Posts tagged Henry Ford

“Opposition to fur drops with the temperature” and other quotes

What does the above quote have to do with anything in Astana, Kazakhstan?  A LOT!!! We are experiencing very cold temps and lately I have seen some very lovely furs worn by women.  We had a somewhat mild fall leading up to the Christmas and New Year holidays and now THIS.  My husband and I arrived to Astana about a year ago at this time.  It was insufferably cold but those of us who survived, have something in common in our survivor society.  “We prevailed” despite the cold weather and we will do so again.  That’s what keeps us going when the temps plummet.

That’s also the way Minnesotans think and that is an eternally safe subject to talk about because there is so much material to discuss.  Therefore, I love wearing my fur coat in Astana when it gets cold and I need to find a proper fur hat like all the other Kazakh ladies in Astana wear.  I want to go “native” so to speak and that would do it.  So those people out there who oppose fur don’t live in a place that drops to 20 or 30 below zero.  These same people and I know among my readership there are many, will wear leather coats or shoes or carry leather bags but for some reason disdain fur!  Let them live in a climate where the temperature continues to drop!!!  I’d like to know what they would do then.

On to other quotes I picked up along the way, this one by Nelson Mandela “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

Here’s a Latin proverb: Errarum humanum est = “He who makes no mistakes, makes nothing.”

A Kazakh proverb: “A friend says the truth even if it breaks your heart, but an enemy says what you want to hear even if it is a lie.”

Henry Ford supposedly said: “Don’t find a fault, find a remedy.”

Napolean said “Ability is nothing without opportunity”

Charles Marice was quoted as saying: “I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of one hundred lions led by a sheep.”

F. Dostoevskyi wrote: “The main distinction between a human being and the person, is the ability to have one’s own opinion.”

Abai, the noted Kazakh philosopher and poet said: “You are one brick in creations of our world, so find that place on the wall intended for you.”

What do any of these quotes have to do with the title? Nothing, I just like them and wanted to share with my reading audience.  Maybe we can all agree on the truth of these quotes? Yes?

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“I Write as I Please” 1935 book (Part V)

Walter Duranty maybe never intended to become  Stalin’s apologist but what he wrote towards the end of this book is rather damning. He wrote in passing about Stalin’s speech of “Dizziness with Success” where everything was in Bolshevik tempo and high gear concerning industrialization and agriculture.   See what you think:

p. 283 – “Crux of struggle came in the villages where an attempt was being made to socialize, virtually overnight 100 million of the stubbornest and most ignorant peasants in the world, that is, to force them into new and unfamiliar ways and expect them meanwhile to go on producing food…The dispirited peasants were galvanized into action, the crop was planted and the harvest of 1933 was the greatest Russia had ever known.”

On page 286, clearly Duranty and others don’t understand about farming – farms can’t be run like a factory which Henry Ford supposedly had said. Assembly line factories have a more controlled environment than fields where floods or pestilence could wipe out a whole harvest, acts of God and weather impact farming results as well. One can’t have farming quotas like you can in factories?  Why was this so difficult for the Bolsheviks to understand?  Collectivization was “inspired” to create a kind of factory and cogwheel mentality of those who worked the fields. (another name for that might be “slaves.”)

p. 287 – 1918 15 million peasants in Russia

1928 – 25 million

avg. acreage were 10 acres and the methods of cultivation was obsolete

must be thorough reform of agrarian system, 125,000 farms with an avg. 2,000 acres with modern machinery

Education can come to most backward section of population, Progress was thrust on them

W.D. met exiled kulaks on trip to Central Asia in 1930 – meeting of steel on Turk-Sib railway north and south, meet at part north of Ili river

p. 288 – local dignitaries – shock workers and their families while the fields for miles were dotted with round felt tents of Kazakh nomads.

Patriotism and Progress are high sounding words and noble as Ideas but are they always worth the pain they cost?


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Teacher-Leaders = “Initiative People”

Napolean is quoted as saying: “There are two levers for moving men: Interest or Fear.”  I believe some people in our university are regrettably using the latter rather than the former.  Napolean was also known to have said:  “He who possesses information rules the world.” That is what our university business should be all about, to possess and access information in order to help move the country of Kazakhstan ahead to be one of the top 50 countries in the world in the next decade. 


One Central Asian student recently wrote, “I have seen many leaders throughout my life till today – most of them still use the old fashioned style of leading – threatening – they probably understand the word “leadership” only as a position or a power over a group of dependent people.  They should never use threat or other bossy actions even though they have inherited their position from their fathers.”  Another student from the same country pointed out “Good leaders should obey their own rules.”


Many examples of bad leaders abound and consequently countries or universities suffer because of this sad fact.  I respect what President John Quincy Adams wrote about leaders:  “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  Another positive example is from H.J. Seymour:  “Leaders are the ones who keep faith with the past, keep step with the present, and keep the promise to posterity.”


In my case as a teacher in this Central Asian university, I want to be known as a candle – a teacher who burnt her life in order to give light to other people.  I’m glad there are fellow teachers who also share my view of being a teacher-leader in their classrooms.  However, there are teachers and administrators who lurk about using fear and intimidation to coerce people into action.


May we have more “Initiative People” or good leaders at our university in Kazakhstan.  I wish it GREAT success for the sake of the future of the country.  Two more quotes from famous men:  “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”  Sir Winston Churchill  “If you think you can or you think you cannot, you are right.”  Henry Ford 

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