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Is it time? Hitler as leader of Germany

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by mattavich, Dec 14, 2010.

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Is it now time enough to allow Hitler to join the Civ 5 leaders of Germany?

  1. Yes, I would like to see Hitler join Civ

    142 vote(s)
    34.9%
  2. No, I don't think it is the right time, or he should ever be in Civ 5

    265 vote(s)
    65.1%
  1. AfterShafter

    AfterShafter Deity

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    You know, I always considered Stalin's treatment of human life the scarier of the two.

    There's no defense of Hitler's actions (though, let's get over ourselves - more than a few of Civ's leaders did things that were indefensible - they just don't get the press of guys like Hitler of Stalin), but the reasons are clear and the targeting discriminate. The party's warped perspective was that peoples of certain types were lesser human beings, or considered not human at all, and as such, bereft of natural human rights and harmful to society. Warped, twisted, evil - but something else that is well documented is that the party was very much devoted to the improvement of life of its citizens and, in general, the human beings the party valued as human beings. In spite of how twisted their values were, there was a clear valuation of human life (with a big footnote defining exactly what worthwhile human life was) in the case of the Nazis. Sounds terrible? It should, because it is. But do take note that there was a clear value of human life, and their treatment of life was ultimately not indiscriminate.

    Forward to Stalin. The man dealt with human life like you deal with weeds in the garden - if it's unsightly, whatever it is, it gets trimmed. The fundamental valuation of human life - even the twisted valuation of the Nazis - just wasn't there. Colleagues and friends, peoples of any race and creed, they weren't treated like anything more than numbers on financial ledger - if they needed to trim a few digits to get the figures to balance, Stalin would pursue such a course without hesitation. Stalin coldly and completely devalued any and all human life that stood in the way of the goal of power. So, you're right. Stalin's purpose was to cement his authority, and human life of ANY kind had literally zero value in the face of this goal. His pursuit of this goal lasted decades and the cost in human life was significantly higher than the toll racked up by Hitler and his cronies - even within the same time frame.

    Personally, I consider a cold and absolute devaluation of human life even more frightening and deplorable than a twisting of a valuation of human life. Hitler discriminately killed peoples and discriminately valued others - Stalin indiscriminately killed any groups who didn't quite measure into his scheme.

    I do have to ask though... You say "No one can defend those actions. There is just no defense." Do you have the troubling audacity to suggest that Stalin's actions are defensible?

    Just to be clear, I don't think Hitler should, all considered, be in the game. The man isn't the best representative of Germany there is, not the second, or third... But the fact is, inclusion of deplorable human beings like Shaka who were of *far* less historical consequence than a guy like Hitler sets the bar so low I could see his inclusion being justified. That justification would largely be on the grounds of recognizability - simply put, he'd probably be in the top 3 well known leaders in Civ if he was put in it.

    And all of this is academic either way because he'll never be in the game - the German market is too valuable, and Hitler is still a figure that people judge with their heart more than their head, even moreso than some of the other terrible human beings Civ cartoons up for us.
     
  2. attackfighter

    attackfighter Emperor

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    That is a very interesting viewpoint AfterShafter. You've convinced me lol

    Well written too.
     
  3. gingerbill

    gingerbill Prince

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    i voted no , not because i dont think he should be in it , i do , but because it would hurt the game with bad publicity .
     
  4. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Shaka (or Ramkanhaeng, etc) are in the game because the developers desire geographical balance for the civs, not because of how well known they are. Hitler is better known than Frederick the Great or Bismarck, but the latter two are much more emblematic of putting Prussia/Germany on the world map.

    Hitler can't be justified historically - those two trump him - nor can he be justified ethically (along with some other choices), and he lost 2:1 on this thread's popularity poll, despite not having an opponent and the "nor ever" stipulation.

    The only justification for including him would be that in 2010 more people know who he is than they do Bismarck or Frederick. That's not a particularly compelling reason.
     
  5. attackfighter

    attackfighter Emperor

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    Frederick was an awesome leader btw. If it was down to him vs Hitler I'd choose him. But as it stands, it's Hitler vs Bismarck, and frankly Bismarck is just too overdone at this point...
     
