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Which leaders would be offensive?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by LightSpectra, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Guerra

    Guerra Warlord

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    You take things out of context completely. I am not saying he was not loved then, I am saying he is hated by a majority of his own countrymen NOW.

    If you look at opinion polls of post-soviet Russia, you will find a lot of people love Stalin. The elderly, the middle aged, and the young. Obviously not everyone loves him, I'm sure you can even find people who don't like Gandhi, and Gandhi was a much greater man than Stalin in every way.

    Mao too, is very popular in China and amongst Chinese diaspora.

    Both leaders committed atrocities against their own people, but they are still loved quite a bit.

    Also, you can find remnants of Stalinism in the current Russian political system, Putin especially, and now his protege Medvedev adhere to the ironfist, no nonsense, delivering the goods kind of leadership that Stalin had. Minus the whole genocide, of course. You can still find MANY, MANY statues of Stalin all over Russia.

    Mao has left a dramatic impact on his country too. Even though his insane cultural revolution killed and displaced millions, it has left a certain kind of political culture on many Chinese, especially peasants and workers. You can find paintings of Mao, statues of Mao all over China.

    Hitler however, you'd be very hard pressed to find a statue of him that wasn't in the basement of some neo-nazi who lives with his mom. Or perhaps some museum trying to show the darker part of German history. The vast majority of people don't like Hitler in Germany. They are ashamed of him. He's popular with poor white kids, whether in the US, Russia, the Scandinavian countries, etc.

    I don't like Hitler, Mao, or Stalin. But I can recognize who is popular and who not.

    and about Castro, of course not everyone likes him. Especially not the Cuban exiles in Miami, but Castro is the reason why Cuba has a higher literacy rate than the US, their literacy rate is at the same level as Canada and many western European countries. They have universal health coverage. There aren't any homeless people, and no one starves. Sure, they are all forced to eat beans and rice three meals a day, but it beats starving. Sure Cuba is hot, and no one has AC, but at the very least, they don't have to live in shanty towns. They just get mediocre apartment buildings. And he never promotes cult of personality. Go to Cuba and you'll see no statues of Castro, no pictures of him on the money, no streets, schools or buildings named after him. Then look at Stalin, Hitler and Mao. They actively forced cult of personality on their people.

    Anyways, the game is called Civilization, not Uncivilized. Hitler has no place in the normal game. Especially since Germany already has 2 leaders and some civs only have one. Majority of Germans don't like Hitler. At least Mao and Stalin, while hated in the west, are quite loved in China and Russia respectively. (Again, there are exceptions, as nothing is ever completely one way or another way).
     
  2. paydro

    paydro Warlord

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    I still don't see why a leader's popularity has anything to do with his importance or his relevance to Civ. Stalin's popularity was very low for years after his reign, and now is back up again. Who's to say what it will be like in twenty years? Why would you privilege the present like that? I think the measure should be importance, not popularity.

    I guess Ronald Reagan should be a new American leader, since he gets such rave reviews?
     
  3. Tlalynet

    Tlalynet Emperor

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    Part of the problem is that there is no criteria for who is in civ and who isnt and why. At least, Firaxis never posted a creiteria anywhere. It makes a why should so and so be in argument very difficult to win or lose.
     
  4. paydro

    paydro Warlord

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    Well of course... but since the leaders from China, the USSR, the UK, France, and the USA from WWII are all in the game, why not the leader who got it started? I don't see any logic for inclusion that doesn't suggest Hitler should be in.
     
  5. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    This depends on how you set your criteria for inclusion.... whether you look at the leaders based on global importance and the stir they caused, or whether they left a legacy that would shape and define their countries for a long time. There doesn't seem to be a rigorous standard the developers used, but they probably devoted some though to the subject.

    Since Hitler's 'legacy' in civ terms would be ending up as two different vassal states, his inclusion would be questionable on grounds of success. Most other big-time losers at least became an important part of cultural identity and are commonly romanticised rather than reviled.

