attitude and dismiss critic's premise in its entirety.

The "solicitation" variant further adds the "reciprocity" factor of compliance to appeal to "fairness" of both the critic and any one reading the exchange. It also makes the defender look more confident in his or her viewpoint, as in "I'll bet money on this."

The defender also will often seque into ad hominem attack, play upon defender's "moral superiority" to have offered something and was turned down.

However, the "solicitation" makes no sense logically. If the critic "experienced" the opportunity first hand, it still would not mean anything as the critic would be guilty of "anecdotal fallacy" if he testifies to his/her experience. A skeptic critic knows all that, and would have never accepted, and the defender knew this.

The defender will make the offer due to the following reasons:
  • Grand-standing -- the other side is afraid to face the truth! 
  • Appeal to fairness -- I offered and he refused! He doesn't WANT to know! 
In propaganda, confidence and succinctness (and repetition) are key factors in converting a lot of minds. The "Darth Vader Solicitation" is NOT made in good faith, but makes for great propaganda value, much like Germany claimed to be aiming for peace, but when their impossible demands were not met, blamed the Allies for warmongering. 

And that's all it is: propaganda.  

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for linking to my list - I followed the traffic you sent my way back here, wanted to say good article, great site - I'll be back, maybe I'll see something of mine up here again someday!

    Keep up the good work!