Most people who's spent a brief time online will be aware of Godwin's Law, which states that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."
The same is of course true in political arguments in general, on or offline, and I couldn't help notice that it had come to fruition over Iain Duncan-Smith with this t-shirt after he said - gaffe or otherwise - that work would set people free.
Now, just in case you're an ignoramus, or you were to busy sniffing Tippex thinner during history lessons at school, the phrase "work sets you free" is a rough translation of the German, "Arbeit macht frei", which is what it said over the gates of Auschwitz and other assorted Nazi concentration camps.
Anyhow, the reason I mention this is because it's occur ed to me that the reaction to the notion that "work sets you free" from the Left is a bit odd, because the notion that work leads to freedom is, in fact, a core elements of Marx's theory of historical materialism.
Yes yes, I know, I just essentially said that Hitler's phrase of choice was Marxist in its origin, but whilst this might upset some, I find it fascinating how a single philosophical phrase can be vilified by those on the Left when it is, the same philosophical argument made by the father of the Left.
You see, if you take the time to read Marx (yes I have, it's true) the whole basis of materialist history is that man produces through labour. Crucially, the means of production changes over time through small revolutions, from tribal production, to feudal, to guilds, to bourgeois, and then eventually to the wondrous free utopia where the proletariat own the means of production and are lifted from the false consciousness of capitalism and finally achieve true freedom.
In other words, work sets you free. Nah, it is a necessity if you are ever to be free for Marx.
Funny how four words that perfectly illustrates the ultimate left wing endgame are no longer associated with them because of history huh?
Note: Before anyone gets excited thinking I'm saying Marx or people on the Left are secret Nazis, I'm not. I'm just making an observation about how Marx's theory of history is completely in keeping with the notion that work leads to freedom, yet it is not something that you ever likely to hear because of the historical connotations around the phrase.