Answering the question of how people can be convinced to not vote for the "far right", this answer states some reasons why voting for the far right is not very good:

The far-right have a long history of (1) not being elected, and worse, (2) not delivering any of their program once they get some representation. If you really want it, you can stress these two points.

At some point I read this and I happened to see a problem with this answer, and a possible improvement. So I made this comment:

(1) is irrelevant. But I'll add (3) putting millions of Jews in gas chambers. Actually that might be the most well-known thing they have ever done.

This is factual. The fact that a party does not win is not generally a reason to avoid voting for it. And the far right did commit a very famous genocide in the past, which is a very good reason to avoid voting for it, much stronger than "it won't win".

This comment was removed by a moderator, and cited as one reason for a 7-day site-wide ban. Explanation:

Calling out the crimes of the Nazis is not in itself a Code of Conduct violation. However, bringing up the Nazis in a question about the far right more generally and tying the Nazis to contemporary politics in this way is uncalled for.

Question: Is this correct? Is it appropriate that linking the Nazis to the far right movement is a Code of Conduct violation?

1 Answer 1


"Godwin's law" or "Reductio ad Hitlerum" is an over 30 year old rule for internet discussion. It states that:

Whenever someone compares something to Hitler or the Nazis, the discussion is over and whoever brought up the comparison lost the discussion.

The reason for having this rule is that "This is what Hitler / the Nazis would do" is a thought-killing cliché.

There are only a handful of crimes against humanity committed throughout world history which come even close to the order of magnitude of the holocaust. So unless the debate is about actual genocides targeting millions of people, a nazi comparison is such a ridiculous hyperbole that if it is treated as a serious argument then no rational discussion is possible afterwards.

Many people today who self-identify or are identified by others as "far right" might have questionable ideas, but few of them actually advocate for another holocaust. Specially none of those "far right" politicians mentioned in the question and its answers (Yoon Suk-yeol, Donald Trump, Marie Le Pen...) openly advocated for rounding up, enslaving and murdering millions of people based on their heritage in the way the Nazis did (as far as I am aware).

So by lumping together every contemporary politician associated with the "far right" together with the Nazis, you are calling them mass-murderers and criminals against humanity, and by extension their supporters as supporters of genocide. Even if you do not agree with the policies of these politicians, a hyperbolic comparison like that is uncalled for.

  • 2
    It's also an example of the other logical fallacy named for Hitler: the "Hitler Ate Sugar" fallacy (aka "guilt by association"). OP's logic appears to be "Hitler was a far-right politician; Hitler gassed Jews; therefore, every far-right politician wants to gas Jews".
    – F1Krazy
    May 11, 2022 at 12:56
  • @F1Krazy that is a fallacy if the action is totally unrelated to the bad stuff Hitler did, not in every single case. For example, it is not particularly wrong to assert "Hitler was a Nazi; Hitler wanted to commit genocide; therefore, every Nazi wanted to commit genocide." (I am sure it's slightly simplistic as a party is not a hivemind, but on the whole, should we not say that Nazis wanted to commit genocide?) May 11, 2022 at 15:52
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    @user253751 in this case though, I don't see why Nazis had to be brought up. Sure, if the post was about Hitler or Nazi Germany then the discussion is already there. To bring up Nazi crimes in the context of the contemporary far right is a big stretch. Similarly, should we bring up historic mass killings under communist regimes when discussing a far left politician in current times? I don't think it's helpful and both can make users feel uncomfortable because of the "ridiculous hyperbole" (as Philipp put it in this answer).
    – JJJ Mod
    May 11, 2022 at 16:29
  • @JJJ Yes, probably, if someone asks why they shouldn't vote for far-left politicians, the fact that it didn't work very well last time is in fact a good reason not to vote for them. May 11, 2022 at 16:54
  • though there's Zelensky releases video on day of remembrance: 'We hear "never again" differently' which does exactly that and I think is a pretty resounding and compelling counterexample. May 12, 2022 at 10:19
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    I think a closer look is being taken at Stalin's regime right now. And the equivalence between Hitler's genocide and Stalin's genocide may become more common place. Many historical facts about that regime have been let go because the USSR fought on the winning side. But the extermination of civilians in GULAGs combined with many deliberate systems of erasing of national identities by the USSR may, with time, be also seen as acceptable forms of comparison to the Nazi genocides. This would reopen the debate of whether Nazism was extreme left or right. It certainly wasn't lessier faire.
    – wrod
    Jun 6, 2022 at 1:46
  • It actually states that as an online discussion grows longer (regardless of topic or scope), the probability of a comparison to Nazis or Adolf Hitler approaches 1. The idea that whoever brings it up "loses the argument" is a common misunderstanding. In fact, according to Wikipedia: In June 2018, Godwin wrote an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times denying the need to update or amend the rule, and rejected the idea that whoever invokes Godwin's Law has lost the argument
    – forest
    Jun 7, 2022 at 0:18
  • In the time since the law was coined, Godwin himself has conceded that some current politics are really like the Nazis and Hitler and should be compared to them. Feb 8 at 21:34

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