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Please Stop comparing everything with Adolf Hitler!

by jaap de vries
Tags: adolf, comparing, hitler, stop
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SOS2008
#19
Jan29-06, 02:59 PM
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Quote Quote by jaap de vries
The other day I saw anti-abortion protesters comparing abortion with the holocaust including graphical pictures of dead Jews piled up. Question, if abortion and the holocaust are so similar than why did the pope conveniently remained silent during WOII and is he screaming murder now about abortion?
Your observation is correct. Why are the right-wing conservatives so obsessed with abortion but unconcerned about the babies (or people in general) who are killed in war (i.e., Iraq) or genocide? In other words, be consistent if you're pro-life.
Quote Quote by Andre
Apart from the emotional load of this kind of discussion, perhaps it is still a mystery to be solved how a single lunatic managed to become the undisputed deity of an entire population. How can we prevent it from happening ever again? Not by applying taboo rules on the subject.
The comparison is often over used or inappropriate, but I agree, we should always remember history and learn from it.

As Anttech said: …we "Should never forget" so as to prevent it from happening again

Quote Quote by fourier jr
well right-wingers misuse words like communist, marxist, liberal, anarchist words all the time. when wil they stop assuming that, for example, canada building a national power grid is something that kim kong il would do here? (someone said that on another forum)
True too, which gets back to censorship in general. If one starts limiting views, then where will the line be drawn?
Pengwuino
#20
Jan29-06, 05:30 PM
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Quote Quote by jaap de vries
So you agree that the Vatican bases their opinions not solely on religion but more on political gain.
I don't really think you understand the implications of having one of the largest armies ever sitting at your doorstep being headed by a leader who doesn't see anything wrong with killing millions of people because of their religion.
Ivan Seeking
#21
Jan29-06, 06:54 PM
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Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. What have we to learn from and compare to but real events?

I don't know how people are using this comparison here, but in some respects analogy and comparisons can by useful and insightful.
edward
#22
Jan29-06, 09:45 PM
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If someome wants to make a comparison to someone or some thing truly nasty and evil. Hitler and Nazi are the first things that come to mind.

I think it also happens because they are histroically recent and the most studied. We could compare a politician to Vlad the Impaler, but how many people are fimiliar with Bad old Vlad.

According to the link below a lot of people have been compared to Hitler. The problem with this is that it waters down just how truly evil Hitler and the Nazi's really were.


http://beautifulatrocities.com/archi..._future_e.html
Hurkyl
#23
Jan29-06, 10:13 PM
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I don't know how people are using this comparison here, but in some respects analogy and comparisons can by useful and insightful.
The general rule is that comparisons with Hitler and such are not useful and insightful. (You should read the literature on Godwin's law)

These comparisons are almost exclusively used as a synonym for "double plus evil"*. These comparisons do not attempt to extract any meaningful information out of the comparison; they merely wish to project feelings about the Nazis onto the topic at hand.

Furthermore, even if there is, on some topic a valid analogy to be extracted from Hitler's example, you are unlikely to be able to make the analogy without carrying over the extreme connotations associated with it. (in which the point will almost certainly be lost) Thus, even in this circumstance, it is advisable not to make such comparisons.


*: I find it ironic that newspeak has increased the expressiveness of English.
JasonRox
#24
Jan29-06, 10:14 PM
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What about comparing scientists to Einstein?

Everyone compares something with something, but it's always done improperly.

Yes, it does make you look stupid.
ComputerGeek
#25
Jan30-06, 01:18 AM
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Quote Quote by jaap de vries
I noticed in many threads that many things are compared to Adolf Hitler and the Gestapo etc.
Why don't we just decide here that we will stop doing that ok, it makes people sound very uneducated.

The other day I saw anti-abortion protesters comparing abortion with the holocaust including graphical pictures of dead Jews piled up. Question, if abortion and the holocaust are so similar than why did the pope conveniently remained silent during WOII and is he screaming murder now about abortion?
Just an observation I made.

Jaap
You know... that comment is so Nazi like...

oh.. wait
Smurf
#26
Jan30-06, 05:50 AM
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I'm so dissapointed in you all. Especially you Pengwuino, I expected better.

If I'd been around when this thread was created I would've immediately jumped in with a "Godwin's Law! jaap de vries Loses!".

tsk tsk.
NateTG
#27
Jan30-06, 10:41 AM
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Quote Quote by Smurf
I'm so dissapointed in you all. Especially you Pengwuino, I expected better.