    He also simply doesn't fit Germany as a civ in terms of style because an autocrat with the power he wielded didn't exist before or after. Having Germany represented by a dictator would feel as off as having Rome headed by one of her kings. I'd go on but then I'd be ruminating for ages about whether Germany and the Holy Roman Empire should exist as separate civs.

    ***

    Less theoretically... I'm fairly sure most German players would consider Hitler inappropriate (and not only because our government apparently fears we'll either kill ourselves in shame or become a nation of goose-stepping robots at the mere sight of a swastika). Simply being a sore spot is one of them, but there are more as I tried to outline.

    I'd be interested to hear whether Russian players commonly feel that Stalin should be excluded... but I'd wager that many would feel that something would be missing without him, even if they personally regard him as a ruthless tyrant.
     
  6. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    I think Crowqueen (several pages back) hit the nail on the head on why AH is a special case. Stalin and Mao certainly persecuted minorities in their countries but they didn't try and exterminate an entire minority on racial grounds. The Holocaust is the best known and documented attempted genocide to have occured but Enver Pasha or Milosevic aren't in the game either.

    edit: Personally I wouldn't have objected to AH being in the game but I can see why Firaxis didn't include him. It does seem ridiculous though that in The Road to War scenario Papen is the German leader.
     
  7. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    Ah yes... von Papen makes rather little sense as a leader considering how much he was pushed around himself.

    This is probably to appease the Anti-Nazi Nazis in Germany. It's unfortunate really... I really hate gimped localised versions so I'm grateful for the one-for-all approach. On the other hand, it's slightly sad when people elsewhere have to make do with a politically scrubbed version thanks to one countries' inability to get over itself.
     
  8. AfterShafter

    AfterShafter Deity

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    I don't know... Seems to me that it's the United States that finds itself utterly and completely unable to stop constantly reminding Germans about the whole Nazi/Hitler thing. Biggest national guilt trip of the century - is there any surprise that the Germans try to distance themselves from it?

    On that note, when can we start making jokes about 9/11? The US needs to get over itself already - it's hardly the only bad thing to have happened in the past decade, but you don't have to tiptoe around most of those issues like it was the harbinger of the apocalypse.
     
  9. Shabnam

    Shabnam Chieftain

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    Oh yes, a peaceful leader of the russians... who commits suicide with his country.. perfect candidate for an vassal ;-)
     
  10. Slip de Garcon

    Slip de Garcon Warlord

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    Regarding the "Were the Nazis Socialists" thing - the Nazi party was a somewhat broad church before it came to power; as a working class extreme nationalist party it had both very right-wing foreign policy and socialist economic policy - though it was always vehemently anti-communist, the disagreement was more based on hatred of the communist's internationalism. Hitler was above all else an opportunist and had to shed the socialist baggage in order to win powerful industrial backers to help him gain power. Some very prominent figures from the more socialist wing of the party were disposed of in order to shed this baggage (can't remember names offhand).

    Other than Joachim Fest, I can also recommend Alan Bullock: "Hitler: a Study in Tyranny", for a very fulsome description of the political development of the nazi movement.
     
  11. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    They are difficult to place on the right/left scale as far as economic policy is concerned by our usual terms. The state essentially took over the trade unions and merged them into one, and their stance was fairly neutral with light socialist leanings.
    The DAF (one-for-all trade union) generally did a satisfactory job from the worker's perspective; while they weren't too aggressive in terms of wage negotiations they put a lot of effort into improving things such as work safety, job security, organised leisure and other soft matters.
    Some industrialists called the state-run Union worse than the communists.

    Generally, the state breathed down the necks of both sides, and this affects Germany until today. While conflicts between industrial representatives and trade unions are frequent, the responsibilities towards one another are greater than elsewhere and the government tries very hard to ensure that everything takes place in an ordered fashion.
     