  6. neptune2000

    neptune2000 Warlord

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    Well put AfterShafter. One could make the counterargument though that with Stalin it was "nothing personal". He like Mao and other Communists saw/see humanity as just a pool of resources used to reach their Utopian dream. With Hitler it was a deep seated hatred of all things not "Aryan", Aryan being a mythologized ideal that in the end nobody could reach. Ultimately the Nazis did not value human life either; anyone on the wrong side could find themselves dead. Seen this way Hitler maybe looks a little more frightening because eventually everyone's going to be killed. He's like the Jim Jones of leaders (in more ways than one); I think if he could have he'd taken all of Germany with him.

    Personally, I've never played as Stalin or Mao nor would I care to.

    Regarding some of the other leaders (Monty, Shaka, etc), it's sometimes just a dearth of selections. If they want to put the Zulus in, who else are they going to pick that people would have heard of? They pretty much have to pick the Aztecs, you pretty much need to go with one of the Montys. As you said, with Germany, Hitler is far enough down the chain that his inclusion probably isn't necessary.
     
  7. AfterShafter

    AfterShafter Deity

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    Your first paragraph is a truth paired with a bit of a misrepresentation. The devs do want some geographical balance, true, but they didn't need Shaka for that - they just needed a ruler from that general region of some significance. When you look at Shaka himself, not only was he a leader that arguably left the Zulus worse off than they were originally, he was also an almost inconsequential leader internationally at the point. Pair that with the fact that his rule that he committed many acts that are extreme human rights violations, you have to ask yourself, why on earth did they include this relatively small time, morally reprehensible leader in Civ? If you say "just for geographical representation," you're being a bit disingenuous - they could have picked a leader who was a lot less morally reprehensible than Shaka for the game.

    So why? I think it's pretty clear - he's popular. He's the plucky African leader who managed to oppose the Europeans for a time, with vastly inferior technology. They could have taken another more benign leader from the area, but they didn't. They chose a guy with *very* significant human rights violations. This makes two things clear... One, they will choose leaders based on popularity. Two, they will ignore human rights violations based on popularity.

    You say that Hitler can't be justified historically, well, that obviously isn't their primary concern - and how popular/well known a ruler is obviously can be a compelling concern for them. If you take Shaka for his historical significance and whether he was a decent human being, he'd be very, very far down the rankings of rulers you could include from Africa. But he made it. You talk about people being unable to be "justified ethically" - but the fact is, people who haven't been justified ethically were included. You talk about poll results here, but Stalin got *decimated* in polls for his inclusion prior to his inclusion, but he was put in. I think it's pretty clear you're a bit out of touch with the criteria Firaxis has used to include leaders in Civ. I'll say it one time - the bar has been set so low by other included leaders in the franchise that Hitler could make it. The only consistent reason he never has been included is that they couldn't sell in Germany if they did.
     
  8. Reginleif

    Reginleif Warlord

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    Should Hitler be in civ? I think the answer is a resounding yes. Although Hitler may have many terrible things, he repersents the high point of not only German civilization, but European civilization as well.

    Adolf Hitler was the epitome of a hundred years of European policy, thought, culture, and civilization as a whole. One might even say that Hitler and Europe are not only intrinsically connected, but one and the same.

    Moderator Action: Trolling
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  9. AfterShafter

    AfterShafter Deity

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    Heh, "that anyone has ever heard of" isn't really a requirement either. Honestly, have you looked at every Civ roster and said "Oh, I know him - he's the leader of empire X from period Y, and is famous for Z?" Of course you haven't. I'm betting the people who can actually say that are in a tiny, tiny minority of the Civ player base. Be honest - they've included leaders who you didn't know before. Even if you're one of the few who knew EVERY leader and empire, realize - you're one of the few. Sometimes Firaxis has thrown ethics and significance to the wind in favour of how well known the leader is. I'm pretty sure they've intentionally chosen far less deserving rulers for some groups simply for gender diversity too.

    My problem isn't so much that Hitler isn't being included - I'd much rather see big Fred of the Kaiser - but that people insist that it's just so unreasonable he be in there because of either impact or ethics or better picks. Some of the leaders they have included are ethically reprehensible, some of the leaders they have included are relatively historically insignificant, and some of the leaders they've included aren't the greatest leaders their people ever produced. The fact that they have included leaders that are so lacking makes it pretty obvious to me that, based on the criteria Firaxis has used in the past, Hitler could make it. The fact that he never has is probably just a result of German sales, not his merits. Many of you are speaking more from your heart than your head.

