Insane Nazi comparisons, delusional billionaire edition
“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” – Godwin’s Law, 1990
And now to one of my favorite subjects: inappropriate comparisons of something one does not like to the horrors of the Nazi regime (Hint: They are inappropriate almost all of the time). When a person claims that something they experience is “just like in Nazi Germany” or that politician X is “just like Hitler,” it is a sure recipe for disaster.
This time it is American billionaire Thomas Perkins, who whines in a letter to the Wall Street Journal about the treatment of his class, the “one percent” or super-rich, by “progressive radical[s].”
On planet Perkins, criticism and calls for tax increases are just like antisemitic pogroms
Notably disgusted by the idea of being surrounded by a leftish counter-culture vibe, he starts his rant with this:
Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”
In all seriousness, Perkins writes:
Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?
First of all, the claim about a direct connection between Nazism and what he calls “progressive radicalism” seems quite dubious to me.
Mind you, he compares criticisms of the financial industry and demands for a higher marginal tax rate to the eliminatory antisemitism of the Nazis. And this guy went to Harvard and MIT. I do not know if this is more embarrassing for these institutions or the man himself. Assuming that he actually believes what he is saying, Perkins must suffer from a serious persecution complex.
There might be valuable things to be said about a regressive strain of anti-capitalism, but Mr. Perkins has none of these to offer.
In ‘communist America,’ you can still own $150 million yachts
Second, the last time I checked, radical progressivism/fascism/communism—these are interchangeably thrown around— had not exactly taken over America. To claim otherwise is either pure propaganda or plain delusional.
Consider this: In the imagined country that is supposedly as hostile towards the wealthy as the Nazis were towards the Jews, Perkins is still able to enjoy his extravagant $150 million yacht without being dragged from it and murdered by jackbooted thugs or pitchfork-wielding peasant mobs. Being a billionaire in today’s America is not exactly the same experience as being a Jew in Nazi Germany, after all.
You might dislike the idea of having to pay slightly higher taxes (even though it certainly would not hurt you), but if you seriously claim that this is in any way comparable to the suffering caused by the Nazis, then you, Sir, are an idiot.