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Who is your "favourite" fascist dictator? :3

Who is the most interesting (i.e. "batshit insane") tyrannical despot throughout history?  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is the most interesting (i.e. "batshit insane") tyrannical despot throughout history?

    • Caligula
      3
    • Genghis Khan
      4
    • Vlad Tepes
      0
    • Henry VIII
      0
    • Joseph Stalin
      5
    • Mao Zedong
      0
    • Idi Amin
      1
    • François "Papa Doc" Duvalier
      1
    • Kim Jong-Un
      2
    • Other (please specify)
      4


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(disclaimer: this thread might be in slightly bad taste, however my beloved friend and work colleague Greg isn't known for his restraint or tact, so blame him for giving me the idea)

 

I'm a little bit of a history geek, and part of that appeal lies in examining the politics and situation of a given era. As such I have a terrible fascination for some of history's darker figures. Despite the rather silly title and premise of this thread, I'm actually just interested in knowing which infamous political strongmen (and occasional woman) you find the most fascinating, if only for how hideous their reign was/is or their unspeakable eccentricities. Feel free to pick from figures cited in ancient sources right through to the present day.

 

Two personal favourites of mine are the late Ugandan president Idi Amin and the late Haitian president François Duvalier. The former being an ex-colonial soldier who seized power and bestowed upon himself many marvellous titles and honours ("His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular") whilst engaged in a brutal military crackdown on political dissidence and ethnic cleansing, as well as baiting the world's media with lurid rumours of his cannibalistic hobbies and somewhat calculated buffoonery.

The latter tyrant was a doctor who led a National Unity Party in an ostensibly fair vote (despite witness accounts and rumours to the contrary) who consolidated his power by creating a spooky personality cult, drawing on the country's religious character and declaring himself " the physical embodiment of the island nation" whilst dressed as a pseudo-Baron Samedi figure, making sure to kill or exile any critics of his imposed spiritual order for added sovereign insurance.

 

Any figures that pique your interest? If so please share them here, and please be aware that this thread is partly sarcastic in tone. I honestly hope no one is offended by the content herein, despite the obviously contentious subject matter.

When close friends speak ill of close friends

they pass their abuse from ear to ear

in dying whispers -

even now, when prayers are no longer prayed.

What sounds like violent coughing

turns out to be laughter.

Shuntarō Tanikawa

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uh, mate, only fascist leader to date is Mussolini.

Jack O'Neill: "You know Teal'c, if we dont find a way out of this soon, im gonna lose it. Lose it... it means go crazy. nuts. insane. bonzo. no longer in possession of ones faculties. 3 fries short of a happy meal. WACKO!!!!!!!!"

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This is when I realise there's a whole lot of world history that I haven't dived into.

 

If I had to go on the premise of "leaders I'd like to read up about", I'd probably go for Henry VIII, Stalin and Mao.

 

please be aware that this thread is partly sarcastic in tone.

roflmao.jpg

I USED TO DREAM ABOUT NUCLEAR WAR

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Accidentally only voted for Stalin but I recently learned about Mao Zedong and Stalin in a basics History course. Mao Zedong came off as a dick to me, for the most part. Stalin is, well, Stalin. Classic SOVIET RUSSIA. Not terrible informed on the rest but from what I *think* I know about Caligula and Khan, I hate them equally.

 

So, that's how you don't answer the OP's question at all. 10/10

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Genghis Khan is of significant interest to me... Especially his governing system.

 

The first religiously tolerant (to some extent this was violated in regards to Jews and Muslims after conquering their countries) 'meritocracy'. It wasn't a true meritocracy, (himself and his family were notable exceptions) but it was close.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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uh, mate, only fascist leader to date is Mussolini.

 

yeah i fuck with mussolini hard, how come he's not on the list?

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Caligula is probably my most favorite historical figure. The man was beyond erratic, his ego beyond god-like. So much so, he went as far as to proclaim himself as a god, and believed himself to being entitled to behaving like one. This paragraph I found says it all.

