Which dictator would you rather live under?

Who would you rather live under?

  • Benito Mussolini

  • Joseph Stalin

  • Chiang Kai Shek

  • Other (Say in replies)


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Another one is Thomas Sankara. He did make significant efforts to improve the educational and healthcare conditions of his people, reduce corruption and excess, and from what I’ve heard did not commit any major human rights abuses.
 
I think the DDR is probably one of the better ones. It gets a bad rep mostly cause it gets compared to West Germany, but if you compare it to any other 20th century dictatorship it probably ends up better than the vast majority on both human rights, standard of living, and political stability.
Too much a Police State, sorry.
 
Lee Kuan Yew, I guess. He seems like a decent leader and I don't really mind Singaporean strict laws. Since I'm not an Aryan, Mussolini is not a choice for me, and I'm not a Turkish either so Ataturk is the same thing, albeit he would be higher on my list. Pol Pot, Stalin and the like are definitely a "no".

Of the other Maritime SEA-variety, since father talks rather glowingly about living under Suharto (mostly the economics, and just stay out of politics) I won't really be opposed if I were to happen to live in that era, if only because I'm curious.
He Is considerer a dictator ? I know by his own quotes he admitted he wasn't a Saint , but isnt a bit of a Stretch?
 
Another one is Thomas Sankara. He did make significant efforts to improve the educational and healthcare conditions of his people, reduce corruption and excess, and from what I’ve heard did not commit any major human rights abuses.
I seem to recall he did but It was according to a French president, Who wanted the country to be kept neofeudal/feudal situation though.
Sankara adversaries, who rule Burkina Faso today, are not you average Burkinabé.
 
Yeah, if it weren't for Hitler's influence, I doubt if Mussolini would've ever taken any action against Italy's (small) Jewish population... considering that several prominent Italian fascists were Jewish, including a mistress and occasional speech-writer...
I am kinda working on something like that
 
Another one is Thomas Sankara. He did make significant efforts to improve the educational and healthcare conditions of his people, reduce corruption and excess, and from what I’ve heard did not commit any major human rights abuses.
He was good for Burkina Faso's standards but it isn't like Burkina Faso was ever a good place to live even with all his efforts to better the situation. I rather live under Stalin.
 
low bar. Russia was hardly developed outside the cities before WWI
Better than Mussolini is indeed a low bar. Though I will point to the Trans-Siberian railway to say you are oversimplifying as anticommunists tend to.

Still lets compare the rate at which things like life expectancy and literacy improved in Communist countries which started underdeveloped to Capitalist ones which were underdeveloped and made some progress, for example India (before and after independence). Though the rate of improvement was significantly higher after independence than it was before it was still a lot slower than in Stalinist Russia or Maoist China. For a balnced treatment of the matter I recommend the work of an Indian National and Nobel Prize Economist:

India and China had "similarities that were quite striking" when development planning began 50 years ago, including death rates. "But there is little doubt that as far as morbidity, mortality and longevity are concerned, China has a large and decisive lead over India" (in education and other social indicators as well). He estimates the excess of mortality in India over China to be close to 4 million a year: "India seems to manage to fill its cupboard with more skeletons every eight years than China put there in its years of shame," 1958-1961 (Dreze and Sen).

But, hey, comparison to the mode of development prescribed by the capitalist powers is indeed a low bar.
 
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Is picking different dates and 1945 especially not going to totally throw any comparison? (by your own source 45 USSR was under 30....) Do you not need to plot it on the same graph and then work out how much to weight that life expectancy is harder to keep increasing, so smaller gains at later age require the same level of effort as larger for lower ages?
I'm picking the different dates because Mussolini was in power for a different period of time than Stalin. I have picked the dates (as close as I can, Statistica only gives numbers every 5 years) because these were the dates Mussolini and Stalin were in power. Like sure, stuff got a lot better in Italy between 1945 and 1955. I wonder why?

Russian Life Expectancy 1925: 30.68 years
Russian Life Expectancy 1955: 58.52 years
Russian Life Expectancy 1965: 67.88 years

The USSR kept bringing it up at a rapid rate to way higher than it ever was Mussolini's Italy (mid 50's).
 
I'm picking the different dates because Mussolini was in power for a different period of time than Stalin. I have picked the dates (as close as I can, Statistica only gives numbers every 5 years) because these were the dates Mussolini and Stalin were in power. Like sure, stuff got a lot better in Italy between 1945 and 1955. I wonder why?

Russian Life Expectancy 1925: 30.68 years
Russian Life Expectancy 1955: 58.52 years
Russian Life Expectancy 1965: 67.88 years
The USSR kept bringing it up at a rapid rate to way higher than it ever was Mussolini's Italy (mid 50's).
But you are comparing directly post war with mid 50s...... it's basically statistical rubbish as USSRs numbers also dropped hugely in WWII as much if not more than Italy so comparing any 45 and 55 nations involved in WWII would probably give the 55 an advantage no matter the leader? You're not comparing leaders, you are comparing WWII and recovery, as thats the dominant effect?

You could criticize M joining WWII but then so did S with MR pact and winter war...?

I think you need to compare up to 1939/40 numbers, or if you want to talk about USSR going into 55-65 then why not look at Italy in 55-65.....after the unspoken truth is that many of the mid/low functionaries stayed the same?
 
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I think you need to compare up to 1939/40 numbers,
Ok, lets do just that.

Russia 1925: 30.68
Russia 1940: 41.44

Italy 1925: 50.71
Italy 1940: 56.59

I am not sure why I have to type this out when you could just look at the graphs I linked but the Russian increase was double the italian one. Just look at the graphs pal, please.
if you want to talk about USSR going into 55-65 then why not look at Italy in 55-65.....after the unspoken truth is that many of the mid/low functionaries stayed the same?
But the law did not stay the same and so much changed. Child labour (re-legalised by Mussolini) was outlawed. Trade unions became legal again. Loads of laws that outlawed labour practices which endangered the health of employees were (re)introduced. The government took measures to provide healthcare which Mussolini would never have dreamed of. It wasnt a dictatorship anymore.

"After World War II, Italy re-established its social security system including a social health insurance administered by sickness funds and private insurances."

As for the M-R pact you do realise the whole point of that was to with a very low probability avoid war but most likely delay the Nazi invasion so the USSR had time to prepare? Like the exact opposite of joining a war? And the USSR only did it after trying to get an anti-Nazi alliance with Britain-France and being told to fuck off? This is a very rightwing source:
 
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Russia 1925: 30.68
Russia 1940: 41.44

Italy 1925: 50.71
Italy 1940: 56.59

I am not sure why I have to type this out when you could just look at the graphs I linked but the Russian increase was double the italian one. Just look at the graphs pal, please.
But 56 is far higher than 41, so much so that it's not a straight line graph, as improving life expectancy is not linear for effort as you go up? Improving at the high end is far harder than the low end, so a gain of 30-41 might not be better than 50-56?

56 is also far better than 41, so how does it show M was worse than S? Doing less improvement isnt really objectively worse if you start much higher?
 
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But 56 is far higher than 41, so much so that it's not a sight line graph, as improving life expectancy is not linear for effort as you go up? Improving at the high end is far harder than the low end, so a gain of 30-41 might not be better than 50-56?

56 is also far better than 41, so how does it show M was worse than S? Doing less improvement isnt really objectivly worse if you start much higher?
He started higher because of factors having nothing to do with him. And 50 years old isn't high end life expectancy, it starts getting harder at 70ish.

You can look at the USSR in the 1950's to see a dictatorial regime which was stalins legacy do much better than Mussolini at improving what you call the high end

1950: 50.2 years
1960: 64.8 years

So thats doing more than double what the Mussolini regime did pre war in 2/3 of the time.
 
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And 50 years old isnt high end life expectancy.

You can look at the USSR in the 1950's to see a dictatorial regime which was stalins legacy do much better than Mussolini at improving the high end

1950: 50.2 years
1960: 64.8 years

So thats doing more than double what the Mussolini regime did pre war in 2/3 of the time.
But you need to compare all the numbers with similar time frame nations, average life expectancy improved due to things developed outside the national control ie for example antibiotics etc over the decades, and you need to removed them to look at any effects from each leader? You also need to remove the effect of it getting ever harder to improve.

50-60 increase are very different from anything in 20-30s even if the regime is somewhat linked and certainly can't be compared without comparison to rest of the world's numbers in the same time periods?

He started higher because of factors having nothing to do with him.
But thats the issue most of the stats have nothing to do with any of the leader's actions, and we would need to work hard to actually get numbers that are meaningful.... unless we just want to post numbers to make one side look good or not (And personally all are different shades of bad)?
 
But thats the issue most of the stats have nothing to do with any of the leader's actions
They have a lot to do with the regime's actions when the regime is Socialist. When the regime has massive education and healthcare programs, guaranteed work and subsidised necessities, life expectancy and literacy go up. It is criminal when capitalist regimes do not do such things, just as it was criminal when the USSR did not do effective famine relief in 1933.

In Mussolinis case
Michael Parenti
In Italy, during the 1970s, there emerged a veritable cottage industry of books and articles claiming that Mussolini not only made the trains run on time but also made Italy work well. All these publications, along with many conventional academic studies, have one thing in common: They say little if anything about the class policies of fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. How did these regimes deal with social services, taxes, business, and the conditions of labor? For whose benefit and at whose expense? Most of the literature on fascism and Nazism does not tell us.
...
After World War I, Italy had settled into a pattern of parliamentary democracy. The low pay scales were improving, and the trains were already running on time. But the capitalist economy was in a postwar recession. Investments stagnated, heavy industry operated far below capacity, and corporate profits and agribusiness exports were declining.
To maintain profit levels, the large landowners and industrialists would have to slash wages and raise prices. The state in turn would have to provide them with massive subsidies and tax exemptions. To finance this corporate welfarism, the populace would have to be taxed more heavily, and social services and welfare expenditures would have to be drastically cut-measures that might sound familiar to us today.
But the government was not completely free to pursue this course. By 1921, many Italian workers and peasants were unionized and had their own political organizations. With demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, factory takeovers, and the forceable occupation of farmlands, they had won the right to organize, along with concessions in wages and work conditions.
To impose a full measure of austerity upon workers and peasants, the ruling economic interests would have to abolish the democratic rights that helped the masses defend their modest living standards. The solution was to smash their unions, political organizations, and civil liberties. Industrialists and big landowners wanted someone at the helm who could break the power of organized workers and farm laborers and impose a stern order on the masses. For this task Benito Mussolini, armed with his gangs of Blackshirts, seemed the likely candidate.
...
In both Italy in the 1920s and Germany in the 1930s, old industrial evils, thought to have passed permanently into history, re-emerged as the conditions of labor deteriorated precipitously. In the name of saving society from the Red Menace, unions and strikes were outlawed. Union property and farm cooperatives were confiscated and handed over to rich private owners. Minimum-wage laws, overtime pay, and factory safety regulations were abolished. Speedups became commonplace. Dismissals or imprisonment awaited those workers who complained about unsafe or inhumane work conditions.
Workers toiled longer hours for less pay. The already modest wages were severely cut, in Germany by 25 to 40 percent, in Italy by 50 percent. In Italy, child labor was reintroduced. To be sure, a few crumbs were thrown to the populace. There were free concerts and sporting events, some meager social programs, a dole for the unemployed financed mostly by contributions from working people, and showy public works projects designed to evoke civic pride.
Both Mussolini and Hitler showed their gratitude to their big business patrons by privatizing many perfectly solvent state-owned steel mills, power plants, banks, and steamship companies. Both regimes dipped heavily into the public treasury to refloat or subsidize heavy industry. Agribusiness farming was expanded and heavily subsidized. Both states guaranteed a return on the capital invested by giant corporations while assuming most of the risks and losses on investments. As is often the case with reactionary regimes, public capital was raided by private capital.
At the same time, taxes were increased for the general populace but lowered or eliminated for the rich and big business.
...
During the radical 1930s, in the United States, Great Britain, and Scandanavia, upper-income groups experienced a modest decline in their share of the national income; but in Italy the top 5 percent enjoyed a 15 percent gain.
All this affects stuff like life expectancy.
 
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Would pick Chiang Kai Shek

My grandfathers fought for him during WW2 and the Chinese Civil War before fleeing to the US. While it would be stressful beyond belief, I'll get a better understanding of what my ancestors have to go through.
 
My dictator criteria are as follows:

Military dictator preferred

No particularly strong ideology

Only cares about power and trappings without much social engineering at most.

No freak/monster offspring (looking at you Udai Hussein)

No to limited freedom but not a totalitarian state.

In short, a despotic system that’s not fun to live under and might be a personal hell if I get on the wrong side but isn’t the sort of hell to everyone that Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, or Pol Pot’s Cambodia were.

Salazar is probably the closest to that from what I’ve seen.

Re: life expectancy, simply cutting infant mortality and maternal death down shoots life expectancy through the roof. Once someone is past age five, even in premodern societies, living to 50s-60s as a man or spinster woman was not all uncommon, even 70ish was not unusual.

Fix basic maternal mortality, the worst childhood diseases, and basic sanitation and 50-60+ life expectancy is pretty straightforward.
 
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