Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Saturday, November 01, 2003
Go to the new DM blog.

Have The Tsars Returned?

Financial Times on Mikhail Khodorkovsky:

[H]e explained, the real lesson of Peter the Great was tragic, not heroic. "We have to remember that under Peter the Great there were 24 million Russians and 300,000 of them died building St Petersburg.

There were 2 million fewer Russians when Peter the Great died than there had been when he became tsar. We have developed quickly, and we have developed slowly, but in all this time, human life in Russia has not been worth even a kopek."

[W]hich force is more powerful in shaping Khodorkovsky's conduct today: the hubris of a man surrounded by fanatically devoted workers who routinely compare him to Peter the Great, or the idealism of a man who remembers that Peter the Great was a murderous autocrat? Is Khodorkovsky a crooked and vainglorious businessman who sought to undermine Russia's elected president, or is he a brave billionaire willing to risk his freedom and his fortune to stop Russia's slide into authoritarianism?

Probably a bit of both. If you haven't read it yet, please do check out my OSP post from yesterday about Khodorkovsky's arrest and the other warning signs that Russia is indeed becoming an authoritarian state under Putin's leadership. This is a double plus ungood development.


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Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards

A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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