 

Caligula demanded that he be worshipped as a god. Caligula's self-indulgence in his supposed divinity deteriorated his insane behaviour. He was convinced that he was entitled to behave like a god. Thus, he set up a special temple with a life-sized statue of himself in gold, which was dressed each day in clothing such as he wore himself. As a sun god he courted the moon. He claimed fellowship with the gods as his equals, identifying himself in particular with Jupiter, but also with female gods like Juno, Diana or Venus. Standing near the image of Jupiter, Caligula once asked the actor Apelles whether Jupiter or Caligula were greater. When Apelles hesitated, Caligula had him cut to pieces with the whip, praising his voice as he pled for mercy, remarking on the melodiousness of his groans. He justified himself by saying: "Remember that I have the power to do anything to anyone."

 

I still can't bring myself to finishing the 1979 movie though. The one with Malcolm McDowell as Caligula. It's too hardcore even for me, it's the only movie were I cringe at the most brutal scenes. As it stands, i'm happy enough to just watch the Cinema Snob review of it.

 

If we're talking modern times, one name that pops out in my mind, next to Hitler, is the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. The man declared martial law over the Philippines and stayed in the presidency for 20 years, his critics and his political rivals were either arrested, turned up missing, or killed, crony capitalism especially amongst his relatives, extravagant spending, (mostly his wife's doing) accusing the Beatles of snubbing the Presidential Family (again, his wife stirred up that drama) I can go on, but this is all I can think of from my head. What really makes that man memorable for me is the people's divided opinions about him. There would be people who'd proclaim him as the best president the Philippines ever had and that the martial law period as the time when the Philippines was at it's most progressive, for lack of better word. Then there are people who blame him for bringing this country down to its knees, violated human rights during his presidency, and putting us in monumental debt by the time he was ousted.

 

While we're talking about history here, I wanna share one of my favorite history sites here. It's a series of biographies dedicated to some of the maddest monarchs in history, from murderous kings to queens who caress their husband's rotting corpse:

http://madmonarchs.guusbeltman.nl/madmon.htm

Speaking of which, shouldn't Ivan the Terrible be in the poll too? He was really batshit insane in his time.

Welp, now what?

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I dunno... I watched the uncut version of Caligula a few times and it came across as too grotesque to be hardcore for me...

 

The only thing that came across as genuine and disturbing in the movie for me was the insestuous love between him and his sister and her subsequent death from plague which she caught from nusrsing him back to life...

 

Regards

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uh, mate, only fascist leader to date is Mussolini.

What, so Thatcher doesn't count? ;p

 

But seriously, as much as it embarrasses me to admit it, you are correct in that assertion. At least in politico-ideological terms. In my defence I don't think most people would use the term precisely. I think it's safe to say that the term "fascist dictator" is synonymous with "tyrant" or "monster" in most people's lexicon. The same way the word "Nazi" is synonymous with "arsehole" for many of us.

 

Genghis Khan is of significant interest to me... Especially his governing system.

 

The first religiously tolerant (to some extent this was violated in regards to Jews and Muslims after conquering their countries) 'meritocracy'. It wasn't a true meritocracy, (himself and his family were notable exceptions) but it was close.

I nearly didn't add Genghis Khan, purely due to some of the historical interpretations that question just how tyrannical he was all cracked up to be. My todays standards he would certainly be regarded as a conquering villain, but his reign was only an exceptional example of the kind of attitudes and policies that were alarmingly normal at that time. I put him on there in the end because I didn't desire to make this into a serious poll, plus I figured the really interesting answers would appear in the topic itself.

 

Star Trek TOS is best arbiter for these things. Kirk and Abraham Lincoln had to fight Genghis Khan and Kahless The Unforgettable on planet Excalbia. If Star Trek tells me someone is evil, then I accept that without question.

 

 

yeah i fuck with mussolini hard, how come he's not on the list?

icon_lol.gif I knew I'd upset someone!

 

I actually added Mussolini along with Hitler in the poll when I began this thread. I sort of chickened out at the last minute and replaced them with Mao and Stalin, but I was actually worried that people might misinterpret the thread or find it in bad taste. Luckily that doesn't seemed to have a happened. I don't know if it's just continental/historical bias but the western world seems to see the comical aspects of totalitarian communists much more readily than fascist or national socialist leaders.

 

Where's Donald Trump?

