Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An Insight Too Good Not to Share

From The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin, by Adam Hochschild:
At the end of our meeting, [a former Bolshevik who spent 20 years in Stalin's gulag] tells me a joke; like a haiku verse, it contains a hint of what went wrong in the Russian Revolution, and of what might have been, a path not taken.

"A descendant of the Decembrists (reformer aristocrats who rebelled against the Tsar in the 1820s), a woman, sees a crowd demonstrating in the street and she sends her daughter outside: 'Masha! Go and see what's going on.'

"Masha returns and says, 'Lots of people are out in the street.'

"'What do they want?'

"'They're demanding that no one should be rich.'

"'That's strange,' says the woman. 'My grandfather went out onto the street and demanded that no one should be poor....'"

No comments: