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Great Leaders in History

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Faerie
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« on: April 23, 2010, 10:34:40 AM »

Was watching the Hitler channel last night (History for the uninformed), and this lead to a discussion with the S/O about what constitutes a great leader. I'm of an opinion that Hitler along with Stalin/Lenin/name your anticrist here, were great leaders, they were'nt necessarily good people, but they were great in their own right and had support from the masses.

In the sense of politics and leaders of countries, what would you consider as qualities of a great leader (even if s/he turned out to be a rather shitty one historically/economically speaking). What are your views on Hitler and co in the sense of leaders and not in the sense of the atrocities that was committed?
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2010, 10:54:30 AM »

Good leadership demands a balance of several qualities, including morality. Even though they score full marks in the charisma department, Hitler and co. did not posses  a balanced set of virtues. This disqualifies them (sometimes only with hindsight) from the leader of the century awards.

Mintaka
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GCG
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2010, 11:03:55 AM »

In my opinion, a leader should protect his people, and respect them, and come through with promises.  Not be greedy or narcissistic.

Hitler was charismatic, yes, but he offed people that was, technically, HIS people. People of Germany.  They just happent to be jewish. 

And, I think, a leader should have the foresight and balls to see what is better for his country, even if the people cant see the greater picture, and he can.
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Hermes
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 11:15:47 AM »

The end result of Hitler's rule was that his own country also lay in ruins.
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Tweefo
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2010, 08:50:18 AM »

One man's "freedom fighter" is another's terrorist. . Take Mother Theresa or our own Winny / ET / Julius and so on. I think a great leader is the right one at the right time. Nelson Mandela and de Klerk were leaders like that.
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buka001
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2010, 10:40:09 AM »

I beg to differ in respect of Hitler being a good leader. He was definitely charismatic, an extremely good public speaker. He appeared to be the right person for Germany at a time when Germans felt humiliated and defeated.

However as a leader he ultimately failed. He brought upon more humiliation and dispair to Germany than the Treaty of Versaille could have ever done. He was clouded by his rascist views and did not trust anyone.

He defeated himself.
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2010, 09:43:12 AM »

Hitler was a charismatic leader and brilliant at getting people to believe in his impossible-to-keep promises of a "better Germany" and "perfect humans". He should have applied his skills to being a pastor - would have had a huge church and nobody would be able to tell him his promises were false coz they'd only find out after they died. IMO, people who believe in Christianity are no less gullible than the Germans who believed Hitler - false promises and charismatic leadership.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2010, 14:14:30 PM »

The generally fallacious Argumentum ad populum still, luckily, applies in gauging the quality of leadership to the satisfaction of most (er ... naturally Embarrassed).

Perhaps one day, after we judge leadership via algorithm and nett evolutionary advantage alone, we'll be able to purchase a ticket to Hitler International Airport, Los Angeles.

Mintaka
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 18:20:08 PM by Mintaka » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2010, 12:58:00 PM »

a point i had touched upon before.
human beings have, for some arb reason, the need to have their lives controlled (how ever much they want to appear rebellious).
so whenever they feel their lives are out of control (war, famine, financial insecurity, etc etc), they look to a leader.  since god is not allways as visible as one would like, hey presto, a leader sees this gap in the market, and steps in.  and if you tell them what they want to hear, and take the reigns as it were, they are clay in his hands.
sad but true.
when things are going good, then the church will do for leadership.
my view of our own country at this moment, is that we need a leader as well.  since the current leadership is mediocre at best.  that is why old whatshisface malema got away with what he has. 
long story, and well trodden.
i, for one, would appreceate a young, forward thinking leader, as opposed to the old and decrepid.  i know a lot of people have a lot to say about obama, but i like the dude.  our country needs someone like him.  my money is behind hlomelo biko, son of steve biko. remember that name, he is planning to make waves.
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2010, 18:24:14 PM »

i, for one, would appreceate a young, forward thinking leader, as opposed to the old and decrepid.  i know a lot of people have a lot to say about obama, but i like the dude.  our country needs someone like him.  my money is behind hlomelo biko, son of steve biko. remember that name, he is planning to make waves.
Steve Biko is probably one of the few genuine martyr's during the "struggle" - and his son would make a great figure-head leader. Will need to Google him though - if GothCG likes him he must be some awesome dude.
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Brian
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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2010, 10:11:27 AM »

Leaders are made great by their followers...they often possess personal power (e.g. Hitler) but in the political arena this positional power which is derived from the followers, is fickle and can be taken away very quickly...Question: what would the outcome in Hitler's case have been if he had won the war (and in the process wiped out the Jews, gypsies etc) and for argument's sake built a super power of Germany? Stalin remained in power long after his putches killed off millions; his power came from the use of force/fear. Mussolini was ultimately killed by his followers...now let's look at GW Bush! Cheesy  His power came through deceit and the power of the $: He will never be remembered as a great leader (in my view any way) but I have a horrible suspicion that if Hitler had won the war he would have been revered as a great leader certainly by the Germans:

Who is the greatest leader alive today?
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2010, 10:28:08 AM »

Who is the greatest leader alive today?
Can't think of any off the bat, but I think our beloved Madiba has a shot at the title.
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Tweefo
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2010, 17:28:01 PM »

Quote
but I have a horrible suspicion that if Hitler had won the war he would have been revered as a great leader
The winners of course write the history books.
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2010, 22:52:28 PM »

Quote
but I have a horrible suspicion that if Hitler had won the war he would have been revered as a great leader
The winners of course write the history books.
And sometimes the losers are villain-ified. To this day, Germans are still regarded by some people as tending towards Nazism in the same way some people still think white SAns are racist.
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