The Instigator
1stLordofTheVenerability
Pro (for)
Losing
19 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
26 Points

Who was the worst political leader of history?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,267 times Debate No: 11451
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (35)
Votes (10)

 

1stLordofTheVenerability

Pro

Greetings to my opponent. Good luck, have fun and please keep your arguments clean. : )

Long have people argued, debated and considered who the worst political or military leader the world has seen thus far in history; such names as Pol Pot, Vladimir Tepes, Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Idi Amin, Mussolini, Tito, Papa Doc, Mao Tse-Tung, Saddam Husseim, Genghis Khan and a plethora of others. I aim to argue that Joseph Stalin was the worst of these, though he was a member of the grand Alliance in WWII. Harry Hopkins once stated, "We can almost identify closer with the Russians than we can with those of England" (Paraphrased). Yet, as we have seen, the man was confused and clearly wrong. Churchill was most profound in his suspicions of Stalin, even as an ally. He and the English men did not want to ally with the "Bloody Russians", as they meant that literally - Stalin's hands were laden with blood.

In analyzing worst leadership, we can analyze the number of people killed in genocide etc. as there is enough of that, but what of leader's mentality? There has been evidence that Hitler was not a stable man. As the war appeared to be slipping from his grasp, his mentality waned as well. But Stalin knew exactly what he was doing. He did not harbour great prejudices and his goal was very simple - to eliminate any political or military adversaries and those who disobeyed him and his regime.

Thus, I am going to prove that it is Stalin who is the worst and most ruthless dictator of all time while maintaining full control of his mental capacities.
Danielle

Con

Many thanks to my opponent for beginning this debate.

Before we begin, I'd like to point out a few discrepancies. First, what characteristics make a political leader the 'worst' are obviously subjective and thus it's up to my opponent and I to argue why the characteristics of our chosen leaders do in fact make them 'worse' than the other. For my selection, I choose POL POT to be the worst political leader of all time. Like Stalin, Pol Pot endorsed mass genocide and imposed horrendous living conditions upon his own people. He was ruthless, paranoid and implemented ridiculous policies that not only killed millions but even further damaged an already ruined country. Additionally, he made no great reforms or brought about any type of possible appealing or beneficial change to Cambodia. Meanwhile, Stalin can easily be identified for being an AWFUL leader, but you can't say that he didn't do ANYTHING beneficial for Russia which you can indeed say about Pol Pot. For these reasons and others, I am prepared to argue why Pol Pot was a worse leader than Stalin.

Further, Pro insists that Stalin had "full control of his mental capacities" and says that he can PROVE this. I'd suggest being really careful with this claim or anything remotely like it, considering his psychological make-up can never really be fully determined without a one-on-one in depth analysis by a psychiatrist which is obviously not possible. Some insist that it was Stalin's personality rather than mental illness that drove his actions, and that may be true; however, that doesn't necessarily make his actions any less morally permissible, or indicate that he was sane while Pol Pot was not. Like Pol Pot, Stalin's actions show that he was a deeply vicious and paranoid individual. Even if he was not mentally ill, his actions indicate deep seeded issues of narcissism (amongst a lot of other things!) which right there already indicates a personality disorder meaning he wasn't in perfect mental health as Pro implied. Nevertheless, I'm sure the rest of the debate will speak for itself so without further adieu I patiently await Pro's first argument.

Thanks and good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
1stLordofTheVenerability

Pro

Indeed, it is up to you to argue why Pol Pot is worse than Stalin, while I will perform a vice versa argument.

I stated that I indeed can reason that Stalin was in his right mind, and not insane, drug dependant or a crazed lunatic, though he may have been skitzophrenic and was definitely afraid of his power being compromised or diminished. Though Hitler had the same fear, his mentality was eroding rapidly as the War progressed.

Firstly, let us address several obvious statistics and facts that would proclaim which is the worst leader. Joseph Stalin had over twenty million people killed (that is including war statistics, such as civilian casualties caused and his own soldiers' casualties - it does not, of course, include the casualties inflicted on the German soldiers) in a relatively concentrated period of time. Stalin only ruled from 1924 to 1953, a period spanning twenty-nine years. In contrast, a maximum of 2.5 million people were killed or slaughtered during the period Pol Pot was in office - from 1963 to 1981 (18 years). That means on average Stalin had 689, 355 people killed as compared to 138, 888 killed by Pol Pot, annually. While these are not at all positive statistics, it proves that Stalin had considerably more people killed or slaughtered. We could add to this the people killed during Lenin's regime, when Stalin was a close friend and advisor - including the massacre of several hundred thousand Polish in the Katyn Massacre and the execution of a large number of Imperialist Russians, some of which Stalin presided upon or ordered personally. During the Bolshevik Revolution, Stalin adopted the 'raised ground' policy to scare peasants into submission.

Regarding Stalin's mentality, you are correct, I cannot prove that Stalin, Pot, Lenin or you are in reasonable state of mind without doubt unless having a psychiatrist. However, I can show you the casual disdain with which Stalin regarded human life by his actions and speeches. He was cool and calculated, but he was not mentally ill - he knew exactly what he was doing and his reasons justified it in his mind, if they even needed justification, such was his contempt for life (other than his own). Once when he was discussing Nazism with Churchill, Stalin stated that the most methodical way to deal with its end would be, "The German General Staff must be liquidated.... The whole forces of Hitler's mighty Armies depend on 50,000 officers and technicians... If these were rounded up and shot..." He then repeated after Churchill's protests, "50,000 must be shot!" Roosevelt then intervened, as if it were a jest, but Stalin was Deadly serious (in earnest). ~ ( *Google Books ) There are hundreds of such incidences even among his 'allies' where Stalin let out a casual statement of disdain or carelessness - he held his own allies in contempt. Morality didn't bother him.

Stalin did not even execute just his known enemies, as Pot largely did. Stalin executed Ukrainians, Polish, Russian, Belorussian and people from every Balkan country or country that he enveloped in the Eastern Bloc. He sent millions to poorly run slave camps, in which hard labour for little food was the practice. Those whom were injured in these camps didn't even receive medical care, but if they were injured, immediately executed.

Furthermore, Stalin did not care about his soldiers - he cared about land. For example, his foremost idea of an army consisted of a few 'elite spearheads' (soldiers of the appropriate age armed with good weapons and trained well) and then sent the rest of his 'peasant rabble' into battle after them. Many of these hadn't even been taught how to shoot their guns, if they had a gun. These millions of people were desperate to survive in their role of human targets and could rarely retreat - a Commissar would shoot them if they did.

That is another of Stalin's faults. Rather than having military officers command his soldiers, most often on the regimental scale a political commissar was the leader. These commissar would sit the soldiers down before battle and read a political pamphlet praising Stalin, instead of training those soldiers. The commisars could even argue or interfere with military orders if they didn't believe them in "Good standing with Stalin's wishes". In essence, Stalin worked more on brainwashing his people than training them for combat.

Stalin also employed women, children and elderly people in his armies, as he just utilized anybody whom could carry a rifle and had three limbs (the second arm was more often than not optional). even Hitler did not recruit women into the ranks of the Germans. I realize that this would nowadays be considered an regularity, but at that time sending a woman into battle was considered 'improper'.

My opponent states that Stalin couldn't be accused of ' not doing anything beneficial'. While this is correct, Stalin worked hard to build Russia, Stalin built the USSR on the backs of slave labour. Also, in many cases, good portions of the USSR were destroyed before they could be built back up again. For example, Stalingrad was left in shambles because Stalin refused to allow any soldier to retreat (Any who did so would be shot in the back). The armies engaged in ruthless house to house fighting. Another example is the time when the Red Army was in full retreat in 1941 - they burned or destroyed any Russian village or city that may have aided the Germans.

Well, I'm running short on characters, and this is a long post, anyhow, so I shall stop and create a citations list. Cheers and thanks for debating!

Also, I trust that my opponent is going to expand on why Pol Pot could be worse than Stalin before extensively responding to my points. : )

*Google Books: http://books.google.ca...

"History's Worst Dictators": http://www.filibustercartoons.com...

"Pol Pot" http://en.wikipedia.org...

"Joseph Stalin" http://en.wikipedia.org... and

http://www.bbc.co.uk...
Danielle

Con

Thanks, Pro.

[ REBUTTAL ]

1. Stalin had 20 million people killed; Pol Pot killed 2.5 million

First off, the number of people Stalin supposedly killed is often disputed. Many say he was responsible for 17 M deaths; however, only half a million were actually killed by his order [1]. Now, I think Pro will agree that any leader who kills millions of people is evil - period. The number of deaths at the hand of each leader should not be the determining factor in who is considered the WORST leader in history. Pro clearly agrees, or else he would have chosen Hitler whose leadership resulted in 34 M deaths, or Mao Zedong who caused 40 M deaths. Instead, Pro obviously finds it important to look at other factors which is precisely why Stalin causing more deaths than Pol Pot is irrelevant.

Additionally, if we look at it as a ratio, Pol Pot killing 21% of the Cambodian population beats out Stalin in terms of death percentages. Furthermore, Stalin ruled for 31 years in comparison to Pol Pot's 4. This means that if you look at the RATE that each leader killed, Pol Pot exceeds Stalin. PP has the highest percentage of massacring his own people in such a short amount of time; he easily had the most deaths in proportion to his controlled population. Thus I think it's pretty safe to say that Pro loses this argument.

Next, in R2 Pro mentions that Stalin cared more about land than people, and was ruthless (though sane) about killing - even choosing to murder his own allies when it was convenient. Once again, not every psychiatrist agrees that Stalin was "completely sane" nor can Pro prove this to be true. In fact, there are countless reports of him suffering at the hand of abusive parents and showing signs of masochism from an early age. Regardless, wouldn't you want a SANE evil leader rather than an INSANE evil leader? If so - or if you believe there's no difference (as each is careless, erratic, violent, etc.) - then you agree that Pro's point about Stalin being sane but evil is also irrelevant. So let's move on.

2. Stalin adopted the 'raised ground' policy to scare peasants into submission.

True, but the way Pol Pot treated his peasants (after forcibly turning everyone into peasants) was far worse which I will explain in the next section of the debate.

3. Stalin disregarded his army; he worked more on brainwashing soldiers than preparing them for combat.

So? Clearly Stalin did not care about individuals and only focused on accomplishing his goals. He didn't care whether his soldiers lived or died so long as his aims were achieved. Pol Pot had the same disregard for his soldiers (and everyone) which I will outline in the following section...

[ POL POT AS A LEADER ]

During his short time in power, Pol Pot expeled foreigners and closed down embassies; banned the use of foreign language or giving any type of medical or economic aid to foreigners; killed anyone known to have any contact with America, Vietnam or the west; confiscated radios and bicycles; curtailed use of mail and telephones; forbid money; closed all existing businesses; banned all religion, halted education and revoked parental authority just to name a few [2]. In addition, Pol Pot evacuated Cambodia's cities and people were forced at gun point to work slave labor in the countryside where they were forbidden to eat anything not rationed to them, causing many of them to starve to death.

For those who don't know, Pol Pot's goal was to instill a Zedong-like form of peasant communism. More than 20,000 people died on the journey to the countryside, but those who didn't died when they were there due to overwork, disease and malnutrition. Work days in these "killing fields" as they came to be known lasted from 4am to 10pm, and armed soldiers were ready and willing to kill anyone who didn't work 'hard' enough much like in Hitler's concentration camps. Fifteen families would live together and often go hungry; workers were told "Whether you live or die is not of great significance." As you can see, this is a common trait amongst both Stalin and Pol Pot, so Stalin having that mentality isn't really indicative of him being 'worse.'

Additionally, deadly purges throughout Cambodia were conducted to eliminate remnants of the "old society" - the educated, the wealthy, Buddhist monks, police, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and former government officials were among the first to die. Pol Pot's goal was to eliminate the educated people first, because those, he felt, were the ones most likely to rebel or reject his authority. Pro talks about Stalin's treatment of soldiers, but under Pol Pot ex-soldiers were killed along with their wives and children on a regular basis. Anyone suspected of disloyalty to Pol Pot including many leaders was shot or bludgeoned with an ax [2].

Also under Pol Pot, unsupervised gatherings of more than two persons was forbidden. Young people were taken from their parents and placed in communes. They were later married in collective ceremonies involving hundreds of unwilling couples. To save money on ammunition, Pol Pot had soldiers smash people's heads with rocks. The torture prisons were Pol Pot's mass genocides took place incurred not only death and violence but rape of men, women and children. Almost all prisoners were innocent and beaten into false confessions. Only 7 out of 20,000 (!!!) prisoners survived.

The Killing Fields:

http://www.historyplace.com...
http://theunexplainedmysteries.com...

[ WHY STALIN WAS A BETTER LEADER THAN POL POT ]

Pro concedes that Stalin was a good leader in several ways. For instance, while Pol Pot was busy eradicating all of his nation's intellectuals, Stalin created an almost completely literate society, and was one of the first leaders to offer equal rights to women. He also modernized the USSR to the extent that it was in a position where it could take on Nazi Germany. Without the modern industrial base to call upon, the USSR would have been unable to out produce Germany helping to lead to their demise in 1941 [3]. Additionally, he provided stability after anarchy and civil war. His policies helped to industrialize Russia and increased farming by 200%! In short, he was responsible for Russia's economic success, and though many do not like collectivism, he allowed Russia to become the major world power that it was and continues to be today [4].

So, ultimately Stalin helped improve his country. Meanwhile, Pol Pot destroyed his country and offered absolutely NOTHING useful to his people (aside from possibly... population control?). Now obviously we can agree that both leaders were evil and malicious human beings. However, many leaders such as Machiavelli can justify doing evil things in an attempt to establish a greater good or at least bring some kind of positive or beneficial change. Stalin accomplished this on at least some level, whereas Pol Pot failed completely.

I'd like to remind my opponent and the audience that this debate isn't about which leader was more evil, but who was a WORSE leader. A bad leader is one whom disregards the people he leads and does not bring them anything of value. This is true of Pol Pot, whereas it is not true of Stalin. Some people today still defend Stalin and his achievements whereas Pol Pot accomplished absolutely nothing but devastation and destruction. Pol Pot not only destroyed Cambodia for the time he was in power, but ruined Cambodia's future by eliminating all of the educated people necessary to run a competent and successful society - which is why Pol Pot surpasses Stalin as the worse leader.

Thank you.

[1] http://www.scaruffi.com...
[2] http://www.davidstuff.com...
[3] http://www.historum.com...
[4] http://www.associatedcontent.com...
Debate Round No. 2
1stLordofTheVenerability

Pro

Thanks for the great debate! It's been most enjoyable thus far. : )

I'm going to start by negating several of my opponent's revolutions in the heading 'Why Stalin was a Better leader than Pol Pot'. Upon an examination of my opponent's third source, I have found that she is relying upon a forum - which is a distinctly unreliable source. Furthermore, her quote regarding 'out-producing Germany in 1941' is reflecting an exact phrase by member 'Belisarius' on the forum. The simple fact of the matter is that Belisarius has either been misinformed or never researched upon authoritative sources for his knowledge. In 1941, the USSR was in shambles. It didn't have any 'ultra modern' industrial base. In fact, it has been regularly recorded the the USA manufactured twice as much as England and the USSR combined. In 1941 to '42, the USSR had an obsolescent army - thus, even though they had vast numbers, they were driven deeply into Russia. Historians often agree that if it weren't for a German over extension of lines and bitter winter, the Germans could have driven right on to Moscow.

The USSR relied heavily on USA food, clothes, airplanes, ammunition, trucks, jeeps and weapons in order to merely stay alive. * As the source states, starvation was not far off - Russian rations were considerably less than any of the other armies (USA Armies living extremely comfortably with over 8 pounds a soldier per day, this including American chocolate and Wrigley's Bubblegum). This is the good shape of the USSR under Stalin? Infantrymen fighting in and among Stalingrad against tiger tanks with nothing more than whatever German guns and ammunition they could find scattered about, their own cheap or sparse issued weaponry and improvised weapons such as Molotov cocktails? One hears of a variety of stories where entire platoons had only a couple of rifles between them and engaged a tank in Stalingrad by hurling lit molotovs at the turret, attempting to hit some valuable mechanism with the gasoline fuelled flames. Such cheap weapons as the PPS-42 were granted to soldiers, as useless as they were. There were never enough of the excellent T-34 tanks to go around, and many of the armies were reliant upon obsolete T-26's, of which there still weren't enough to go around. The Red Air Force initially fought with obsolete planes - many of them biplanes. They found planes that were considered unsatisfactory by English or American pilots to be the finest planes they'd ever flown.

I spent too many words on this point, but it is important to understand that the Red Army was largely in shambles at a time when my opponent claimed they had an 'ultra modern' industry base.

It is a wonderful leader that has his soldiers fight tanks on horseback, or allows his loyal people to starve in Leningrad and many other cities, towns or even entire districts. The Polish people were never satisfied of hunger while under the Red Army's influence.

Also, as one of the chaps in that forum source of my opponent sardonically declares, "The equal right to what? Die? What rights did anyone have under Stalin? The right to remain silent. The right to die if one did not remain silent. The right to die for being a traitor. The right to die for being too much of a hero. The right to die for the motherland. The right to die after a good hard life in Siberia." ~ My opponent's source, Dr. Realism. This chap speaks an indubitable truth - the people of the USSR were never free to do anything or say anything that opposed Stalin. Anything that Stalin achieved was due to slave labour of his people.

Also, my opponent speaks of Soviet strength, claiming that Russia is still a major world power. This is why the USSR collapsed and left the Russian economy in shambles.

Worse, Stalin imposed his treachery upon the world - at least Pot limited his evil to Kampuchea. Stalin's secret police (KGB) and NKGB/NKVD, GRU as well as other Soviet spies and organizations, attempted to consume, sabotage or infiltrate a good portion of the Democratic world. Stalin divided the world into two factions - the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc. Pol Pot never achieved any such division.

Also, I must mention, that Stalin and his Red Army are not free of inhumanity. the famed Rape of Ukraine comes to mind. It was feared that the Russian soldiers would enact a revenge upon German civilians so severe that the Berlin population might be slaughtered, severely abused or enslaved. Stalin, of course, was so contemptive of life (as I aforementioned) that he would not and did not care. Romania also was devastated due to inhumanities and atrocities committed toward them.

