Thursday, June 2, 2011

Solid argument

From Wikipedia article about bloody Russian Tzar Nicholas II and his Prime Minister, Stolypin:
By the time of Stolypin's assassination by Dmitry Bogrov, a student (and police informant) in a theatre in Kiev on 18 September 1911, Stolypin had grown weary of the burdens of office. For a man who preferred clear decisive action, working with a sovereign who believed in fatalism and mysticism was frustrating. 
For example, Nicholas once returned a document unsigned with the note: “Despite most convincing arguments in favour of adopting a positive decision in this matter, an inner voice keeps on insisting more and more that I do not accept responsibility for it. So far my conscience has not deceived me. Therefore I intend in this case to follow its dictates. I know that you, too, believe that ‘a Tsar's heart is in God's hands’. Let it be so. For all laws established by me I bear a great responsibility before God, and I am ready to answer for my decision at any time.”
The beautiful thing about emunah pshutah is that you can’t argue with it.

Funny thing is that in the end, Nicholas II was right. He did bear a responsibility before G-d — responsibility for all his actions, including instigating multiple mass murders of innocent Jews of his so-called empire (not to mention bleeding his empire dry by not allowing it to move beyond 12th century and imagining that starting wars with useless army is an honorable thing to do). And when he and his whole family faced the guns of the Bolsheviks who shot them in cold blood and tossed their bodies into a coal mine, he answered for his decisions before G-d.

I think Russia and Russian people are the clearest examples of what a terrible “service” a government provides. Looking at the two opposite poles of Europe, one sees two countries. The country that prospered the most, England, had the greatest freedom — meaning, the least involvement of the government in the people’s lives. And the country that suffered the most had an autocratic pimple as its ruler. At the best of times.

But then again: people always get what they deserve (not the minorities, but the majorities, the masses that support the regime).

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