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Nobel Winner Says Internet Might Have Stopped Hitler

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the what-can't-it-do dept.

The Internet 290

There can be little doubt that the internet has changed everyday life for the better, but Nobel literature prize winner Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio has upped the ante by saying an earlier introduction of information technology could even have prevented World War II. "Who knows, if the Internet had existed at the time, perhaps Hitler's criminal plot would not have succeeded — ridicule might have prevented it from ever seeing the light of day," he said. I have to agree with him. If England had been able to send a "Stop Hitler Now!" petition to 10 friendly countries, those countries could have each sent it to 10 more friendly countries before the invasion of Poland, and one of history's greatest tragedies might have been averted.

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290 comments

wha? (0)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040035)

It's reassuring to know that the internet can stop sociopathic tendency. *rolls eyes*

Re:wha? (5, Interesting)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040211)

It can! Think about it, Hitler was an artist first, got stymied in that (due to lack of talent). The genocide and warmongering came afterwards. If the internet had been around, he would have been able to get his art published online and his art degree from university of phoenix. Even if he still got rejected from art, he may have set up an emo myspace page, an antisemitic/ conspiracy theory blog, and troll on /., and that would be as far as it got. In other words, if he had an outlet for his crap, he might never have gotten around to taking control of the government and the holocaust.

The internet: great at distracting would-be dictators with pr0n, lolcatz, and angry blog posts.

Re:wha? (4, Interesting)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040605)

Of course like we all know what went wrong in world-war 2 was a single man. How realistic does that sound.

We all know what the problem was, what caused world-war 2 : an ideology. There are however 2 problems many people have with that :
1) it is the very basis of progressive ideology that "all ideologies are equal" (of course except anything that's not currently identified as "progressive". Example : eugenics was very progressive in the 1930's ... now the effects are known ... not so much)
2) the name of that ideology of hitler was national socialism. Of course progressive ideology is socialist.

I personally think we're not just going to see just how wrong this claim is. That the internet not only does not prevent racist and abusive ideologies from spreading, but that the internet can actually make ideologies spread faster, hit harder and with less that can be done to stop it. Also the internet makes sure that the size of an ideology does not have to be that big anymore for it to do real damage : having few members does not prevent communication like it did in the 1930's.

We will see that more ideologies, instead of just islam, will find the means of terrorism. They see the success terror can give an ideology, and some people will stop at nothing to push their ideas on others. The internet empowers these people, it does not weaken them.

Re:wha? (2, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26041081)

Example : eugenics was very progressive in the 1930's ... now the effects are known ... not so much)

I don't think most people really know what eugenics is, or the beliefs that are behind that sort of thinking... nor how close most people are today to being just as firmly believing in eugenics and it's backing ideologies.

Re:wha? (4, Funny)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040983)

I created a new utility suite based upon the idea that we can go back in time and create the internet before Hitler's rise;

C:\>rping Adolph Hitler -t 12-09-1932/17:32:00

Reverse Pinging Adolph Hitler with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from Adolph Hitler: bytes=32 time=76 years, 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0.000 secods TTL=64
Reply from Adolph Hitler: bytes=32 time=76 years, 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0.000 secods TTL=64
Reply from Adolph Hitler: bytes=32 time=76 years, 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0.000 secods TTL=64
Reply from Adolph Hitler: bytes=32 time=76 years, 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0.000 secods TTL=64

Ping statistics for Adolph Hitler:
        Mode: Crazier than a shithouse rat
        Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in years:
        Minimum = 76 years, Maximum = 76 years, Average = 76 years

I was going to send a reverse-bootp to his mother and hope he would have been hatched.

Re:wha? (3, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040323)

In fact, look at Obama's rise and the fervor people have for him. If you'd prefer, look at Ron Paul. These examples obviously don't have the maliciousness of Hitler, but it does show how stars and cults of personality can form rather quickly. If anything, I'd think that it would have helped him overall.

