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Ivan the Terrible: Not A Nice Guy

Thursday, January 29th, 2009
Posted in Education by Joel Gross

Living up to his name, Ivan the Terrible was not a really fun guy to know.‚  In 1555, after the completion of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, he ordered that the architects be blinded so they could never design a prettier building.‚  That act was probably one of the nicest things that he ever did.‚  An enemy of Ivan the Terrible according to one chronicler was “was drawn upon a long sharp-made stake, which entered the lower part of his body and came out of his neck; upon which he languished a horrible pain for 15 hours alive, and spoke to his mother, brought to behold that woeful sight. And she was given to 100 gunners, who defiled her to death, and the Emperor’s hungry hounds devoured her flesh and bones”.‚  In a completely separate instance, Ivan the Terrible became suspicious that the citizens of a city named Novgorod were about to rebel against him and join the Poles.‚  So he had the Archbishop of their city sewn up in the skin of a bear and sent his hounds to chew him up.‚  Next he ordered that over 50,000 of Novgorod’s citizen’s be drowned in a nearby river.

Government officials today are much better at handling power than Ivan the Terrible, so why don’t we just give them them more and trust that they won’t abuse it?‚  The Founding Fathers of America were so silly in trying to keep the government as small as possible… wouldn’t it be nice if we had a much larger welfare state and the government determined the distribution of goods and services and probably the production too?