Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sadly, Some Things Never Seem To Change

Catherine The Great of Russia

During my time in Russia, I became quite fascinated by this empress. She was a remarkably capable, compassionate ruler, and in many ways advanced for her time. She is sometimes called, The Enlightened Empress. But, sadly her qualities are not what first come to mind when you hear her name. Instead, we think of her sexual exploits. Yes, she had many lovers. If you had been married to her disgusting husband, you probably would seek comfort and love in the arms of others, too.

That business we all snicker about, her coupling with a horse? Well, let us remember that history up until more recent times was penned by men. And, we all know that a great many of the males in our species are intimidated by powerful women who know who they are and like themselves. A blog for another day.

Currently, I'm reading an extensive biography about Great Ekaterina, written by Robert K. Massie. He titled it: Catherine The Great- Portrait of a Woman. It's a pretty good read. And I was struck by an observation made by Katherine and, sadly, how much it still pertains to us in our time.

You need to remember that she came into power years before we had our Revolution here in America. 1776 is still a few years away. To give you a reference, here in the colonies, we were in the throes of breaking the tyrannical ties of England, when this young woman assumed the empress role and ultimate responsibility for the vast kingdom of Russia.

Massie writes about her first brush with the Russian senate, quoting her observation of this august body that could not make laws, for that was the job of the monarch, but was there to enforce the laws that were in place for the good of the country. Says she of her Senate in June of 1763: "I cannot say that you are lacking in patriotic concern for my welfare and the general welfare, but I am sorry to say that things are not moving towards their appointed end as successfully as one would wish." The cause of this delay, she said, was the existence of, "internal disagreements and enmity, leading to the formation of parties seeking to hurt each other, and to behavior unworthy of sensible, respectable people desirous of doing good."

Sad to say, if Katherine was dropped as a leader, ruler, president into the middle of our world today, she would feel right at home with the Senate with whom she would have to negotiate. She would be just as frustrated. Sadly, some things never seem to change.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Hates Professional Politicians


Eva Gallant said...

Wow! Talk about history repeating itself!

Alison said...

That made really interesting reading - thank you Holly. You've inspired me to read more about that strong woman. As you say, men have struggled with strong women since time began! And as for the political situation - ah yes... same old same old...

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