Monday, February 28, 2005

Is Karin Temple a Nazi?

Karin Temple is a Nazi.

Nazis were German and directed hatred at an -ism to promote their own political purposes. Karin Temple is German and directs hatred at an -ism to promote her own political purposes. That makes her a Nazi, right?

This appears to be the core of her argument (the writer gives pitifully few details):
She said that comparisons can be made from the U.S. government to that of Germany in the ’30s and ’40s....

Temple said that she uses Germany as an example to compare with America because she hopes that it will spark something and get people to act, being compared with a country that did such horrible things.
This leads us to the fallacy of the day: Argumentum ad Nazium ("linking an idea with Hitler or Nazism has become a common form of argument ascribing guilt by association")

Some libertarians and conservatives have used a similar argument to condemn national standards in our de facto national ID card as reminiscent of the Soviet Union. The problem is this: they don't actually say what is independently wrong with the idea.

And another quick history lesson:
Temple explained fascism.... Fascism ultimately leads to restriction of civil liberties and wars.
I'm hoping that this is just bad reporting for an amateur newspaper, but there's actually no reason to say, for example, that fascism ultimately leads to wars. Excluding creations of World War II, the only notable fascist states were Italy, Germany, and Spain (an extraordinarily small sample size). I guess Spain is easy to forget (I hope they didn't give Temple a history degree). Throughout General Francisco Franco's 1939 to 1975 rule, Spain managed to avoid wars and even granted independence to colonies. As for "civil liberties," replace "Fascism" with "Government" and nothing changes.
She also said that Americans seem to have a hard time remembering what has happened in the past.
Clearly not a purely American trait.

Fascist Spain, by the way, enacted quite a few programs that look like they belong in the Democrat Party Platform:

The Law of Family Subsidy, enacted in 1939, provides Spain’s workers with monthly allowances proportionate to the number of children in the family; the necessary funding is collected from employers and employees. A program of old-age pensions and health and maternity benefits has been in effect since 1949.
Similar examples can be found elsewhere, but why validate a fallacy? When people start ranting about Nazis, just compare the Interstate Highway System to the Autobahn.

Observant Ovation to Ryan Damron.

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