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144

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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144 RUSSIA AND PEACE
systems. And consequently the necessity is felt
of increasing the much too small number of
technical schools.
I have been told of several cases of young
communists who took active part in the revo
lutionary movement and subsequently obtained
quite important posts in the Government, and went
to the university to finish their education. Usually
they do not choose the faculties of philosophy or
political economy, but the practical subjects such’
as mechanics, scientific agriculture, or applied
chemistry. I have been told, for instance, of quite
a young man who had long been a revolutionary,
who became director of the service of compulsory
work in Moscow, and afterwards of social work
in Ukraine, and who has just entered the Moscow
agricultural academy as a pupil.
The last Pan-Russian Soviet Congress expressed
the wish that a certain number of students might
be sent abroad to improve their scientific education.
If a good reception is given to this " revolutionary
youth," it will be a token that our scientific institu
tions are able to lay aside political divergences,
and that could only strengthen the tendency in
Russia towards placing technical ability before
political opinions.
Genuine friends of the great Russian people
can but wish that the generation which the Soviet
schools are endeavouring to imbue with Marxian
theories, may rather be attracted to practical know
ledge. For when all is said and done, the only
economic and social organisation of real value is that
which is rooted in experience and everyday work.

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