Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Let's be perfectly clear and honest here. If you say anything about the atrocities committed by any group at any point in history, certain nationalists (Orwell on nationalism: http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/nationalism/english/e_na...) take it as their sacred duty to defend the reputation of their chosen idol or to tear down the reputations of any other nationality to establish moral superiority, or at least equivalence, for the object of their defense.

Hence, a perfectly sensible remark acknowledging the brutality of all sides in World War II, paired with the observation that the Western Allies at least had a deserved reputation for being countries one was better off surrendering to, opens up an entire chasm of nationalistic anger, first tacitly denying that any such atrocities occurred, even on the part of the Nazis themselves (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1609926) followed, through the psychological mechanism of projection, by accusations of attempting to claim a "moral high ground" for the western Allies (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1610175), judging as propaganda near-universally-accepted truths about the brutalities of certain regimes (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1610199) and ultimately declaring that, whatever the evils of communism and fascism, the evils of the English speaking countries are worse (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1611142).

Alternatively, the entire campaign can also be viewed as purely an exercise in negative nationalism, attempting to tear down the reputations of the English speaking countries with the initial, tentative defense of the Nazis and Soviets meant only as an exercise in moral equivalence, rather than a genuine defense of totalitarianism. The psychology is the same.

Either way, there's no real point being made here, just a nationalistic knee-jerk reaction to anyone pointing out unsavory aspects of the history of totalitarianism, or alternatively the "savory" aspects of the history of certain English speaking countries.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact