This week, we will delve into something really abstract. Not like monetary economics, which is so simple even a caveman can do it.
A Clever Ruse
We refer to a clever rhetorical trick. It’s when someone makes a broad and important assertion, in very general terms. But when challenged, the assertion is switched for one that is entirely uncontroversial but also narrow and unimportant. The trick is intended to foreclose debate of the broad assertion, not really to retreat to the narrow one.
The essence is bait-and-switch, or equivocation.
So let’s start with a simple example: diversity in a corporate board body is good. Suppose you demand why. The predictable answer is that it would be a boring world with less creative solutions if everyone on the board had the same background and perspective. Most people would agree with this, of course.
And that is the trick.