Today’s blog is a reply to the following question I saw on a local forum: Who is the worst dictator of all time?
How can you answer this kind of question without first determining what makes someone evil in the first place?
And how can you possibly make such a comparison without some standard by which to judge the moral worth of a person?
So, to determine just how evil a man is, you must first find out what standard of morality one should be judged by in the first place.
Here is what I think:
A good man is one who lives his own life to the fullest and respects the right of others to the same. Conversely, an evil man is one who lives as a parasite on the blood of others by destroying their ability to live as productive individuals, either by stealing the product of their labor, by using violence on them, or by spreading the ideas that lead to their death.
Thus, how evil a man is depends not on how many people he has a chance to kill, but on how consistent he is in making the destruction of others the sole purpose of his life. By this standard, the most evil man is one who is the most consistent and uncompromising in advocating and acting towards the death of others as the primary activity of his life.
Now, a dictator can only be a whim-worshipping and power-mad thug, who is incapable of conceiving his own philosophy, but must borrow and feed off the intellectual climate that previous intellectuals have created in his country for him. Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, and all the other brutes in history didn’t create the philosophic view that man has no right to his own life but must live and die for the state — they merely took advantage of the views already dominant in their societies to grab power and carry out the philosophy of some long-dead academic.
Thus, the most evil men in history are those who created and perfected the view that the purpose of man’s life is to blindly follow the commands of the State, as represented by its dictator — rather than to live for his own life and happiness as the proper moral purpose of his life.