    I'm leaving this thread now in any case. Not the first such thread I've been involved in, and frankly, I really don't care whether he's in or not. If they did include him, I wouldn't bat an eye, and if they don't, I won't lose a wink. It's new patch day - I'm going to play some Civ!
     
  10. Zen Blade

    Zen Blade Warlord

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    Aftershafter,

    This is the type of reasoned post that I enjoy reading. My point on Stalin is not that I would personally defend his deeds. Not today, not anytime post-WWII. However, I think as an academic position, you can at least attempt a defense of his actions. He was a communist, and believed in the supremacy of the state. People are merely cogs for the machine of that state. And, in reality that continuing one's control over power is more important than anything else.
    Now, many people believe that Stalin represented a warped view of communism. One that is not true communism. I would tend to agree with this opinion. Stalin never empowered the people, and he mowed them down like weeds, as you said...


    However, if you were to attempt to justify his actions, you can find reason. It does not matter that he was a monster or that he devalued people. If you were in a position of power and you viewed certain individuals to be traitors or enemies of the state, you might resort to imprisonment, murder, assassinations, etc... Which is what he did.
    Again, horrible actions, horrible person, but there is a line of reason. You know about Stalin's son? The POW?

    In the USA we have the death penalty still. We have it for traitors, we have it for murderers, and in some places for accomplices of murderers. I might argue that a person in chains behind bars poses NO threat to me or my community. Lock him up for life, throw away the key. Problem solved. Why do we need to needlessly shed the blood of others? (this is rhetorical; please don't answer)

    BUT, in most US states the death penalty is still carried out. In some states (Texas) the death penalty is used regularly EVEN THOUGH there is a lot of evidence out there that they have killed at least one innocent person within the last 10 years. Google it if you are curious.
    So... my point? My point is that there is often a line of reasoning that is comprehensible and perhaps even justifiable to some people who commit horrible acts. Who amongst us wants to commit horrible acts? Half of the world likely looks upon the US as being barbaric because we have the death penalty. But there is a reasoned justification both for and against the death penalty. And there is a reasoning (even if a poor one) for Stalin's actions... You know, I don't really want to be defending the possibility that someone somewhere could defend or justify Stalin's actions...

    However, in the case of the Nazis... that bridge is just way too far to cross. Rounding up men, women, children... and killing them? And organizing a continent wide search for such individuals...
     
  11. Zen Blade

    Zen Blade Warlord

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    You may want to re-read what you wrote... It comes very close to praising Hitler. I don't know any German who would say--your words, not mine "he represents the high point of not only German civilization, but European civilization as well".

    If you meant that, then you (I hope, I really do hope) do not understand Hitler and his Nazi party.
     
  12. AfterShafter

    AfterShafter Deity

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    One last comment... Sad, but there is some truth to this. The guy does represent a pan-European anti-semitism and building nationalism in a way that few others do. Europeans all but invented the concept of race and tied it closely to the concept of nation - whether we like to admit it or not, he represents an extreme side of a view that Europeans had cultivated for a long, long time. I remember reading treatises by Martin Luther which espoused many things that surfaced as virtual doctrine of the Nazi party, and you've got figures like Wagner who were famously anti-semitic. It was part of European lifestyle, and had a *huge* hold on the European collective consciousness.

    Heck, it's not just a European thing. I remember hearing stories of my Papa coming to Canada not long after WWII, and seeing signs of "no dogs and no Jews allowed" on beaches in Montreal. Take a gander at stormfront.org - these ideas ain't dead yet. Hitler is a representative of a very dark, but long cultivated product of western thought and life.

    That being said, you should re-word what you wrote. While it touches on a truth, calling it the "high point" of anything is quite the insult to Germany, Europe, and the entire western world. I'd say it's pretty clearly not true as well.

    Edit: And Sorry Zen, I'm calling 'er quits on this thread. Life is too short to argue about these guys for any length ;)
     
  13. Reginleif

    Reginleif Warlord

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    European civilization died April 30th 1945. It dramatically changed from being a racist, empire-driven community to it's current more docile form.

