Who was a more competent leader: Adolf Hitler or Julius Caesar?

More competent leader: Hitler or Caesar?

  • Hitler

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • Caesar

    Votes: 24 96.0%

  • Total voters
    25
Jun 2017
2,974
Connecticut
Tbh I don't think the evidence exists to clearly answer this. Both had successful military campaigns(Hitler's were more impressive but were less successful, Caesars were less impressive but he actually won) both destroyed their existing republics(though with Caesar I'd say this was more challenging as well as obviously a more positive thing).

I see one major advantage for each and they are polar opposites.

The big advantage Hitler had over Caesar was his ability to maintain control over his people. Hitler committed suicide that was induced by external forces, but he survived all his assassination attempts and maintained control of Germany to the end, killing or suppressing all his enemies..Caesar on the other hand was killed by political foes while his faction remained unconquered for centuries the exact opposite. Hitler also lasted longer, 12 years to 4 or 5.Caesar's biggest foes were mostly domestic and Hitler's mostly foreign The big advantage for Caesar though is the context in which he lost. . That being said Caesar was in the most illustrious generation of people, perhaps who've ever lived, Pompey, Cleopatra, Ptolemy x, Brutus, Cassius, Crassus, Pompey's son, Ocatavian,Mark Antony(clearly some of these are friendly the point is to demonstrate how many notable people were living). Caesar. Not only did he beat most of his enemies but the enemies who killed him were defeated by his allies shortly after. They also only killed him because he let it happen either by literally knowing what was coming when he went to the Senate or by letting his enemies live. Hitler's survival domestically was due to being a worse person who removed most domestic threats/made domestic threats hide pretty early.

While Hitler might have the edge in the physical plane, Caesars name became the shortchange for King and his title was one every ruler ever had or sought to have until very recently. Even when Caesar's faction was conquered it was conquered by people's who spent centuries pretending to be Romans and Caesar's in particular. We know Hitler wanted a "reich that would last a thousand years" but Caesar got this. All humans die, that's not changeable but in terms of legacy, Caesar's faction won, Caesar's factions survived and if a human could symbolically continue to live, Caesar did through all those taking his name. Hitler's faction was totally destroyed and while it's only been about 75 years since his time, not 2000 his name has become(at least in the US) basically a shortchange for villain similar to how Caesar became one for king. "Little Hitler", "if you had a time machine would you kill baby Hitler" etc, "that's just like Hitler" etc. While I guess this has potential to be the same sort of immortality as Caesar, life isn't a Saturday morning cartoons, bad guys aren't bad guys who are evil for the sake of being evil, they want to be remembered positively for the stuff they do. Therefore that can't be viewed as a "success" in the same way Caesar's legacy can. If say Hitler was a Sith Lord(example of bad people who are committed to the idea of being bad people) who was committed to evil for evil's sake and would view his current legacy as a plus, that would be different but this wasn't the sort of impact he'd want. Hitler was so obsessed with his questionable German identity(Austrian is German but, Austro-Hungary wasn't part of Germany, nor were most members of the empire ethnically German) that he left Austria to join Germany. But while Caesar inspired people to pretend to be Roman for millennia, Hitler made people ashamed to be German and in the ultimate twist of irony, Austrian separate cultural identity is largely based on being not German to separate from Hitler, abandoning Germany the same way Hitler abandoned Austria-Hungary.

So my opinion Caesar's leadership produced more, including after his death. I don't like giving people credit for the work of others but if your leadership compels people to take your name for thousands of years must have left some impression. I think Hitler has the edge with what he achieved on the physical plane, ruled longer, remained in power etc. While Hitler made mistakes that cost him the war such as declaring war on the US, and his ideology giving Stalin gift wrapped propaganda, his achievements regardless of how terrible many of them were broke the mold of what leaders did. The scale of death and destruction Hitler caused both in terms of genocide and militarily is unparalleled, that's evil but not incompetent while you can argue his ideology is inherently incompetent that's walking the line between means and end. Barring nuclear holocaust it will likely be millennia if the casualty marks set on the Eastern front are ever approached. There is reason "Operation Barbarossa" has survived as a term for major effort. Caesar's military achievements were less out of the ordinary. He took Gaul but he was in a generation of brilliant generals and the thing that separates him from Pompey and Crassus is the fact he survived(the longest). He might have been the least skilled general of the three and his opponents were certainly the easiest of the three(Gauls versus Parthians). It's honestly pretty easy to find people who've matched Caesar's in real life achievements(like taking power, ruling for a few years, instituting some changes, not unprecedented stuff before or after). But to me leadership is measured by the end result and the end result of Caesar's work regardless of how relatively ordinary the work itself was when he was alive, blows Hitler out of the water. So pretty different ways to measure.

To be honest more I've thought about it these two are polar opposites in so many ways. Fascinating.
 
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