Top 10 Most Influental Political/Military Leaders Ever - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#13902615
wyly wrote: the best info I can find the sultanate was still a relatively small region, smaller than what the Egyptian dynasties controlled/influenced at their peak and that was a still localized. The Romans, and others had more extensive influence yet still amounted to little when you look at Africa as a whole. For North Africa I would go with Mohammad as the most influential.


The Egyptians were a North African power. I am referring to sub-Saharan Africa. In terms of North African military/political leadership, the most influential leader was not Mohammed. Mohammed expanded Islam through Arabia, but he stopped at the borders of the Byzantine and Sassanid Empires. It was his successors who brought it to North Africa. The most influential native North African would probably be Hannibal.

As for Mandela as the most influential sub-Saharan leader, that's certainly not true. Mandela's chief claims to fame are being incarcerated, negotiating an end to an already-collapsing political system in a single country, and seriving as an adequate President (only to have his immediate successor let the place fall to pieces). The most influential sub-Saharan leader would have to be Cecil Rhodes.
#13902628
J Oswald wrote:The Egyptians were a North African power. I am referring to sub-Saharan Africa. In terms of North African military/political leadership, the most influential leader was not Mohammed. Mohammed expanded Islam through Arabia, but he stopped at the borders of the Byzantine and Sassanid Empires. It was his successors who brought it to North Africa. The most influential native North African would probably be Hannibal..
but the OP was most influential political/military leaders, so it isn't that important that Mohammad's ideology was continued by others but that it was and his influence is still being felt to this day.

Hannibal has historical fame and that's it, he briefly terrorized the Romans until the Romans obliterated him and Carthage from history, neither he or Carthage left any lasting influence. Your earlier offer of Usman dan Fodio would be a much better choice than Hannibal.



As for Mandela as the most influential sub-Saharan leader, that's certainly not true. Mandela's chief claims to fame are being incarcerated, negotiating an end to an already-collapsing political system in a single country, and seriving as an adequate President (only to have his immediate successor let the place fall to pieces). The most influential sub-Saharan leader would have to be Cecil Rhodes
Rhodes is very good choice a blatant imperialist that shaped southern africa, I was trying to think of one colonizers but none came to mind...Mandela's influence will shape coming generations of Africans his respect is around the world is significant even if the current dictators of Africa now are uninfluenced by him.
#13902635
Both Gandhi and Mandela are the 'feel good' candidates. Their actual achievements and long-term legacy were and will be not as great as some people would like to think. It tends to be the ruthless bastards who leave a lasting legacy, not the nice guys.
#13902646
As societies mature our moral zietgeist change, behavior that was acceptable 50, 40, or as little as 10 years ago are no longer acceptable. So the murderous bastards from history who we tend to label as "The Great" no longer bestow that honor on, now we call them mass murders, dictators, tyrants, or the latest terms "the accused" or " the defendant". Like Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammad, Martin Luther the message really does have a longer influence and appeal than violence. Appreciation of Mandela and Gandhi's appeal/philosophy will grow with time.
#13902652
wyly wrote:but the OP was most influential political/military leaders, so it isn't that important that Mohammad's ideology was continued by others but that it was and his influence is still being felt to this day.


That doesn't matter. Mohammed's direct influence was only felt on the Arabian Peninsula, and he is a good candidate for "most influential political/military leader of the Middle East." Although there is only one degree of separation between him and the other "rightly guided" caliphs, it was those others that were responsible for spreading Islam to North Africa.

Hannibal has historical fame and that's it, he briefly terrorized the Romans until the Romans obliterated him and Carthage from history, neither he or Carthage left any lasting influence. Your earlier offer of Usman dan Fodio would be a much better choice than Hannibal.


As I've already said, I'm treating sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa as separate entities.

Rhodes is very good choice a blatant imperialist that shaped southern africa, I was trying to think of one colonizers but none came to mind...Mandela's influence will shape coming generations of Africans his respect is around the world is significant even if the current dictators of Africa now are uninfluenced by him.


You're confusing respect from bleeding-heart European and American liberals for respect from people who actually have the capacity to shape national and international politics. Mandela's legacy has no influence in Africa beyond the borders of South Africa, and even there it has been severely weakened by the antics of people such as Thabo Mbeki. His influence on Europeans and Americans is the result of the 80s propaganda campaign on the part of the ANC and its ideological allies, which have successfully managed to convince a whole bevy of Westerners that a man who happened to be in the right place at the right time, and who acted his part adequately, is one of the greatest leaders the world has seen.

Potemkin wrote:Both Gandhi and Mandela are the 'feel good' candidates. Their actual achievements and long-term legacy were and will be not as great as some people would like to think. It tends to be the ruthless bastards who leave a lasting legacy, not the nice guys.


I quite certainly agree. Gandhi is just as equally overrated as is Mandela. The most influential Indian leader would be somebody like Ashoka or the Buddha, or possibly one of the Mughal Emperors.

As societies mature our moral zietgeist change, behavior that was acceptable 50, 40, or as little as 10 years ago are no longer acceptable. So the murderous bastards from history who we tend to label as "The Great" no longer bestow that honor on, now we call them mass murders, dictators, tyrants, or the latest terms "the accused" or " the defendant". Like Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammad, Martin Luther the message really does have a longer influence and appeal than violence. Appreciation of Mandela and Gandhi's appeal/philosophy will grow with time.


Teleological fantasy.
#13902785
Potemkin wrote:Both Gandhi and Mandela are the 'feel good' candidates. Their actual achievements and long-term legacy were and will be not as great as some people would like to think. It tends to be the ruthless bastards who leave a lasting legacy, not the nice guys.

In terms of impact upon the world, the idea that either of these will be a major figure is absurd. Mandela is footnote material.

Gandhi did signify the final blow to the British Empire's relevance and thus at least outweighs Mandela, but frankly attained this to a significant extent because the people attending his protests... erm... were not Gandhi, and did riot. He at best was just a figure uniting various movements (Hindu nationalist, Islamist, Marxist, etc.) that tended to see whatever they wanted to see in him, rather than actually abiding by Gandhi's viewpoints. Of course, the extent to which this may have heightened the actual primary reason for British withdrawal, rising religious tensions and unwillingness to deal therewith, is also interesting - but the extent of this indirect destruction of internal peace, however large, scarcely makes him India's greatest leader let alone a figure of massive world-changing importance.
#13904662
Commies shut out?

No Stalin, Mao, Fidel, Tito, Ho Chi Minh?


I would go with Mao.... no one else on the list though


Americans:

Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Jackson, Dwight D. Eisenhower?


Aside Grant, Jackson never did anything that important, and Eisenhower had a war that was his to lose victory was not a question only a matter of time.
#13914928
I quite certainly agree. Gandhi is just as equally overrated as is Mandela. The most influential Indian leader would be somebody like Ashoka or the Buddha, or possibly one of the Mughal Emperors


What of Chandragupta Maurya?

I'm surprised to see he wasn't mentioned, despite the impact of Ashoka and Siddhartha Gautama as well.
#13914986
I have already mentioned Gautama here. Chandragupta does deserve to be mentioned, but is hardly surprising given the demography of this forum.

Edit: And oh, of course without Mauryan dynasty, there wouldn't had been any Buddhism, which arise in reaction to "Brahmanism" and was promoted by merchant class (Mauryan) to break the control of "Brahmanism" on trade and by extension preserve the interests of "Merchant Class".
#13915260
Pot - Really? How would you say Lenin's legacy compares with that of Gandhi?

Lenin was clearly a far greater leader than Gandhi. Even Gandhi himself had tremendous admiration for Lenin:

"The devotion of such titans of spirit as Lenin to an Ideal must bear fruit. The nobility of his selflessness will be an example through centuries to come, and his Ideal will reach perfection." - Mahatma Gandhi.

8)
#13915265
I would still say that Lenin will have the more lasting legacy. The Bolshevik Revolution, of which Lenin was the heart and the soul, changed the course of human history forever. The same cannot be said of Gandhi. India would have achieved independence with or without Gandhi, but without Lenin there would have been no October Revolution and hence no Stalin, no Mao, no Ho Chi Minh, no Kim Il-Sung, and so on.... The world has been changed forever by Lenin.
#13915270
More impact, perhaps, positive impact? It seems clearly not.

All the Leninist regimes now are either in isolated tyrannies, collapsed (former USSR), or given way to capitalist tyrannies (China). The Leninist experience across the world, it seems to me, is in the main to have grotesquely deformed countless societies, enslaving them and their economies to a military-bureaucratic dictatorship. They recover and rejoin human prosperity and freedom largely to the extent they are able to disown that terrible legacy.

Gandhi can credit himself with having achieved independence without giving power to a military-bureaucratic dictatorship, without civil war, and all the while creating a lasting democratic State despite intense poverty (whatever India's other massive problems).
#13915273
More impact, perhaps, positive impact? It seems clearly not.

Judging whether a given historical figure's impact has been positive or negative is largely a subjective matter.

All the Leninist regimes now are either in isolated tyrannies, collapsed (former USSR), or given way to capitalist tyrannies (China). The Leninist experience across the world, it seems to me, is in the main to have grotesquely deformed countless societies, enslaving them and their economies to a military-bureaucratic dictatorship. They recover and rejoin human prosperity and freedom largely to the extent they are able to disown that terrible legacy.

Yeah, because the 1990s went so well for Russia. :roll:

Gandhi can credit himself with having achieved independence without giving power to a military-bureaucratic dictatorship, without civil war, and all the while creating a lasting democratic State despite intense poverty (whatever India's other massive problems).

Gandhi did not single-handedly achieve independence for India. In fact, many Indian nationalists believe that his influence in that regard was largely negative. One of them even assassinated him for that reason. As for avoiding civil war, Gandhi failed to prevent the partition of India and the violence which accompanied it in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed. He also failed to solve India's long-standing problem with poverty and an oppressive caste system. And India is a 'democracy' in the same sense in which Justin Bieber is a 'singer'.

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