Top Five: Dictators

28 12 2009

Now this list may sound slightly perverse, but absolutely everything can be quantified in a list, so here are my – want for a better word – favourite dictators.

1. Josip Broz Tito

From car mechanic to President of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, it’s like a Cinderella story. He helped reestablish a state after its destruction by leading a partisan campaign, he then defied Stalin and lived to tell the tale, helped establish the non-aligned movement during the Cold War. In summation, he was a bit of a dude. Shame the country collapsed after he died.

2. Giuseppe Garibaldi

Now you might be thinking to yourself that Garibaldi was a revolutionary general and not a dictator, but he was both… sort of. During his Expedition of the Thousand, which brought an end to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and unified Italy, he entitled himself Dictator of Sicily. Because he had a major impact on world history, and didn’t commit atrocities, he goes high up the list. Also has a tasty biscuit named after him (invented by a Scotsman).

3. Gaius Julius Caesar

Played a pivotal role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Like any good dictator had things named after him (a month, impressive); kicked off a civil war and won it (thus making him sole ruler of the Republic); then was literally stabbed in the back… and a lot of other places, assassination is the perfect way to end a dictatorship. Named his great-nephew his successor who went on to become the first Roman Emperor.

4. Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin

Yes, the so-called Man of Steel was an awful man, he caused millions to be killed at the hands of the State. However, he led the country that contributed the most in the defeat of Hitler and Nazi Germany, therefore he makes the list.

5. Zog of Albania

Born Ahmet Muhtar Bey Zogolli, he was President and Prime Minister – and had already established an effective dictatorship – when he decided to make himself King Zog I (and only) in 1928. Zog means bird in Albanian, which as dictator names go is as shit as Mao, which means cat. Zog is essentially one of the worst dictators ever, he essentially gave his country away to Mussolini’s Italy. The Albanian National Bank was headquartered in Rome, and when Italy invaded in 1939 the Albanian army put up little resistance, which is hardly shocking seeing as most of the officers were Italians.

A Bonus Number Six: Adenoid Hynkel

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