Who knows? Maybe he'll mellow once he's in power and lead into a glorious new golden age of enlightened tolerance and universal peace. Or maybe I'll be making another of these polls with his name on in ten years time, carefully avoiding the innumerable Trump-clone-giant-scorpions that now dominate all life on Earth.

When close friends speak ill of close friends

they pass their abuse from ear to ear

in dying whispers -

even now, when prayers are no longer prayed.

What sounds like violent coughing

turns out to be laughter.

Shuntarō Tanikawa

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There's a veteran forum member who's currently on long-term downtime, and if they saw this thread they'd certainly be taking Hitler's side. Very much pro National Socialism.

 

I think it's safe to say that the term "fascist dictator" is synonymous with "tyrant" or "monster" in most people's lexicon. The same way the word "Nazi" is synonymous with "arsehole" for many of us.
Very much so. I would say the similarities between Nazism and Fascism, along with the legacy of Hitler, and 20th Century novels depicting various dystopia contribute to the notion of "Fascist dictators = bad guys".

 

I don't know if it's just continental/historical bias but the western world seems to see the comical aspects of totalitarian communists much more readily than fascist or national socialist leaders.
Yes! I recall seeing a poster sale outside my student union, and there was a giant pro-communism print featuring both Karl Marx and Stalin. I thought to myself "Hang on...didn't Stalin order the deaths and disappearances of many many Soviet Citizens? I guess we're cool with that yeah?" I asked a friend, and he reasoned that Stalin's deaths were politically driven, and that Hitler's deaths were ethnically driven. I guess mass-killing is only a thing to revile when within certain contexts.

 

Also, Hitler was a killer banjo player.

hitler_11.gif

I USED TO DREAM ABOUT NUCLEAR WAR

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^ I like the "Selfie" nickname Binky, thats a nice touch... ;p

 

There's a veteran forum member who's currently on long-term downtime, and if they saw this thread they'd certainly be taking Hitler's side. Very much pro National Socialism.

Yikes! Sounds like he'd either approve wholeheartedly of this thread or bemoan it for being too demeaning of his dewy-eyed affection for political strongmen. I've learned to not argue with internet neo-nazis. They tend to be convinced that aren't infact nazis and that their world view is so hermeneutic as to be air-tight to reasonable criticism and probing.

 

Yes! I recall seeing a poster sale outside my student union, and there was a giant pro-communism print featuring both Karl Marx and Stalin. I thought to myself "Hang on...didn't Stalin order the deaths and disappearances of many many Soviet Citizens? I guess we're cool with that yeah?" I asked a friend, and he reasoned that Stalin's deaths were politically driven, and that Hitler's deaths were ethnically driven. I guess mass-killing is only a thing to revile when within certain contexts.

The kind of cultural fetishization that communism still receives from certain elements of the Left is baffling to me. I have no issue with people examining the potential of political ideologies in order to critique capitalism and neo-liberalism, I don't why we can't draw upon and learn from any belief system. But I find it peculiar how forgiving the Left can be of totalitarian communist organizations and individuals. I also object to that student's reasoning you mentioned regarding the poster, that somehow Hitler's genocides were less politically motivated. So what, did the Nazi's just decide to be evil without having any kind of ideological justification because they were big meanies? Whereas Stalin's genocides weren't morally motivated at all? Was he trying to imply that the two dictators were exclusive to either ethical or political concerns? Maybe I'm not articulating myself very well, but there is something decidedly "off" about lauding communism and decrying fascism in the same breath.

When close friends speak ill of close friends

they pass their abuse from ear to ear

in dying whispers -

even now, when prayers are no longer prayed.

What sounds like violent coughing

turns out to be laughter.

Shuntarō Tanikawa

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Kim Jong-un is my favorite fat dictator.

 

Oh, you said "fascist."

 

BTG took the words right out of my mouth with regard to Genghis Khan (everyone's favorite murderous Mongol!), so I'll reply with my second favorite, which was Shaka Zulu: purely for how utterly crazy he was. After his mother's death, he issued a three-month mourning period during which no one was allowed to eat anything whatsoever. Afterward, he proceeded to slaughter several cows so that the calves would feel the pain of losing their mother. To top it all off, he executed over 7,000 people who "didn't look sad enough."

