Thu 12th February 2009, 5:24pm
QUOTE(LaraLove @ Thu 12th February 2009, 9:58am)
QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Thu 12th February 2009, 11:56am)
QUOTE(LaraLove @ Thu 12th February 2009, 9:31am)
Also, why do people always bring up the Nazis?
Yes, yes, I know.
But it doesn't explain why!
The Nazis are one of the worst villians of history (not the worst, but third behind Mao and Stalin in murder), plus they were as efficient as they were ruthless. They killed the mentally ill, handicapped, and the gay, and their dissenters, so in one sense they were the ultimate anti-liberals even if they hadn't mass murdered Jews also. And there was a definite comic book villiany to them: they invented and put into use all kinds of new villainous war stuff from the Blitz to V-weapons to jet aircraft, and had an effective and complicated propaganda organ and excellent sense of theater, all the way from the color of the uniforms to the archetecture and the huge Nuremburg torchlight rallies. Hitler was a big Wagner fan, so you can see how that worked. I'm tempted to suggest the Nazis were into "guerilla theater," but simply on a mass scale.
Okay, take all that, and you get the chance to have the ultimate evil villains. Not just a murderously efficient agenda against the helpless, but also technologically advanced with a great sense of presentation and drahwma. Thus, they can employed for nearly any rhetorical purpose. If your enemy is besting you in the propaganda and drama game (LaRouche, say), or even in the invention department, you can always compare him to the Third Reich. In every large public argument, there are bound to be some Jews, who naturally hate the Nazis worst of all villains in history, who will be especially tempted to do this.
Thus, Godwin's law. A metaphor for badness that
flexible, hardly ever misses a chance to be used as a weapon by anyone who thinks their intellectual opponent is insufficiently liberal or flexible in any way.