Total Posts:25|Showing Posts:1-25
Jump to topic:

Who is the greatest leader of all time?

beng100
Posts: 1,055
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/12/2015 9:57:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Throughout history which leader of a nation was the most influential. This can be for numerous reasons, miraculous economic growth, military genius, industrial improvements, advancement in standards of living for citizens etc.

Personally I am going to say Winston Churchill.
PetersSmith
Posts: 5,819
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/13/2015 3:03:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/12/2015 9:57:41 PM, beng100 wrote:
Throughout history which leader of a nation was the most influential. This can be for numerous reasons, miraculous economic growth, military genius, industrial improvements, advancement in standards of living for citizens etc.

Personally I am going to say Winston Churchill.

Emperor Augustus: so great he became venerated as a god.

Or Hitler, he made Germany a superpower again.
Empress of DDO (also Poll and Forum "Maintenance" Moderator)

"The two most important days in your life is the day you were born, and the day you find out why."
~Mark Twain

"Wow"
-Doge

"Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it."
~Abraham Lincoln

Guide to the Polls Section: http://www.debate.org...
UtherPenguin
Posts: 3,679
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/13/2015 4:09:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/13/2015 3:03:35 AM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 11/12/2015 9:57:41 PM, beng100 wrote:
Throughout history which leader of a nation was the most influential. This can be for numerous reasons, miraculous economic growth, military genius, industrial improvements, advancement in standards of living for citizens etc.

Personally I am going to say Winston Churchill.

Emperor Augustus: so great he became venerated as a god.

Or Hitler, he made Germany a superpower again.

Adolf Trump: Let's make Germany great again.
"Praise Allah."
~YYW
PetersSmith
Posts: 5,819
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
11/13/2015 4:10:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/13/2015 4:09:15 AM, UtherPenguin wrote:
At 11/13/2015 3:03:35 AM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 11/12/2015 9:57:41 PM, beng100 wrote:
Throughout history which leader of a nation was the most influential. This can be for numerous reasons, miraculous economic growth, military genius, industrial improvements, advancement in standards of living for citizens etc.

Personally I am going to say Winston Churchill.

Emperor Augustus: so great he became venerated as a god.

Or Hitler, he made Germany a superpower again.

Adolf Trump: Let's make Germany great again.

We'll build a Trump wall to keep the Jews out.
Empress of DDO (also Poll and Forum "Maintenance" Moderator)

"The two most important days in your life is the day you were born, and the day you find out why."
~Mark Twain

"Wow"
-Doge

"Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it."
~Abraham Lincoln

Guide to the Polls Section: http://www.debate.org...
bballcrook21
Posts: 4,468
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/1/2016 2:43:05 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
George Washington, Augustus Caesar, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, Vespasian, etc.
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. - Friedman

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. -Friedman

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. - Friedman

Society will never be free until the last Democrat is strangled with the entrails of the last Communist.
walker_harris3
Posts: 273
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/1/2016 2:50:52 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 11/12/2015 9:57:41 PM, beng100 wrote:
Throughout history which leader of a nation was the most influential. This can be for numerous reasons, miraculous economic growth, military genius, industrial improvements, advancement in standards of living for citizens etc.

Personally I am going to say Winston Churchill.

Napoleon. No one matched his military genius, and he in my opinion is falsely labeled as a dictator. He more than anything fits Plato's calling for philosopher kings. These were enlightened leaders who knew what was best for their sovereign country, and would lead accordingly. Keep in mind, the man created an extremely stable political and economical atmosphere in revolutionary France, and also created 4 Constitutions during his rule.
Torton
Posts: 988
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/1/2016 2:53:15 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
Militarily, it's got to be Genghis Khan. Established one of the largest empires ever; the only other one that's even [arguably] bigger is the British Empire, which was established six centuries afterwards. Was he a terrible person? Yeah... but also a military genius.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/1/2016 3:12:56 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
I agree on Napoleon. I'd also add Muhammad, the Rashidun Caliphs and Muawiyah I as far as the Islamic world goes, Urban II for the Church, Scipio Africanus and Constantine for Rome, Henry VIII of England, and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V was an exemplary ruler dealt an exemplary hand. The standard is, I think, not just unification, but the establishment of a lasting legacy. Some, like Charlemagne and Genghis Khan, only unified during their live, and it all fell apart shortly after. A great ruler forges something that lasts for generations.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/1/2016 3:39:46 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/1/2016 3:12:56 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I agree on Napoleon. I'd also add Muhammad, the Rashidun Caliphs and Muawiyah I as far as the Islamic world goes,

