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- Stalin is the perfect example of what I was talking about. To simply call him corrupt tells us nothing useful. What circumstances put him into power? What objective pressures, as well as subjective characteristics, led him to make the decisions he made? I'm currently reading Trotsky's writings from 1932 (scary how accurately he predicts the way WWII would play out), and analyzing the details of why Stalin did as he did is far more complex and useful than just, 'power corrupts.'
And it is even more true for the other great dictators of the 20th Century: I don’t think you can even say that Hitler and Mussolini were corrupt: they came to power in order to do the very things they did.
- To seek understanding before taking action, yet to trust my instincts when action is called for. Never to avoid danger from fear, never to seek out danger for its own sake. Never to conform to fashion from fear of eccentricity, never to be eccentric from fear of conformity.
- Paths of the Dead, 2002
- It isn't always easy to act on what's in your head instead of what's in your heart. And it isn't always right to. The whole trick to knowing what to do is deciding when to make yourself listen to your head, and when it's okay to just follow your feelings.
- Why do you work so hard to make yourself disliked? I should think you'd find it happens enough on its own without putting yourself to any extra trouble.
- A stupid person can make only certain, limited types of errors; the mistakes open to a clever fellow are far broader. But to the one who knows how smart he is compared to everyone else, the possibilities for true idiocy are boundless.