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Why "bad enemy leadership" makes sense in Safehold

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Why "bad enemy leadership" makes sense in Safehold
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:59 pm

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From item Dilandu brought up in another thread.

History shows how stupid leaders often are time and time again.
British and Russian history prove that, hard! :roll: :?

When you have a stifling hierarchy that hates change, a thing that almost always happens over time in ANY system even modern "democracy", you get dumb ass leaders.
Meritocracy, change, accountability, problem solving....pfft! Hell no, that's "trouble" and trouble makers get brushed off or worse.

Useless incompetents without too much patronage get sinecures...of important but far away places and their incompetence wrecks them over time and endangers the populace and state
that's what happened to Jamaica, only competent governor it had was it's first, Henry Morgan the pirate! Yeesh, every inbred, chinless, cretinous wonder got dumped on that island hence it's troubles today

So, such chains of events and attitudes make perfect sense as to why we have Mahrys of Desnair and Zhyou-Zhwo of Harchong's "rump" :lol:
Their hatreds of Charis and thus, puirblind stupidity in that area, is therefor, totally believable.
Hate, zealotry etc blind people and.leads to tragedy.

Another issue with scumbag and incompetent leaders is they HATE and fear competent or honest ones and so, drive them out, or worse.
They may make use of them, but they'll always plot to marginalize, imprison or.kill them after their use is done.
What happened to Earl Thirsk is a fictional and extreme example of an absolutely all to common real life version of this.
Stalin kept wiping out the army leaders to keep absolute control, with predictable results.

Another odd point is that when people have had good leadership for a while, they can be left unable to figure out what do do when circumstances drop morons or monsters in the seat of power or looking for support/votes and everyone else is discredited.
That's part of Siddarmark's problem.

Yeah those nations would have genius innovators, but they'd be as popular as a hedgehog in a condom! :lol:
They are everything Mahrys and Zhyou-Zhwo absolutely hate with a passion, only an Archangel's innovations would they eagerly adopt....

And I kinda think that's part or one of RFC's points in this series? ;)
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Re: Why "bad enemy leadership" makes sense in Safehold
Post by Dilandu   » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:34 pm

Dilandu
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SilverbladeTE wrote:Stalin kept wiping out the army leaders to keep absolute control, with predictable results.


Er... no. While Stalin did have a backseat driver tendency earlier in the war, he quickly grew out of this.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Why "bad enemy leadership" makes sense in Safehold
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:17 pm

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Dilandu wrote:
SilverbladeTE wrote:Stalin kept wiping out the army leaders to keep absolute control, with predictable results.


Er... no. While Stalin did have a backseat driver tendency earlier in the war, he quickly grew out of this.


Pre-war purge, planned purge that the war interrupted
Incidents meant he couldn't purge them again post 1945 or Russia would have been weak but he was plotting another mass purge qnd got purged himself, haha! :mrgreen:
He broke Zuhkov effectively after 1945
Etc

Stalin sucked the suck of sucks :p
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Re: Why "bad enemy leadership" makes sense in Safehold
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:39 am

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SilverbladeTE wrote:
Pre-war purge,


Well, considering the MAJOR problems in army readiness, that became obvious in 1939-1940 campaigns - the purge probably came too late. :D But seriously, the effect of the purge on Soviet army is usually... estimated incorrectly. In therms of competence, the effect of the purge was miniscule on the background of the BIG army expansion (if you needed 100 officers, but only have 10, purging 2 of them would not change things much... you still 92 low)

On the other hands, purge at least removed a large number of "revolutionary honorable" officers, which made a career during Civil War and were mostly interested in playing political games, intriguing against each other, and paying attention mostly to the "right" ideology.

I read the NKVD reports about military readiness of 1938-1939... they are mix of hilarious and depressing. Like the story of fortification, that fell into disrepair, but could not be repaired because it was unclear who should do that (two organisations that were supposed to do this, were trying to push all the works onto each other). Or the story, how tank brigade get lost in Poland in 1939 - because they forgot to pack their only long-range radio set. Or how one division battled with empty space - because commander became jealous that the neighbor have a fight and he haven't, and ordered his artillery to shell an empty forest, claiming that he was warned about enemies here.

P.S. But my favorite is a 1942 story about German saboteur that was dropped behind our lines. He seems to have little desire to actually do anything, so he immediately came to Soviet troops headquarter and tried to surrender. To his utter dismay, nobody was actually sure to whom he should surrender, and nobody was sure where the NKVD HQ is. So eventually he was given back his false papers (!) and weapons (!!!) and told to "go and find the NKVD himself, and stop distracting buisy peoples from the work"...
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Why "bad enemy leadership" makes sense in Safehold
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:51 am

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Dilandu
Hehe ;)
Oh I wouldn't be surprised at such stupidity, lol :mrgreen:

Good, Evil and Stupidity are Equal Opportunity Employers!


Something I've been telling people for many years :lol:

Race, creed, colour, nation...whatever, God, quantum mechanics, or Cthulhu's toilet paper, has cursed us all with enough jackasses to screw anything up, anytime, anywhere! :shock:
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Re: Why "bad enemy leadership" makes sense in Safehold
Post by n7axw   » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:28 pm

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Dilandu wrote:
SilverbladeTE wrote:Stalin kept wiping out the army leaders to keep absolute control, with predictable results.


