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The Almighty Buck Transportation Politics

VC Likens Google Bus Backlash To Nazi Rampage 683

theodp writes "Valleywag reports on legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins' WSJ op-ed on class tensions, in which the KPCB founder and former HP and News Corp. board member likens criticism of the techno-affluent and their transformation of San Francisco to one of the most horrific events in Western history. 'I would call attention to the parallels of Nazi Germany to its war on its "one percent," namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the "rich,"' Perkins writes. 'There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these "techno geeks" can pay...This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent 'progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?"'"
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VC Likens Google Bus Backlash To Nazi Rampage

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:40AM (#46072235)

    Godwin's Law states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1" It doesn't mean you automatically lose a debate, it just means that Hitler/Nazis will inevitably get dragged into the conversation.

  • Re:Pathetic (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:51AM (#46072301)

    They'll also use all kinds of logic-defying arguments, such as linking progressives to the Nazis, when in fact the Nazis were a RIGHT-WING dictatorship who hated the communists, unions, and pretty much everything the right wing otherwise correctly or not links progressives to when they're doing their usual ranting. Then again, the rich in this country never do seem to mind trying to rewrite history to favor their point of view.

    As to the Nazis, it is an interesting comparison, but not for the reason he thinks. National Socialism. Their name was just another one of their lies, sort of. They believed in socialism all right--the kind of socialism where large corporations get the welfare and the people get screwed. Pretty much like what we have now.

  • by Shimbo ( 100005 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:57AM (#46072331)

    It doesn't mean you automatically lose a debate

    Not as originally stated, although that is often assumed to follow. For example, the Jargon file has:

    “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.” There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.

  • by maxwell demon ( 590494 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @10:00AM (#46072347) Journal

    From Wikipedia [] (emphasis by me):

    "For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.[7] This principle is itself frequently referred to as Godwin's law."

    That's what I've known as Godwin's law since I've first heard the term, and this is how I used it above.

  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @10:08AM (#46072409)
    Here's a shocking stat I came across just yesterday: the richest 85 PEOPLE have as much wealth as the bottom HALF the world population. That's 85 == 3.5 BILLION. citation [][PDF warning]

    Almost HALF of the world's wealth is owned by one percent of the population.

    In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.

    Unfortunately, I have somewhere to be, or I'd be writing a much longer epistle.
  • Re:Pathetic Example (Score:4, Informative)

    by maxwell demon ( 590494 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @10:42AM (#46072569) Journal

    Read your history, particularly, your world history.

    You should read your history.

    NAZI were Socialists. (National Socialist Party)

    If you think that having "Socialist" in the name makes a party socialistic, you probably also believe that the German Democratic Republic was democratic, right?

  • Re:Pathetic Example (Score:5, Informative)

    by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @10:45AM (#46072589)

    That is a gross and inaccurate simplification. Read a bit of history yourself, maybe? The Nazis were definitely not socialists in the traditional sense. That you try to deduce from the name of the party what its nature is shows that you really, really have no clue how these things works or what happened back then.

  • Re:Uh right. (Score:4, Informative)

    by ddtstudio ( 61065 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @11:16AM (#46072815)

    Citation, please. Snark aside, I'm not sure why you are "pretty sure" of this.

    There were rich and high-profile Jews, to be sure. As there were rich and high-profile Christians, Austrians, etc., at the time. But if you even took a few seconds to look up what Kristallnacht was, you'd realize that the thousands and thousands of Jewish businesses that were targeted were shops: small commercial places such as storefront butchers, shoemakers, bookstores, etc. Just in that, you'd realize that these people who were hauled away, often to death camps, were not the 1%, but working class.

    Hey, I'm not just irritated at your "pretty sure" statement because this happened to my own family members. Go look things up before you make a public statement. Don't be a Perkins.

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Sunday January 26, 2014 @11:23AM (#46072855)

    The word "Bolshevik" is directly translated as "ones belong to the majority". In other words, "the 99%".

