Society

Godwin’s Law reaches the Brazilian public debate

In another example of how Brazilians are importing U.S. culture wars without much adaptation, the local far-right defends that freedom of speech must protect Nazism

Illustration: André Chiavassa with Shutterstock

Back in 1990, when the internet was still in its infancy, American lawyer Mike Godwin coined a law that now bears his name: “As [an internet] discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving the Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”

With just months until Brazil’s next presidential election, there is plenty of evidence that Godwin’s Law has the country’s public debate in a hammerlock. From the left, there is no shortage of “satirical” cartoons portraying Jair Bolsonaro as Hitler. Meanwhile, the right has consistently made the absurd assertion that Nazism was “obviously” a left-wing ideology, as their full...

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