Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Robert Wargas

Bio

May 16, 2013 - 2:25 pm

A hobby of mine is to keep up with the ever-shifting arguments of Holocaust deniers. I do this mainly because it provides me with insight into how insane liars operate. I also do this because it is every decent person’s responsibility to defend history from the lunatic fringe, and doing so requires keeping up with both the latest scholarship as well as the latest pseudo-scholarship.

When you spend enough time reading denialist literature–indeed, if you spend enough time reading conspiracy theorists in general–you notice the same methods and tendencies appear over and over. One of these is what I call the Law of Mutually Exclusive Exculpations. This is when different denialists propose different but mutually contradictory versions of the conspiracy theory. A weird kind of theoretical inbreeding develops wherein the theorists begin to quote and support one another, absorbing these different arguments into their own narratives, which they continually revise, despite all the narratives contradicting one another.

Holocaust deniers do it all the time. The Holocaust never happened, some say. Others say it happened, but it was exaggerated. There were no gas chambers. There were gas chambers, but they were used only for delousing. The Nazis didn’t do it. Actually, they did but Hitler didn’t know about it. Actually, he did know about it but tried to stop it. And so on and so on. Each of these theories contradicts the others, but all deniers seem to support every one of these theories, so long as the general theme of making light of the “official narrative” is maintained. The objective is not to get at the truth, but to subvert it at all costs, even at the expense of internal consistency.

Scandal denial is no different. I hate to traffic in Godwin’s Law and lump people in with Holocaust deniers, but as a lesson in rhetorical slipperiness it needs to be done. Shape-shifting and mutually contradictory arguments are thrown at the wall like wet toilet paper, in the hopes that some of it will stick. The IRS targeted conservatives, but it was only “local officials” who did it. Actually, it was Washington officials too, but this is somehow still “local.” Actually, the IRS didn’t target conservatives. OK, the IRS was just doing its job in targeting conservatives. Actually, it was “bad management,” but it was still good management since it was justified. Somehow, in the denialist universe, all these arguments obtain simultaneously. Each is valid even though each is contradicted by the other. We are expected to be so stupid and naive as to believe all of them.

Robert Wargas is a regular contributor to PJ Media. A native of Long Island, he was educated at the City University of New York and Yale University, and has contributed reports and opinion pieces to Newsday and FrontPage Magazine on a range of topics. He also maintains an independent blog at http://robertwargas.typepad.com. Outside of his political writing, Wargas has worked as a professional historian for a large cancer-research institution, documenting the history of biotechnology since the 1970s. He can be reached at rwargas22@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobertWargas

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Because... it was too useful a simile. He wasn't equating the moral values of the two issues, but rather, the process similarity. Thus, the qualifying statement. This is a perfectly legitimate approach, one which has been long accepted in civilized society and in literature.

Of course, with the dumbing-down of our culture, you two do not know the accepted forms. I'm guessing you're Liberals?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hopefully some Soros front is paying you for spouting tripe here.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here's a funny one about how liberals lie about history by simply making it disappear, although they constantly invoke history to charge their rage over injustice.

Read the Wikipedia entry titled "Colonialism." It doesn't say "Modern Colonialism," but "Colonialism. It starts off well with this definition and then ignores itself:

"Colonialism is the establishment, exploitation, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a set of unequal relationships between the colonial power and the colony and between the colonists and the indigenous population. "

The entry then goes on to talk almost exclusively about modern European colonialism, which they define as starting around 1500, though the Turks and Mughals would colonize the Balkans, Egypt and India for the next 200 years among other places. Remarkably and predictably, Islam is simply not mentioned at all. This is called "lying."

At the top of this page of nonsense it says "For examples of colonialism that do not refer to modern Western colonialism beginning in the 1500s, see Colony and Colonization."

But under "Colony," no Islam. Under "Colonization," surprise, no Islam. They got Greeks, they got Romans. In one almost unbelievable sentence they write "The Vikings of Scandinavia also carried out a large-scale colonization." Who in the name of seventeen and a half hells wrote this tripe? There is not ONE WORD about one of the most successful colonialist endeavors of all time. NOT - ONE - WORD.

