you'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't be) at how many people name Hitler as a "great leader". And they all say it like they're being unique and insightful, like he's someone others wouldn't think of. No, I've heard the answers, pretty much everyone thinks of him. I'd have to say I strongly disagree. First, I'm sick of everyone thinking they have an edgy answer when they say Hitler. Second, Hitler was a mass-murdering fuckhead. Third... there are so many better leaders!
Leaders are almost always selling some kind of agenda... his was fear and violence. Pretty easy to sell, if you ask me. Fear is something people constantly touch, taste, smell. It's a base instinct. We have to fight to be better people and overcome it. If the marriage amendment campaign taught me anything, it's that people love fear, love having an enemy to blame their problems on, and will always try to find someone to hate. I don't think it takes a leader to latch onto that, just an opportunist.
He also convinced people to be harmful and violent which is nothing compared to what Ghandi or Martin Luther King Jr. convinced people to do... actually put their own safety at risk. I bet if you tried to pay a guy to beat someone up, and then tried to pay another guy to be beat up, the first guy would seem like a bargain.
Finally, Hitler lead... Germany. It is not that huge a country. Compared to people who changed India, China or America, it's nothing. So just naming him at all is a very westernized view of the world.
In case you're wondering, my list of great leaders was:
- Linus Torvalds (would have put RMS, but he's too crazy)
- Alice Paul
- Captain Jean-Luc Picard