Godwin Suspends Godwin's Law

Comments

1

I always knew he'd come to his senses someday.

2

That Tweet is from 10 months ago, when things weren't quite so bad.

3

There goes every shithead troll's favorite talking point. They did Nazi that comin'.

4

So much furor over der Fuehrer...

5

Godwin's Law was never "You can't talk about Nazis." It wasn't "You can't call someone a Nazi" and it wasn't "You can't compare someone to Hitler".

It was just a prediction that eventually somebody would, and the observation that you're probably having a pointless dialog by the time someone does.

It's still true. Who can claim to have had a discussion with any of these "just enforcing the law" racist shitbirds and found it anything but pointless?

When Godwin says, "go ahead and compare them to Nazis", he means that you shouldn't hesitate to speak the truth just because neither you nor the asshole yelling Trumpisms at you will learn or grow from the experience. We still take out the trash even if it's not something we learn or grow from.

Think of calling a Nazi a Nazi the way you think of wiping your ass. It's not going to change the world, but it still has to be done.

6

@5 it was a prediction but to my experience is it first functioned as a way not digress into ww2 because someone brought up hitler to stop discussion, but then itself became a way to stop discussion: "oh, godwin's law, you lose." i blame the same people who try to stop discussions by yelling about fallacies.

7

Wow, dude. That is not even wrong, pansack.

8

Good. Particularly because the internet taboo is usually misused to disallow ever saying the word "Hitler" or "Nazi" (analogies are not comparisons), even when a discussion could benefit from historical lessons.

Plus, breaking the taboo in no way controls who "loses" a debate.

Most often whoever tries to enforce the taboo that sprung up around Godwin's Law is an idiot.

9

It's not so much that you "lose" any debate by referencing Nazis, only that the comparisons are almost always lazy, ignorant, and devoid of any kind of reasonable basis.

So typically when one gets so desperate they have to bring up Nazis it's a good sign that they don't actually have an argument and are just yelling or angry.

Same thing with logical fallacies. Using them proves that you have no real argument, and are relying on sophistry, lies, and other such nonsense.

10

Ditto #5 and #6.

Godwin's Law is just an observation that is still true, that the probability of a Hitler comparison approaches 1 as the length of a forum discussion increases (technically this is true of any subject as the length approaches infinity, but determining the significantly faster rate at which the Nazi mention probability approaches 1 versus that of, say, ice cream, would require extensive, rigorous study for which I suspect there would be limited funding). INVALID comparisons may signal that one has lost a debate becasue one is out of valid points in one's favor, but not all comparisons to Hitler/Nazis are invalid. There are literal neo-Nazis who emulate the values and aesthetics of the historical German Nazi party (who tend to be supporters of and supported by our President), there are White ethno-nationalists who are for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from historical Nazis except for their historical and geographical location (ditto; and this probably has something to do with the fact that a lot of Nazi ideology was grown right here in the US of A and never went anywhere, including the particular idea of an expansionist ethno-nationalist imperial ideal - Manifest Destiny - and a directed, systemic program of human eugenics as a means of achieving it), and there are still some actual, factual members of Germany's Nazi party alive.

11

@7

I had so much hope, as pansack seemed to have been trending towards using punctuation recently.

Oh well...

12

The fact that some people make absurd comparisons regarding Naziism should NEVER have meant that all analogies to the trends which created the Third Reich were inherently invalid.

13

So Godwin 'Godwinned' Godwin himself? This truly is the age of miracles.
Anyway, jejune humor aside, here is the real problem we face:

The Meaninglessness of Overuse

Keep comparing the floating corruption scandal that is TrumpFamilyInc. & Associates to "Nazis" --no matter how apt-- and we risk watering down the pejorative reference to a puddle of frothy bile on the sidewalk. Meaningless to anyone that supports Trumpy (eg. Fox News), or is even indifferent. Even to people that despize that bloated NarcissoFactory; they too will lose the sense of urgency and depth of meaning.

Orwell pointed out this very problem in 1944 -- although in regard to the word 'Fascism'. However that problem remains true today (with the word 'fascism' specifically), and will affect 'nazi' soon enough. Hell, some people, already sporting "Fashy" haircuts, probably think it's just "funny".

"It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless."
[...]
"But Fascism is also a political and economic system. Why, then, cannot we have a clear and generally accepted definition of it? Alas! we shall not get one — not yet, anyway. To say why would take too long, but basically it is because it is impossible to define Fascism satisfactorily without making admissions which neither the Fascists themselves, nor the Conservatives, nor Socialists of any colour, are willing to make. All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword.”

Not /ever/, at this point.