Kapuściński: On Revolution IX

From Ryszard Kapuscinski’s book Shah of Shahs (about the last Shah of Iran):

[The Shah] also perished because he did not know his own country. He spent his whole life in the palace. When he would leave the palace, he would do it like someone sticking his head out the door of a warm room into the freezing cold. Look around a minute and duck back in! Yet the same structure of destructive and deforming laws operates in the life of all palaces. So it has been from time immemorial, so it is and shall be. You can build ten new palaces, but as soon as they are finished they become subject to the same laws that existed in the palaces built five thousand years ago. The only solution is to treat the palace as a temporary abode, the same way you treat a streetcar or a bus. You get on, ride a while, and then get off.

And it’s very good to remember to get off at the right stop and not ride too far.

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