Could the Internet have stopped Hitler? If we all blogged about the Beer Hall Putsch — or if we revealed the precision of the train schedules and the suspicious smoke swirling from the Treblinka ovens — could we have stopped the killing of the Jews before the ghosts reached tragic proportions? Nobel prizewinner Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio believes it possible:
The spread of information on the Internet has given the world a new tool to forestall conflicts, Nobel literature prize winner Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio said Sunday.
In his Nobel lecture to the Swedish Academy, the 68-year-old Frenchman said 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.
What Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio fails to recognize is that technology is a product of its times.
We cannot apply our current knowledge of the Internet and place it backward into 1942 and World War II in Germany.
Hitler still would have found a way to kill the Jews, Internet or not, just as the United States — in the midst of an Internet revolution — found a way to successfully torture people at the grave of Abu Ghraib.