Re:wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040723)

If you'd prefer, look at Ron Paul.

No thanks

Re:wha? (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040799)

it can stop just as many as it causes. I mean seriously, this is how it would go on the Hitler forums: "Its all teh Jews faults!" Reply: "nah ah! U r a moron. Germany sux. Hitlers a douche. GTFO"

Re:wha? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040831)

Its far more likely, Hitler would seek to control the Internet in every country he controlled. It would be a dream come true, for the Nazis to monitor all communications. Hilter did after all, try to create a Totalitarian level of control, even without the Internet!. The Internet (for all its early utopian dreams) is (as the news is showing) turning into a means to monitor and datamine large numbers of people, in an automated way, while providing an automated means to censor anything they wish to suppress from within their own country.

Its extreme idealism to believe the Internet would therefore stop Hitler and fails to take into account Hitler's nearly Psychopathic behaviour.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy [wikipedia.org]
"The psychopath is defined by a psychological gratification in criminal, sexual, or aggressive impulses and the inability to learn from past mistakes. Individuals with this disorder gain satisfaction through their antisocial behavior and also lack a conscience. Psychopathy is frequently co-morbid with other psychological disorders (particularly narcissistic personality disorder). The psychopath differs slightly from the sociopath, and may differ even more so from an individual with an antisocial personality disorder diagnosis. Nevertheless, the three terms are frequently used interchangeably."

I think Hitler qualified for aggressive impulses! (to say the least!), plus an extreme lack a conscience, combined with extremely narcissistic perception of his own importance!.... give that kind of person a means to automate the control and suppression of anyone who attempted to speak out and the Internet would allow the creation of hell on earth!.

By the way, while Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio is a Nobel prize winner, he is a Nobel literature prize winner!. Getting him to quote on technology and psychology, makes about as much sense as asking a Nobel Peace Prize winner to carry out Brain Neurosurgery!.

Godwin says... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040055)

this discussion is done now.

Re:Godwin says... (4, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040389)

Nobel Winner Says, "Internet Might Have Stopped Hitler From Being Effective"
Godwin says, "Hitler Stops the Internet From Being Effective"

It's apparent then that if the Internet were around back then, it and Hitler(and maybe the entire Universe with them) would cease to exist as soon as they met. Or maybe their existences are just mutually exclusive (in time). Or maybe...maybe...Hitler IS the Internet!11!! *POP*
*brains ooze down chest*

It did'nt stop Bush !! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040065)

*ducks*

what about darfur? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040071)

it's been happening well into the days of the Internets Revolution and nobody's done a god damn thing about it

Re:what about darfur? (2, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040431)

The reason is: nobody cares about Darfur.

It's nowhere powerful or/and resource-rich to be interesting for the West powers.

Re:what about darfur? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040511)

I thought it was because the US was too wrapped up in two other wars and no other western powers really give a shit.

Re:what about darfur? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040643)

"I thought it was because the US was too wrapped up in two other wars and no other western powers really give a shit."

The US didn't give a shit about Sudan when they weren't in two wars either. Nor did they care about Zimbabwe, South African apartheid, or any other humanitarian crisis where there wasn't a certain local resource to be drilled out of the ground. Funny that.

Re:what about darfur? (2, Insightful)

ral8158 (947954) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040829)

And it seems like most European countries have acted the same way, so it's hardly an issue with solely America. You're right about the oil, but at least something got the US to move at all.

Remember how much the EU did about the genocide in Rwanda?

Re:what about darfur? (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26041057)

Just curious, but why would you want bigger countries coming into smaller countries and telling them who they can and can't kill?

"I wish America would stop trying to police the world" is not compatible with "I wish America would do something about African genocide."

Re:what about darfur? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26041231)

Mod parent up!

