Reductio Ad Hitlerum is a Clichéd Argument for (a) Reason.

beetle bailey
4 min readNov 11, 2022

Yadda-yadda, fallacy of informal logic. And yet … Reductio Ad Hitlerum (or Argumentum Ad Hitlerum/Ad Nazium) is rarely not a TKO, when used relevantly. With good reason. And then, it’s far from a fallacy.

Name of commenter redacted because … pick a reason, any reason.

COMMENTER: So many of Lovecraft’s stories can be easily reinterpreted in a positive and progressive way if you just look at them from a non xenophobic, racist, white supremacist viewpoint. The Shadow Over Innsmouth is about a town reconnecting with humanities underwater cousins. The Dunwich Horror is about a single mother and her father having been blessed by a God struggling to take care of their half-cosmic children. The Horror at Red Hook is about a rich white man taking advantage of lower class immigrants who have been persecuted by the police and using them for his horrible occult rituals.

BUG: So, basically, if one completely ignores all context and the author’s own language … the language of a man who had a cat called “N*gger-Man* … one can feel positive about Lovecraft’s work? Look … I can and do appreciate not only Lovecraft’s impact on Cosmic Horror, but also his actual work. I’d go so far as to say I’m a fan. But I haven’t been lobotomized, nor ethically compromised in this arena. I WILL not completely write-off (see what I did, there?) the reality of an artist’s views influencing his ART, his output to the world. It ain’t easy being Black and a fan of Lovecraft’s work. NOR SHOULD IT BE. It makes me HIDEOUSLY uncomfortable every time I dip into his work, but I DO find value in it which doesn’t require me to ignore ALL of his, and his work’s context and reality. I am mindful that even hateful artists are still artists, and even with that hatred often shining out of their work as well as themselves, they, too, can contribute to humanity’s artistic expression. Two things can be true at once, but that doesn’t mean they MUST coexist comfortably or easily, nor one of them be forgotten/lost/overshadowed for the sake of the other. Or for “positive and progressive” … whatever. I don’t know your culture or ethnicity. I would guess that you aren’t likely to be Black. Or Jewish. Or Italian … etc. Lovecraft dehumanized a lot of folks in his work. Thus, I’m surprised I was scrolling the recent comments on this video for several minutes before encountering such a comment as yours. To be blunt, to me and…

beetle bailey

Just a bug with progressive values, opinions, and Interwebz. Black, atheist, AuDHD, Âû. A-awesome. PROUDLY a transmasc coleoptera. Be warned: I clap back.