Originally posted on kulturCritic:
The written word does not replace speech, any more than speech replaces gesture. But it adds an important dimension to much social action. This is especially true of the politico-legal domain, for the growth of bureaucracy clearly depends to a considerable degree upon the ability to control [non-kin] relationships by means of written communication. (Jack Goody)
One thing that Russia lacks not is bureaucracy; lots and lots of bureaucracy, documented with documentation, itself filled with tables, calculations, stamps, and signatures, made official with notary seals and stitched bindings. This is the world of the document, and the land of the written word.
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