- Harun ar-Rashid MUST belong to this list x-) , the man who's said to have almost ruled the entire world, you know, the one who instituted the legendary House of Wisdom.

Urban II for the Church, Scipio Africanus and Constantine for Rome, Henry VIII of England, and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V was an exemplary ruler dealt an exemplary hand. The standard is, I think, not just unification, but the establishment of a lasting legacy. Some, like Charlemagne and Genghis Khan, only unified during their live, and it all fell apart shortly after. A great ruler forges something that lasts for generations.

- I notice you have mentioned no Americans!
Current Debates:

Islam is not a religion of peace vs. @ Lutonator:
* http://www.debate.org...
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/1/2016 3:51:31 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/1/2016 3:39:46 AM, Yassine wrote:
At 2/1/2016 3:12:56 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I agree on Napoleon. I'd also add Muhammad, the Rashidun Caliphs and Muawiyah I as far as the Islamic world goes,

- Harun ar-Rashid MUST belong to this list x-) , the man who's said to have almost ruled the entire world, you know, the one who instituted the legendary House of Wisdom.

I see him as a great custodian, but not necessarily as a 'leader'. He took great care of and improved upon what he was given, but he didn't 'transform' anything essentially. He also divided the empire among his sons after his death, which was a horrible error, in my opinion.

Urban II for the Church, Scipio Africanus and Constantine for Rome, Henry VIII of England, and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V was an exemplary ruler dealt an exemplary hand. The standard is, I think, not just unification, but the establishment of a lasting legacy. Some, like Charlemagne and Genghis Khan, only unified during their live, and it all fell apart shortly after. A great ruler forges something that lasts for generations.

- I notice you have mentioned no Americans!

We're still pretty young. Teddy Roosevelt might be a good entry for his deft diplomacy, but that's about it (interestingly enough, Teddy wasn't even elected, he was only selected as a Vice President and then became President when McKinley was assassinated).
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/1/2016 4:50:04 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/1/2016 3:51:31 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

I see him as a great custodian, but not necessarily as a 'leader'. He took great care of and improved upon what he was given, but he didn't 'transform' anything essentially.

- On the complete contrary. You should read more into his reign, you'd be most amazed. Without him, Baghdad wouldn't have been Baghdad, & the Abbasid Empire wouldn't have been what it was. Some of his greatest accomplishments include,
1. Establishing treaties with almost the entire world, from the Holy Roman Empire to China, a feat never done before by the Muslims or probably ever, which made the golden age of Islamic Trade possible.
2. Opening all borders of the Empire, made possible due to less warfare & established treaties..., which lead to immigration of excellent people to the Empire & to Baghdad from all over the place. Muslims, too, were able to explore parts of Europe, India & China they couldn't have done before.
3. Establishing the House of Wisdom (beside many other important institutes, medical & religious) & launching the translation of Greek works...
4. Rebuilding Baghdad into the city we all know & cherish.
... Also, I am not aware of any higher taxe revenues collected during or before the Abbasid Caliphate (expect probably during the reign of 'Umar Ibn Khattab), than during the reign of Harun ar-Rashid ; they're estimated at ~$9bn, which makes the GDP of his empire at least 50% to 70% the entire world's.

He also divided the empire among his sons after his death, which was a horrible error, in my opinion.

