Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Godwin's Law and Fascism

Godwin's Law applies to inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic comparisons with Hitler or Nazis or their acts, tactics, and strategies. But Godwin's Law itself can be abused, as a means of distracting, diverting, ridiculing, or silencing an opponent, especially when the comparisons made are actually valid. 

The following list may be useful in analysis of current government and politics in Canada and the US:

1.   Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism
2.   Disdain for human rights
3.   Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
4.   Supremacy of the military; avid militarism
5.   Elevation of masculinity
6.   Controlled mass media
7.   Obsession with national security
8.   Religion and ruling elite tied together
9.   Corporate power protected
10. Labor power suppressed or eliminated
11. Disdain for intellectuals and the arts
12. Obsession with crime and punishment
13. Cronyism and corruption
14. Fraudulent elections

Compiled by Lawrence W. Britt after a study of Adolph Hitler's Nazi Germany, Benito Mussolini's Italy, Francisco Franco's Spain, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar's Portugal, George Papadopoulos' Greece, Augusto Pinochet's Chile, and Mohamed Suharto's Indonesia. 
Image source here.