Re:what about darfur? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26041209)

Well... The point is to prevent wars, not start new ones. That means that no single country should just interfere and go fuck things up like some countries have done in the last decade... Peacekeeping should be done by a single organization supported by all the countries around the world. We have such an organization: UN. It is not about "why didn't USA interfere" or "why didn't european countries interfere", it is about "why didn't UN stop it".

Now, why didn't they. If you look into the backgrounds, UN tells countries not to interfere unless a genocide is being committed. Well, USA didn't recognize that there was a genocide going on and it is one of the countries which are in the security council that can veto anything.

I am not blaming all of this on the USA. In fact, I think no country should be blamed by itself but rather we should look into the issue of "We have this great, huge organization with support and ideology to do the right thing... But it isn't working as well as it should. How can we fix it so that it will work?". However, the security council is one of the biggest problems and while UN propably couldn't have stopped the genocide anyways (several more problems) it could be asked "Why didn't USA want it to?"

Re:what about darfur? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040835)

This is academic garbage...

Re:what about darfur? (3, Insightful)

moo083 (716213) | more than 5 years ago | (#26041187)

Thats because there is no internet in Darfur. At least, not easily accessible. Germany was a high tech country at the time of WWII.

... if the internet had a time machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040077)

After all, everyone kills Hitler on their first trip.

Of course! (5, Funny)

dexmachina (1341273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040101)

Obviously. The minute Hitler saw how many members the "We dont lkie ppl kiling jewz!!!" Facebook group had, he'd have thrown in the towel right away.

Could work... (5, Funny)

ActionJesus (803475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040103)

Im sure that many aspiring dictators are foiled by the internet. Rather than stage political coups, they're all too busy trolling and participating in 4chan...

hum... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040109)

Im in ur internet, stopping ur warmongering mustache

The Importance of the Minds of a General Populace (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040111)

I think there's a lot to be said about just giving something news coverage. My coworker made the comment that sometimes it's ok--maybe even better--to just ignore the news and relax. I had to disagree with him. I pointed out that even today a lot of things happen and giving them coverage on the news would be fighting half the battle. Being in the minds of the general populace is indeed a powerful thing.

Take for instance Mark Twain & King Leopold of Belgium destroying the Congo Basin. Mark joined a group and tried to just inform people of what was going on. He wrote a pamphlet King Leopold's Soliloquy: A Defense of His Congo Rule [google.com] in which a monologue dripping in satire of the King defending himself was designed to inform not only Americans but by and large his own people--who were unaware of the campaigns as they never saw the money. Were it not for a few brave people that could not be bribed, that information might never have gotten out! And think how easily this pamphlet might have been distributed across the internet!

And yet today, the campaigns were run so well that we don't know for sure how many millions were killed or had limbs hacked off and I don't recall it being mentioned in my primary or secondary school history books. Left largely unknown to me until relatively recently--much like the Philippine/American War [wikipedia.org] & Iran/Iraq War [wikipedia.org] .

To say the internet may have stopped Hitler may very well be an understatement. A Russian classmate of mine informed me that in some Eastern European countries, there are memorials for German soldiers who fought and died against the Russians. "But I thought they were Nazis!" I remember saying. And he laughed and asked me if I really thought that tens of millions of soldiers--some with Jewish friends/relatives--were really all killing Jews or knew of the extent of the camps. He told me that some soldiers had convinced the local people they were intending on liberating areas from Russian threat. What followed certainly did seem like a Russian threat ... Despite what I was told as a child, he assured me that very few German infantry fighting abroad were full fledged Nazis. He claimed there is evidence these soldiers with Jewish ties were moved away from the homeland for this purpose.

So I am in no doubt the internet--an advanced dissemination of information--at anytime of war would help people collectively discuss and understand and do the right thing. I only wish I could have written a review of Mein Kampf for Germans to read before so many of them bought into it ...

Re:The Importance of the Minds of a General Popula (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040381)

"I think there's a lot to be said about just giving something news coverage. My coworker made the comment that sometimes it's ok--maybe even better--to just ignore the news and relax."
.
.
I stopped reading right there because i have a feeling the rest of what you are going to say is depressing. I think i'll go smoke some weed and feel better about life for awhile.