- I am not sure what you're talking about here. During his reign, he divided the ruling factions into two: the Arab camp lead by al-Amin, & the Persian camp lead by al-Mamun. Before his death, he designated al-Amin & the 'crown prince' & al-Mamun as the second in line after his brother dies, & also decreed that the faction of al-Mamun should keep al its current jurisdictions. The conflict that rose between the brothers was due to the fact that they didn't follow the written directives of their father, for each was encouraged by hid faction to require more from the other. The fault lies not on Harun ar-Rashid, but on his sons & their greedy advisers.

We're still pretty young.

- OK. Now, I understand.

Teddy Roosevelt might be a good entry for his deft diplomacy, but that's about it (interestingly enough, Teddy wasn't even elected, he was only selected as a Vice President and then became President when McKinley was assassinated).

- I am afraid I am not too familiar with the guy, though I have confidence in your choice. I was thinking you'd go for names like Abraham Lincoln.
Current Debates:

Islam is not a religion of peace vs. @ Lutonator:
* http://www.debate.org...
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/1/2016 5:13:15 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/1/2016 4:50:04 AM, Yassine wrote:
At 2/1/2016 3:51:31 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

I see him as a great custodian, but not necessarily as a 'leader'. He took great care of and improved upon what he was given, but he didn't 'transform' anything essentially.

- On the complete contrary. You should read more into his reign, you'd be most amazed. Without him, Baghdad wouldn't have been Baghdad, & the Abbasid Empire wouldn't have been what it was. Some of his greatest accomplishments include,
1. Establishing treaties with almost the entire world, from the Holy Roman Empire to China, a feat never done before by the Muslims or probably ever, which made the golden age of Islamic Trade possible.
2. Opening all borders of the Empire, made possible due to less warfare & established treaties..., which lead to immigration of excellent people to the Empire & to Baghdad from all over the place. Muslims, too, were able to explore parts of Europe, India & China they couldn't have done before.
3. Establishing the House of Wisdom (beside many other important institutes, medical & religious) & launching the translation of Greek works...
4. Rebuilding Baghdad into the city we all know & cherish.
... Also, I am not aware of any higher taxe revenues collected during or before the Abbasid Caliphate (expect probably during the reign of 'Umar Ibn Khattab), than during the reign of Harun ar-Rashid ; they're estimated at ~$9bn, which makes the GDP of his empire at least 50% to 70% the entire world's.

Yeah, but it'd be a VERY long list if I included apt reformers, diplomats, and visionaries.

He also divided the empire among his sons after his death, which was a horrible error, in my opinion.

- I am not sure what you're talking about here. During his reign, he divided the ruling factions into two: the Arab camp lead by al-Amin, & the Persian camp lead by al-Mamun. Before his death, he designated al-Amin & the 'crown prince' & al-Mamun as the second in line after his brother dies, & also decreed that the faction of al-Mamun should keep al its current jurisdictions. The conflict that rose between the brothers was due to the fact that they didn't follow the written directives of their father, for each was encouraged by hid faction to require more from the other. The fault lies not on Harun ar-Rashid, but on his sons & their greedy advisers.

In my mind, it is the responsibility of a ruler to ensure a good succession. That means being informed when it comes to the ambitions and loyalties of the people over whom he rules. An example of someone who handled this better than al-Rashid was Charles V. His realm was enormous, with great political pressure, so he abdicated, arranged a division of power, and then negotiated alliances and managed the kingdom as he lived out the last few years of his life in a Spanish monastery, and the kingdoms which he founded remained stable and friendly for centuries. I can't consider someone to be among the greatest of rulers if he failed to see something like the Fourth Fitna brewing under his very nose; one of the reasons that I respect Muawiyah so much is that he took such meticulous care to ensure the success and propagation of his dynasty. al-Rashid was a great visionary, but there have been much better politicians and rulers.

We're still pretty young.

- OK. Now, I understand.

