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Old September 20th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #1
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Who was the best dictator after 1800?


The title is self-explanatory; please explain the rationale behind the selection.

The potentially controversial use of the terms "Best" and "Dictator" is entirely the responsibility of each & any poster.

If more than one candidate is posted, please rank them.

Any thoughts?
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Old September 20th, 2010, 11:22 PM   #2

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Re: Who was the best dictator after 1800?


Maybe Tito? Yugoslavia fought its way out of WW2 with little assistance from the Red Army, Tito gave the finger to Stalin and developed a much more relaxed form of socialism...able to hold the myriad cultural and religious groups together, able to build successful relationships with anti-Communist nations due to the Non Alignment movement. I don't know, I'm sure he had blood on his hands (though I can't think of one successful leader that doesn't, to some extent)

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Old September 20th, 2010, 11:23 PM   #3

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Re: Who was the best dictator after 1800?


oh, is the first time I observe you post threads, sylla! the names sound interesting, and I think I'll visit it.
By tyhis adjective, "the best", I'd understand the dictator whos reign and deed contributed to the wellness of his nation, or mankind. It is said, that in some circumstances, a dictator could be benefic, if he act in the interest of his nation, his tough actions are not exagerated, and he jave the power to leave, once the mission of the dictature was accomplished. Even his dictature lasted too long, I see one single good dictator: Franco.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 11:25 PM   #4

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Re: Who was the best dictator after 1800?


That is a sticky wicket. How does one quantify a "best dictator"? Least violent? Most benevolent? Actually helped his people more than he harmed them?

Off the top of my head, I would say Pinochet. Compared to Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Pinochet's total was a simple drop of water. His revitalization of the Chilean economy and his handing over of power to a democratically elected government are also of note.

Now I am by no means an expert on Pinochet or his government, so there may be some things I am missing, but compared to a majority of others out there, he was pretty mild.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 02:37 AM   #5

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Re: Who was the best dictator after 1800?


Quote:
Originally Posted by NewModelSoldier View Post
Maybe Tito? Yugoslavia fought its way out of WW2 with little resistance from the Red Army, Tito gave the finger to Stalin and developed a much more relaxed form of socialism...able to hold the myriad cultural and religious groups together, able to build successful relationships with anti-Communist nations due to the Non Alignment movement. I don't know, I'm sure he had blood on his hands (though I can't think of one successful leader that doesn't, to some extent)
I agree. Tito. To add... I personally have not heard a great deal of animus from the people.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 08:32 AM   #6

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Re: Who was the best dictator after 1800?


Pinochet. Hugo Chavez. Mullah Omar.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 09:02 AM   #7

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Re: Who was the best dictator after 1800?


As always, definitions are crucial. I am using the definition of best as "(superlative of `good') having the most positive qualities." As for dictator, the definition I choose would be "A dictator is a ruler (e.g. absolutist or autocratic) who assumes sole and absolute power (sometimes but not always with military control) but, without hereditary ascension such as an absolute monarch."

My candidate would be Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. I am not as knowledeable on the history of the early Turkish Republic as I would like to be, and would like to hear from Effendi and those in Turkey about his candidcacy. I do know that he was the first President and for awhile Prime Minister and his word was pretty much law in those days. He launched modenization programs that were generally beneficial. He is viewed favorably by the modern state of Turkey, something not too prevalent in dictators I think.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 09:07 AM   #8

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Re: Who was the best dictator after 1800?


Using a different definition of "best" as effecient or sucessful, Francisco Franco deserves consideration as Perix has suggested. He ended the Civil War sucessfully and was effecrtively unchallenged for 35 years till his death. He died a peaceful death, not by assasination. Keeping Spain out of WWII was a brillant stroke of statesmanship and beneficial to Spain. He arranged for a peaceful transfer of power on his death. His human rights record wasn't stellar and he ins't though of too favorably today in Spain, but I selected my definition to exclude these issues.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 11:02 AM   #9

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Re: Who was the best dictator after 1800?


I've read enough about the Spanish Civil War to despise Franco. Maybe I'm Republican biased
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Old September 21st, 2010, 11:46 AM   #10

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Re: Who was the best dictator after 1800?


One shouldn't extrapolate back from Franco's Spain in the last ten or fifteen years to earlier times; Franco and his people murdered people by the tens of thousands after winning power; viva la muerte! The civil war was incredibly vicious on both sides of course, but the white terror exceeded the red terror (partly of course because the rightists won and were able purge the country according to their own desires).
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