“Arbeit macht frei” sind NICHT deine Woerter
So, originally this was going to be a ranty post about how seriously grossed-out I am by repeated comments by lefties, in response to National’s prison labour proposals, which toss around the phrase “Arbeit macht frei” with little regard for either Godwin’s law or basic fucking proportionality.
Then I did a search for “arbeit” on The Standard and … well, the scale of the issue became very evident.
Forcing prisoners in New Zealand prisons to work is shitty. It’s oppressive. It’s an abuse of power. It’s capitalist scumthuggery.
It’s not a fucking Nazi death camp.
The phrase also gets thrown about casually in discussions about Paula Bennett’s vicious welfare reforms.
Forcing beneficiaries into low-paying, un-liveable jobs is shitty. It’s oppressive. It’s economic bullying. It pushes families into further deprivation.
It’s also not a fucking Nazi death camp.
Verbscape on Twitter summed it up pretty perfectly:
Q: What things are like deathcamps? A: Deathcamps.
Q: What things aren’t like deathcamps? A: Every-fucking-thing else.
You are not fucking clever because you can remember one single iconic piece of information from 5th form history, people. Can’t we just criticise this shit because it is wrong, and not so you can totally show off your awesome History Channel referencing abilities?
It hurts the debate to reduce opposition of something that has actual negative consequences / harms to ridiculously ill-informed one-liners like that, rather than outlining *why* it’s actually bad.