If I'd been around when this thread was created I would've immediately jumped in with a "Godwin's Law! jaap de vries Loses!".
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/legends/godwin/
Hurkyl
#28
Jan30-06, 05:33 PM
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Gah, here's a Godwin's law related situation I don't know how to handle!

Quote Quote by person1
What ever happened to the policy of diplomatic engagement?
Quote Quote by person2
The policy of appeasing such regimes ended in 1938.
Although the general rule is that you shouldn't reference Hitler et al, do we have a valid exception when the right answer1 to a question requires such a reference? Can anyone field this one?



1: Or at least what one thinks to be the right answer.
Art
#29
Jan30-06, 07:03 PM
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Quote Quote by Hurkyl
Gah, here's a Godwin's law related situation I don't know how to handle!


Although the general rule is that you shouldn't reference Hitler et al, do we have a valid exception when the right answer1 to a question requires such a reference? Can anyone field this one?


1: Or at least what one thinks to be the right answer.
The link appears to be diplomatic engagement = appeasement = rise of Nazis.

Exactly why diplomatic engagement is being equated to appeasement totally eludes me??

Modern business management practices promote the win-win scenario rather than the old 'hah, I win you lose' approach to negotiations.

Most civilised countries today follow the modern win-win approach to settling differences through diplomatic engagement without any appeasement and so making a ridiculous leap from diplomatic engagement to appeasement apparently to justify dragging nazism into it to my mind does invoke Godwins law.
Hurkyl
#30
Jan30-06, 07:10 PM
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I didn't bring this here to debate the correctness of person2's answer. Presumably, person2 thought his answer was right -- the question is about how he should proceed. (Based on his thoughts, not yours )
Art
#31
Jan30-06, 07:19 PM
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Quote Quote by Hurkyl
I didn't bring this here to debate the correctness of person2's answer. Presumably, person2 thought his answer was right -- the question is about how he should proceed. (Based on his thoughts, not yours )
Presumably anybody who draws a parallel between a current event and nazism does so because they think they are right. It was to prevent folk from broadcasting such delusions that Godwin's law was formulated.
Smurf
#32
Jan31-06, 03:44 AM
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Quote Quote by Art
Presumably anybody who draws a parallel between a current event and nazism does so because they think they are right. It was to prevent folk from broadcasting such delusions that Godwin's law was formulated.
Nah, Godwin's law was created to parody Usenet discussions. Then some dumbasses got their hands on it and said "No No No! Let's use this to HELP people talk in a more sophisticated manner on the internet", and thus crap such as this was created.
BobG
#33
Feb3-06, 11:00 AM
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Great! Now we've just lost a key international diplomatic debate to Venezuela! Rumsfeld likens Venezuela’s Chavez to Hitler

Quote Quote by Venezuela invokes Godwin's Law against US
In a stunning maneuver, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez invokes Godwin's Law against US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the US. Due to an obscure article in the UN Charter, the UN Security Council had no choice but to vote unanimously for sanctions against the United States. US Ambassador John Bolton loudly abstained from the vote.
Quote Quote by Bush Claims Executive Branch Exempt from Godwin's Law
President George Bush, backed by the U.S. Department of Justice, insisted a joint resolution passed by Congress days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks granted him sweeping wartime powers to protect the nation against future catastrophic terrorism. The Justice Department lays out numerous historical and legal precedents from the country's past armed conflicts to justify the comparison of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Hitler.

"The comparison of leaders in evil regimes to Hitler has been one of America's key weapons dating back to World War I, when Joseph Joffre's 'Plan XVII' was compared to Hitler's blueprint for invading Russia", Bush responded in a speech to France's National Assembly, "Heck, in World War II we compared Germany's leader to Hitler nearly every day. And it was hard work."
Okay, I admit it. The two stories in the quote boxes aren't real.
SOS2008
#34
Feb3-06, 12:22 PM
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Quote Quote by BobG
Great! Now we've just lost a key international diplomatic debate to Venezuela! Rumsfeld likens Venezuela’s Chavez to HitlerOkay, I admit it. The two stories in the quote boxes aren't real.
Very funny...