Teddy Roosevelt might be a good entry for his deft diplomacy, but that's about it (interestingly enough, Teddy wasn't even elected, he was only selected as a Vice President and then became President when McKinley was assassinated).

- I am afraid I am not too familiar with the guy, though I have confidence in your choice. I was thinking you'd go for names like Abraham Lincoln.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/1/2016 5:17:36 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/1/2016 4:50:04 AM, Yassine wrote:
- I am afraid I am not too familiar with the guy, though I have confidence in your choice. I was thinking you'd go for names like Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln was a great politician. Perhaps the greatest to ever live in America. I don't really think that the Civil War was the best of ideas, however.

Teddy was a shrew statesman, and really began to project American power abroad, while reforming a lot of things at home. I respect people who see war as a last resort, a desperate means to essential ends. Teddy Roosevelt summed up his diplomacy vision as 'speak softly and carry a big stick', and it worked wonders as America emerged more and more on the world stage.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/2/2016 3:59:15 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/1/2016 5:13:15 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

Yeah, but it'd be a VERY long list if I included apt reformers, diplomats, and visionaries.

- & a VERY short one at the caliber of Harun ar-Rashid. :P

In my mind, it is the responsibility of a ruler to ensure a good succession.

- Which he did.

That means being informed when it comes to the ambitions and loyalties of the people over whom he rules.

- This goes without saying, which was the his strongest point. His wisdom & wit were exemplary. I am not even sure if you are that familiar with the guy.

An example of someone who handled this better than al-Rashid was Charles V. His realm was enormous, with great political pressure, so he abdicated, arranged a division of power, and then negotiated alliances and managed the kingdom as he lived out the last few years of his life in a Spanish monastery, and the kingdoms which he founded remained stable and friendly for centuries. I can't consider someone to be among the greatest of rulers if he failed to see something like the Fourth Fitna brewing under his very nose; one of the reasons that I respect Muawiyah so much is that he took such meticulous care to ensure the success and propagation of his dynasty.

- The Abbasid dynasty lived on for over 700 years after Harun ar-Rashid. B-)

al-Rashid was a great visionary, but there have been much better politicians and rulers.

- Better, maybe. Much better?! I don't know about that. Harun ar-Rashid (beside 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz) is the most famous ruler of Islamic History, & his rule the most prosperous, even little kids on the street now know his name, not for nothing! I mean, all the accomplishments of the Abbasid Empire can probably be traced back to him. He even had his own legal school of thought. Well, unless of course what you're looking for is great conquerors or great legislators, which Harun wasn't particularly.

Lincoln was a great politician. Perhaps the greatest to ever live in America. I don't really think that the Civil War was the best of ideas, however.

- How would you imagine events unfolding otherwise?

Teddy was a shrew statesman, and really began to project American power abroad, while reforming a lot of things at home. I respect people who see war as a last resort, a desperate means to essential ends. Teddy Roosevelt summed up his diplomacy vision as 'speak softly and carry a big stick', and it worked wonders as America emerged more and more on the world stage.

- I could change 'Teddy' to 'Harun' & 'America' to 'Abbasid Empire', & everything would fit. ;-)
Current Debates:

Islam is not a religion of peace vs. @ Lutonator:
* http://www.debate.org...
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/2/2016 5:59:18 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/2/2016 3:59:15 AM, Yassine wrote:

al-Rashid was a great visionary, but there have been much better politicians and rulers.

- Better, maybe. Much better?! I don't know about that. Harun ar-Rashid (beside 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz) is the most famous ruler of Islamic History, & his rule the most prosperous, even little kids on the street now know his name, not for nothing! I mean, all the accomplishments of the Abbasid Empire can probably be traced back to him. He even had his own legal school of thought. Well, unless of course what you're looking for is great conquerors or great legislators, which Harun wasn't particularly.

That's my whole point. He was obviously a great person, of great character, with great accomplishments. It's why he's so well-remembered, like Charlemagne, Lincoln, and Marcus Aurelius. But there are elements missing; there's a brutality, a political expedience, which puts the finishing touches on a leader, and which also makes them not-so-appealing. People dislike Henry VIII because of his actions, but he was a peerless political leader because of them. As Machiavelli put it:

"Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them. And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite.

And you have to understand this, that a prince, especially a new one, cannot observe all those things for which men are esteemed, being often forced, in order to maintain the state, to act contrary to faith, friendship, humanity, and religion. Therefore it is necessary for him to have a mind ready to turn itself accordingly as the winds and variations of fortune force it, yet, as I have said above, not to diverge from the good if he can avoid doing so, but, if compelled, then to know how to set about it."

Lincoln was a great politician. Perhaps the greatest to ever live in America. I don't really think that the Civil War was the best of ideas, however.

- How would you imagine events unfolding otherwise?

If Lincoln hadn't been elected? Slavery would have been made obsolete by the march of technology and both international and internal pressure. The vast loss of life and resources suffered during the war would not have taken place. The federal government would not be quite as strong. It may even have tempered racial animus in the South, as a lot of the nastiest vitriol was fueled by the perception that the freed blacks were pawns of the hated North.

Teddy was a shrew statesman, and really began to project American power abroad, while reforming a lot of things at home. I respect people who see war as a last resort, a desperate means to essential ends. Teddy Roosevelt summed up his diplomacy vision as 'speak softly and carry a big stick', and it worked wonders as America emerged more and more on the world stage.

- I could change 'Teddy' to 'Harun' & 'America' to 'Abbasid Empire', & everything would fit. ;-)

Lol, being President is much easier than being Caliph or Emperor. Teddy had a huge advantage in that department.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/2/2016 6:26:41 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/2/2016 5:59:18 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

That's my whole point. He was obviously a great person, of great character, with great accomplishments. It's why he's so well-remembered, like Charlemagne, Lincoln, and Marcus Aurelius. But there are elements missing; there's a brutality, a political expedience, which puts the finishing touches on a leader, and which also makes them not-so-appealing. People dislike Henry VIII because of his actions, but he was a peerless political leader because of them.

- He was lenient when needed, & brutal when necessary. For instance, when the foolish new appointed Byzantine king broke the treaty they established & refused to pay tribute, he sent to him: "you won't hear my response, you'll see it", & sent a vast army which swept the entire land of Anatolia until it reached the suburbs of Constantinople. When the king retracted, ar-Rashid returned back the land he had conquered. If this isn't magnificently brutal, I don't know what is.

As Machiavelli put it:

"Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them. And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite.

And you have to understand this, that a prince, especially a new one, cannot observe all those things for which men are esteemed, being often forced, in order to maintain the state, to act contrary to faith, friendship, humanity, and religion. Therefore it is necessary for him to have a mind ready to turn itself accordingly as the winds and variations of fortune force it, yet, as I have said above, not to diverge from the good if he can avoid doing so, but, if compelled, then to know how to set about it."

- I must confess I don't know what's going on in your head x-) . We're probably looking at it from different perspectives. In my book, Harun ar-Rashid qualifies to be one of the top rulers in history. Sure, he is no Muhammad, but who is. We shall then agree to disagree.

If Lincoln hadn't been elected? Slavery would have been made obsolete by the march of technology and both international and internal pressure. The vast loss of life and resources suffered during the war would not have taken place. The federal government would not be quite as strong. It may even have tempered racial animus in the South, as a lot of the nastiest vitriol was fueled by the perception that the freed blacks were pawns of the hated North.

- This is not an implausible scenario. I mean we've seen slavery having dissipated from other parts of the world without civil wars. But then again, we won't have a 'united' states of America!

Lol, being President is much easier than being Caliph or Emperor. Teddy had a huge advantage in that department.