Re:The Importance of the Minds of a General Popula (4, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040637)

Two points to consider:

1) Hitler actively embraced the newly emerging mass media technology called television. He also loved to make radio speeches.

2) Hitler was effectively elected dictator.

Hitler gained power through brilliantly capitalizing on the fear and discontent of inter-war Germans. He did that by USING mass media. If anything, the Internet probably would have helped him get his message out even more effectively.

Would it have slowed him down after he gained power, started the war and started doing the really nasty stuff? Probably not. You don't think Hitler was going to post on his blog about his death camps, do you? Or let any other eye-witnesses post on THEIR blogs?

Re:The Importance of the Minds of a General Popula (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040717)

1) Hitler actively embraced the newly emerging mass media technology called television. He also loved to make radio speeches.

And if you can't see the difference between a medium that lets a central authority send out messages and one that lets everyone else send messages, you missed the point of the internet.

The only question that remains is if the modern internet existed at the time of hitler, would it have stopped him, or would he have managed to filter and censor it.

"the great firewall of Germany"

Re:The Importance of the Minds of a General Popula (2, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040795)

See point #2. Hitler enjoyed widespread and overwhelming support. If you'd been reading an Internet forum discussion at the time it would have been full of people talking about reasons why you should help vote Hitler in.

Re:The Importance of the Minds of a General Popula (2, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040999)

See point #2. Hitler enjoyed widespread and overwhelming support. If you'd been reading an Internet forum discussion at the time it would have been full of people talking about reasons why you should help vote Hitler in.

I agree he still would have been elected.

However his support might have evaporated when news and photos and video of what he was actually doing in a lot of places after things got rolling were communicated to those people. He might not have gotten nearly as far as he did.

There are lots that say it could never happen in america because the military would never follow those orders. But the reality is, you could separate the military into the groups that would and the groups that wouldn't, and then deploy the groups that wouldn't of communication with home (helped by controlling the media), and then set the group that would to doing the atrocities you could get away with it. Hitler did just this.

The internet would have made it impossible for the portions of the military that wouldn't have gone along with it from being so completely out of the loop for so long. Even if you control the media, the truth still moves around on the internet.

Hitler would have had to censor / filter / and discredit it. It would have been an additional challenge at least; at best it might even have stopped him. But China is the obvious counter example.

Re:The Importance of the Minds of a General Popula (2, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26041145)

Hm. Do we have an example of the Internet's influence on war? Say, Iraq? It stopped the US from invading under false pretenses, right? Nope.

It might have helped stop the abuses at Abu Ghraib. On the other hand, the story was quite successfully suppressed by the US authorities until it was broken by a foreign news service. There weren't so many of those active in Nazi Germany.

Re:The Importance of the Minds of a General Popula (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040821)

Centralized or not, I don't think it makes all that much of a difference - it just requires a different set of tactics.

With a decentralized net, you go with astroturfers to support your goals and you drown out the other voices with innuendo, appeals to emotion, out right lies, etc.

On the net there is no truth, only words and fully editable media. Just look at how the obama birth certificate meme refuses to die, despite many news reports debunking it and actual high resolution photos being posted since at least summer.

Re:The Importance of the Minds of a General Popula (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040915)

Left largely unknown to me until relatively recently--much like the Philippine/American War [wikipedia.org] & Iran/Iraq War [wikipedia.org].

FYI, the media did report (some) on the I-I War as it was happening.

Despite what I was told as a child, he assured me that very few German infantry fighting abroad were full fledged Nazis.

'Nazi' is a political affiliation. Our habit of calling all the German soldiers 'Nazis' is like calling all the US soldiers 'Democrats'.

The SS was a specifically Nazi armed force, though they drafted indescriminately during the last months of the war. The Luftwaffe and Home Defense organizations were somewhat politicized, but not (I think) to the extent of the SS. The members of the army and navy were just dying for their country, which happened to be governed by evil men.

And very poorly governed, when it comes to the war. A sane non-ideological government would have surrendered in the fall of '44 at the latest, and saved maybe a couple of million soldiers' lives. (And who knows how many civilians.)

Re:The Importance of the Minds of a General Popula (4, Interesting)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26041063)

OMFG, YES!

Thank you for this post. I'm a child of an American soldier and a German mother. My German relatives were good people in every sense of the word. Wouldn't hurt a fly - literally (my great grandmother would catch flies and put them outside rather than kill them. She would sneak food to a russian soldier captured in the town because she felt sorry for him, despite the risk of the crime of treason). My grandfather fought in WWII on the german side and had lots of stories to tell.

I asked them all about WWII when I was a child and they said that honestly few people really knew what was going on with the concentration camps and such. It was as much a surprise to them as it was to the world at large when the story unfolded. I spent quite a few years conflicted because I thought they must be lying, until I decided the evidence available to me first-hand was superior to the much larger pool of second-hand evidence (ie. the popular media). They really didn't know what was going on, because they were just ordinary people living their lives as best they could.

This is why things like Gitmo really bother me. I never really understood how Nazi Germany could come about until I was able to witness the GWB administration first-hand. Consider that in the modern age we probably know more about Gitmo than the German populace knew about concentration camps in their day. We have a "secret prison", yet it has persisted for years and nobody has managed to shut it down for the outrage that it is.

This story really makes me wonder what the world would be like right now if it were not for the internet. Maybe all those apocalyptic sci-fi stories I read as a child would have been more prophetic than we thought at the time ...

Re:The Importance of the Minds of a General Popula (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26041161)

I doubt that the internet could have stopped Hitler. Simple reason: Too much information is as bad as too little. And when people are flooded with information left and right, they simply don't care. Especially when they have better things to do.

Especially Hitler and the WW2 is a bad example of a lack of information. It's not like it was any kind of surprise coup d'etat. Hitler actually seized power legally, through an election and by being appointed Chancellor. There was no overthrow, no revolution, no big civil war like in Russia. He was effing ELECTED Chancellor of Germany.

Didn't anyone know what that guy was about? Did everyone just think he was the usual loudmouth and populist? And nobody knew that he was an antisemitic madman and warmonger? Read "Mein Kampf", it's everything in there! That wasn't some kind of secret society leaflet that only a selected few may see, it was in a book he wrote over a decade before he was elected and it was for sale, and EVERY SINGLE piece of his plan was in there. Deportation and killing the jewish people, war against the Communists to get space for the German master race...

Nobody can tell me that if people wanted to have that information they couldn't have it.

Fact is, nobody cared! Everyone was struggling to survive, Germany was turned from a prosperous nation into a country struggling with crippling recession and inflation after WW1, so people didn't give a rat's ass about that. This guy offered them work and food, and promised a revision of the "disgraceful" peace contract of WW1.

It's not that people didn't know. People didn't care or even welcomed the ideas.

Bullshit. (4, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040113)

Nice sentiment, but we have the internet now, and yet still, right this very second, the genocide in Sudan and Zimbabwe is very active. Not to mention the fact that the internet existed in the 90's, yet the 90's saw the worst genocide since the Holocaust and Pol Pot, with the (very preventable) genocide in Rwanda.

So, yeah. It's a nice fuzzy sentiment, but the recent and current active acts of genocide in the world are pretty clear evidence that it's just not true.

Re:Bullshit. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040513)

Yeah, Americans in the 1940s didn't give a shit about Europeans getting killed. Americans in the 1990s didn't give a shit about Africans getting killed. At least their consistent.

Re:Bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040987)

We give a shit. We always give a shit. Genocide is great for the firearms business.

