Streetwise Professor

December 22, 2007

Talk About Historical Continuity

Filed under: Economics,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 10:20 am

Boy, does this sound familiar. A description of Muscovite politics from Dominic Lieven’s Nicholas II:

Moscow politics had something of the Al Capone air. To outwit rival princely gangs in northeastern Russia, not to mention the Tartars, it was vital for Moscow’s rulers to stick together and for the prince’s absolute authority to be recognized. Life was unpleasant for any lieutenant who aroused the boss’s ire. On the other hand the princely boss could not rule without his lieutenants. The rewards of unity and ruthlessness were enormous. . . . On the brilliantly successful example of gangster politics the Orthodox Church put a religious and patriotic stamp of approval and nineteenth century nationalist historians scattered phrases abut Russia’s unity, power, and world-historic destiny.

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