    You might want to check a history book? The word doesn't have anything to do with "the 99%" or population groups at all. The Bolshevik, or "majority" faction was a split with the Menshevik, or "minority" faction within the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party primarily over issues of tactics. Both sides of the split were Marxists. You have probably also heard of some Mensheviks, such as Leon Trotsky.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @11:24AM (#46072867)

    Even in the extreme case which you demonstrate, you are ignoring bias. You assume that because there are 25 combinations where one person gets all the coins versus only 1 combination where everybody gets 1 coin each, but you don't consider that the combinations are not equiprobable - permutations are. Of 8881784197001252323389053344726600 permutations 25 of them result in one person having all the coins, and 15511210043330985984000000 permutations result in everyone getting exactly 1 coin. Your estimation of which outcome is more likely was off by a factor of ~200 million.

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @01:19PM (#46073585) Journal

    "Income inequality" is a fraudulent, rhetorical device, a red herring. The correct measurement, from a scientific point of view, is outcomes analysis in the average person's changes in health, longevity, and wealth, the loaves of bread and tvs on their shelves.

    If you include China, India, and most of the former eastern bloc countries, the average quality of life is skyrocketting. Because of freedom-based capitalism. Your class warfare rhetoric has had its day and been found murduringly lacking in comparison. I doubt it even took a hit in western countries, drooling rhetoric aside. If you include bringing billions online into research, it's even worse for your rhetoric.

    Don't be mad at me. Be mad at outcomes-based research. You should be down on your knees praising the phenomenal success of this "race to the bottom", you so laughingly call this incalculable boon to humanity, whom your rhetoric did nothing to help for a hundred years for these people.

  • by stenvar ( 2789879 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @01:20PM (#46073601)

    If you think there is something wrong with historically unprecedented income and wealth inequality, if you fear for the future of democracy when 85 individuals control more wealth than 3.5 billion people [],

    You are one of that select group of people who control more wealth than 3 billion people, because half the world has no wealth at all. Don't you feel evil yet?

    And do you know how that distribution has been historically? Of course not.

    If you're doing anything tech related in the US, there's a good chance that your income is likely also in the top 1-5% of the world, you evil one-percenter!

    A few individuals have vandalized buses, therefore an entire subject is off limits.

    What do the wealth of the 85 richest persons have to do with how Silicon Valley engineers commute?

    No further discussion necessary.

    Well, obviously not with you! You have already made up your mind and won't let facts get in the way of your ideology or your bigotry.

  • Re:Pathetic Example (Score:4, Informative)

    by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <`ten.tsacmoc' `ta' `yburxyno'> on Sunday January 26, 2014 @01:34PM (#46073703)

    The Nazi's were hardcore socialists that very much believed is socialistic ideals []. The Nazi's were very zealous about their socialism and enforcing it. They used everything from price and wage controls to verdant support for trains for the masses. Hitler was an adamant anti-capitalist and used this to support his genocide of the jews. Labor unions were replaced by government [] controlled unions and shops and other business were routinely seized by the state.

    You can read some translated propaganda here [] where the Nazi's explained why they embraced socialism. In their own words []:

    We are socialists; We are enemies, mortal enemies, of the present-day capitalist economic systemâ¦We are resolved to annihilate this system despite everything.

    The Soviets took them seriously enough to form a treaty with the Nazi's in the time leading up to WW2 - something they weren't in the habit of doing with other nations. Industry was effectively owned by the government (even when in name someone else held the title) and German industrial companies were seized as government assets for repatriation at the end of the war.

    By way of example Hitler saw the need for a cheap car for the masses and ordered Ferdinand Porsche to design the original beetle to his specifications (Hitlers original sketch is a Google search away). The result was the founding of the Volkswagen (people's car) for the express purpose of building an affordable car for the masses. At the end of the war the English got that bit and almost put Volkswagen out to pasture, leaving it be only because they thought the company was worthless. []

    Strip away all the genocide and war crimes and your left with very socialist ideals.

  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <> on Sunday January 26, 2014 @05:37PM (#46075383)

    No further discussion necessary.

    Well, obviously not with you! You have already made up your mind and won't let facts get in the way of your ideology or your bigotry.

    When the poster you're quoting says "No further discussion necessary", he's saying that this is what Perkins is implying, i.e. "hey, this protest is just like Kristallnacht, hence evil and unworthy of discussion". Read the posting, and its title ("He's trying to shut down debate", "he" being Perkins) more carefully.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson