From Astral Codex Ten:
Hitler’s skyrocketing rise to power is great data for building our threat models. But Mike Godwin is right: it’s easy to see Hitler everywhere. And if we say “Watch out: this is exactly how Hitler came to power!” once a week, eventually no one will even bother turning their head to look.
My hope is that this review of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich can help us identify what it looks like when Hitler is actually about to come to power, so that we can save that most urgent alarm bell—the one marked with the swastika and the Charlie Chaplin mustache—for this one situation only and avoid a boy-who-cried-wolf-scenario. Consider this an exercise in fine-tuning our threat models so that we can tell the difference between bad and this-is-stage-one-in-Hilter’s-rise-to-power bad.
Let’s get started.