  12. OttoManD

    OttoManD Prince

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    Just a small point for Paydro, Mao was not really the "leader" of China in WWII in the same way that Churchill or even De Gaulle were leaders of their respective countries. He and Chiang Kai-Shek were each leading separate but sometimes cooperating resistance forces. Each faction got materiel and supplies from their ideological allies in the allied camp.
     
  13. Drill IV

    Drill IV Chieftain

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    For whatever reason there are still parliaments (on state level, too! see DVU and NPD here) in Germany where radical national-socialist or racist parties take part in with their own factions. This is despite quite a big measure of education against the ideologies of the Hitler regime. In my opinion, it is at least not an unnecessary guilt trip Germany took and still is on. Most Germans do not feel directly affected by the murders of the Nazis and some are already seeing more positive than negative aspects in the things Hitler did.

    Although the topic may have been overdone in school curricula some twenty years ago, today it is necessary to be very specific and verbose about the crimes of the regime in teaching. I personally fear that Germany has not gone through its last dictatorship and many people are frustrated with democracy. Some of them see an alternative in right-wing extremists.

    Compared to Italy, where the granddaughter of Mussolini is still at large as a politician and where the dictatorship is seen as a natural part of Italian history among a big part of the population (refer here, for example), Germany is still better off.
     
  14. paydro

    paydro Warlord

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    OttoManD: Yeah, I know Mao was a little bit of a stretch. In addition to no Chang Kai-Shek, there's also no Tojo or Mussolini... though I only think Tojo would have a solid argument for inclusion (plus Japan totally deserves 2 leaders).
     
  15. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    Actually, education against anything is by nature so lopsided that it would be more accurately described by the term propaganda, and that certainly applied to the treatment of the subject in schools some 15 years ago.

    It's worse than an unnecessary guilt trip. As far as the approach in Germany itself is concerned it's unjustified state repression. The NPD and DVU are fairly typical examples of nationalist parties with cheap solotions for every problem of the common man: often embarassing and having some unsavoury partygoers.
    There have been numerous attempts to outlaw the NPD, one included planting numerous agents provocateur in its leadership... which was seen as hugely inappropriate by most Germans.
    Gatherings of right-wing parties are often forbidden, nominally because the far left threatened violence and the police doesn't feel up to keeping the peace and some harassment that would create an outcry when committed against anyone else is actively encouraged.

    Revisionists historians such as the ones denying the holocaust against solid historical evidence might deserve incredulity or outright ridicule, and I'm fine with legislation against discredited theories in the education system. On the other hand, I'm uncomfortable about prison sentences. I don't see the USA jailing creationists out of fear that they'll foster fundamentalist theocracies, with all the trimmings up to and including witch burnings.

    ***

    The 3rd Reich is an uncomfortable part of history that Germany needs to deal with in a mature manner. The time for ignoring it is long past (immediately after the fall of the 3rd Reich, it was either that or a large-scale witch-hunt), but so is the time for a crackdown. I think a true coming to terms is only possible without excessive pressure from above (if persons with one view aren't allowed to argue their point... how can anyone refute them?).
    If I'm fearing for civil rights in Germany at the moment, it's because of enforced political orthodoxy from the mainstream rather than a vocal and isolated minority.
     
  16. Drill IV

    Drill IV Chieftain

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    Thanks for the interesting reply. Perhaps my first point overshadowed the second one a bit, but I did not want to condone propaganda in any way. And I am quite certain propaganda is not what has happened in most German classrooms in recent times. What I want regarding education is just an objective way of reporting the crimes of the NS regime without sparing the pupils any of the cruelty.

    I do certainly not want this to extend to civics class, and I do not want propaganda against any active political party. That would of course mean fighting with similar weapons as a dictatorship and it would simply be undemocratic.

    The attempts to ban the NPD have failed in the end, and the second attempt not just because of dilettantism on the part of the Verfassungsschutz. So at least not all is wrong in Germany. My stance towards DVU and NPD is not that their existence is the problem, it is merely their extending number of followers.