The KGB and other secret services had their own forms of vicious 'persuasion'. Torture of innocent people was not uncommon.

My opponent mentions a 200% increase of production regarding farms, due to his collectivization policies? Well, my opponent meant that that is what Stalin wanted - it didn't occur: "In the first years of collectivization it was estimated that industrial production would rise by 200% and agricultural production by 50%, but these estimates were not met. Stalin blamed this unanticipated failure on kulaks (rich peasants), who resisted collectivization. (However, kulaks proper made up only 4% of the peasant population; the "kulaks" that Stalin targeted included the slightly better-off peasants who took the brunt of violence from the OGPU and the Komsomol." **

Stalin was such an evil that his successor, Nikita Khrushchev, denounced him and began de-stalinization in the USSR.

~~

Saloth saw peasants as the way to the future. He saw everything he did as moving, "toward a goal of "restarting civilization" in a "Year Zero". ~ *** However, due to a nation that was already in shambles because of war, inner turmoil and divided loyalties, he could not offer any reasonable solution to achieving his goal.

"The Khmer Rouge leadership boasted over the state-controlled radio that only one or two million people were needed to build the new agrarian communist utopia." ***

I cannot refute that Pol Pot was a great evil, but it is evident that Stalin, in his simple contempt for human life, was a greater evil and worse leader than Saloth.

* Albert L. Weeks on US Lend-lease to USSR: http://www.historynet.com...

** 'Collectivization in the Soviet Union': http://en.wikipedia.org...

*** 'Pol Pot' http://en.wikipedia.org...
Danielle

Con

Thanks, Pro.

I'd like to point out that Pro apparently concedes to the fact that just because more people died under Stalin's rule doesn't make Stalin the worse leader. Again, Pol Pot only ruled for about 1/8 of the time that Stalin did, and incurred more deaths at a faster rate in proportion to the population which he ruled. That said, Pro has not given us any additional reason to believe that Stalin was a worse leader than Pol Pot. Almost all of his R3 rebuttal talked about the Russian army during WWII, and how they paled in comparison in terms of equipment and food to other armies like the U.S. However, obviously this does not negate or compare to the atrocities I mentioned in R2 regarding Pol Pot and his regime.

In R2 I've demonstrated how ALL OF CAMBODIA suffered under the hands of Pol Pot - not just the soldiers. Further, Pro would like you to believe that the USSR wasn't militarized under Stalin simply because I linked one forum source. The reason I provided that link was because I paraphrased from someone and I am not a plagiarist. However, the reality that Stalin DID in fact industrialize Russia is common knowledge, and available in the other sources I provided in the last round regarding links [3] and [4]. Pro conveniently ignores these sources proving that Russia WAS modernized in an attempt to make it appear as if my information is false simply because I cited a forum... even though Pro also quoted that same forum.

Nevertheless, there is a plethora of information regarding the ways in which Stalin helped Russia. Pro continues to ignore the reality that Stalin was trying to IMPROVE conditions in Russia whereas Pol Pot only made things worse. Additionally, Pro's allegations about Russia not modernizing at all under Stalin are completely false! TIME magazine cites Stalin as 1942's person of the year noting, "Had German legions swept past steel-stubborn Stalingrad and liquidated Russia's power of attack, Hitler would have been undisputed master of Europe, looking for other continents to conquer... But Joseph Stalin stopped him" [5]. Additionally, while Pro speaks at length about Stalin's mistreatment of his soldiers, he also conveniently forgot to mention the fact that in 1941, Stalin had sold over 400,000 miles of territory at the price of saving most of his army [5].

The same source also describes how Stalin made 1942 a better year for Russia than 1941. He made vast improvements for his people which is the mark of a GOOD (though maybe evil) leader. Again, I'd like to point out that this debate isn't about which guy was the more evil and not about who was responsible for the greatest loss of life. So, we must look to other factors. Pro has not provided ONE benefit that Pol Pot had achieved for his people, and absolutely nothing negative he said about Stalin could not ALSO be said about Pol Pot in terms of the evil that he imposed and the means he used to achieve it. Meanwhile, I've listed a lot more ways in which Pol Pot showed utter disregard for anyone and affected everything from whom people married to making *everyone* poor to affecting living conditions to having death camps to imposing slave labor to alienating ALL outsiders and foreign relations, etc etc etc.

