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Old December 30th, 2017, 08:22 AM   #121

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Agreed, steady and progressive reform is always much better than revolution. The trouble with France and Russia is that there had been stasis within an absolutist system, and as soon as the mouldering system was pushed over, forces were unleashed that were beyond rational control, because there was nothing secure to build on and everything had been placed under question. Both revolutions started as liberal revolutions, but could not be reatrained within those limits; free institutions have to evolve over a long period of time. It took the French the greater part of a century, and the Russians haven't arrived there yet.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 08:31 AM   #122

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Agreed, steady and progressive reform is always much better than revolution. The trouble with France and Russia is that there had been stasis within an absolutist system, and as soon as the mouldering system was pushed over, forces were unleashed that were beyond rational control, because there was nothing secure to build on and everything had been placed under question. Both revolutions started as liberal revolutions, but could not be reatrained within those limits; free institutions have to evolve over a long period of time. It took the French the greater part of a century, and the Russians haven't arrived there yet.
The French had a tradition of dissent with established and case hardened thinking from Voltaire onwards and even earlier. The established thinking and views were always challenged e.g.Victor Hugo taking up cudgels on behalf of the Jewish officer Dreyfuss in the French Army accused of spying . No such dissent was seen in Soviet Russia because of repression. Democracy begins with and thrives upon dissent.

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Old December 30th, 2017, 09:27 AM   #123

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I have a copy. It is very detailed and shows the extent to which the author has researched before writing this prize winning book .
But it is a gloomy book, one feels like putting down the book and go out to look at the brilliant blue sky, even after reading a couple of pages. Not an easy read, in any case .
Yes exactly, same happened when I was reading KL: A History by N. Wachsmann. Very grim stuff.
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