    The point is that a good part of NS voters just want to protest against the system by voting radical, and are not really aware of the aims of the right-wing parties. Before their number becomes significant, the legacy of these parties should be made aware of by continuous and objective condemnation of the 3rd reich.

    I, too, see the dangers for German civil liberty in the overly orthodox conservative mainstream. But there is not only the executive, there is also a strong constitutional court which defends the Nazis' right to speak. Their 'problem' is just that they do often utter no more than easily counterable racist slogans, and of course the rest of the political spectrum attacks such slogans with some vehemence. That is a good thing; as long as their subversive racism is stressed and exposed as such, right-wing radicalism still has no big chance to succeed in Germany.
     
  17. HerrDoktor

    HerrDoktor Mad Scientist

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    Well, if I understood Fest right - and when I'm talking about Hitler, almost all of my knowledge comes from his tomes - by "socialism" the Nazis meant Bismarckian welfare state and labor legislation, a concept which was also adopted and is up to date central in Social Democrat ideology, not just in Germany but abroad and beyond and, via Social Democrat ideologues as Maynard Keynes, reached the USA by the time of FDR.

    In Marxist ideology, "socialism" refers to a totally different concept, the dictatorship of the proletariat, a temporary state of things between capitalism and communism, which was supposed to be the ultimate goal of the socialist regime, a stateless enlightened anarchy. That's why no Marxist regime in the world named itself as a "communist republic", but just humbly as a "socialist republic".

    In all of their populism, Nazis had a strong anti-capitalistic rhetoric, and it was a sincere one, at least when coming from the "left wing" of the NSDAP, which included no one less than Goebbels. They dealt with the industrialists and gave them huge advantages, but their conception of economy was in no way a genuine "capitalistic", "free market" - or, in their words, "Jewish" - one. National industry had to be at the same time protected, patronized and controlled. This neo-mercantilistic conception was also central to the national industrialization processes that took place under some or other form of central economic management and authoritarian governments, as in Meiji Japan, fascist Italy, and fascist-sympathizing Argentina and Brazil.
     
  18. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    Germany at least tried to face up to what happened and educate its populace about it. Other states still deny or gloss over parts of their history.
     
  19. noto

    noto Warlord

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    people, people, people...how many times must we debate the whole Hitler thing? I am just fine with the fact that Hitler is not in the game, and not due to PC reasons. Hitler doesn't seem to belong in the game because he is just too specific and short-lived. For that matter, Churchill might not belong in the game either. As many people have pointed out, the leaders in Civ are supposed to be iconic of an era for that Civ. Washington may have only lived 70 or so years, but he can represent America right up until the Civil War easily. The precidents he set and his philosophy of government remained in tact up until that point. Julius Ceasar represents the expansion of imperial Rome while Augustus represents the Pax Romana. Each of the people I have mentioned lived beyond their death in their country. Stalin brought about massive change in Russia and turned it into an industrial powerhouse. To me, Hitler would make a good addition to a scenario or mod about WW2. He doesn't, however, make a good addition to the entire game. He wouldn't seem to fit except for a very brief period of time with the panzers. You could make similar criticisms of leaders like Charlamagne, but they probably had a hard time coming up with leaders for the HRE.
     
  20. paydro

    paydro Warlord

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    Hmm Noto, you've actually brought up another good reason to think Hitler belongs: the unique unit for the Civ was during his reign.

    I suppose the "leader as era" theory has some merit, in that it explains a lot of the trait combos that don't have much to do with the leader him/herself. Particularly one-leader civs have a tendency to have the traits of their "civ" rather than themselves.

    It's still inconsistent, though. If you're not going to have Hitler because the fascist era in Germany was relatively short, then you'd have to exclude Churchill, Napoleon, etc. I don't really understand the hostility to having him in the game... none of the reasons presented make sense given the other leaders in the game. Hitler was one of the most important leaders in history. Thus, he belongs in the game.
     

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