Moreover, despite Pro's ignorance of the good that Stalin did, the achievements are evident and many still applicable today. "Within Russia's immense disorderliness, Stalin faced the fundamental problems of providing enough food for the people and improving their lot through 20th-Century industrial methods... He built Russia into one of the four great industrial powers on earth. How well he succeeded was evident in Russia's world-surprising strength in World War II. Stalin's methods were tough, but they paid off" [5]. You'll notice that Stalin tried to feed his people, whereas Pol Pot intentionally starved his people AND deprived them of everything necessary for survival (including health care) let alone happiness or freedom.

Another thing to mention is the fact that Stalin's goal was not to acquire territory aside from that which would have made Russia hard to invade. Once again, Stalin had shown time and again the goal of creating a better life for his people even if he used awful ways to achieve those goals. Pol Pot's goal wasn't to improve his society; just to change it according to his own wants. As I've mentioned, Pol Pot made Cambodia's success impossible by eliminating all of the educated people necessary to have a successful society. Stalin encouraged education and created the first almost completely literate society, and was progressive on issues like women's rights which was ahead of his time.

But let's move on. Aside from the injustices imposed upon the army, what evidence has Pro given that Stalin was a worse leader than Pol Pot? He mentions, "the people of the USSR were never free to do anything or say anything that opposed Stalin. Anything that Stalin achieved was due to slave labour of his people." However, the EXACT SAME THING can be said about Pol Pot, so in no way has my opponent proven that his leader was worse. Moreover, I find it absolutely hysterical that Pro brings up Russia's problems post WWII (ie. regarding the economy), yet completely ignores the reality that Cambodia is FAR WORSE OFF than Russia ever was, and to this day is a 3rd world country with almost nothing to offer and posing no real global significance. The same can NOT be said about Russia. Also, once again I've cited and quoted the ways in which Stalin did help to improve Russia whereas Pol Pot did nothing but destroy Cambodia.

Next, Pro mentions the KGB under Stalin and implies that Stalin imposed "treachery upon the world" with this group. However, Pro doesn't cite any evidence proving that this is true. Really, the KGB's main goals were espionage and stealing intelligence, and killing those in Russia whom Stalin felt were a threat to the government. In fact, almost every major world leader has agencies (like the US's CIA) who act as spies and try to acquire military and other intelligence.

Further, Pro would have you believe that Stalin was a 'worse leader' simply because he "divided the world." The reality is that the world wasn't literally significantly divided, and once again Pol Pot was only in power for 1/8 of the time that Stalin was and did not have nearly as much resources to accomplish the evil that Stalin did on a global level. However, we've already agreed that just because Stalin was responsible for more destruction or EVIL doesn't make him necessarily a worse leader! Stalin has showed more humanity, charisma and leadership abilities (intelligence and strategy) than PP. Also, Pol Pot's destruction was limited by invasion before he had a chance to do the damage he was plotting. However, don't let Pro fool you into thinking that Pol Pot did not cause his fair share of havoc in the east!

In conclusion, it's clear to see that Stalin shows no more evil tendencies than Pol Pot. Both leaders were selfish, evil and destructive. So, in order to determine who was the WORSE leader, we have to look at (1) the means they used to implement evil, (2) the rate at which that evil was accomplished, (3) the benefits of their rule and (4) the effects of their rule. So first, everything Pro mentioned about Stalin's methods could easily apply to Pol Pot. In fact, I gave a much more thorough list of Pol Pot's unjust leadership and provisions. Second, PP killed a greater percentage of people at a faster rate than Stalin, meaning if Cambodia wasn't invaded by Vietnam, it's safe to assume that Pol Pot's death toll would have exceeded Stalin's. Third, Stalin DID benefit Russia in at least some ways, while Pol Pot didn't benefit anyone but himself. Finally, Pol Pot utterly destroyed Cambodia, while some actually continue to celebrate Stalin's achievements.

[5] http://www.time.com...
Debate Round No. 3
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Swagnarok 6 months ago
Swagnarok
Francisco Solano Lopez
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Lord - I only voted for myself because I had again been bombed by Greek Freek (who bombs me all the time). You saying that I am relying on myself is no different than me saying that you're relying on people who typically v-bomb me. Either way, I deleted it again for now and hopefully this pleases you.

Admittedly, the only time I have agreed with you (that Stalin was worse) was in your very last comment and last comment only, because of things like the blocs, Afghanistan, etc. However, as I've said, the only thing that can be voted upon is what was said in the DEBATE and not the comments section. I now agree with you, but you lost this debate.

Cheers.
Posted by 1stLordofTheVenerability 7 years ago
1stLordofTheVenerability
If you need to rely upon yourself, then so be it.

'worst leader' is a comprehensive term, as you have stated. Worse evil is a factor, and accomplishments are, as you stated, a factor. But also a factor is how this was accomplished. Stalin accomplished his on the backs of the suppressed before he plunged the world into a state of trial and suffering - of which the tremors are still being felt in society. As I've mentioned, Saloth exerted his influence only over Cambodia, and with the help only of the Vietnamese.