    EDIT: Im not praising Hitler, I'm villifying European civilization (After 1500) for being what it was, intolerant, crual, and oppressive. Hitler was simply a product of this atmosphere.
     
  14. Zen Blade

    Zen Blade Warlord

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    Domination, my hunch is that we are diametrically opposed when it comes to American politics.

    But this being said, I am a scientist. "Darwinism" is not what you or popular culture believe it to be.

    When (in evolution) people say "survival of the fittest", what we mean is very different from Nietzsche's "Ubermensch". It is the latter of these two that more closely resembles Nazi ideology.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survival_of_the_fittest

    If you want scientists or people who deal with evolutionary science to see you as informed on this subject, you should use "Natural Selection". Natural Selection means that an organism well adapted to the current conditions and environment will continue to reproduce and flourish. If conditions change, those organisms that are most adaptable, most suited to these new conditions, will reproduce most abundantly. That is natural selection, and it is common sense.

    If you can only eat one type of food, and that food source disappears, you will die. However, if the guy next to you can eat two types of food sources, and one of those sources disappears, then that guy will adapt to the new environment and survive. That is Natural Selection. You were selected against because you could not adapt to the changing conditions/environment. You might call it "survival of the fittest", but I would not.

    Evolution is really not an evil of any sort. And calling it "Darwinism" is akin to me calling you a Spanish Inquisitor or a Catholic Crusader... because you go to mass. It is just ignorant name calling, especially when you say "accept Darwinism".

    You may not mean that in an insulting manner, but that is how many scientists (including me) would view such comments. It is incredibly demeaning to call someone who has studied biology or evolutionary biology a "Darwinist".

    I don't have any desire to debate anything with you, but I do have a desire to make sure people are well informed. If you have any questions, I would be glad to answer them.
     
  15. shadowplay

    shadowplay (boss music)

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    I would support a modpack including an option to lead as Hitler, but it would be hilariously inappropriate for an official Firaxis release to let you play as Hitler.
     
  16. CivFart

    CivFart Warlord

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    Only one third wants hitler in this game. :egypt:
     
  17. mutant-enemy

    mutant-enemy Warlord

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    Hitler: No.
    Konrad Adenauer would be funny, actually. :lol:

    UA: Wirtschaftswunder. (Some specific economical or production advantage.)
    UU: Trümmerfrau. (Modern Era worker with faster improvement building.)
    UU: Tornado IDS (yeah, it was built after Adenauer's death, still...). (Replaces Jet Fighter, bonus vs. armored units.)
    (or UB, but I don't know which one yet.)

    Maybe an idea for a mod. :goodjob:
     
  18. markantony

    markantony Warlord

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    Obvious troll is obvious.
    Moderator Action: Calling someone a troll is seen as trolling itself, and that is against the forum rules.
     
  19. bob_page

    bob_page Warlord

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    Replace "certain individuals" with "Jews" and you have Hitler down to a tee.
     
  20. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I didn’t say the developers included Shaka “just” for geographical representation. But geographical representation was by far the primary factor. If achievement or notoriety were the only criteria, I don’t think he’d be in the game. I have no reason to think that Shaka is notably more popular than other potential African leaders, and neither do you. If I had to guess the way you did as to why he was chosen, it would be because he’s relatively colorful.

    I disagree with pretty much all of your following argument, which fails due to over-generalization to the point of being misrepresentative.

    I said Hitler can’t be justified historically over Frederick or Bismarck, without saying that this was the developers’ primary concern.

    How popular someone is probably is their primary driver, but Hitler is impressively unpopular. You may be confusing “notorious” or even “famous” with “unpopular,” since this is where you go off the rails. I actually noted that Hitler should only be considered due to how well-known he is, but that this wasn’t a compelling enough reason to include him, taking his relative importance to German history, ethical considerations, and simple popularity into account.

    Finally, I took care not make any generalizations as to whether anyone should be excluded for lacking in any one of those areas – just that Hitler lacked all three. For the record, I would rank his unpopularity as number one, his unimportance to Bismarck or Frederick the Great as number two, with his lack of ethics number three.

    I’ll close by noting that when you say “I'll say it one time - the bar has been set so low by other included leaders in the franchise that Hitler could make it. The only consistent reason he never has been included is that they couldn't sell in Germany if they did”… you are repeating yourself.
     

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