Godwin’s Veto

Many of you are likely familiar with the Heckler’s Veto. The gist is that a single heckler can shut down a speaker unilaterally. Perhaps he is so loud, so obnoxious, that nearby authorities are willing to silence the speaker just to rid themselves of the heckler. Or perhaps the cost of removing the heckler is prohibitive. This was an argument that was used in the past when Milo Yiannopoulos used to attend various college campuses, and the security requirements demanded by the universities grew enormous – ostensibly because of the various threats and counter-protests. But universities were all too happy to discover an excuse to rid themselves of a political opponent.

I saw this video and immediately thought of the Heckler’s Veto, how one person (possibly even a plant) can provide the excuse to overthrow a movement. Specifically, let’s talk about Justin Trudeau’s response to Melissa Lantsman.

We are seeing a new variant or expansion of the Heckler’s Veto.

Here’s how it works. If a group of people are doing something the regime or media doesn’t like, if a single Swastika, Confederate flag, or other such device is discovered, the movement is declared to be contaminated. Anything the movement in question wants to talk about is immediately dismissed as racist, Nazi-esque, or otherwise.

If anyone disputes the racist status of the movement, a picture of the Swastika (or other device) bearer is provided as evidence. This provides the justification for shutting down the speaker(s). Like Justin Trudeau here, someone will rebut an argument with “but here is a picture of a Nazi attending your event.”

Now it may be that for the Canadian truckers, some legitimate skinhead types did show up. Or perhaps they were plants – knowing hecklers giving the regime and the media the excuse they needed. Perhaps a combination of both. Who knows? The question then becomes, is the presence of one individual skinhead/plant/whatever, or a very small percentage of such individuals, justification for then shutting down the entire group, and shouting down any supporters as Nazis?

If that is the standard, then all it takes is a single kook, plant, weirdo, or otherwise to show up, and your movement has been hit by Godwin’s Veto, the modern expansion of the Heckler’s Veto. You are done. Whatever you had to say, forget it. It is contaminated now. One Nazi Heckler and anything an entire group of people has to say is immediately dismissed, and if you have the temerity to question the dismissal, as Melissa Lantsman did, then you are smeared with the implication that you, also, are a Nazi.

We have evidence, now, that even the leader of a First World country will use Godwin’s Veto to shut down the speaker(s). This is behavior that has a long tradition from far Leftists, but I cannot recall such a blatant use of Godwin’s Veto by a major world leader directed at an opposition member so dramatically.

Note that it doesn’t have to be conspiracy. Some folks might think this is some kind of centralized affair. I doubt it. There are almost always a few nuts at a protest, and so the regime and sympathetic media can usually count on a nut or two showing up of his own volition. And if there aren’t any, a few nuts on the other side would – and with minimal (if any) prodding from their compatriots – gladly provide the regime/media with a Godwin’s Veto. They don’t need to be ordered to do it by a room full of cartoon villains behind a haze of cigar smoke. That’s the insidious nature of Leftist cultural domination: a conspiracy is unnecessary. Supporters will do it on their own.

Since our contemporary standard appears to be one, or perhaps a few, that’s all it takes. Shut up, racists. There was a Swastika in your crowd. Your dislike of mandates/masks/whatever is thus Nazi-esque. Your views are contaminated. We are permitted to shut you down now. We may confiscate your financial assets. We may compel others to remove you. We may silence you.

All it takes is one Godwin’s Veto.

The demand and incentives for a Godwin’s Veto are intense. Any movement that does not have the blessing of the regime and/or the media is likely to see an attempt to use the Godwin’s Veto. It’s not just about calling an opponent a Nazi, it’s about casting him as one by using an impossible standard to meet: that no kooks, weirdos, or plants will ever be at even one of your events.

Who knew freedom of speech was so easy to defeat?


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  1. Guilt by association is one of the oldest of logical fallacies. He who owns the media gets to exploit it and only cooler heads can beat it.

    The cooler heads recognize that Trudeau knows his stance is untenable. Lacking strong arguments, he resorts to sophistry and slander feeling safe in the knowledge that corporate media won’t pillory him.

    • Toastrider on February 17, 2022 at 10:11 AM

    Guilt by association, yes. Or use the old German word for it: sippenhaft.
    How properly Reichian of them, you could say.

  2. This tactic has been employed over a number of decades. It’s even been used in fiction. (Fletcher Knebel’s novel Dark Horse.) But Dystopic’s terminology for it is a major advance. The association of the tactic with Godwin’s Law should help to delegitimize it — guilt by association countered with guilt by association!

  3. OTOH, Self-guilt by association has its place: Democrats across the nation are embarrassed about the perception of the Democrat Party’s growing toxicity.

    • Nolan Parker on February 17, 2022 at 9:43 PM

    A reasonable person would notice that the convoy went That Long before anyone was able to accuse them of anything less than peaceful.
    The mostly peaceful arson,looting and murdering, meh,, didn’t take long to see the way they were..
    Funny how the media portrayed it, no?

  4. That lady who spoke first (despite somewhat strange hair) looked good. On top of the situation, making good arguments, and in control of herself.
    Trudeau, as usual, looked like a pompous ass.
    Which is good, because that’s what he is.

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