Did Internet Technology +, PatRIOTic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040127)

This Genocide Manager [whitehouse.org] ?

Cordially,
Kilgore Trout

Hitler modded -1 Troll (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040131)

Yes, that would have stopped him and all his fanatical support.

He is wrong, of course. If he was right, the Neo-Nazis and other such groups would also die under the heat lamp of the internet... the Scientologists would fail to gain traction and influence as well.

I think the influence of the internet is over-estimated by this guy. Give me the nobel money... let'm keep his medal.

Re:Hitler modded -1 Troll (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040585)

Scientology's rise happened long before the 'net became popular. These days, thanks to Anonymous, millions of people know what it really is all about.

Re:Hitler modded -1 Troll (1)

seizurebattlerobot (265408) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040695)

He is wrong, of course. If he was right, the Neo-Nazis and other such groups would also die under the heat lamp of the internet... the Scientologists would fail to gain traction and influence as well.

I think that you're comparing apples to oranges. Neo-Nazism and Scientology gained power before the Internet was in wide use. Internet access exposes people and ideas to a worldwide debate that weakens the power of ridiculous and hypocritical ideologies to take root in society. As internet adoption grows, the power of stupid ideas will only diminish.

It seems reasonable to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040135)

I think what people do not realize is how much people of the time where in the dark about the atrocities and way of life in Germany at the time. The reason other countries did not respond to the threat is because they did not realize there was one. The Internet would have made it impossible to hide these things (without some sort of great firewall of Germany). I actually thinks this one deserves not being on the idle list.

Great Firewall (1)

ipX (197591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040143)

If the internet existed in WWII they would've had firewalls just the same as we see today, blocking freedom of information. OTOH the fledgling internet and BBSs had an influence on the fall of the Soviet Union.

Treaty of Versailles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040153)

Had the WWI allies not been so greedy, we could have helped the German economy and prevented the unrest that led to Hitler getting anywhere near power.

You won't find that in the history books, the victors write them for their own advantage.

Re:Treaty of Versailles (2, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040559)

You won't find that in the history books

I found those in my history books and my history teacher made sure to mention it specifically. I even grew up in one of the most conservative counties in the US.

Re:Treaty of Versailles (2, Insightful)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040577)

Strange... I read this in many history books. Here in the US. High school and college. I even was required to write a paper on it. Where did you go to school?

Re:Treaty of Versailles (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040671)

My experience is the same as other posters. My history classes always underscored the fact that WW2 was largely provoked by the Treaty of Versailles.

lets close this thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040155)

I mean, its tough to have a meaningful discussion when the summary itself calls for Godwin to be invoked. :)

He's an artist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040165)

Maybe he would have stayed out of politics by having an outlet like crapart.org to get his work 'published'... (tough choice though - another "artist" on the internet or another despotic genocidal maniac. hmmm....)

OK, this _must_ be the stupidest claim ever! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040173)

Maybe the Internet can invent a time machine, send a robot back in time to kill Hitler's mother and save us all from the horrors of WWII?

Re:OK, this _must_ be the stupidest claim ever! (2, Funny)

pudge (3605) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040231)

Maybe the Internet can invent a time machine, send a robot back in time to kill Hitler's mother and save us all from the horrors of WWII?

Dude, we tried that, and it SORTA worked. In the original WWII, Hitler won.

Re:OK, this _must_ be the stupidest claim ever! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26041115)

Dude, the mistake you made is you should have sent Al Gore back in time to invent the internet sooner, instead of sending Mel Gibson back to have sex with Hitler's mom! If you're gonna build a time machine, THINK before you violate the law of causality! It's not like you'll ever get a do-over on interfering with the past!

Re:OK, this _must_ be the stupidest claim ever! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040791)

Did you ever play the original Red Alert?

