Tyrant-loving Professors?

I don't normally share my personal e-mails with the Great Unwashed (present company excepted, of course), but I was so struck with the novelty and timeliness of my own asseverations in the following broadside, that I just had to donate it to posterity. (What can I say, I guess I'm just generous that way. Let's just hope that the world to come -- and all its eventual site visitors -- will be worthy of my humbly proffered beneficence in this connection.)

Viz. your remarks about the aggression of the human species -- particularly the male half thereof -- I'm watching a course about Alexander, and it's "telling," I think, how the professor raves about Philip and his son as being "the greatest military commanders" of all time. And I'm like, really? You would think, given Enlightenment values, that the greatest military leaders would be those who effectively combated violence against civilians and logistically supported their relief to the extent possible -- and spared said civilians from slavery and death after winning victories over their military.

And maybe being so magnanimous as to not sack their city after a military triumph on their part! I know that's asking a lot, but call me an optimist. I believe there are actually people in the world who would resist the temptation of pointless rapine and slaughter.

But no. The professor is operating under the amoral assumption that words like "great" can be parceled out to those who champion violence for the sake of gratifying their own inordinately sized ego.

And so it seems we'll never learn from the past, since we continue to evaluate past leaders according to their military strategy alone, completely abstracted from the inconvenient truth that these leaders needlessly butchered millions of actual real homo sapiens, albeit homo sapiens who apparently weren't nearly as "great" as these "great leaders" who had them killed.

Of course, no Alexander-loving professor dares evaluate Hitler in this way, but to be logically consistent, they would. It's only that the atrocities of the Fuhrer are too fresh in people's minds and therefore too self-evident to allow for the abstract discussion of Hitler's war strategies without any consideration of Hitler's cruelty.

You heard it first here, yo!

Copyright 2017, Brian Quass quass@quass.com (follow on Twitter)