Konstantin Petrovich Pobedonostsev (1827-1907) began his career as a writer, editor, and translator.
Pobedonostsev, Konstantin P., Reflections of a Russian Statesman (translated 1898 by Grant Richards), reprinted by Ann Arbor Paperbacks/University of Michigan Press, 1973; paper, 271 pp.
This is a translation of Konstantin P. Pobedonostsev, Moskovskij Sbornik ("Moscow Notebook") (1896). I do not know if Pobedonostsev approved Richards's translation (including the changed title) or got any royalties from it.
Moskovskij Sbornik has been reprinted in recent times, eg as part of
K. P. Pobedonostsev Pro et Contra (Antologiya): Lichnost', obshchestvenno-politicheskaya deyatel'nost' i mirovozzrenie Konstantina Petrovicha Pobedonostseva v ocenke russkix myslitelej i issledovatelej, Izdatelel'stvo Russkogo Xristianskogo gumanitarnogo instituta, Sankt-Peterburg, 1996.
It has also been posted to the Internet (see below), since it has entered the public domain.
[Editor's note: a similar description of democracy would appear 10 years later in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a forgery by the Tsarist secret police supposedly unmasking a Jewish plot to take over the world.]
"The vast majority of children must learn to live by the work of their hands. For such work, physical training is needed from the earliest age. To close the door to such preparation, that time may be saved for the teaching of schools, is to place a burden upon the lives of the masses who have to struggle for their daily bread, and to shackle in the family the natural development of those economic forces which together constitute the capital of the commonwealth. The sailor qualifies for his calling by spending his boyhood on the sea; the miner prepares for his work by early years spent in the subterranean passages of mines. To the agriculturist it is even more essential that he shall become accustomed to his future work, that he may learn to love it in childhood, in the presence of nature, beside his herds and his plough, in the midst of his fields and his meadows.
"Yet we waste our time discussing courses for elementary schools and obligatory programmes which are to be the bases of a finished education. One would include an encyclopaedic instruction under the barbarous term Rodinovedenie (knowledge of the fatherland); another insists on the necessity for the agriculturist to know physics, chemistry, agricultural economy, and medicine; while a third demands a course of political economy and jurisprudence. But few reflect that by tearing the child from the domestic hearth for such a lofty destiny, they deprive his parent of a productive force which is essential to the maintenance of the home, while by raising before his eyes the mirage of illusory learning they corrupt his mind, and subject it to the temptations of vanity and conceit."
Bismarck's Germany took exactly the opposite view: that education should be provided for all, because valuable talent often turns up in humble families. In modern times, universal primary and secondary education has been a vital component of rapid economic growth in East Asia. In some societies (eg in Latin America), however, some higher education spending has been misused, turning out too many law-school graduates expecting government jobs and too few technicians and entrepreneurs to run new industries. Americans encourage secondary-school students to take part-time jobs after school, but not as a substitute for school.
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