261: Regarding Mussolini
Title text: Constantly stopping these briefings halfway through is becoming a pain.
Godwin's Law states that all debates on the Internet, given enough time, will devolve into ad hominem attacks in the form of comparisons of one's opponents to Hitler or the Nazis. A common expansion on this law dictates that, when such a comparison is brought up, the debate immediately ends and the person who made the reference is declared the loser. This is meant to dissuade ad hominem (or in this case "Ad hitlerum") attacks on other people/subjects, where their views are unreasonably compared to those held by the Nazis, and should not apply to relevant discussions regarding the Nazi party, World War II, actual neonazis, etc.
The scene in the comic shows generals of the British and Commonwealth forces discussing Benito Mussolini's invasion of Egypt. Mussolini and Hitler were each commanders of Axis powers during World War II, so comparisons between them are almost certain to arise. The joke is that in this situation because the conversation is taking place in World War II, Hitler is relevant to the discussion, and, therefore, comparisons made to Hitler are actually valid and not an ad hominem attack. This means that in this case, Godwin's Law should not apply.
As the title text suggests, it would have been detrimental to the war effort if the expanded version of Godwin's Law had been enforced by actually ending meetings to plan war strategy whenever Hitler was appropriately mentioned.
- [Three people are standing around a map. One of them is pushing something with a stick.]
- [A messenger arrives.]
- Messenger: General, Italian forces have entered Egypt.
- General: As I expected. This is a foolish move by Mussolini, but like Hitler he will no doubt force his commanders to—
- Messenger: Hey. Godwin's Law.
- General: Dammit.
- General: You know, this may become a problem.
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