Sobran’s Law

Yeah, I’ve been around long enough to have heard of Godwin’s Law, the dictum that as soon as you mention Hitler or Nazis everyone is entitled to vote you off the show. Basically, some people got tired of hearing those words used carelessly and wanted legitimate points raised against them. However, protesting about the overuse of a certain term, and then banning it as if it were a meaningless epithet, is simply mindless. Why not analyze its misuse and show how stupid the other person really is? Maybe because you don’t actually know anything about history, so you don’t know how Nazi-like you really are?

The social assumption underlying this “Law” is far more interesting than the ignorance and evasiveness of those who violate it or those who invoke it. It is assumed that the Nazis were so universally despised and unique in history that it is never fair to compare anyone to them. Oh, really? That just sounds like an excuse to compartmentalize what they did so that you can pretend there was something “inhuman” about them, something that you would never, ever vote for. “Moreover, the glorious United Nations ensures that it will never happen again, even if those tinfoil hat guys are duped into supporting a despot.” Yeah, right.

In practical terms, what it comes down to is that you feel you need to shut down someone writing something you don’t want to read. That falls under Sobran’s Law:

“The attempt to silence a man is the greatest honor you can bestow on him. It means that you recognize his superiority to yourself.”

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Instigate some pointless rambling

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