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Please don't turn this into a US-centric discussion. We are talking about ACTA, which is a global deal, and my post was about the current situation in the West in general. I don't really want to go off on an extended off-topic debate anyway, since as I noted before ACTA itself is hardly on the same level as what we're talking about in this side-track.

> Who are our Jews and Gypsies?

Islamophobia is widespread since 9/11. In England and Wales, black people are thirty times as likely to be subject to a stop-and-search by the police as white people. Don't kid yourself that we don't have rampant discrimination just because you aren't in a group that gets discriminated against.

Obviously no-one credible is equating the seriousness of police abuse of stop-and-search powers with gas chamber mass executions. But there really are extreme cases with consequences not so far from the concentration camps even today. There's a little US military base in Cuba you've probably heard of, for example, and if you don't know why they chose to use that particular base for what they now use it for, you should really look up the history. Once again, the scale is very different, but what is the difference in principle?

One can draw similar parallels with some of the other things you mentioned.

We might not have Kristallnacht, but we are increasingly living in surveillance states, and we have increasingly paramilitary police weapons and tactics, and we have military units being deployed on home soil. We are eroding the fundamental concept of due process and basic legal principles like habeas corpus. I don't really believe we're about to see the violent subjugation of an entire section of our society or that our current political leaders have any ambition to act in that way, but that's not the point. The mechanisms for such abuse should never even be created in a free country.

We might not have Triumph of the Will, but modern political machines are propagandists unrivalled in the history of humanity. For example, for several years in the early 2000s, as the most recent Iraq War was building momentum, about half of the US population thought the Hussein regime was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. That support was used to justify a war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and taken a staggering amount of time and money out of Western governments that could have been spent on far more constructive purposes.

> In fact a fundamental difference between America 2012 and Germany 1938 (among many) is that we have massive amounts of people vocally and publicly against the laws our politicians are pushing and the state of the country.

And the really scary thing in all of this is that you have massive amounts more who are openly complying and think it's all being done for their safety and well-being. As I said, modern political machines are propagandists without equal. They're just more subtle about it than they were 75 years ago.




Kristalnacht, 'Der Ewige Jew', Triumph of the Will, the death camps and concentration camps, these were all concerted campaigns against the 'undesirables' of Germany in order to promote racial purity.

You have given examples of parallels to these things but there is no commonality of purpose behind them.

'Der Ewige Jude' was not a campaign to create a 'common enemy' or hoodwink the German people as I assume you believe Islamophobia is (I can only assume you believe Islamophobia can be explained by media promotion rather than an emergent feeling among the populace in response to 9/11). It was done with the express purpose of dehumanizing Jews so the populace would be complacent with the gas chambers.

So please, show me a commonality of purpose behind all these parallels you have shown. All you have are disparate events to which you have identified a certain aspect which is similar to what Nazi Germany did.


I don't think there is much commonality of purpose with many of the legal/governmental trends today, other than acting out of fear of some perceived bogeyman (though not necessarily the same one in each case) or in the interests of a powerful minority at the expense of the majority (ditto).

Still, it doesn't matter to a black kid in London whether he's being excessively hassled because a senior officer made an active decision to employ racial profiling or because of institutional racism within the Met. The consequence is still the same.

Moreover, in most of the worst cases today, there really is someone actively making those decisions. Guantanamo Bay did not become what it is by accident. The West did not invade Iraq by accident, and the Blair administration did not fail to notice the two million citizens marching in protest to demonstrate that the war did not have popular support. More recently, the police did not detain peaceful protestors in London in a restricted area for hours without food, water or toilet facilities by accident, and the courts that condoned such behaviour did not reach their decision without looking at the evidence to establish the facts of what really happened and why.

These actions all had different victims, and obviously some had much more serious consequences than others. The one thing they all have in common is authorities that are granted powers in law that most of us don't get using those powers in ways that conflict with what we used to consider basic human rights and getting away with it. However well-intentioned they might have been in their actions, however they rationalised those decisions in their own minds, some rights and freedoms should be above interference by the administration of the day, whoever the victims are and however small their number, and any decent human being ought to stand up for those rights and freedoms wherever they are threatened. As I said, I think that is exactly the warning Pastor Niemoeller was trying to give us.


So the only difference between Western governments and the Nazis is a matter of scale and your evidence for this is that Western governments are abusing their power.

All governments past and present abuse their power. Sometimes in large ways. Sometimes in small ways. That alone is not sufficient to warrant a comparison to Nazi Germany which carries more historical baggage than it's clear you realize.

You are cheapening your position by resorting to hyperbole.


You are reading things into my posts that are not there. I am commenting only on objective things like laws that are being passed and practical policies being adopted today. Those laws and policies have very serious consequences for a relatively small number of people today, but for now only much less serious consequences for the wider population. However, they could be exploited by an undesirable administration at some future point to have serious consequences much more widely.

Please notice that at no point in this discussion have I suggested that any current Western administration is behaving like the Nazi party of 1930s Germany, equated any current leader with Hitler, suggested that the motivation for these laws was genocide, or anything similar. I have criticised only specific measures already taken that pose a much wider threat to basic human rights and freedoms than has yet been realised, and I have been careful to acknowledge that I am considering only the end results and that the motivations for such measures are probably very different.




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