Herds or nerds

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

 14 September 2012

Here are two extracts on the same theme from the Russian novel “Dr Zhivago” by Boris Pasternak, which was first published in Milan in 1957.


“Of course, one does meet brilliant men,” said Nikolay Nikolayevich, “but they are isolated. The fashion nowadays is all for groups and societies of every sort. It is always a sign of mediocrity in people when they herd together, whether their group loyalty is to Solovyov or to Kant or Marx. The truth is only sought by individuals.”


“The great misfortune, the root of all the evil to come, was the loss of faith in the value of personal opinions. People imagined that it was out of date to follow their own moral sense, that they must all sing the same tune in chorus, and live by other people’s notions, the notions which were being crammed down everybody’s throat.”

This last is a remark made by Yury to Lara in connection with the disasters that had resulted from the victory of the Communist Party apparat in Russia.


[Note to readers: the post “Cicero” published on 13 September 2012 has been replaced by the post “Demosthenes”.]


 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

1. Why? or How? That is the question(3 Jan 2012)

2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)

3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices(2 Feb 2012)

4. Capitalism in practice  (4 July 2012)

5.Ladder  (21 June 2012)

 6. A tale of two cities (1)  (6 June 2012)

 7. A tale of two cities (2)  (7 June 2012)

 8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat(31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.




This entry was posted in Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Russia and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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