I cry bull shit on this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040177)

'nuff said

Le Clezio sucks (3, Insightful)

Roland Piquepaille (780675) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040207)

. If England had been able to send a "Stop Hitler Now!" petition to 10 friendly countries, those countries could have each sent it to 10 more friendly countries

So an internet chain mail would have stopped WW2. Right...

Newsflash : Hitler didn't cause WW2, he was the catalyst. The root cause of the war was the german people's resentment of the Versailles treaty, and particularly the war reparations and the way the French treated the Ruhr people when they failed to pay up. Hitler was considered slightly ridiculous and bizarre until he started to tap into the boiling anger the germans had inside them.

Well, the Internet, Skooby, Shaggy and the gang. (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040629)

The Internet could have guided them to places where evil villains were spooking people into evil, dictatorial regimes.

Before the Internet, they just had to cruise around in the Mystery Machine in some fog, until they found some trouble to get themselves into.

Imagine an enraged Hitler, screaming: "I Vould half taken over ze Vorld wizout you meddlesome kinder!"

Oh, for optimal performance, you would have to throw in some Skooby-Snacks, as well.

OR... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040227)

he could have used the internet to raise $$ and gain more support at home...

same o same o (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040229)

plenty of MPAA and RIAA and GOV nazi's still around

all the more reason to censor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040239)

If the Internet can stop a dictator, all the more reason for dictators and government officials* with dictator like desires to control and censor the Internet.

* Officials in both autocratic and democratic governments. However with autocratic governments, they make plain what they plan to do and want. With democratic governments, one cannot always tell. Is their action based on maliciousness or incompetence?

Internet increases partisanship... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040273)

... now everyone who has the same interests can find each other. IMHO it may have done the opposite, there were a LOT of people who thought like hitler in the era, it would have enabled people to find one another and support one another much more easily.

The internet does as much to inform, as it does to verify what one already believes. I've yet to see any idealogue be convinced by great arguments that their idealogy is false/wrong/error prone.

It takes intellectual honesty, something most idealogues don't have.

Pre-emptive strike (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040305)

So a nobel prize winner came up with the idea that he should apply Godwin's law to his argument, thereby preventing someone else from raising the issue at a later date? Have I already lost the argument?

Impossible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040309)

Godwin's law.

Obligatory - (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040335)

The Internet didn't stop George W. Bush.

Sure it would've... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040349)

1337_4rY3N:zOMG!!!!!111!!! raidz on teh Poland 4 lulz! mwuahahahahah!!!11!1!!!
teh_Himl8tor: d00dz...so in >:)
1337_4rY3N: wit Alsace ftw!!!!1!
FAPFAPFAPFAPFAPFAPFAP!

Even if this were true... (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040455)

SO WHAT?

doxycycline might have stopped the "Black Death". How is this remotely newsworthy, to postulate modern technologies might have affected the past?

Re:Even if this were true... (1)

ral8158 (947954) | more than 5 years ago | (#26041043)

I think the implication is that net censorship would allow another Nazi Germany style world power to come into existence, which is particularly relevant with the recent situations in Australia and Great Britain.

Takedown (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040459)

Nah, Hitler would have just sent out a bunch of DMCA takedown notices, and everyone would have had to pull all information on Germany, including photos, movies, etc.

True in General (1)

rMortyH (40227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040465)

But the specific examples given are a reach! An 'internet' at that time could have just as easily pushed it the other way too.

I've always been fascinated by this, WW2 broke out while industrial technology was very high in comparison to the information and media technology of the time.

IT was so low that the average person could be convinced that the other side were inhuman monsters, but industrial technology was good enough for us to bomb each other fairly easily.

In the case of WW2 the problem fixed itself in an odd way. The technology leaps that resulted from the war resulted in Television and jet travel, allowing information exchange and cultural awareness that was lacking when it started. Populations that had previously been scared with made-up xenophobic propaganda started listening to each other's music and watching each other's monster movies! It became easier to make war, and harder to convince an informed population to do it.

