Philosophies of the Infamous: Beliefs and Ideas of the Most Wicked to Walk the Earth
The purpose of this article is not to be controversial for the sake of being controversial. It is to inspire a thought. We have taken some of the most infamous characters in the history of the human race and taken hey look at their philosophies of life. Here is the interesting thing: as you read further, you will begin to realize that their philosophies were not all that abnormal. In fact, if you dissected the philosophy from the infamous being, you would see that it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for even yourself to consider.
As you begin to read the seemingly normal philosophies held by some of the most treacherous people of all time, I want you to think about what makes a good person. And you can see how holding any philosophy to heart is not a sure-fire path to morality.
Even the noblest intentions can be twisted into the most insidious acts. While these figures may have held up rights intentions, their actions were anything but that.
I encourage you to think about the difference between good intentions and good actions while reading the rest of this.
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party. He was responsible for millions of deaths during the second world war. He is referenced as one of the evilest men of all time. He also considered himself a philosopher-leader. He is also known for believing in ideas such as:
“Do not compare yourself to others. If you do so, you are insulting yourself.” and
“Anyone can deal with victory. Only the mighty can bear defeat.”.
He believed in only holding yourself to your own standard and the importance of handling failure well. I’m sure that all of us have been told the same things in our own past. I’m sure we even held those beliefs in mind.
“An action committed in anger is an action doomed to failure.”
There is extraordinary importance in being able to control our rageful emotions. I’m sure all of us, in the past, have made rash decisions made out of anger that we later regretted. It is extremely important to hold our anger and wait until our emotions stabilize before making any important decisions.
This is a philosophy that the infamous Genghis Khan held very close. This is the same man who raped and pillage his way into being the largest empire before the British. Yet somehow he held a philosophy of stable minded, logical decision making.
“Who can’t stop drinking may get drunken three times a month. If he does it more often, he is guilty. To get drunken twice a month is better; once, still more praiseworthy. But not to drink at all - what could be better than this? But where could such a being be found? But if one would find it, it would be worthy of all honour.”
Alcohol is a poison that has ruined too many lives. Genghis Khan knew that it was capable of rendering a man to something lesser than his potential. If we are able to stay away from the clutches and short term pleasure of consuming alcohol, we can enjoy the tremendous health benefits that come with total sobriety.
Alcohol is the definition of something that gives no long-term benefit. However, it is so common that people think it’s unusual for someone not to drink. Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself if you choose not to consume. While others may think it’s all odd, it is extraordinarily beneficial. Do not lower yourself to other people‘s standards just so they can look you in the eye. Stay strong to your values, and do what you need to do to fulfill your full potential.
“What we need is an enthusiastic but calm state of mind, and intense but orderly work.”
One can very easily interpret this as a steady mind and an intense passion for your work. We have already established that it is not wise to make rash decisions out of emotion, so having a calm state of mind is extremely beneficial. I would imagine that enthusiasm comes from our excitement for what we are doing. Also, to make anything great happen requires effort and work to bring it into fruition. It also needs organization and calculation to do it correctly. This can be seen in the intense and orderly work statement mentioned above.
Mao Zedong created hellish conditions inside of his country in order to basically turn it into a factory for his own economic success. While this quote can be seen in an inspirational light, it was probably used to push his agenda on his countrymen to work themselves close to death.
“Don't give a child a fish but show him how to fish”
A similar quote to this can even be seen in the Bible. This idea shows that’s giving someone knowledge is much more useful than giving them a temporary fix to their problems. By helping people overcome their gaps in information, they are able to make themselves more useful to themselves and everyone around them. On the other side of the equation, it is much easier to get a temporary fix and then to mend the problem completely. It should be more common to spread information that can help people further improve their conditions.
“Race? It is a feeling, not a reality. Ninety-five percent, at least. Nothing will ever make me believe that biologically pure races can be shown to exist today.
Benito Mussolini did not believe that there was any one race that was genetically superior to the other. It is obvious how we can see that the idea of genetic superiority can cause a variety of problems within any part of the world. Mussolini, one of Adolf Hitler’s role models, spread terror throughout the lands in which he rained over. Yet, he somehow was able to acknowledge the equality of a man.
“Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”
Education in any sense is the most powerful tool that anyone can hold. Knowledge is the key to power and attaining our hearts desires. There is also a reason I have decided to put this quote last. Throughout the length of this article, I have shown you ideas and philosophies that could greatly benefit anyone who reads them. They did greatly benefit the people of this article after all.
Here is the difference. It does matter who holds the knowledge. It does matter who the so-called wisdom is directed towards. The knowledge is just the tool, no matter how innocent it may seem. Even the most helpful wisdom can be manipulated for the benefit of the evil and wicked.
Here is my question: with the infamous holding such priceless knowledge and still amounting to the horrors they caused, are you worthy of the knowledge yourself?
I can take a guess and say that we are not committing atrocious acts like the people in this article, but are we using the wisdom that we obtain to do the opposite? Are we using our obtained wisdom to bring more value to the world or to justify our own desires? Are we seeking truth, or are we seeking leverage?
I encourage everyone to take a look at the greatness each and every one of us is capable of. I encourage everyone to use the knowledge they acquire in an effort to step into that greatness— as we all strive to do the same.