- The more reason you should reconsider ar-Rashid. I mean he didn't just rule the Islamic Empire, he had dominion over other nations as well. I doubt anyone could easily accomplish that. BIG chose to fill.
Current Debates:

Islam is not a religion of peace vs. @ Lutonator:
* http://www.debate.org...
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/2/2016 6:32:31 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/2/2016 5:59:18 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/2/2016 3:59:15 AM, Yassine wrote:

al-Rashid was a great visionary, but there have been much better politicians and rulers.

- Better, maybe. Much better?! I don't know about that. Harun ar-Rashid (beside 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz) is the most famous ruler of Islamic History, & his rule the most prosperous, even little kids on the street now know his name, not for nothing! I mean, all the accomplishments of the Abbasid Empire can probably be traced back to him. He even had his own legal school of thought. Well, unless of course what you're looking for is great conquerors or great legislators, which Harun wasn't particularly.

- Wait, I might've got it. Are you looking for great 'founders' type of rulers?
Current Debates:

Islam is not a religion of peace vs. @ Lutonator:
* http://www.debate.org...
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/2/2016 6:34:07 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/2/2016 6:32:31 AM, Yassine wrote:
At 2/2/2016 5:59:18 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/2/2016 3:59:15 AM, Yassine wrote:

al-Rashid was a great visionary, but there have been much better politicians and rulers.

- Better, maybe. Much better?! I don't know about that. Harun ar-Rashid (beside 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz) is the most famous ruler of Islamic History, & his rule the most prosperous, even little kids on the street now know his name, not for nothing! I mean, all the accomplishments of the Abbasid Empire can probably be traced back to him. He even had his own legal school of thought. Well, unless of course what you're looking for is great conquerors or great legislators, which Harun wasn't particularly.

- Wait, I might've got it. Are you looking for great 'founders' type of rulers?

Yeah, exactly.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/2/2016 6:43:26 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/2/2016 6:26:41 AM, Yassine wrote:
At 2/2/2016 5:59:18 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

That's my whole point. He was obviously a great person, of great character, with great accomplishments. It's why he's so well-remembered, like Charlemagne, Lincoln, and Marcus Aurelius. But there are elements missing; there's a brutality, a political expedience, which puts the finishing touches on a leader, and which also makes them not-so-appealing. People dislike Henry VIII because of his actions, but he was a peerless political leader because of them.

- He was lenient when needed, & brutal when necessary. For instance, when the foolish new appointed Byzantine king broke the treaty they established & refused to pay tribute, he sent to him: "you won't hear my response, you'll see it", & sent a vast army which swept the entire land of Anatolia until it reached the suburbs of Constantinople. When the king retracted, ar-Rashid returned back the land he had conquered. If this isn't magnificently brutal, I don't know what is.

Haha, I just referenced this in another thread, but more as a defense of Irene of Athens, who was a decent ruler by any measure, especially when compared to her male successor.

Mostly, I was talking about the abrogation of moral considerations, not just the ability to use force. For example, Julia Maesa manipulated the Severan dynasty from behind the scenes. When she saw that her grandson's misrule would become a threat to the dynasty, she literally had him killed and thrown in the river, along with his mother. Henry VIII killed numerous wives of his in an effort to prevent another War of the Roses, and his father murdered a bunch of rival claimants. These people went against contemporary morals because the situation demanded it. From what I understand, al-Rashid died and left the kingdom to the son known for being easily manipulated and weak-willed, with a power sharing arrangement with the more competent, but less empowered, brother, which was a baaaad move. Julia Maesa would have given the al-Amin swimming lessons for the greater good.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Geogeer
Posts: 4,227
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/2/2016 6:56:34 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 11/13/2015 4:09:15 AM, UtherPenguin wrote:
At 11/13/2015 3:03:35 AM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 11/12/2015 9:57:41 PM, beng100 wrote:
Throughout history which leader of a nation was the most influential. This can be for numerous reasons, miraculous economic growth, military genius, industrial improvements, advancement in standards of living for citizens etc.

Personally I am going to say Winston Churchill.