I have a 1938 radio and a 1948 television. If you look inside them the technology difference is mind-blowing. The tech leap during the war was incredible. Technology never progressed that fast before in history, and would not again until the computer industry came along and Moore's law kicked in.

So the internet may not have prevented Hitler, but his monsterous actions definitely helped set the stage for its development.

=Rich

Re:True in General (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040565)

TV was invented and presented before WWII. Look when Phil Farnsworth and Manfred von Ardenne were showing their respective designs: 1934 and 1935!

Re:True in General (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040587)

Sorry to reply to myself:

The Olympics of 1936 were already shown in TV (the box mostly sitting in a radio store and people watching through the window ;) ).

One down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040527)

... Forty-nine to go.

Triumph of the Will (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040533)

Hitler made extraordinarily effective use of mass media - newspapers, radio, film, even television in its infancy. You can scarcely speak of an organized democratic opposition to the rise of Hitler anywhere in a Europe - while in the states the Lindberghs were looking to Germany as "The Wave of the Future."

The Internet is Stopping Putin! (2, Funny)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040797)

I can feel the internet as it stops repression in Russia and Belaurus. Oh yeah, I can feel it! It's really working!!

sure it would.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26040853)

just like it prevented aggression on Iraq..

Naive rubbish. (4, Interesting)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040919)

Hitler was Avantgarde. He and his marketing-message of merging socialisim and nationalisim was super-hip back in the day. And don't dare think for a moment that it only was hip with the Germans, no Sir. Aside from a sophisicated marketing machinery he was a breathtakingly unscrupulous dictator. He killed off the entire SA leader-cadre right after scoring the Machtübernahme. EVERYBODY knew he did it and ALL were scared shittless to even say 'Peep'.

Goebbels would've built broadband to every home and casted speeches of the Führer to every household and make the web a cornerstone of some Kraft durch Freude programm and at least 50% of the people would've loved him for it. And the rest of the world would've admired the Germans.

No, folks, Hilter, Himmler, Bormann and the Nazis were a very special type of evil people and they were outstandingly good it. Bin Laden, Ayatolla Comeni and Co. look like orphans compared. I have no doubt they would've use the Internet to their advantage and excelled at it.

Think todays Republic China or a healthy version of North Korea with the brakes removed and fueled by a nation of well educated people known for their drive towards technical perfection in most aspects of life - very much as the Germans are generally percieved - and you get the picture of what the Nazi Regime was made of. If anything, something like the internet would've fueled their agenda. I have little doubt in that.

5 years would have stopped Hitler (1)

jdb2 (800046) | more than 5 years ago | (#26040965)

That is, if we were to have developed the A-Bomb 5 years earlier we could have saved over 62 million lives. Of course, by dropping it we would of course have caused German civilian casualties, unless we used it only in the war zones. But, as Spock said : "The good of the many outweighs the needs of the few"

jdb2

Wow... (3, Insightful)

travbrad (622986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26041045)

What a random and unsubstantiated thing to claim. This reminds me of hippies who say the entire world would be peaceful if we all took LSD.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26041099)

and it would be, once we get rid of the giant spiders that keep trying to eat our toes.

get em off get em off get emmumph@!

Goodwin's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26041051)

Just imagine Hitler trying to give his virtual Nuremburg Rally, it'd get Goodwin's Lawed straight away.

It would be like dividing by zero!

A rather naive view (1)

taustin (171655) | more than 5 years ago | (#26041085)

Based on the presumption that only one side of the conflict would benefit from more efficient widespread communications. There is no reason to believe that Hitler's message of hatred would not have benefitted at least as much.

Best. Headline. Ever. (1)

epr (826666) | more than 5 years ago | (#26041089)

Someone should make a poster of it.

Also, "Hitler vs The Internet" would make a great B-movie.

really? (2, Insightful)

z-j-y (1056250) | more than 5 years ago | (#26041139)

if Hitler had the technology we have today, maybe he would've conquered the whole world.

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