2:6 Mombasa: Who they were – Truth telling (11/2/2014)

@Jim @Belle Decembrists were liberals who wanted to replace the autocratic Russian regime of the 1820s with a limited monarchy and democratic reforms. They championed the people. Not only did the communists invoke them in the early 20th C but anti-Putin forces now are sometimes called Decembrists.

When people talk about Decembrists, though, it also is always as a reminder that the reaction to them was a long period of even greater repression and autocracy. Think Egypt and the Arab Spring. Championing change directly is not always the most effective means to bring it about. When Red talks (usually to Cooper) about his not seeing the trade-offs, the give-and-take, the sleight-of-hand needed to make (good) things happen in the real world, he is showing he has learned the cautionary tale of the Decembrists. Or, as Emily Dickinson wrote:

“Tell all the truth, but tell it slant –
Success in circuit lies…
The truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind – ”

Fits Red, don’t you think: “If only the answer were as simple as the question seems.”

[Cross-posted from WSJ Speakeasy]

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