PolySciFi Blog

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Heils! Files! Savings!

I got a kick out James Lileks's unhappiness at the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library's ad campaign featuring Mao. And his counterexample of an ad they didn't run is priceless. He's right, too; there's something creepy about the way Communists have avoided the stigma Fascists got; Martin Amis has written a great book about it that I highly recommend.

So it was kind of great to see perpetual bad guy Walmart violate Godwin's Law and jump straight into the Nazi advertising craze. In Flagstaff, Arizona, they recently ran an ad with a picture of a Nazi book-burning and the following text: "Should we let government tell us what we can read? Of course not....So why should we allow local government to limit where we shop?" Lileks couldn't have dreamed this ad up if he'd had all year (me either).

It is, of course, a straight line from government action that stops Walmart from opening grocery stores to burning books. What a courageous stance! Remember, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

And of course, Walmart doesn't want the government to tell you what you can read. Private industry can do that more efficiently.

(For the record, I do think that Walmart should be allowed to open grocery stores if they want to, so long as their workers are allowed to unionize, are as well paid as other grocery store workers, and their stores fall under standard environmental and development regulation (see, I also think local communities should have some say in how their land is developed). I don't think other grocery store chains should use the government in an anti-competitive way. I also don't think Walmart should use government to create regulation-free zones like they recently tried to do in Inglewood).

H/T Wonkette.


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