Adolf Hitler and Genghis Khan — When does history repeat itself?

This world would be very different if Hitler had won the war. If Hitler enslaved European countries and destroyed any historic artifacts or treasures of the past, would current or future historians give credit to his work as good? Perhaps, Hitler would get credited for uniting one broken continent to one powerful nation and political entity? While it is certainly scary to imagine this alternative reality and thank god that Hitler didn’t succeed, but it is still interesting to think about Hitler’s “work.”

I am really interested to see if there is a pattern in time that can help us spot one of these ruthless and unique leaders. And I am also interested to give you a brief comparison that perhaps could shift your perspective a little bit.

Hitler’s work was one of the most appalling and cruelest by killing 6 million Jews. This was his infamous work. Perhaps it is still too early to talk about the good things that Hitler did because there is someone we know personally that was affected by the holocaust, therefore, we are not ready to objectively talk about the other side of Hitler’s work with the emotional detachment necessary to even consider the positives.

When you think of Genghis Khan, what do you think about? Do you see him as a positive or negative force in history? His “work” accredited by historians, consisted of opening up trade routes known as the Silk Road, paving ways for two very separate and different world to discover and communicate with each other, and uniting steppe tribes under one political unity as the Mongols. More impressively, he created the first international postal system by establishing a expansive communication network that spanned in nearly 12 million square miles within his conquered territory. If you are like most people, you’ll see his work as positive, perhaps even dignified.

Here is the mind twister. During his conquest, he was responsible for nearly, if not more than 40 million deaths. He was absolutely ruthless in his reign by completely leveling any villages, steppes, or nations that would not submit themselves under his rule. His machine of an army would often murder an entire population of a village that consisted of innocent and defenseless people like children and elders. It is estimated that 1 in 500 Asians have his DNA. He raped, burned, and even murdered the ones that acquitted to his rule. He was well known for his psychological warfare of torture by beheading hundreds of people in public. He would allows his army to rape girls as young as 7 years old, and sometimes it would happen right in front of their family members or people that they would know. If the men tried to interfere, they were instantly put to death. His dirty trick of taking prisoners and then killing them was a frequently used strategy.

What about now? How do you feel? Enraged? If you just got mind-fucked, needless to worry, because I was right there with you when I listened to podcasts by Dan Carlin on the Wrath of the Khans…

Genghis Khan’s actual birthday was unknown- somewhere between 1162 to 1168. In fact, no one actually knows what he looks like. He never left any portraits of himself. He killed more than 40 million people to delude himself as the divine ruler of the world. As Joseph Stalin once said: “One man’s death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.” Now, what if Hitler killed more than 40 million people? Is that the number that it takes to conquer the great world, again?

Genghis existed nearly 800 years ago. And Hitler was about 72 years ago. There were many of these dictator in between. Can we extrapolate the time in between these absolute rulers to predict our next rise? Can we also use this data to predict the brink of one civilization and the rise of another? If so, when does history repeat itself as it often does, for better or worse? How long do we get to enjoy the fruits and peace of our time before the creative destruction comes about?

I hope that day would never come. But I am curious in the possibility of it all.