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opinions on great man theory? it seemes too...
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opinions on great man theory? it seemes too simplistic but when i read about extremely unprecedented events, like genghis kahns conquest and hitlers rise to power it just feels like thats whats happening
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>>670288
Behind every great man there are millions of "lesser" men simply doing what they're told and not taking any credit for it.

Yeah it's probably too simplistic but history is divided on leaders and followers anyway.
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I tend to think that the 'structure' or the the collective situation of all the people within a country tend to dictate the overall direction the course of history takes, its more that certain people end up adjusting the margins


But then consider a Prussia headed by Bismarck versus a Prussia headed by Willy

You'll get a vastly different courses run by the state depending on if its run by an diabolical mastermind versus a histrionic
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>>670288
I'd tend to believe it given that even the great men will eventually fall or falter. Hitler went mad, Napoleon stopped being so aggressive and quick thinking, Alexander and Genghis Khan just straight carked it. While I recognize correlation isn't always causation, most of these do have a traceable pattern
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>>671584
>Hitler went mad
Mad? Wasn't he simply strategically inept?

>Napoleon
Did he really grow less capable? A great man can only shine as bright as the situation around him permits.

>Alexander/Genghis
Early death and I haven't read much about G.

>correlation...
I'm glad you see this too.
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>>671620
>Mad? Wasn't he simply strategically inept?

I've read he was ranting at ghosts and giving commands to invisible divisions towards the end. Maybe that's just propaganda/urban legend, though.

>Did he really grow less capable? A great man can only shine as bright as the situation around him permits.

He was really slow at Waterloo.
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>>671632
Wasn't he very ill at Waterloo?
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>>671620
Strategically inept? Absolutely. his issue was trying to micromanage the wehrmacht by assuming he knew it all, when quite clearly he didn't.

>Napoleon
I'm inclined to say he did grow less capable, one of his greatest criticisms of waterloo is holding the guard in reserve, same as Borodino.

>Genghis
due to the nature of the mongolian ruling system, all the generals had to be called back to Karakorum to elect a new Khan, essentially halting any further offensive into Europe giving the Eastern Europeans especially Poland Lithuania time to prepare against mongol tactics

>>671632
I think a lot of that would admittedly come from Der Untergang
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>>670288
>…you must admit that the genesis of the great man depends on the long series of complex influences which has produced the race in which he appears, and the social state into which that race has slowly grown... Before he can re-make his society, his society must make him.
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>>672024
Came into this thread to post this
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>>671632
>invisible divisions

I think this was just him giving orders to units that existed on OKW maps but in reality were heavily depleted, undersupplied, etc
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>>671584
What, are you defending the argument from "Trainspotting"?

"Well, at one time, you've got it, and then you lose it, and it's gone forever."
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Prussian History can't be explained in any other way.
They thrived under great men and became mediocre under mediocre men. When everything else was constant. Of course, the great men were not monarchs or chancellors only. Bismarck had Roon and Moltke.
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>>672286
An example: August Hermann Francke could be considered a Great Man.
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>>672286
The Junker class was also pivotal in understanding Prussian history, it's not always just the kings that were important.
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>>672286

It's actually pretty easy to understand if we imagine it as a post-conquest society, ruled by a thin layer of conquerors' descendants. It was heavily militarized and powerful militarily, but once defeated it could be easily crush for it lacked the "depth" available to more rooted society.

Prussia was crushed several times. Entirely. It's resurrection each time was caused by external factors, not the inner strengths of the society.
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>>674379
You should really read "Iron Kingdom". This kind of explanation really don't fit the facts.
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>>674409

Dude, I read it. I was also born in areas that were part of Prussia and had access to primary sources few if any people had in the Anglophne world. Prussia was extremely aristocratic society ruled by the Junkers. In mid 19th century the Junkers made an unlikely alliance with German nationalists from Central Germany, but thei the social divide in Prussia proper was as wide as ever.
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Here an example where a great man prevented his country from becoming a failed state.
Without him, the remains of Ottoman Empire today would be just another muslim shithole
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