November 3, 2005 at 10:16 pm #55
I’m wondering what people think about who the worst villain in the history of Western Civilization is. I think some people might be chronologically biased and say “Hitler”. If that’s your first answer, give me the name of a second worst villain.November 4, 2005 at 12:04 am #4236
In terms of damage and pure madness/megalomania, aims, means, and lasting impact, it’s hard to aruge with Hitler for that title.
Though, Stalin is a close second (if not first) for many of the same reasons. Pol Pot should rank high on any list for the sheer breadth and pervasiveness of his social engineering schemes, and for killing over 1/3 of the population under his control (something no other dictator has accomplished--for Hilter to do the same, he would have had to have killed over 50 million people based on the population under his control at the height of the Third Reich.) Mao was an asshole of the first order, as was the Ayatollah Khomeini and Lenin himself, but the champ of all would still have to be Hitler or Stalin.
It's instructive that so many of the villians from "history" that come to mind when we think of that term are from the 20th century.November 4, 2005 at 12:13 am #4237nemesisenforcer wrote:It’s instructive that so many of the villians from “history” that come to mind when we think of that term are from the 20th century.
True...probably because only in modern times have people had the capabilities of murdering so many people.
I have heard that Stalin killed between 40 and 70 million of his own people. When you have a discrepancy of 30 million murders, you know it's catastrophic.November 4, 2005 at 4:02 am #4238
Not only capability, but metality. The 20th century is the first in man’s history that tried to replace religion with the worship of The System (in whatever form it took) and where no limit was placed on “means” so long as the “ends” were the establishment or maintenace of The System.November 4, 2005 at 7:03 am #4239
Raping and pilaging notwithstanding, I think I remember that attacking civilians in wartime has been a more recent phenomena. Once that happened, death tolls and destruction hit the sky.November 4, 2005 at 7:39 am #4240
I’m going to go with Napoleon. He was created from the excessive humanism that engulfed the French Revolution. He became the embodiment of humanity’s vanity and despair. He turned those convulsions into a rabid nationalism that foreshadowed Nazi Germany. Where Robespierre and Marat failed, Napoleon succeeded in harvesting the unchecked passions of a nation drunk on the wine of frenzied egalitarianism. The insidiousness of the Napoleonic Wars and the tragic fall of a nation who believed in his false dawn, to me is more evil than anything. Of course Hitler took this scenario to its fullest extreme, but had Napoleon rose to power in 1933 rather than Hitler, I surmise that his genius would have made the world suffer twice that it did under the terrors of the Third Reich.November 4, 2005 at 6:04 pm #4241
Donnie, interesting take on Napoleon. You also reminded me of the role Robespierre played in the deaths of thousands. What’s interesting about Robespierre is that aside from the murders he participated in during the latter part of his life, earlier he sounded like the modern liberal posterchild. I believe he actually argued against capital punishment and also wrote advocating the end to the slave trade in the West Indies or for an end to slavery altogether. It was only later on that he went beserk, culminating in the pagan holiday he founded (I believe in conjunction with his Cult of the Supreme Being) which was more like a circus show.November 4, 2005 at 9:23 pm #4242
Yeah, the deification of Isaac Newton was a weird turn of events to be sure. 🙄November 4, 2005 at 9:43 pm #4243
Napolean was a mixed bag to be sure. He was a megalomaniac with expansionist priorities, but to focus solely on that overlooks some of the ameliorating positive aspects of his tenure: the Napoleanic Code, the Continental System, his immense contributions to the study of war and combat, it was his expedition to Egypt that discovered the Rosetta stone, etc. He was no angel, but he was not Hitler either. Of the 4 million that died under his wars, it bears repeating that the overwhelming majority were soldiers, not civilians, the exact opposite of the pattern from WWII on under totalitarian systems.
As Gallophobic as I am, I'm willing to give the French Revolutionaries a bit of a break precisely because they were the first to experiment with what we term today to be social engineering and "rationalism." No one had tried it before, so where was the evidence that it would fail? Everyone that came after them (Marx, Lenin, Hitler, Mao, Islamic radicals) I am much harsher in judging because there was ample evidence of the flaws of their trying to reshape human nature.November 11, 2005 at 11:20 pm #4244ipodmanParticipant
In my view i think the sick Hitler is the bad one ever! what he did and why he did is was out of this world and sick!November 16, 2005 at 6:41 am #4245NomadParticipant
Thats a very interesting and unexpected take on Napoleon Donnie. I think I have to disagree about the bit about the Twentieth Century having a monopoly of murderous meglomaniacs., and I also think religion is a “system” not much different than nationalism or ideology. Look at Islam today, I would be suprised if you wouldn’t agree there are meglomaniacal sects with in this religion. Look a Ferdinand and Isabella, and all the murder they created in the name of Catholicism. It is not my area of knowledge, but were there not numerous atrocities during the Crusades?
All in all-I will have to go with Pol Pot as the worst. Not only did he murder a larger percetage than anyone, he attempted to destroy everything about Cambodian culture, the family, religion, education, any tradition you can think of, and replace it with an ideology that wore his face.November 16, 2005 at 8:59 am #4246
Good points Nemesis. Hitler gave the Germans the Audobahn Highway system, the Volkeswagon (people’s wagon), and brought Germany out of the Weimar Depression while restoring the dignity of the German nation at the same time. Good things such as these only work to keep a mad killer in power. They have to offer the people a carot from time to time.December 13, 2005 at 8:25 pm #4247SKYDIVER386Participant
Perhaps oversimplified, but my list looks like this:
1. Ghengis Khan
2. Joseph Stalin
3. Adolph Hitler
4. Pol Pot
5. John Kerry (For his participation in the Army of Ghengis Khan) 😉March 2, 2006 at 4:28 pm #4248jonnyjmboyParticipant
I am sensing some socio-political bias as well as chronological. Are there no villains in the Americas? How about Fransisco Pizarro, who toppled the Incan Empire in two weeks? Off the top of their head, can anyone think of an American “Villain” of noteworthy stature? Maybe I am the only one blinded my own country's sparkling reputation. Second choice, as a continuation of the chronological/cultural bias I pointed out before, is the Kurd-slaying Saddam HusseinMarch 8, 2006 at 6:24 pm #4249
I am sensing some socio-political bias as well as chronological.
Lol, yes, you are probably right about that. As for American villains, obviously some serial murderers might come to mind, but the theme here falls more along the line of political/military villains. I am unaware of any mass slayings of innocent people that have been ordered by any Americans, either in early or recent American history. I am not saying that innocent people have not been murdered at the hands of U.S. soldiers/politicians at some point, but just that I am unfamiliar with any such episodes. Perhaps the closest thing to an "American holocaust" was the Camp Douglas POW camp during the Civil War. We started a thread about it over here.
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