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January 2, 2011

A warning for 2011

Alexander Solzhenitsyn had more than a few words of warning about socialism. Here are a few from a 1970's interview with the BBC.
"The decline of contemporary thought has been hastened by the misty phantom of socialism. Socialism has created the illusion of quenching people’s thirst for justice: Socialism has lulled their conscience into thinking that the steamroller which is about to flatten them is a blessing in disguise, a salvation. And socialism, more than anything else, has caused public hypocrisy to thrive; it has enabled Europe to ignore the annihilation of 66 million people on its very borders.
There is not even a single precise definition of socialism that is generally recognized: all we have is a sort of hazy shimmering concept of something good, something noble, so that two socialists talking to each other about socialism might just as well be talking about completely different things. And, of course, any new-style African dictator can call himself a socialist without fear of contradiction.

But socialism defies logic. You see, it is an emotional impulse, a kind of worldly religion, and nobody has the slightest need to study or even to read the teachings of its early prophets. Their books are judged by hearsay; their conclusions are accepted ready-made. Socialism is defended with a passionate lack of reason; it is never analyzed; it’s proof against all criticism. Socialism, especially Marxist socialism, uses the neat device of declaring all serious criticism “outside the framework of possible discussion”; and one is required to accept 95 percent of socialist doctrine as a “basis for discussion”—all that is left to argue about is the remaining 5 percent.

There is another myth here too, namely that socialism represents a sort of ultra-modern structure, an alternative to dying capitalism. And yet it existed ages and ages before any sort of capitalism.

My friend Academician Igor Shafarevich has shown in his extensive study of socialism that socialist systems, which are being used today to lure us to some halcyon future, made up the greatest portion of the previous history of mankind in the ancient East, in China, and were repeated later in the bloody experiments of the Reformation. As for socialist doctrines, he has shown that they emerged far later but have still been with us for over two thousand years; and that they originated not in an eruption of progressive thought as people think nowadays but as a reaction—Plato’s reaction against Athenian democracy, the Gnostics’ reaction against Christianity—against the dynamic world of individualism and as a return to the impersonal, stagnant system of antiquity. And if we follow the explosive sequence of socialist doctrines and socialist utopias preached in Europe—by Thomas More, Campanella, Winstanley, Morelli, Deschamps, Babeuf, Fourier, Marx, and dozens of others—we cannot help but shudder as they openly proclaim certain features of that terrible form of society. It is about time we called upon right-minded socialists calmly and without prejudice to read, say, a dozen of the major works of the major prophets of European socialism and to ask themselves: Is this really that social ideal for which they would be prepared to sacrifice the lives of countless others and even to sacrifice their own?"
In his lecture of acceptance of the Nobel prize for Literature in 1970, Solzhenitsyn quoted a Russian proverb: "One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world."

15 comments:

LL said...

Solzhenitsyn didn't believe that Marx had it right -- therefore is not a man who needs to be read according to progressives. Furthermore, he was convicted by a Soviet court of subversive behavior. So you expect us to trust the word of a CONVICT?

What sort of credible sourcing is GNN asking us to swallow here?

The president wants us to throw all we have on the altar of socialism and you would have us believe that it's not for our own good?

Trestin said...

I need to add that to my reference library.

Rhod said...

Thank you, Nick. As you know, Solzhenitsyn took refuge in Vermont, and generally remained out of the public eye rather than be used and exploited by the hack crypto-leftist media.

The detestable likes of Brokaw and Rather and others like them, never accepted the indestructible morality that generated Solzhenitsyn's "political" views. He was too confusing, too paradoxical, and they couldn't lionize him without diminishing themselves.

Socialism doesn't make everyone equally good and prosperous; even in its mild forms it makes everyone equally wicked and indolent.

Shortly after he arrived here, he lamented that Russian society, under communism for so long, had Darwinized itself to the lowest human beings and therefore the lowest human standards, and would not likely recover.

We don't know if he was right, but they seem to want a dictator and a czarism redux.

Gorges Smythe said...

"they seem to want a dictator and a czarism redux."

Sounds like the American electorate!

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Nickie, Thanks for the post, my God, Solzhenitsyn had it right.

tha malcontent said...

We all know how Obama is going to handle things like the Michale Vick controversy, and how the price of coconuts have skyrocketed in Hawaii, and should we put Calorie count labels on Big Mac's ...
But we must ask how will Mr. Obama deal with thing the important issues like Russia, Iran. China, North Korea, the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Jobs, The DEATH TAX. If indeed he deals with them at all.

sig94 said...

Years ago there were studies conducted on Russian child-rearing practices that seemed to contribute to their need to be dominated by autocrats. This started with the Bolsheviks in 1918as they destroyed Russian religion (Eastern Orthodox) and Russian families. Sounds familar to the DNC platform.

Nickie Goomba said...

LL... Solzhenitsyn was simply a running dog of western capitalism.

Nickie Goomba said...

Tres... You must. You can't expect the MSM to archive this stuff for you.

Nickie Goomba said...

Rhod... I believe Brokaw and rather were unwitting(?) mouthpieces for the forces of Socialism.

Nickie Goomba said...

Gorges... OUCH!

Nickie Goomba said...

Chris... I'm beginning to think that the John Birch Society may also have had a lot of things right. Who'd a thunk it?

Nickie Goomba said...

Malcontent... President Hussein will say one thing and do another. That's how he deals with things.

Nickie Goomba said...

Siggie... Right on the money. All must be sacrificed to Fairness and Progress.

Doom said...

Capitalism, simply, is the way things are. People don't want money, they want security, food, housing, clothing, and the rest. Of course, to be somewhat singular, they want what others do not have, which requires rare, which then costs money. But that isn't even the point. Everything costs something, takes work or expertise, and as such, someone has to pay more for rarity, work, or professional doings.

Socialism is the broken notion that we can all get something for nothing if we all give all we have and just live. The problems occur when the above reality takes hold, simple things become rare, and those in power have guns and those not in power do not have guns. And it happens every time a socialist comes to power while the people are defenseless. Every time.

No haze. No difficult understanding. It is merely that the adherents to that particular death cult avoid any substantive speaking of the thing, or all the smoke would flow out like that from a broken computer. The lack of logic and obvious evil intent would be known. They might hide this even from themselves, but even they know. Money, real money that is worth something, real goods, and real services... can never be free. They can only be stolen until people don't allow it, then either it ends or people have to be killed. Still isn't free, just no one talks after that.