Kuznicki: In Search of a Post-Godwin Politics
In my office there’s a framed poster of Godwin’s Law: as the length of a conversation increases, the probability of a Nazi reference rises to one. After that, all rational discussion comes to an end. The author of the meme, internet legend Mike Godwin, autographed it for me, and as the editor of an online debate journal, I refer to it often. Sadly.
When Donald Trump was elected president, I draped my print of Godwin’s Law in black: It was clear that we were going to need some entirely new and more flexible laws in the time to come. How else to even talk about politics, with anyone?
More to the point: in a world dominated by a quite oddly specific political disaster narrative, what happens when the genuinely disastrous occurs – or even just the inexcusably lousy – and when whatever is happening is not entirely in keeping with our script? What do we do when a disaster looms all around us, right at this moment, only it’s not in a form that we’re expecting? What if it’s one that we’re not even trying to care about yet? That’s close to where I think we are today.