Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sozhenitsyn: Points Close to Home

Wow, I haven't read Alexander Sozhenitsyn... however I intend to change that.

The Prophet at Harvard

Imagine the scene at Harvard in the spring of 1978 when Alexander Solzhenitsyn gave his now-famous address. Solzhenitsyn had already won the Nobel Prize for The Gulag Archipelago and other great works exposing the murderous nature of atheist Communism. But at Harvard Solzhenitsyn touched on a topic much closer to home.

Even though he was second to none in his denunciation of totalitarian socialism, Solzhenitsyn said, "should someone ask me whether I would indicate the West such as it is today as a model to my country, frankly I would have to answer negatively." The whole address is worth reading, but here are some highlights.

On the lack of courage in facing a totalitarian enemy: "The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country...and of course in the United Nations....Such a decline is especially notable among ruling groups and the intellectual elite....They get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists."

On how materialism makes a nation soft: "Every citizen has been granted the desired freedom and material goods in such quantity and of such quality as to guarantee in theory the pursuit of happiness...So why and for what should one risk one's precious life in defense of common values and particularly in such nebulous cases when the security of one's nation must be defended in a distant country?"

Ignatius Insight has a good article as well...

Will To Truth

No comments:

Post a Comment