Moscow, January 20, 1991 – Source: The Atlantic
Reductio ad Hitlerum is a pseudo-Latin term coined by Leo Strauss in 1951, which was a funny way of pointing to a growing trend in political argumentation within the U.S. and Europe after WWII. Rather than thinking carefully through the complexity of political theory, it was becoming increasingly common to dismiss a political opinion, or any opinion, by associating it with Adolf Hitler. This was a popular version of the classical argumentum ad hominem which is an attempt to undermine an argument by linking it with a boogeyman, no matter how irrelevant the connection, instead of offering a substantive counterpoint. A classic example:
Hitler was a vegetarian, X is a vegetarian, therefore X is a Nazi.
In that same year, 1951, an unknown longshoreman, who worked in the San Francisco docks and had lived in the slums of Skid Row, published a…
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