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2022-12-04 Hardcore History University, Ep 1. Alexander vs Hitler

"I started the program asking if Alexander was another Hitler. Well in 2500 more years, is Hitler another Alexander?"

Lately I've been trying to focus more energy on proven and reliable sources of information and education instead of endlessly YouTube and Twitter scrolling. Granted, those are useful platforms to find great creators, but I sometimes neglect to dive deeply into those creators that I discover.

Having been a fan of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History for years, I'm going to make it a goal to listen (or re-listen) to the entire series, and hopefully take some interesting notes. Here goes...

The older episodes are archived, so I can't provide a direct link.

The HH series is here.

Purchase episodes here (I bought the comp).


Author A. B. Bosworth (link below) is one of a group of people trying to rebalance our view of people like Alexander. He's trying to bring you back to reality about who Alexander was and what he did. B/c 2500 years after the fact we're only left w/ the romance and the drama of Alexander. Time has chipped away everything about his actions and character that would have counter-balanced that romance. Bosworth wants you to remember the dead, the people whose lives were snuffed out b/c this man lived.

Carlin asks, "So if Hitler is the worst person most modern minds can think of, how would Alexander compare to that? Who the worse of the two?"

If a hypothetical study of Hitler's motives could indicates he truly thought he was doing good, does that put him in a different category from a guy like Alexander who killed hundreds of thousands of people strictly for his own "glory?"

We typically don't think of killing other people as being "glorious" in the modern West, but this was the norm across recorded history.

About 30% of the world's historical rulers fall under this category. Up until recent times, what Hitler/ Alexander did - killing lots of people - was a more average way of handling things than how we do today. Being tolerant, peaceful, not killing people is the exception not the rule of the last 10,000 years of human history.

Does that make every ruler equal to Hitler, or do you grade historical evil on a curve? It's probable that any king of Alexander's day would have done all of the same things he did if they knew they could accomplish what he did. They just couldn't. They're all Joseph Stalins.

Carlin: "So when Alexander wiped out whole populations of Thracians, that was not unusual. So if you grade history on a curve, maybe Alexander gets a C. Here's the problem: Does that mean 2500 years from now, when historians are looking back at Adolph Hitler and the memory of the Holocaust is in the rearview mirror a long way away just like those Thracians who died in the wars w/ Alexander, are you going to start to see Hitler the same way we see those people?

I started the program asking if Alexander was another Hitler. Well in 2500 more years is Hitler another Alexander?"

References from the Show:

Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great

ISBN: 978-0521406796

National Socialism and the Religion of Nature

ISBN: 978-0709940227

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