Muh great man theory

How do you guys explain the fact that Alexander the Great conquered Persia while no material conditions can be identified which would have driven him towards that direction? The Persian Empire was perfectly fine and healthy, and completely collapsed because of the determination of a single individual. There are other examples in history which are similar.

I'm trying to say that historical events are not inflexible inevitabilties, this seems to unnecessary dogmatism. Making fun of the concept of revisionism when analyzing the USSR and China is ignoring the fact that at no point it would have been an inevitabilty. There are some cases in which history shapes the conditions that give birth to great man, like Cesar, who came in power when the Roman Republic was dysfunctional already, or Napoleon. But sometimes stuff just happens with an arbitrary human element.

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His father also had plans to invade Persia and the Macedonian army had longer speeds and better equipment than basically anyone else on earth.

Lrn 2 history.



This, they had a kickass porcupine style maneuver too.

This as well.

Greek army*

Alexander the Great is the prime example of how such a tremendous personality as him didn't mean jack shit in grand scheme of things.
So, he conquered a lot of stuff. Right after he died, the world became exactly as it was before he even started, with a slight difference in noble families that held power.

Also, Greek unification and assault on Persian Empire was bound to happen after Persian defeat of its' own invasion, no matter what family and Greek state would claim dominion.

You… realize that the current underpinning a lot of anarchist thought is the great-person-of-indeterminate-gender theory, coupled with the fact that everyone is one?


Read Plekhanov and Marx's 18th Brumaire.

No shit, Marxism isn't deterministic and never was.

Yeah certain great men tend to hapend from time to time but its extremely rare, Alot of these people come becouse of material conditions of their time such as Napoleon wich took the revolutionary ideas of the republic and aplied it to monarchy.
The thing about Alexander was that it was both a shot in the dark and a inevitable thing the greek where going to expand against the persians this would crush the empire and all the other provinces would break away; and even if the greeks dident go to war with persians the empire would implode itself out becouse nobody liked the persians.


Unless you're going to argue that reality is fundamentally incomplete, materialism is deterministic

Napoleon is good counter to the idea of a great man theory of history because Robespierre predicted if peace wasn't made a general would end up ruling the country. So it didn't have to be napoleon. Everything is overdetermined

Are you guys seriously going to argue that the Hellenistic Era wasn't at all important in the grand scheme of history because Alexander's empire was divided after his death because muh material conditions?

Greece wasn't unified, it was conquered by Macedonians. The reason this happened was because Athens and Sparta completely exhausted themselves after the Peloponnesian War which left a power vacuum

Well, duh. That's what unification is: coerce everyone to be absorbed or take it by force. If Macedonia would be weak, Sparta would take Greece and launch an invasion against Persia.

What would happen if that invasion wouldn't succeed? The answer is - everything would stay exactly the same, except the Ruling dynasties of Persia, Egypt and a couple of smaller states.

This, the Seleucid Empire was basically the Persian Empire but with some more ethnically Greek nobles.


Alexander was only able to do what he did because the conditions created by history. The centuries long conflict between the Persians and Greeks, as well as the long Persian decline and Greek ascendancy in the 400s and 300s BC.

u wot?

You mean, like, with a giant robot that he built single-handedly? Or did he drink a potion that made him grow 100x his size? What a guy.

Their leadership was mediocre compared to previous generations.

Alexander inherited the greatest army in the world from his father, Philip II.
Also war was very different back then. Wars were decided in 1-2 battles.

Genghis Khan accomplished far more than Alexander and he came from nothing.
He is a better example to steelman the Great Man theory of history.

What does this even mean?


We abandoned a deterministic view of reality quite a while ago, user. Reality follows the laws of probability not logic.

Quantum physics didn't displace metaphysical determinism.

Not true; the Greek world had just unified in a single kingdom for the first time, after ages of squabbling among themselves. If you want a contemporary analogy, look at what happened to the balance of power in Europe when Germany became a single state in 1870. Persia was backwards in military science and technology, and once they faced a united Greece, they were already undone. Maybe a less bold Greek leadership would not have been as quick about it as Alexander, but the Eastern Mediterranean was always going to be Greek after the rise of Macedon.

There is literally no such thing as "free will" user.
Free will is the God of gaps of behavioral science.
Human beings are not subatomic particles.

And once in a while, a great man is what it takes to upset a delicate balance.

What I’m saying is that Alexander’s exploits were a product of his time, as was he himself. If he had been born a hundred years earlier or a hundred years later he wouldn’t have done what he did.

dialectical relation doesn't instantly mean there's a correlation.

the problem with great man theory isn't the idea that particular individuals have shaped history; they have, this is inarguable. what's important to realize however is that this is not due to an essential part of their character, but due to social necessity.

lenin did not achieve what he did just because he was a brave/great/whatever man, he was the bodily manifestation of the context of his time. there is no lenin without the russian famine, without marx, without the pre-existing workers movement, etc. individuals aren't external forces upon history, as the great man hypothesis would have us believe, they are a real representation of it.

Everything worth conquering was in that direction.

No that is a mischaracterization, the Seleucid empire centered in Syria had very little real power in the lands further to the east. Over the course of the second century, their illusionary power disintegrated until they left with actual control over only the city of Antioch and the area immediately around it. If anyone was the continuation of the Persian empire it was the Parthians who had ethnically Iranian nobles and who were centered in the east.

i dunno op, maybe great man theory is right and historian bias is bullshit

Do you know where did Robespierre predict that a general would coup the country? Not doubting you, im just curious.

Persian Empire was a protofeudal state, and the King of Kings held power through the multitude of vassals. Seleucid Empire was just as powerful as the previous or next dynasty. It was one of the most powerful states in the world after Alexander died, only rivalled by Egypt.