Stalin has devastated the third world nations of Aghanistan and Iran; he left the Balkans in a state of religious hatred and warfare.

Stalin may have built a nuclear power on the backs of slave labour and the exploitation of brilliant minds, but he also divided the world into the Western/Eastern Blocs.

Also, I'll acknowledge that I got slightly carried away in my military descriptions. Probably wrecked my victorious arguments preluding the third.

Anyhow, congradulations if you emerge victorious.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Greek Freek v-bombs me on all of my debates. Sorry - my votes go back.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Conclusion:

I don't think this debate is a matter of opinion. If you had asked which leader was the most evil, I may have agreed with you. However - once again - this debate is about who was the WORSE LEADER and of course who is more evil is a factor, but not the only factor. As one noted, "He [Pol Pot] did not fight an honorable war against a brutal invader, like Mao did with the Japanese. Instead, he led to his Cambodia's occupation by the hated Vietnamese, who had been his paymasters for a long time. Pol Pot did not succeed in brutally modernizing his country's industry, like Stalin in the Soviet Union or Mao in China." As you can see, Stalin did at least do some good things ie. proved to be a good leader in some regard, whereas Pol Pot did not. Pol Pot accomplished nothing except wiping out a huge portion of his population and ruining it for years to come. Meanwhile, Stalin made his countries one of the most prestigious.

Did Stalin kill millions - even millions MORE than Pol Pot? Absolutely (I won't get into the fact that PP killed a greater percentage at a higher rate, etc. because for some reason you just continue to ignore the numbers in this regard). Was Stalin god-awful? Of course. Stalin was brutal, but sane. He committed heinous acts with rationality and a somewhat admirable goal of at least improving his country. Pol Pot was entirely selfish, had just as much "contempt" for his people and used means that were just as brutal and ugly to do nothing but ruin Cambodia to the point of financial and social ruin - even to this day.

If you think this is a matter of opinion, fine. But what really matters isn't what's in the comments section. What matters is the debate itself. In terms of arguments and all that in the debate itself, I believe I won by a landslide and I'm sorry if my confidence in assurance in that regard offends you.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
"And you did mention that deaths shouldn't count, but why shouldn't they? You obviously are just dismissing valid figures in order to understate exactly what Stalin did - had over 20 million people murdered! There is only ONE other person who even compares to that incredible figure."

WHAT?! Omg! First of all, you're wrong - there are 2 people who beat him: Hitler and Mao. Second, I've explained - once again - IN THE DEBATE ITSELF (and again in the comments section!!!) how I feel about the deaths thing. I pointed out [1] that since people beat out Stalin, using the number of people he killed is irrelevant because if death toll was the determining factor than I could have easily used Hitler or Mao and beat you... [2] I explained that this debate isn't about who was the most evil or killed more people, but rather who was a worse LEADER and I don't think the death toll is an accurate portrayal of that... [3] Stalin didn't *murder* 20M people. That many people died under his jurisdiction, but not at his command... [4] Pol Pot killed more people at a faster rate, AND a higher percentage of his own population!

For all of these reasons, I've already negated your 20M people argument and explained why that doesn't make Stalin a worse leader. So why you keep bringing it up again is beyond me. Please don't say I am dismissing it because I don't have a good response, meanwhile I've responded to it in 4 different ways and you just refuse to accept my arguments. Demeaning the arguments by insulting the debater is not only fallacious but bad conduct.

"You tell me that it was more inhumane for Pol Pot to execute 20,000 people by bashing their skulls with rocks than it was to starve 10 million people to death in labour camps, where people were isolated, demoralized, beaten, tortured?"

LoL! Wow! As I said in the debate, POL POT DID SIMILAR THINGS! He did both!!! He had camps too!!! So I don't see why you can't comprehend that your point here just fails.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Lord, I will erase my votes and not vote for myself unless I feel I have been further vote-bombed. I hope that makes you feel better.

"Also, I am merely demonstrate that Stalin rather held his people in contempt - you don't seem to want to acknowledge that historical truth. There is no indication that Pot did."

LMFAO. Say what?! First off, what do you mean by 'held his people in contempt?' I most certainly acknowledge that Stalin was a horrible leader, but likewise, there is nothing so brutal he did that Pol Pot did not or would not do. So what's your point?! Further, I've explained countless times that this debate wasn't about who was more evil but who was the worse leader. The qualities that make a good or bad leader can be found in the debate and throughout this comments section several times.

"Indeed, Pot was ratical. Since Stalin was not such an idealist radical, would this not make him the worse political leader?"

