Author Topic: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2  (Read 99318 times)

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Offline Tsarfan

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Well, maybe in an ideal corporate world this is all true. But if it were true all the time, just to give one example, you wouldn't have executive officers from Enron standing trial for major fiscal malfeasance - i.e., robbing a company blind, while the CEO looked on - or perhaps away - cluelessly.

I have spent 25 years in varied business environments and, while I grant that few companies operate in an ideal state, most companies are reasonably well run.  And the process of getting all relevant information in front of the decision-maker is overwhelmingly the rule rather than the exception.  It's just kinda Business School 101 stuff.

I don't feel the Enron analogy holds up.  First, the indictments state the opposite of your proposition.  Lay is accused of knowing exactly what was going on.  Second, I know nothing about the Enron situation that would indicate they made decisions without all the relevant facts laid out up front.  The problem there was that the facts did not produce the financial results they wanted, so they rigged shell transactions to sever the trackability of expenses back to revenue.

Even if you're right about Enron, using it to excuse Nicholas' lack of management skill actually makes my point.  Incompetence at that colossal a scale destroys the whole enterprise.  Lay destroyed his company.  Nicholas destroyed his.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 11:58:02 AM by Alixz »

bluetoria

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2005, 04:11:49 PM »
How can you compare the ruling of so vast & varied an empire as Russia to the running of a business?
Not only does it dehumanise the population but it fails to take into account the fact that in a business, for the most part, the aims of the employeees etc. are more or less the same.
In a vast empire like Russia there were cdemands from aristocrats, royalties, peasants, town dwellers, entrepreneurs, the Church.
People were pulling in so many directions. The best analogy I can see would be that Nicholas was at the reins of a wide & unruly group of horses which he was incapable of pulling together. I doubt that at that time anyone could.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2005, 04:21:00 PM »
Yes, there were lots of forces pulling in many directions.  But the Lieven quote describes something quite simple -- commiting to a government program without checking with the finance minister about funding.  The forces of global order are not at play in such a straightforward scenario.  If the Russian administrative system could not handle something so elemental, no wonder it collapsed.

The push and pull of forces on the U.S. government are vastly more complex than those on Nicholas.  Would we tolerate a system that commits to huge programs without first assuring the means to pay?

Oops . . . there went my argument.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2005, 06:19:50 PM »
Aha!   I thought of a comeback to myself.

In the U.S., we go ahead with the program even without the means to pay.  No indecision here, thank you.

Offline RichC

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2005, 09:46:21 PM »
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Witte's memoirs are not the sole source of information about Nicholas and it must be remembered that Witte & the Tsar had often not seen eye-to-eye so there is every chance of a certain bias there.


Yes, but in regards to the particular points on which I have used him as a reference, what primary sources are you referring to that dispute or challenge his recollections?


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The ultimate decision to abdicate on behalf of Alexei was perhaps a major mistake - but it was also the first time that Nicholas had broken his 'faith' in what he saw as his & his son's role. This mistake was the result of a father's concern for his son. It WAS a mistake but an understandable one.


I'm afraid I see it in exactly opposite terms.  The mistake wasn't abdicating on behalf of Alexei, it was carrying on all those years as if Alexei would be able to one day become Tsar.  All that covering up and pretending that everything was fine -- it did enormous damage -- this is the very thesis of Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra.  He says so in the forward.  

Abdicating for Alexei made sense because (1) he was only 12 years old (2) he had hemophilia and couldn't carry out the duties of a Tsar.  

Offline pinklady

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2005, 04:46:41 AM »
In Nicholas & Alexandra, there is a quote by Sir Bernard Pares, " After all, the nursery was the centre of all Russia's troubles."
I beleive that comment to be true, as the state of Russia combined with Alexei's illness was the combination that unglued Russia, add the war and it was eventual doom.

How different could everything have been if Alexei didnt suffer from haemophilia?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by pinklady »

Offline pinklady

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2005, 07:38:42 AM »
I think Nicholas always thought he was doing the best he could for Russia and his people but in the end all he was, was an incompetant Tsar who wanted to play soldiers with the boys in the war and live the good life while millions lived in misery, with death, hunger and backward living standards compared to the rest of Europe. All most Russians had was"faith in God" and in the end that wasnt enough.

I think Nicholas abdicated because he was unwell and stressed. More than one source has mentioned the ex tsar had a sort of emotional break down at home after the abdication, and that the time under house arrest was the first time he had been really happy, just to rest and spend time with the family.

Offline Lass

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2005, 08:01:01 AM »
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All most Russians had was"faith in God" and in the end that wasnt enough.

Bear in mind, Russian peasants looked upon the Tsar himself as God.

Offline Olga

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2005, 08:50:16 AM »
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Bear in mind, Russian peasants looked upon the Tsar himself as God.


No, he was God's representative on Earth, not God himself.

Offline Lass

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2005, 09:47:14 AM »
Probably you're right, though I think I have read otherwise... They did worship him though, didn't they?

Offline Olga

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2005, 10:05:12 AM »
Oh, God yes. Pun intended.  ;)

Offline RichC

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2005, 10:15:28 AM »
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Probably you're right, though I think I have read otherwise... They did worship him though, didn't they?


Well they sure had a funny way of showing their fealty in the 1905 and 1917 revolutions.  The moment they sensed the opportunity, they grabbed the land and forgot all about God's representative on Earth.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by RichC »

Offline Lass

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2005, 10:45:28 AM »
Hmmm. ::) 'Tis strange how quickly they seemed to change. I have watched film of peasants treating Nicholas II and his family as deities, and yet they did indeed rebel with a zeal. :-/
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Lass »

bluetoria

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2005, 11:30:39 AM »
I think it is important to disinguish between the 'intellectual' revolutionaries who were concentrated in the cities (if not in exile or having escaped abroad) & the great mass of the peasant population. The latter did view the Tsar as little less than a god.
The intellectuals had the loudest voices and access to printing etc. which made them more likely to be heard.
(It was ever thus.  :( )
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bluetoria »

rskkiya

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Re: Re: Reflections on Nicholas II - His Character Traits Good and Bad #2
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2005, 11:48:23 AM »
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the great mass of the peasant population. The latter did view the Tsar as little less than a god.
/quote]
Sorry -  but I think that although many peasants may have been in awe of the Tsar, just as many were indifferent to him. Figes is very insiteful on this point.

rskkiya
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by rskkiya »