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ASPartOfMe
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18 Nov 2020, 3:53 am

Godwin's law

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Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Hitler analogies) is an Internet adage asserting that "as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches ". That is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or his deeds, the point at which effectively the discussion or thread often ends.

Promulgated by the American attorney and author Mike Godwin in 1990, Godwin's law originally referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions.He stated that he introduced Godwin's law in 1990 as an experiment in memetics. It is now applied to any threaded online discussion, such as Internet forums, chat rooms, and comment threads, as well as to speeches, articles, and other rhetoric where reductio ad Hitlerum occurs.

In 2012, "Godwin's law" became an entry in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Overuse of Nazi ideologies goes beyond the internet

Playing Nazi card weakens any hand by Cathy Young for Newsday
Cathy Young is a contributing editor to Reason magazine.
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Quote:
Even as President Donald Trump continues his toxic tantrum against the legitimate results of a national election, one of his critics in the media has managed to go after him in a way that only gives ammunition to his defenders — ones who dismiss all harsh criticism as "Trump Derangement Syndrome." Last week, veteran CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour explicitly compared Trump to the Nazis in 1930s Germany.

Amanpour’s remarks were made in the introduction to her foreign-affairs show. Evoking the memory of Kristallnacht, the horrific pogrom against Jews that took place 82 years ago on Nov. 9-10, 1938, Amanpour told her audience, "It was the Nazis’ warning shot across the bow of our human civilization that led to genocide against a whole identity, and in that tower of burning books, it led to an attack on fact, knowledge, history and truth. After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden-Harris team pledges a return to norms, including the truth."

Don’t get me wrong, this is certainly a good time to decry Trump’s assault on civilized norms, including truth. The fact that the president of the United States and his team are filing frivolous lawsuits to delay the certification of an election he lost — and making egregiously false, already debunked public claims about election fraud — is beyond appalling.

But it’s also preposterous to even have to point out that it doesn’t begin to compare to Kristallnacht.

One could argue that, in a broad sense, Trumpism’s appeal to national greatness and nativist hostilities to "alien" groups taps into the same type of resentments as Nazi propaganda. But jingoism and xenophobia have existed in plenty of societies, often in vicious forms — far worse than anything in Trump’s America. Nazi Germany serves as a warning. But invoking Nazi atrocities as a direct analogy to the United States today is a rhetorical leap too far. It cheapens the suffering of victims — and it undercuts the argument against Trump by making it absurdly hyperbolic..

To be sure, conservatives who decry Amanpour’s rhetorical excesses sometimes engage in similar hyperbole when they claim that American Democrats are about to take us down the path of totalitarian communism, as if Joe Biden were one step away from morphing into Joe Stalin. But excess on one side doesn’t excuse excess on the other. Let’s all tamp it down, and not allow Trump to lead us into derangement.

Bolding=Mine

As Cathy Young mentioned, not only the left
The Kristallnacht You Didn’t Hear About
Rabbi Yakov Saacks, Director of The Chai Center in Dix Hills, NY
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Just a couple of months back on May 20, as the Jewish people were celebrating the conclusion of the most important holiday of Shavuos, protests were taking place all over the country over the execution of George Floyd by an out of control police officer who will face jail time, deservedly so. These protests, like so many, were hijacked by a mob who I believe took advantage of the crisis and robbed neighborhoods blind.

One of the places that had the protests which led to violence was in the city of Los Angeles, but not where you think.
that night the protests were in a specific place in the uptown Los Angeles neighborhood called Fairfax. I am sure you can guess what is special about Fairfax – nothing in fact, other than it is an area that is heavily populated with synagogues and kosher stores.

In addition to destruction and graffiti inflicted upon the synagogues, a number of kosher restaurants, bakeries and stores were ransacked by protesters, looting much of the merchandise and causing extensive property damage.

Some of the synagogues damaged as a result of vandalism, graffiti and looting by protesters include Congregation Kehilas Yaakov, Tiferes Tzvi and Congregation Beth Israel, one of the oldest synagogues in Los Angeles and the spiritual home to many Holocaust survivors over the years. At the latest count, at least five synagogues in the area were vandalized, as were three Jewish schools.

One small business owner described a “late Saturday night with people driving down the Fairfax district streets screaming, ‘effing Jews.’”

One would think that after this kind of hate and the destruction of Jewish schools, shuls and many obviously owned Jewish businesses, you would hear it on the news in New York and not only in L.A.

Have you heard a peep from any Jewish organization about the Los Angeles Kristallnacht? For that matter, have you heard any non-Jewish institution, political or otherwise, condemning the attack? Did you even know about the attack? Even in Los Angeles, one can hear crickets.

A few weeks ago, a group of far-left Jewish groups published an open letter to the community demanding that American Jews pledge allegiance to a “new covenant” which demands endorsement of Black Lives Matter. Hillel signed on. San Francisco Jewish Federation signed on. The Reconstructionist movement signed on. Did these same three organizations condemn the Los Angeles Kristallnacht?



