Greatest benefactor of humanity among all world leaders of history

May 2019
351
Earth
I see, hyuzu, thanks for the information.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying FDR was a horrible president. As far as Indian affairs go, he could have done a lot worse (like the termination policies under Truman and Eisenhower, or the Dawes Allotment Act under Grover Cleveland). I just don't believe that FDR's IRA had quite the benevolent effect it may have set out to achieve. Other folks, including those on reservations, might disagree. A lot of it comes down to how the IRA affected individual tribes. Some accepted it and saw it as a good thing, some accepted it due to weird voting procedures or lack of proper understanding of what it really was, and some rejected it.
There's also the issue of FDR authorizing the mass internment of Japanese-Americans during WW2, but I don't want to debate that one right now... :p
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,340
SoCal
Mikhail Gorbochov

After so many years it was nice to wake up and think nuclear annihilation had been taken off the table as a way I would probably end my life
Also, Gorbachev certainly deserves credit for the end of Communism in Europe and Mongolia as well as for the collapse of the Soviet Union. While the latter did, in fact, have some initially very severe consequences (such as huge economic turmoil), this in itself was probably a result of the Bolsheviks' legacy of decades of central planning that made the economies of the various SSRs heavily interdependent on each other. IMHO, a managed break-up of Russia after WWI might have been a bit more economically smoother, but since that wasn't really an option, what Gorbachev did was probably the next best thing.

I feel similarly towards Gorbachev. However, I think that nuclear annihilation has not been taken off the table so much as it has been reduced in size and put on a table in the back room. There are still many thousands of nuclear weapons on both sides, many of which are in a state for prompt delivery.
The West's effective frontier did move hundreds of miles to the east thanks to Gorbachev, though.

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
Yeah, Churchill certainly deserves credit for having Britain continue the fight at an extremely tough and difficult time in mid-1940. His decision to have Britain continue the fight might have very well prevented the Soviet Union from collapsing--if not in 1941, then in 1942 or 1943. After all, with Britain already being out of the war, there might have very well been no Lend-Lease.

As a side note, though, it's highly unfortunate that Churchill's decision to fight on in 1940 as well as the Allies' subsequent demand for unconditional surrender (thus very possibly making an anti-Nazi coup within Germany less likely) ensured that six million European Jews were going to get murdered in the Holocaust. :( At least much more of Soviet Jewry could have been saved if Stalin would have deported Soviet Jewry en masse to the interior of the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1941, though.

For the record, I certainly do think that Churchill made the right decision to continue the war in 1940. I'm just pointing out that his decision tragically had some collateral damage to it. :(
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,340
SoCal
The already mentioned Mikhail Gorbochov is a good name.

The USA President Woodrow Wilson:

I think is Fourteen points were an honest and idealistic tentative to end the war and resolve some of the problems the world had at the time.

Not a state leader, but the Swiss Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross, also left an interesting legacy.
Wilson's 14 Points were certainly very interesting--as are the recommendations of the Inquiry:


That said, though, where Wilson really, really botched it was in refusing to compromise with the US Senate in 1919. Had he been so willing, he could have gotten the US into the League of Nations with reservations and, more importantly, gotten the US Senate to ratify the Security Treaty with Britain and France--thus creating a post-WWI alliance of the US, Britain, and France.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,340
SoCal
I would nominate FDR as a leader with a significant overall positive contribution to mankind; he was instrumental in defeating the Axis in WWII, and also promoted social and economic policies that improved the lives of millions, in America and in Europe. The post-war welfare state and the regulated model of capitalism that lasted for several decades (until the 70's-'80's), perhaps the most successful period of western capitalism, was to a large extent his creation and an offspring of the New Deal. He showed that capitalism with a human, social face is completely possible, even in its heartland, the USA.
Yeah, FDR certainly had a huge impact for the reasons that you listed here.

@Willempie: Not Churchill, for heaven's sake, the man was too controversial to even consider his inclusion in such a list.
But if Churchill doesn't fight on in 1940, FDR will have no one to help.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,685
Netherlands
Also, Gorbachev certainly deserves credit for the end of Communism in Europe and Mongolia as well as for the collapse of the Soviet Union. While the latter did, in fact, have some initially very severe consequences (such as huge economic turmoil), this in itself was probably a result of the Bolsheviks' legacy of decades of central planning that made the economies of the various SSRs heavily interdependent on each other. IMHO, a managed break-up of Russia after WWI might have been a bit more economically smoother, but since that wasn't really an option, what Gorbachev did was probably the next best thing.


The West's effective frontier did move hundreds of miles to the east thanks to Gorbachev, though.


Yeah, Churchill certainly deserves credit for having Britain continue the fight at an extremely tough and difficult time in mid-1940. His decision to have Britain continue the fight might have very well prevented the Soviet Union from collapsing--if not in 1941, then in 1942 or 1943. After all, with Britain already being out of the war, there might have very well been no Lend-Lease.

As a side note, though, it's highly unfortunate that Churchill's decision to fight on in 1940 as well as the Allies' subsequent demand for unconditional surrender (thus very possibly making an anti-Nazi coup within Germany less likely) ensured that six million European Jews were going to get murdered in the Holocaust. :( At least much more of Soviet Jewry could have been saved if Stalin would have deported Soviet Jewry en masse to the interior of the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1941, though.

For the record, I certainly do think that Churchill made the right decision to continue the war in 1940. I'm just pointing out that his decision tragically had some collateral damage to it. :(
If there ever was a just war, that required an unconditional surrender, WWII is the one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist
May 2019
351
Earth
If there ever was a just war, that required an unconditional surrender, WWII is the one.
In Europe at least. Imo the war in the Pacific and CBI was just a bunch of imperial/colonial powers fighting for domination of the region, while most local people had to sit around suffering and wait their turn at independence. Indonesia and Vietnam are two good examples: forced to endure European domination, then Japanese, then European again, as a result of both sides squabbling over who had the right to colonize them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,685
Netherlands
In Europe at least. Imo the war in the Pacific and CBI was just a bunch of imperial/colonial powers fighting for domination of the region, while most local people had to sit around suffering and wait their turn at independence. Indonesia and Vietnam are two good examples: forced to endure European domination, then Japanese, then European again, as a result of both sides squabbling over who had the right to colonize them.
You can make a decent argument about unconditional surrender for Japan not being the best option, since even though they rank quite high on the evil scale, they are not near to the level of the Nazis.

Indonesia is actually a bad example, as within a few years they became independent due to pressure by the American on the Dutch (amongst many other things obviously)
 
May 2019
351
Earth
You can make a decent argument about unconditional surrender for Japan not being the best option, since even though they rank quite high on the evil scale, they are not near to the level of the Nazis.
I could, but I'm sure we'll have certain Americans running all over this thread trying to justify their push for unconditional surrender and the nuclear bombs. I'm really not interested in getting into that discussion on the internet ;)

Indonesia is actually a bad example, as within a few years they became independent due to pressure by the American on the Dutch (amongst many other things obviously)
My point was that the Indonesians had to fight the Dutch after the war to push for independence. As I'm sure you know, being Dutch yourself, it isn't as though the Netherlands just peacefully left right after Japan was defeated. Both the Netherlands and Japan during WW2 were competing for domination over the Indonesian's homeland.