But Rummy did say this:

Rumsfeld likens Venezuela’s Chavez to Hitler
Defense chief expresses concern at ‘populist leadership’ in Latin America
Associated Press
Updated: 10:00 a.m. ET Feb. 3, 2006

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld likened Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Adolf Hitler...

Rumsfeld, asked during a National Press Club appearance Thursday about indications of a deteriorating general relationship between Washington and parts of Latin America ...he said... “We also saw corruption in that part of the world. And corruption is something that is corrosive of democracy.”

“I mean, we’ve got Chavez in Venezuela with a lot of oil money,” Rumsfeld added. “He’s a person who was elected legally — just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally — and then consolidated power and now is, of course, working closely with Fidel Castro and Mr. Morales and others.”
Corruption is corrosive to democracy, huh? And a leader who is elected legally (with no irregularities/fraud?) but then consolidates power, pehaps by invading another country thus becoming a Wartime President...is…like Hitler?
Moonbear
#35
Feb3-06, 01:35 PM
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I see a few different reasons and ways people make comparisons to Hitler and/or Nazism in posts around here; each reason requires a different response.

One is simply literary hyperbole, (exaggeration, for those of you who missed class that day ). It is not intended to make an accurate comparison or to imply the writer really believes it is true, it is a means of expressing extreme feelings on whatever issue is being discussed by comparing it to the most heinous series of events they can think of (sure, there are some other examples in history that could be used, but this one is more current and still evokes real emotion more than other events that are relegated to "ancient" history rather than "20th Century" history). When somebody is using it in this context, I just ignore it. They are at that point discussing feelings rather than facts, and there's little point engaging them on that; I have to accept that their feelings are their own and can only take their word for it that they feel the way they tell me. There's no point in arguing emotions.

Another way it is used is as part of a "slippery slope" argument. Those posters are not using it to say something IS like Hitler or the Nazi regime, or is directly comparable to the holocaust, but are saying events we see happening now are similar to how Hitler acted at the very beginning of his journey to power, and are arguing that if we don't stop them now, they will necessarily lead in that same direction. Of course, we know the fallacy of the slippery slope argument, and can address it as such. A lot of things had to fall into place at the same time for Hitler to have gained the type of power he gained, and anyone arguing that it will happen again needs to demonstrate how ALL those events are likely to recur.

However, related to the slippery slope usage, some people do make comparisons that are accurate and reasonable. They are not saying we're headed toward a Nazi regime or that Bush is Hitler, but rather are pointing out some of the commonalities of one era in history to the current political climate. There is nothing wrong with analyzing past political strategies and who is using them and how effective (or ineffective) they are. Politicians have studied politics, and if there are effective methods of leadership they see various people have used, they will borrow from those. That a device is effective and that you've borrowed it does not imply you will use it to the same end, or with the same motivation, as someone else. When people use it in that way, the problem is more the knee-jerk reaction of the respondents who misinterpret the meaning of the statement, rather than with the post making that comparison.

And lastly, there is the scenario of those who really do argue from ignorance, who really are blindly parroting the words of others or who don't see the blatant differences in what happened then vs now. I question if they truly understand the depths of horror that were a part of the holocaust to really believe such comparisons are accurate. With those people, all you can attempt to do is educate them on the differences, and remind them of what Hitler's regime and the holocaust were really about and hope it sinks in.
Art
#36
Feb3-06, 02:10 PM
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It's surprising how the allies get off so lightly when discussing attrocities during world war 2. Russia's behaviour was on a par with the worst excesses of Hitler's regime. They killed an estimated 2 million fleeing German civilians in the final push towards Berlin alone.

Apart from the millions of German prisoners who were summarily executed or literally worked to death in eastern prison camps, they also treated their own liberated prisoners as badly. Many of these 5.4 million Russians were shot out of hand or died in labor camps and many had been handed over to the Russians by the western allies in full knowledge of the fate that awaited them.

The British were hardly innocent either with the government indulging 'Bomber' Harris in his desire to obliterate his list of 50 major German cities. This continued long after any pretence of it's being for military purposes was ended.

The US apart from providing bombers in support of Harris' blood lust also fire bombed Tokyo killing an estimated 120,000 civilians and dropped two nuclear bombs on cities killing a further 80,000 outright and many more through it's after effects.

It seems that at that time in world history there were no shortage of ruthless, merciless leaders to choose from with Stalin probably pipping Hitler as the worst of the bunch.


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