It is more than overdue to point out this incident happened and the anti Semitic nature of this riot and denounce the silence about this riot. I also agree with pointing out that BLM and Louis Farrakhan relationship should be more than concerning if you are Jewish and pointing out that one of the LA chapter's leaders a Farrakkhan sympathizer targeted Fairfax.

What the "Shavuos riot" was not was Kristallnacht. Unlike Kristallnacht nobody was killed. And unlike Kristallnacht the government did not organize the riot.


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Last edited by ASPartOfMe on 18 Nov 2020, 6:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

magz
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18 Nov 2020, 5:48 am

Yeah, arguments ad Hitlerum or calling someone a Nazi devaluates your arguments instead of reinforcing them.
In a way, it's just descending to name-calling.


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auntblabby
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18 Nov 2020, 5:51 am

in the age of trumpoleeney, didn't godwin himself sorta relax a bit about that? [IOW he said some comparisons were now more appropriate than they were before]



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18 Nov 2020, 6:16 am

Of course Trump shouldn't be compared to Hitler. Hitler actually wrote his own book.


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Pepe
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18 Nov 2020, 7:18 am

magz wrote:
Yeah, arguments ad Hitlerum or calling someone a Nazi devaluates your arguments instead of reinforcing them.
In a way, it's just descending to name-calling.


This may surprise you...
Oh, hell, who am I kidding?
I totally agree with you. :mrgreen:

I see it as infantile, also. 8)


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19 Nov 2020, 7:53 pm

I feel like Nazi and Hitler comparisons are cop out comparisons, because when people use them, they think what's the lowest level I can compare a person too... Hiter! And that's why it's often used, because it's a cop out.



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19 Nov 2020, 9:04 pm

ironpony wrote:
I feel like Nazi and Hitler comparisons are cop out comparisons, because when people use them, they think what's the lowest level I can compare a person too... Hiter! And that's why it's often used, because it's a cop out.

but sometimes the metaphors are apt.



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19 Nov 2020, 10:14 pm

Yep that's true, sometimes they are. It's just I hear the term nazi so overused lately for many people, it seems.



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19 Nov 2020, 10:15 pm

I think this kind of rhetoric weakens all your mental defenses regarding entirely real trends of fascism in the real world.


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19 Nov 2020, 10:16 pm

ironpony wrote:
Yep that's true, sometimes they are. It's just I hear the term nazi so overused lately for many people, it seems.

think of it in terms of there being "SMOKE!!" shouted everywhere all the time, but the big picture is that where there's smoke there's fire.



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19 Nov 2020, 10:37 pm

If I had a dollar for every time I've seen the word "nazi" on WP, I'd be wealthy.


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19 Nov 2020, 11:14 pm

I think what Amanpour said, it was appropriate time of her to bring up Hitler and Nazi. We don't want to repeat history. I think getting upset about it shows you are not comfortable with the truth and you want to pretend it's not happening. We don't want to head that direction again.

Before Trump took office, I was seeing it in petty arguments and then it was being used correctly so I have seen the Hitler comparison being used a lot less now because I think Trump taught us something. :wink:


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20 Nov 2020, 12:11 am

auntblabby wrote:
ironpony wrote:
I feel like Nazi and Hitler comparisons are cop out comparisons, because when people use them, they think what's the lowest level I can compare a person too... Hiter! And that's why it's often used, because it's a cop out.

but sometimes the metaphors are apt.


I thought Himmler was eviler than Hitler. :scratch:


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Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)


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20 Nov 2020, 12:18 am

League_Girl wrote:
I think what Amanpour said, it was appropriate time of her to bring up Hitler and Nazi. We don't want to repeat history. I think getting upset about it shows you are not comfortable with the truth and you want to pretend it's not happening. We don't want to head that direction again.


We also don't want to go the Stalinist way. 8)



League_Girl wrote:
I Before Trump took office, I was seeing it in petty arguments and then it was being used correctly so I have seen the Hitler comparison being used a lot less now because I think Trump taught us something. :wink:


Calling Trump a Hitler is one thing, but calling all Republican supporters Nazis is another. 8)


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Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)


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20 Nov 2020, 12:21 am

Simply not being nazis is a pathetically low bar to clear however. That in no way stops people from sticking their heads in the sand as if moral failings on the part of authoritarians aren't a problem.

Republicans have been supporting nazis. This is a fact.


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20 Nov 2020, 12:27 am

Pepe wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
ironpony wrote:
I feel like Nazi and Hitler comparisons are cop out comparisons, because when people use them, they think what's the lowest level I can compare a person too... Hiter! And that's why it's often used, because it's a cop out.

but sometimes the metaphors are apt.


I thought Himmler was eviler than Hitler. :scratch:


Maybe in the sense that Darth Vader Was more evil than Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine. But in both cases, the subordinate was serving the master.


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