If Hitler is the most memetically successful person after Jesus (who was it that said aliens would ask “take me to your Hitler”?), the holocaust is his enduring monument which everyone remembers. Naturally people seek to attribute everything to it. A recent example is at the Volokh conspiracy, commenting on Justice Ginsburg’s defense of judicial review over democracy as a bulwark against future holocausts, when it can claim no credit against the actual one.
Though he has less evidence, Steve Sailer is similarly skeptical about the holocaust resulting in John Rawls’ loss of faith. I think he’s right to be skeptical about what Rawls wrote about his own cognitive process. Rawls is most famous for writing a huge philosophical treatise about how the the society we surely must agree is just is the one that just happened to have been created in the New Deal and was still the dominant paradigm among 70s liberals such as himself. His argument for why baseball must be the greatest sport is only a more glaring example of failing to grasp the hold that provincialism rather than reason determined his conclusions.
In the spirit of Godwin’s law, I propose a moratorium on citing the Holocaust as a support for your politics. That goes for you too, Warsaw-uprising loving gun-rightsers. If you even find yourself thinking it privately to yourself, do a double-take. I also shouldn’t have used the word “paradigm”, but I’m going to leave it up as an example of bad behavior so I can make this very point.