Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Cigar

We burned our fingers on another Rocky Patel Sun Grown this afternoon as the mercury exceeded 55 degrees for the first time in ages here in Ohio.

We are reading In The First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Fiction, he writes from Stalin's perspective about the burdens on inheriting one's predecessor's problems (P. 103-4).

Lenin in his irresponsible way had muddled matters, recklessly littering the place with promises, which had since become a crippling burden to his successor, to Stalin. "Any cook must be able to administer the state," but how had Lenin pictured this in concrete terms? Did he mean that the cook, instead of cooking on Fridays, would take her seat on the oblast executive committee? A cook was a cook; her job was to prepare dinner. Governing people was a rare skill, a task that could be entrusted only to special cadres, cadres specially selected, trained, and tempered, highly disciplined. Management of the cadres themselves must rest in a single pair of hands, the practiced hands of the Leader.

Sound familiar?

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