It’s the People, Stupid

I’m listening to a history of the Crusades, and we’re up to the 1200’s, after the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade. The sack was a big deal, not just for the usual pillaging and plundering, but because a bunch of the bureaucracy and guild members were taken captive.  Some were ransomed, but many never returned.

After the sack, everybody and his brother wanted to be the next Emperor, but the professor asserts that it wasn’t a prize worth winning. The people that were needed to run a government were gone. Sure, the city still had cachet. You couldn’t be the real emperor if you didn’t have Constantinople, right? But when a guy managed to take the city, he couldn’t collect taxes, mint money, manage a fleet, equip an army — all the things that it takes to run an empire.

Since I make my living – egad! – as a bureaucrat, administrator, paper-pusher, whatever you want to call it, it was awfully nice to hear that those types of people are important, if you want to run a big organization. And we have been, for centuries.

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2 Responses to It’s the People, Stupid

  1. Pingback: History Made Me Cry « Jars of Water

  2. Pingback: Being Nice When They’re Not « Jars of Water

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