Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

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Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Ralph Peters on Russia:
Russian citizens are content to be led like sheep. As long as there's a bit more fodder in the trough than there was yesterday, Russians won't protest against being herded around: Their primary characteristic over the centuries has been the determination to avoid responsibility.

It's incomprehensible to us, but most Russians want a good-but-strong czar to make their choices for them. (Oh, and they'd rather not work too hard, thanks.)

Peters may be hopelessly out of the running for Slavophile of the Year, but many non-Russian experts on Russian history would agree with him, e.g. Richard Pipes. Sorry, Feodor D., and it's not that I don't love you.

After alluding to "all my decades of studying Russia and countless visits to that authority-addicted land," Peters passes the mike to the even-better-qualified Vaclav Havel, "the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic - is a very old 71, a frail survivor of cancer and years in Communist cells." Said Havel, at a meeting of civilian and military NATO leaders last week (all this is in Peters's column):

"A dictatorship of a fairly new type is coming into existence to the east of the area under NATO protection. All basic human and civic freedoms are gradually and quietly being suppressed under the banner of the aggrieved ideology that everybody is doing Russia wrong or that they are all covert enemies.

...Havel summed up: "I believe none of us has the right to remain silent and pretend . . . that we can't see these things. Politeness and falsehoods have never yet preserved the peace."