Fifty years ago (26 Dec 1961):
Moscow, Dec 26, UPI – Premier Khrushchev has urged lesser Soviet officials to tell him when he is wrong and not meekly to accept his directives.
His declaration–apparently a further effort to wipe out the paralyzing “cult of personality”–was made last week at a conference of agricultural officials in the Ukraine and published yesterday by Pravda.
Mr. Khrushchev’s remark was provoked by P.A. Vlasvuk, president of the Ukrainian Academy of Agriculture.
Mr. Vlasvuk had apparently claimed that in a criticized method of crop rotation, he had followed suggestions made by Mr. Khrushchev.
To this Mr. Khrushchev replied: “Is it I who must be the highest authority in questions of agricultural science? You are president of the Ukraine’s Academy of Agriculture and I am secretary of the central committee of the (Communist) party. In these questions it is you who should help me, and not I you.”
“I can make a mistake but you, if you are an honest scientist, you should tell me ‘Comrade Khrushchev you do not understand that question altogether correctly.’ If you explain to me how to correctly understand a question, then I would thank you for it.”
A day ago. Roughly. (25 Dec 2011):
MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti) Russian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin still enjoys the support of the majority of Russians, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with AFP news agency on Sunday after the biggest opposition protest in Moscow.
“Putin still has the support of a majority. And we should treat the opinion of a majority with respect,” Peskov was quoted by AFP as saying.
I just found the contrast amusing…