The word ‘political strategy’ deals with politics but for strategic standpoint. Political strategies are developed by masterminds in order to achieve some pre-determined objective that may be in conflict or agreement with the state, or its rulers. There have been numerous high-ranking political strategists in the world who carved a niche for themselves with their avant-garde political acumen. Either they were directly involved in designing and execution of plans themselves or they did it through their political advisers. Here is the list of top 10 influential political strategists in history:
10. Adolf Hitler:
Minus the vile repression, the German dictator offers a lot to learn to everyone about political strategizing, even in this modern day world. For his atrocities on Jews and debacle of Germany in World War II he is cursed by one and all, forgetting that at one point of time he was on verge of winning the whole world single-handedly with his astute political strategies and diplomacies.
9. Song Wu:
Hardly ever people must have heard about him, but he was one of the shrewdest political pundits and military commanders who led his nation (China) to victory despite having lost his legs to the previous war that his king fought against the enemy state. Such were his strategies that in spite of the fact that he was low on morale he affected a win for his state using three principles — ‘Ten, Chi, Jin’ – help of God, active support from people and benefit of location. One can find his mention in a book named ‘Song Zi’ (dated around BC 500).
8. Sardar Patel:
Also known as ‘Bismarck of India’, Sardar Patel would be very next best only to Chanakya when it comes at listing the most powerful political strategists ever born in India. Being the Vice President and Home Minister he was instrumental in politically uniting various Indian states as one union. His political strategies are till date very much applicable in Indian context.
One of the greatest political commentators ever whose strategies are still very much valid, Aristotle’s political theories are laid down in the book ‘Politics’. His political arguments are very deep and argue that city-state and political rule are ‘natural’.
6. Max Weber:
The famous German sociologist who is often cited along with Karl Marx for his work in sociology and political science, Max Weber is among those few well known political strategists who categorized political authority into distinct forms. His work in the form of ‘Politics as a Vocation’ contributed immensely to political education. As a thought scientist, Max Weber for sure has made a dent in the Universe.
5. Niccolo Machiavelli:
Born in Italy, Niccolo Machiavelli is known to have dedicated his entire life to politics. He is the author of the book ‘The Prince’, regarded as must read for anyone aspiring to learn all the nuances of political sphere. Although, his name is now associated with corrupt government (Machiavellian), it’s nothing more than a propaganda of his adversaries that stood ground for all these years.
4. Hamilton Jordan:
He was one of the most famous American political strategists who played a very important role in Jimmy Carter’s administration. He is highly renowned for his torchbearer’s role during the early stages of Carter’s career. It was his role as a political strategist that is termed imperative in taking Australian influence over the rest of the world to great heights during the Cold War era.
3. Leon Trotsky:
Russian Marxist revolutionist, theorist — the founder and the first member of the Red Army in Russia, Leon Trotsky established his political ideas through the concept of Trotskyism. He is known for his constant struggle against Joseph Stalin in the 1920’s. His books are still followed the world over by the students specializing in political science. One of the biggest political strategists and thinkers that Russia ever had, Leon Trotsky was assassinated on August 20th, 1940.
One of the most influential political strategists in history of the world, Cicero was a Roman national with varied interests. The influence of Cicero’s political ideas and strategies are widespread and deeply rooted in the history of European literature. It was due to his constant efforts that republican government could regain hold of the Roman state after throwing away dictatorship of Caesar.
The man whose name became synonym for strategy and political acumen in India, Chanakya or Kautilya is regarded as the greatest strategist the world has ever witnessed till date. Chanakya authored Arthashastra, the treatise on economy, politics, and military strategy, a book which is presently as valid as it was hundreds of years ago. Even Alexander the Great had to bow before the ingeniously enacted strategies devised by Takshila graduated Brahmin during his lifetime and this speaks volumes of his scholarly and strategic expertise.