Emperor Augustus: so great he became venerated as a god.

Or Hitler, he made Germany a superpower again.

Adolf Trump: Let's make Germany great again.

Don't forget Justin Trudeau! He really cares...
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/2/2016 7:09:08 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/2/2016 6:34:07 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/2/2016 6:32:31 AM, Yassine wrote:
At 2/2/2016 5:59:18 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 2/2/2016 3:59:15 AM, Yassine wrote:

al-Rashid was a great visionary, but there have been much better politicians and rulers.

- Better, maybe. Much better?! I don't know about that. Harun ar-Rashid (beside 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz) is the most famous ruler of Islamic History, & his rule the most prosperous, even little kids on the street now know his name, not for nothing! I mean, all the accomplishments of the Abbasid Empire can probably be traced back to him. He even had his own legal school of thought. Well, unless of course what you're looking for is great conquerors or great legislators, which Harun wasn't particularly.

- Wait, I might've got it. Are you looking for great 'founders' type of rulers?

Yeah, exactly.

- Alright. But he could've been in different circumstances, it's not his fault that the founders preceded him in reign :-P . Still, he is certainly a great leader. Btw, I've noticed there is this bizarre western view about ar-Rashid being an obscene ruler

Haha, I just referenced this in another thread,

- Really, which one?

Mostly, I was talking about the abrogation of moral considerations, not just the ability to use force.

- That's a weird standard to measure greatness in leadership, especially since abrogation of normative morals isn't always a good thing. I mean, in the case of Prophet Muhammad or other great legislators it might have been a good measure, but in many other cases, not so much.

For example, Julia Maesa manipulated the Severan dynasty from behind the scenes. When she saw that her grandson's misrule would become a threat to the dynasty, she literally had him killed and thrown in the river, along with his mother. Henry VIII killed numerous wives of his in an effort to prevent another War of the Roses, and his father murdered a bunch of rival claimants. These people went against contemporary morals because the situation demanded it.

- Whoa. This is the reason why I abhor politics. It gets too real, too fast. But, I think it's possible to integrate both high morality & very effective leadership. A good example of this is 'Umar Ibn al-Khattab, although he was assassinated at the end!

From what I understand, al-Rashid died and left the kingdom to the son known for being easily manipulated and weak-willed, with a power sharing arrangement with the more competent, but less empowered, brother, which was a baaaad move.

- It's much more complicated than that. Caliphate Palaces are mystic worlds you know. I am not gonna argue with you about this, but if you knew the details, you'd realise that it was in fact a good move, & everything eventually led to its full potential. Maybe you are relying on western sources. So, who knows. A similar example of this is the western attitude towards Prophet Muhammad & why he didn't explicitly designate a person, seen as a failure of some sort, while Muslims see it as a blessing, for had he designated a person in particular, his descendants will always claim authority, same as if the Prophet had sons, & God knows what could've happened, it's impractical & potentially destructive to the religion.

Julia Maesa would have given the al-Amin swimming lessons for the greater good.

- Hahahaha! Clever.
Current Debates:

Islam is not a religion of peace vs. @ Lutonator:
* http://www.debate.org...
UtherPenguin
Posts: 3,679
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/2/2016 3:10:58 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/2/2016 6:56:34 AM, Geogeer wrote:
At 11/13/2015 4:09:15 AM, UtherPenguin wrote:
At 11/13/2015 3:03:35 AM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 11/12/2015 9:57:41 PM, beng100 wrote:
Throughout history which leader of a nation was the most influential. This can be for numerous reasons, miraculous economic growth, military genius, industrial improvements, advancement in standards of living for citizens etc.

Personally I am going to say Winston Churchill.

Emperor Augustus: so great he became venerated as a god.

Or Hitler, he made Germany a superpower again.

Adolf Trump: Let's make Germany great again.

Don't forget Justin Trudeau! He really cares...

Trudeau, Trump, spot the similarity in name?
"Praise Allah."
~YYW