Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Self-Godwinification?

Up here in Canada, we've been following the immigration controversy to the south of us with interest. We know about the cross-country pro-immigration protests on May Day, we know the far right has been fighting back, and we know about last night's speech from President Bush that tried to walk a line down what passes in my country of birth for the political centre. Honestly, I didn't think there was anything new to say.

But then self-proclaimed Libertarian Vox Day (no relation to Stockwell) surprised me:

Dear Jorge plans to address the nation tonight, a speech wherein he will almost surely attempt to deceive citizens into believing that he does not wish the mass migration from Mexico to continue unabated. He will likely offer some negligible resources for law enforcement and border security – resources which will never materialize – in return for an amnesty program that will grant American citizenship to the Mexican nationals who have helped lower America's wage rates by 16 percent over the last 32 years.

And he will be lying, again, just as he lied when he said: "Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic – it's just not going to work."

Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society.
Granted, that passage is merely the context for his real point, which amounts to "if you build a fence to keep people out, you're also building a fence to keep people in." But I've been trying rilly rilly hard, but haven't quite found a way to read those words in any way other than: "The U.S. could use the tried and true methods of Nazi Germany to deport the unwashed masses of illegals." Does anyone see an alternate interpretation? Because although I'm not normally inclined to do contortions to give the likes of Vox Day the benefit of the doubt, I'm pretty sure that in all my fifteen-plus years on the Internet, I've never seen anyone make a Hitler analogy that was intended to support their argument.

Perhaps we should turn it into a contest. Ten points and a smooch go to the IP reader who comes up with the best word for invoking Godwin's Law on oneself.

[Update: Orac of Respectful Insolence figures out what the possible alternate interpretations of Day's words might be...and then rather eloquently debunks them.]

[Upperdate: Canadian Cynic points out in the comments that the article in question has since been edited. Apparently, it was Day's editor's doing. Fascinating.]


(Hat tip to Amanda at Pandagon.)

9 comments:

LeoPetr said...

"Zweckmäßiges Selbst-Ausweiden auf einer Drittes Reich schrecklich unangebrachter und dumm des Hautausschlags Analogie", perhaps.

"You've selbstausweidened yourself again" for short.;)

Meaghan Walker-Williams said...

No, Godwin refers to Nazi References. The Berlin Wall came into existence AFTER Nazi Germany fell.

And to be honest, my 12th Generation American husband has maintained for the last decade or so, that he decided his "line in the sand" (so to speak) was when The Federal Government took steps to make it harder or even impossible for US Citizens to leave the country without permission. That was the day he said, he would give up on America.

Guess what.
After 20 years of activism in the LP... it happened last night for him.

Q. Pheevr said...

I've been trying rilly rilly hard, but haven't quite found a way to read those words in any way other than: "The U.S. could use the tried and true methods of Nazi Germany to deport the unwashed masses of illegals." Does anyone see an alternate interpretation?

Well, to be fair, as PZ Myers has pointed out, Day isn't actually calling for jackbooted government thugs to round up illegal Mexican immigrants; being a "libertarian," he thinks this should be done by jackbooted freelance thugs on their own time, with little or no expenditure of public money. So he thinks that the U.S. can improve upon the tried-and-true methods of the Nazis, on the grounds that the private sector is more efficient at everything, even genocide.

Be that as it may, I think the comparison counts as what I would call "shooting himself in the fylfot."

eugene plawiuk said...

Oh Mike Godwin considering Vox Day is a libertarian I thought you meant William Godwin.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Leons,

Damn you. It took me half an hour of work time this morning to parse that. ;-)

Meaghan,

Um, I'm aware of the origin and demise of the Berlin Wall (probably more aware than you realize!). That's probably why there was no reference to the Berlin Wall in my post...

QP,

Ah, of course! That makes it much better. Thanks for the correction. ;-)

LeoPetr said...

Anytime, mate. I just love the wonderful world of Babelfish.

1. [Original I cannot quite remember, but something to do with self-mauling and foolishly terrible analogies].

2. Zweckmäßiges Selbst-Ausweiden auf einer Drittes Reich schrecklich unangebrachter und dumm des Hautausschlags Analogie

3. Appropriate self from pastures on third realm terriblly more inappropriate and stupidly the skin excursion an analogy.

Q. Pheevr said...

Interesting—Google produces exactly the same (back-)translation, right down to the "terriblly." I guess there are fewer machine translation programs on the Web than I thought.

CC said...

Uh oh ... seems like someone's regretting their choice of words.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

CC,

Oh, good catch!