Do you feel blame? Are you mad? Uh, do you feel like wolf kabob Roth vantage? Gefrannis booj pooch boo jujube; bear-ramage. Jigiji geeji geeja geeble Google. Begep flagaggle vaggle veditch-waggle bagga?

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Kim Jong-un is my favorite fat dictator.

 

Oh, you said "fascist."

 

BTG took the words right out of my mouth with regard to Genghis Khan (everyone's favorite murderous Mongol!), so I'll reply with my second favorite, which was Shaka Zulu: purely for how utterly crazy he was. After his mother's death, he issued a three-month mourning period during which no one was allowed to eat anything whatsoever. Afterward, he proceeded to slaughter several cows so that the calves would feel the pain of losing their mother. To top it all off, he executed over 7,000 people who "didn't look sad enough."

This is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping this thread would bring up, overlooked historical figures (I certainly hadn't heard of him) that were utterly and unrestrainedly bananas. It's hideous yet utterly fascinating to behold, like a literary car crash.

When close friends speak ill of close friends

they pass their abuse from ear to ear

in dying whispers -

even now, when prayers are no longer prayed.

What sounds like violent coughing

turns out to be laughter.

Shuntarō Tanikawa

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Shaka Zulu: purely for how utterly crazy he was. After his mother's death, he issued a three-month mourning period during which no one was allowed to eat anything whatsoever. Afterward, he proceeded to slaughter several cows so that the calves would feel the pain of losing their mother. To top it all off, he executed over 7,000 people who "didn't look sad enough."

 

Didn't Shaka Zulu drive his army to a cliff as a test of discipline/loyalty?

Welp, now what?

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Star Trek TOS is best arbiter for these things. Kirk and Abraham Lincoln had to fight Genghis Khan and Kahless The Unforgettable on planet Excalbia. If Star Trek tells me someone is evil, then I accept that without question.

Except that Kahless was never a bad guy... He actively protected peaceful civilizations from being conquered. (it was only much later that the Klingons became the conquerors)

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Does the dictator qualify as insane if the country greatly benefited from his rule in the long run directly due to his decisions? Because I can attest that at least 1/3 of the leaders here knew exactly what they needed to do and efficiently accomplished it, no matter how tyrannical their rule was (Genghis Khan, Stalin and Mao comes to mind).

 

But leaders like Caligula and Idi Amin were so fucking clueless with leadership that reading their exploits feel more like reading an Onion News article than an actual history book.

 

However my personal favorite two insane leaders are Emperor Nero of Rome and King Di Xin of Shang Dynasty of China.

 

Nero castrated and married a boy because he looked similar to his late wife he and Di Xin took sexual pleasures from executing criminals by making them hug giant iron cylinders heated by fire until they scald to death.

Actually Yngwie of Haus Malmsteen, feefty eenches of pure Svwedish beef.

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Does the dictator qualify as insane if the country greatly benefited from his rule in the long run directly due to his decisions? Because I can attest that at least 1/3 of the leaders here knew exactly what they needed to do and efficiently accomplished it, no matter how tyrannical their rule was (Genghis Khan, Stalin and Mao comes to mind).

 

But leaders like Caligula and Idi Amin were so fucking clueless with leadership that reading their exploits feel more like reading an Onion News article than an actual history book.

 

However my personal favorite two insane leaders are Emperor Nero of Rome and King Di Xin of Shang Dynasty of China.

 

Nero castrated and married a boy because he looked similar to his late wife he and Di Xin took sexual pleasures from executing criminals by making them hug giant iron cylinders heated by fire until they scald to death.

I think it's a fine (if not tenuous) line between dictator and tyrant, but power corrupts absolutely in any regard. I tried to keep thread open to leaders who were merciless in their politics, or just utterly depraved and outrageous, or as if often the case both extreme simultaneously. You might be able to analyse the half-truths, the stone cold facts and the outright lies of an individual tyrant or dictator's legacy, but I think in black and white terms many would agree that these people were just colossal bastards. Ubu Roi made flesh, more mad than parody could ever be.

When close friends speak ill of close friends

they pass their abuse from ear to ear

in dying whispers -

even now, when prayers are no longer prayed.

What sounds like violent coughing

turns out to be laughter.

Shuntarō Tanikawa

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