By radical, I was referring to the methods he used to kill people and why. Ideologically speaking, I think Pol Pot's ideas were far worse; he had nowhere near the capacity to succeed to the extent that Stalin did, nor did he actually accomplish anything good whereas Stalin did. And again, I think Stalin's goals were far better than PP's in general. Killing off every literate or semi-intellectual person is no way to make a country successful. You can not and have not proved that Stalin's ideas were worse, that his methods were worse, or that his success was worse. I honestly don't know why you can't accept this.
Posted by 1stLordofTheVenerability 7 years ago
1stLordofTheVenerability
Just out of curiosity, have any of you heard of the Nemmersdorf Massacre, or the Titsin incident? I reckon not... The Nemmersdorf Massacre was such an incident of inhumanity sanctioned by Stalin that it would undoubtedly surpass anything Pol Pot sanctioned. There were women stripped, raped and nailed through the hands in a crucifix position! Even Pol Pot didn't allow such hideous and cruel treatment that had been discarded by any respectable country of Modern Europe (in fact, since the Romans, perhaps). My opponent mentioned people killed by rocks... At Nemmersdorf, people's heads were reportedly bashed in by rocks or rifle buttes.

It was so horrifying that German women began gathering poison if the occasion arose that they needed to die quickly and honourably.

Really, there is a difference between a homicidal fool and misguided leader following a Zedong policy known to much of the Far East (since Cambodia is quite close to China and Saloth would have seen Zedong's 'success') and a figure of the educated world who knew exactly what he was doing, yet contempted human life.
Posted by 1stLordofTheVenerability 7 years ago
1stLordofTheVenerability
"then I could just as easily complain about Shestakov's straight 7."

You did complain about it, which is why I merely responded in kind. I don't need you to repeal. My arguments shall prove themselves; I was just slightly miffed to see that you went ahead, anyway. And then had the nerve to complain about vote bombing when I can't even pitch a single point to my own side.

Also, I am merely demonstrate that Stalin rather held his people in contempt - you don't seem to want to acknowledge that historical truth. There is no indication that Pot did, to such an extent.

"He wasn't as radical as Pol Pot nor as destructive to the point of no return."

Indeed, Pot was ratical. Since Stalin was not such an idealist radical, would this not make him the worse political leader?

And you did mention that deaths shouldn't count, but why shouldn't they? You obviously are just dismissing valid figures in order to understate exactly what Stalin did - had over 20 million people murdered! There is only ONE other person who even compares to that incredible figure. And that's just it, we're talking flesh and blood - not numerical figures! You tell me that it was more inhumane for Pol Pot to execute 20,000 people by bashing their skulls with rocks than it was to starve 10 million people to death in labour camps, where people were isolated, demoralized, beaten, tortured?

It is clear that we have different viewpoints, isn't it? You think you should win because Pot didn't achieve much of significance, which is what the entire essence of your arguments are based upon. And you are arrogant enough to go so far as to say I haven't a single hope of victory. I, in like kind, could say the equivalent, if I wished to instigate feelings of animosity.

"Not to mention that you can't say Pol Pot cared more about people than Stalin! LOL!"

I agree, that would be an amusing statement, had anybody said it. :P Although you have almost stated the vice-versa.

Anyhow, Cheers
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
[[ Contd. ]]

Assuming quotes count for anything (which they don't), Pol Pot has said, "Since he is of no use anymore, there is no gain if he lives and no loss if he dies." I don't see how this is any better than Stalin's "Don't worry - we'll find you another wife" comment. Also, if you wanna talk about leaders being delusional or just straight up evil, consider the fact that Pol Pot said, "Look at me now. Am I a savage person? My conscience is clear."

The bottom line here is that you cannot rely on the quotes of these men to determine the outcome of this debate. As I've said over and over, to determine which leader is worse is simple. You have to take the leader who was the most unprepared, unhelpful and most destructive (short term and long term). Stalin helped do great things for Russia; Pol Pot didn't do good things for Cambodia. In fact, he killed more people in a shorter amount of time AND in proportion to his population, and made things ALL AROUND WORSE for his people by eliminating health care, all rights, etc. and essentially putting his own people into concentration camps. He also made it so Cambodia couldn't recover and still hasn't until this day!

Stalin, though evil and destructive, did some highly beneficial things for Russia. He wasn't as radical as Pol Pot nor as destructive to the point of no return. More people died under his rule, yes (not necessarily by his hand/order) but again he ruled for like 8x longer than PP. I'm sorry, but you just didn't come close to winning this debate - especially if you consider what was presented in the rounds only. And I mean this as objectively as possible even if it doesn't seem like it.
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