The Arabization and Islamization that reaches across a thousand years and more from the Easternmost point of Indonesia to the Westernmost point of Africa is a non-event. It sure as hell is a non-event in the eyes of the Justice League of Race and Gender. If what I just wrote isn't an eye-opener to the racial apologists hanging all over America, then you don't have any eyes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (19)
All Comments   (19)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
This is a great article and I will probably quote you in my battles against those who will try to justify minimize and rationalize it all away. Thank you for the help!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I saw Juan Williams on Bret Baier today. He clearly was offering up the new WH deflection/distraction. About the IRS, scandal, he said "It is inexcusable, but...." Inexcusable and but do not go together, but they do this all the time. They echo the position they must take, but then try to offer excuses and other things. Baier jumped on this afterwards, and schooled him. "It is inexcusable, period. End of statement." He wasn't having any of that crap.

The 'but' in this was the Citizens United decision. The new talking point is that the decision left the IRS a mess they had to deal with. Well, if it were really just that, then everyone would have been delayed in getting their approval. Everyone would have been asked all these ridiculous questions. The fact is, they admitted they targeted a specific set of groups. Anything else is a sideshow, and like Baier, we must not let them get away with such tripe.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Exactly. The IRS is a "mess" but still somehow competent and bureaucratically intact enough to target exclusively certain groups. Plus that talking point overlooks that Obama and IRS themselves are outraged by this, or at least claim to be outraged.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How on earth can you justify linking these two issues?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"How on earth can you justify linking these two issues?"

They different only in degree, not kind. Both are the acts of tyrants.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Possibly because the process being illustrated is identical?

It's sort of like bringing up the V2 when discussing rockets. The physics of rocketry is irrelevant to politics of the finger on the launch button. But you'd probably protest, "how on earth can you justify linking the V2 and the SCUD?".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here's a funny one about how liberals lie about history by simply making it disappear, although they constantly invoke history to charge their rage over injustice.

Read the Wikipedia entry titled "Colonialism." It doesn't say "Modern Colonialism," but "Colonialism. It starts off well with this definition and then ignores itself:

"Colonialism is the establishment, exploitation, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a set of unequal relationships between the colonial power and the colony and between the colonists and the indigenous population. "

The entry then goes on to talk almost exclusively about modern European colonialism, which they define as starting around 1500, though the Turks and Mughals would colonize the Balkans, Egypt and India for the next 200 years among other places. Remarkably and predictably, Islam is simply not mentioned at all. This is called "lying."

At the top of this page of nonsense it says "For examples of colonialism that do not refer to modern Western colonialism beginning in the 1500s, see Colony and Colonization."

But under "Colony," no Islam. Under "Colonization," surprise, no Islam. They got Greeks, they got Romans. In one almost unbelievable sentence they write "The Vikings of Scandinavia also carried out a large-scale colonization." Who in the name of seventeen and a half hells wrote this tripe? There is not ONE WORD about one of the most successful colonialist endeavors of all time. NOT - ONE - WORD.

The Arabization and Islamization that reaches across a thousand years and more from the Easternmost point of Indonesia to the Westernmost point of Africa is a non-event. It sure as hell is a non-event in the eyes of the Justice League of Race and Gender. If what I just wrote isn't an eye-opener to the racial apologists hanging all over America, then you don't have any eyes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It gets worse: look up jihad in Wikipedia. Suffice it say 80% of the references are about the "greater jihad"; that supposed inner struggle to find Allah. I guess that "lesser jihad", the one that says you need to kill all the infidels, doesn't really count... what tripe.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wiki is in fact indulging in a form of malicious hate speech I would expect from a Nazi history of Jews. People are innocent and guilty by virtue of race and myths are created to match. Naughty Romans, Greeks, Vikings, and Europeans. Nice Muslims. Good Muslims. Didn't do a frickin' thing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wikipedia "indulges" in Nazi-like rhetoric because it is the playground of the "progressive" movement. The progressives are the kissing cousins of the Nazis.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have a textbook that, when discussing the history of math, describes the "golden age of Indian mathematics" ending when the Muslims invaded India. It then describes the "Golden age of Islamic mathematics" starting at the same time, with not a single speculation about how the events might be linked.

If Muslims ever conquer Iowa, future textbooks will refer to it as the dawn of the golden age of Muslim corn production.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ha! Always a pleasure to read your and Fail's comments. Cf. Edward Said, who in his alleged magnum opus Orientalism forgot seemed to forget about the Ottoman Empire, the siege on Vienna, the conquering of the Balkans, etc.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
View All