Er... no. While Stalin did have a backseat driver tendency earlier in the war, he quickly grew out of this.


Dilandu, from my own reading I get the following impressions. One is that the purges of army officers were primarily political and wipe out out a third the officer corps, leaving a lot of vacancies unfilled when Barbarosa struck, leaving sectors of the army leaderless. A contrasting impression is the purges hit the older officers whose experience dated back to the civil war and wouldn't have been useful anyway... Any opinions?

Another rather interesting thing I encountered the other day can be summarized by saying that Stalin was victimized by the bullshit factor. He had a reputation for being paranoid and casually shooting people who displeased him. So his subordinates would tell him what he wanted to hear rather than what he needed to know. They, in turn, were bullshitted by their subordinates going on down the chain, so by the time all the bs worked its way to the top of the pyrimad, no one, least of all Stalin, has any idea of the real situation in the field. This does make at least some sense, given some of the directives he signed off on. Any comments?

Don

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When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Why "bad enemy leadership" makes sense in Safehold
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:02 am

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n7axw wrote:
Dilandu, from my own reading I get the following impressions. One is that the purges of army officers were primarily political and wipe out out a third the officer corps, leaving a lot of vacancies unfilled when Barbarosa struck, leaving sectors of the army leaderless. A contrasting impression is the purges hit the older officers whose experience dated back to the civil war and wouldn't have been useful anyway... Any opinions?


-


Generally they are both right. The political purges really left a dire lack of trained officers, and it have consequences on army readiness, but the majority of officers purged weren't exactly top class: most of them begin as Civil War era commanders, and were more political creatures and orators (capable of boosting the morale of rag-tag Civil War troops, but hardly much more), so the loss was not as significant as its often assumed.

n7axw wrote:So his subordinates would tell him what he wanted to hear rather than what he needed to know. They, in turn, were bullshitted by their subordinates going on down the chain, so by the time all the bs worked its way to the top of the pyrimad, no one, least of all Stalin, has any idea of the real situation in the field. This does make at least some sense, given some of the directives he signed off on. Any comments?


This is completely false. Stalin have many unpleasant sides, but he always demanded that he must be told truth and only truth, even if it is ugly. He constantly checked and re-checked sources. Lying to Stalin when he demanded truth was essentially a death warrant; officer who blundered but admitted his mistakes may be given a chance to redeem himself, but officer who tried to cover his mistakes was immediately considered dangerously disloyal and eliminated.

P.S. Interesting in Safehold content is, that Duchrain-Clyntahn characters is sort of amalgamation of Stalin and Hitler. Clyntahn is paranoidal (Stalin's trait), not a public person (again, Stalin's trait - he rarely left Kremlin), but also absolutely sure that his opinion is always the right one (and this is exactly a Hitler trait).

While Duchrain is very public person (Hitler trait), he is also very adept in long-time planning (Stalin's trait) and also value the reality more than his own opinion, even if reality is very unpleasant (Stalin's trait).
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Why "bad enemy leadership" makes sense in Safehold
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:29 pm

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Dilandu
fair points, but...

like most paranoid tyrants, Stalin was going mad by the end.
Booze didn't help, but from what I've read and seen in life, such thugs suffer mental disintegration often because they were unbalanced to start with but all the fear and then not having normal moral checks and limits just balloon it worse.

Stalin loved his daughter and his wife's suicide hurt him deeply so he wasn't a psychopath (he had empathy but chose to ignore it which is what makes him truly "evil", as the truly insane cannot make moral choices and are more...nasty forces of nature in a moral sense, you have to be sane to be genuinely "evil"),
but Stalin had the typical background of being abused and troubles that leads a lot of folk into paranoia etc

Hitler was obviously much more unbalanced and probably suffered from brain damage due to syphilis as well as abuse.
Interestingly, it's known that folk suffering syphilitic mania can be very charismatic

"Power" causes so much fear, stress etc, it's very harmful to anyone, if you start out with a mental problem, or chose to go too far, it generally does drive you insane.


Now, what might the world look like today if the moderates of the Left had won in Russia, or Stalin, Trotsky and Co got killed early on by the Okhrana?
alas not a lot of "alternate history" books on that, sigh
Only native English speaking writer I know of who's wrote such a novel bthat's good, is John Hardinge's "The Consequences of an Errant Shell" (which is very good, imho)
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Re: Why "bad enemy leadership" makes sense in Safehold
Post by Dilandu   » Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:14 am

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SilverbladeTE wrote:Dilandu
fair points, but...

like most paranoid tyrants, Stalin was going mad by the end.
Booze didn't help, but from what I've read and seen in life, such thugs suffer mental disintegration often because they were unbalanced to start with but all the fear and then not having normal moral checks and limits just balloon it worse.




True. Again, the enormous stress of the war (it was noted in medical archives, that Stalin's doctors literally forced him to took at least some rest during first months of the war - when things went especially bad) clearly didn't help either.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
Top
Re: Why "bad enemy leadership" makes sense in Safehold
Post by n7axw   » Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:27 am

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Location: Viborg, SD

Dilandu, do you have any comments about why Stalin apparently rejecting warnings about an impending German attack prior to Barbarosa?

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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