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It All Begins The Same Way, Part 4 … Reductio ad Nazium

June 28, 2009

Ever heard of Godwin’s Law?
Godwin’s Law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990 that states “…As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.
In other words, the longer two people argue about different political viewpoints, the more likely it is that one of the people will call the other a Nazi or “Hitler-esque”.

As is wont regarding such laws, somebody will come up with a few corollaries to offset or even re-define the original law itself.
For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically “lost” whatever debate was in progress. This principle itself is frequently, if incorrectly, referred to as Godwin’s Law.

Now, Left-Wing MSNBC talk show host Rachel Maddow likes to make the claim that whenever a Conservative starts using terms like “Socialist”, Fascist”, or “Communist” when describing Liberal policy, it means that the Liberal has the truth and the facts on their side…and the Conservative has no valid argument.
Sort of a variation on Godwin’s Law…except invoking the hurtful comparisons to The Soviet Union instead of to Germany.

Well, not so fast there, Rachel!

There is also a counterpoint to Godwin’s Law that says the Law cannot be invoked when one of the people in the argument is making legitimate comparisons to The National Socialists German Worker Party…and its most infamous spokesperson.
In addition, there are times when Godwin’s Law is used by somebody in order to stifle another person’s viewpoint…such as the tactic employed by Rachel Maddow. There is a Law for that as well.
Quirk’s Exception” is exercised when a person accuses another of Godwin’s Law not because the hurtful comparison is arbitrarily made but in order to end the discussion for ulterior reasons.

What does all of this dry info have to do with my previous blogs, you ask?
Only this…

In his infamous Leftist Manifesto Rules For Radicals, writer Saul Alinsky posits that the way to win an argument is to control the argument. Accusing your opponent of Nazism was one of the tried and true ways a Leftist could disarm a Conservative in a debate.
Thanks to Godwin’s Law…and to Quirk’s Exception…that tactic has been defused. So now, the Left are trying to change the definition of Godwin’s Law in order to maintain their elitist sense of control over any future debates with the Right.
Much the way Rachel Maddow tries to do on both her talk show and on her radio show.
Thankfully, due to the egregiously long gap between my previous blog and now, I can highlight a more recent example as to how the Left try to stifle dissent.

Is there anybody who still hasn’t seen the hideously hateful tirade made by so-called comedian Janeane Garofalo on a recent episode of Countdown with Keith Olbermann? I won’t even bother to dredge up a clip from that show…the mere thought of watching that thing makes me want to find the nearest shower.
This is another variation of the Left’s attempts to disarm its opponents, much the same way they use the phrases “Nazi”, “Hitler-esque”, “bigot”, “homophobe”. Never mind the salient facts of the argument, never mind the validity of the argument….if you don’t agree with me, you’re a “racist”.
Or, more specifically, a “tea-bagging, redneck racist”.

For the sake of brevity, I will continue this discussion in future blogs…for now I will close this latest blog by quoting Benford’s Law of Controversy:

…Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available“.

(Benford’s Law of Controversy is an adage from the 1980 novel Timescape)

To be continued…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jack permalink
    September 15, 2009 2:59 am

    This does not always occur with the left trying to stifle the conservative (right). It happens on both sides of the fence. It even occurs when left does not agree with left or right does not agree with right.

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