Empires Special TV - John Masaryk - Jeremy Paxman TV - Gore Vidal - David Hume - Niccolo Machiavelli - Catherine the Great - Jonathan Mayhew - John Quincy Adams - Confucius - Proverbs 23:1-3 - Ecclesiastes 10:4&5 - Isaiah 3:6&7 - Romans 13:3 - Game of Thrones TV - History’s Most Hated TV - David Olusoga: A Timewatch Guide: Dictators & Despots TV -
The people had turned on their rulers and seized power for themselves. Empires Special: The Greeks: Crucible of Civilisation: Revolution, PBS 2000
Dictators are rulers who always look good until the last ten minutes. John Masaryk
If you look like a ruler, the people will treat you like a ruler ... An enormous bluff. Jeremy Paxman, Empire I BBC 2012
The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return. Gore Vidal, The State of the Union 1978
You know, I’ve been around the ruling class all my life, and I’ve been quite aware of their total contempt for the people of this country. Gore Vidal
To see the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and to observe the implicit submission with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is brought about, we shall find, that as Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. ’Tis therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular. David Hume
A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests. Niccolo Machiavelli
I shall be an autocrat: that’s my trade. And the good Lord will forgive me: that’s his. Catherine the Great
Rulers have no authority from God to do mischief. Jonathan Mayhew, 1750
I want the seals of power and place,
The ensigns of command,
Charged by the people’s unbought grace,
To rule my native land.
Nor crown nor sceptre would I ask,
But from my country’s will,
By day, by night, to ply the task
Her cup of bliss to fill. John Quincy Adams, The Wants of Man
A ruler who governs his state by virtue is like the north polar star, which remains in its place while all the other stars revolve around it. Confucius, 551-479 B.C.
When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat. Proverbs 23:1-3
If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: Ecclesiastes 10:4&5
When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand:
In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people. Isaiah 3:6-7
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: Romans 13:3
All rulers demand that people bend the knee; it’s why they’re rulers. Game of Thrones s7e5, Tyrion to Lord Varys, HBO 2017
Nicolae Ceausescu: once revered throughout Romania and the West, he stole power by cunning and ruled by oppression. Ceausescu’s tainted genius and his wife Elena’s influence were finally extinguished by a hasty execution. History’s Most Hated s1e2: Ceausescu, 2017
Ceausescu’s criminal activities often took him to jail. ibid.
‘He was a Machiavellian genius.’ ibid. historian
Ceausescu was proclaimed First Secretary of the Communist Party and the country’s leader. ibid.
‘It is the first visit of a president of the United States to Romania.’ ibid. Nixon
Ceausescu was a cheat. He was a passionate game hunter and a terrible shot … He had begun to live in an unreal world where he couldn’t bear to lose at anything. ibid.
Ceausescu’s bouts of paranoia meant that he increasingly relied on his wife … Her influence was a malign one. ibid.
It is the dawn of the 13th century over Asia. A fierce storm reaches deep within the heart of the continent. Growing to a tempest, it spills over into China devastating one of the most ancient cultures on Earth. Then, gathering momentum, its violent fury vents westward laying waste Afghanistan and Persia. Riding this bitter winds are unstoppable hordes mercilessly carving out an empire that will know no equal in all of human history. History’s Most Hated s1e3: Genghis Khan: Terror & Conquest
Known by many terms: madman and genius, bloodthirsty warrior and brilliant politician, architect of nation and destroyer of civilisations, he was all of these. His name: Genghis Khan. ibid.
He was born somewhere in the Steppes in about the year 1165. ibid.
In the heart of Berlin children play innocently over what was once Adolf Hitler’s death tomb. It was here in the Fuhrer-bunker on April 30th 1945 that Hitler made the final preparation for his suicide. Outside in a devastating final assault on the heart of the Third Reich, the Russian army closed in on the Fuhrer. Hitler’s death brought to an end his dream of a thousand-year Reich: it lasted only twelve years but changed the world. History’s Most Hated s1e4: Hitler & Stalin
They were both mass murderers. Hitler was responsible for nearly ten million deaths in The Holocaust … Stalin murdered more than twenty million of his own people. ibid.
Both Hitler and Stalin suffered from inferiority complexes. ibid.
Adolf sold his paintings on the streets. It is interesting that he only painted landscapes, never people. Two years in a row, Hitler applied to and was rejected from the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts … The Academy told him he had no aptitude for painting. ibid.
The same cruelty and sadism of Stalin’s political life dominated his family life, especially his relations with his second wife Nadia. ibid.
Hitler’s relationships with women were equally troubled. ibid.
For a brief period of time Napoleon seemed to be all things to all people. Perhaps the greatest military commander ever. Was also a pre-eminent head of state. History’s Most Hated s1e5: Napoleon Bonaparte
Now 15 years old Napoleon next moved to Paris in 1784. He continued his education here at one of France’s foremost military academies, the prestigious Ecole Militaire. Almost from the beginning people commented on his enormous ambition. ibid.
He met an astonishing woman who would change his life for ever: Josephine … Back in Paris, Josephine was having numerous affairs. ibid.
130,665. He seized control of the government in a bloodless coup on November 9th 1799, becoming the First Consul of France. ibid.
At his coronation Napoleon took the crown himself. ibid.
Of the 600,000 men he had come with [to Russia], 500,000 died, deserted or were captured. Back in Europe he met with more disaster. ibid.
In Paris, Louis was stunned to hear that Bonaparte had returned. ibid.
Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia, ruler of a vast land steeped in tradition. Tradition he was determined to shatter as quickly as possible … He married a commoner and made her his empress … But there was a dark side to this Tsar. The complexities and contradictions of Peter’s character and the sheer scope and adventure of his life have fascinated generation after generation for nearly 300 years. History’s Most Hated s1e6: Peter the Great
An army that would eventually allow the adult Peter to wage aggressive wars of expansion. ibid.
‘Building St Petersburg meant more casualties, more deaths, more dead, than any battle.’ ibid. historian