This just turned up on Politico: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/26/congress-socialist-nazi-debate-1237472
The right wingers pull this stunt all the time:
- “Antifa are the real fascists because they yell and get mad at their opponents.”
- “Socialists are Nazis because they use the power of government to make people do stuff that they’d prefer not to.”
- “Nazis were actually socialist because they had some economic policies that were friendly to working class people.”
It’s playing games with labels, using them as levers. Sure, the Nazis really did have worker-friendly economic policies. That’s not nothing. The trick is sticking those things together like they’re the same thing.
I think the best way to deal with this when you get it in real life (because don’t you know that one person who always talks that way?) is to refuse to play with the labels.
Them: “OMG let AOC burn, because she’s a socialist and socialists are really the same thing as Nazis.”
You: “Okay, so you’re saying you’re afraid that we’re going to have this super authoritarian militaristic regime with no human rights that commits genocide on a massive scale because of this person and people like her?”
And then they have to go either “Yeah, AOC’s work is totally a step towards genocide and world war,” which is just really hard to support; OR back off the Nazi thing and maybe try to argue the actual merits.