Thursday, November 25, 2010

These days I am reading Dostoyevsky's The Idiot. Amazing as his other books. A passage for you...

We are constantly hearing complaints that there are no practical people in Russia; that there are plenty of politicians, plenty of generals, that any number of men of all sorts can be found at a moment’s notice, but that there are no practical men – at least, everyone is complaining of the lack of them. There are not even efficient railway servants, we hear, on some of the lines; it’s not even possible to get a steamship company decently managed. You hear of a railway collision or of a bridge that breaks under a train on a newly opened railway-line. Or you hear of a train’s wintering in a snowdrift: the journey should have lasted few hours and the train was snowed up for five days. One heard of hundreds of tons of goods lying rotting for two or three months at a time before they are dispatched. And I am told (though it is hardly credible) that a merchant’s clerk who persisted in worrying for the dispatch of his goods got a box on the ear from the superintendent, who justified this display of efficiency on this part on the ground that he lost his patience. There are so many government office that it staggers one to think of them; everyone has been in the service, is in the service, or intends to be in the service – so that one wonders, how with such an abundance of material, a decent board of management cannot be made up to run a railway or a line of steamers.

Sounds familiar, eh?



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