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Alexander Solzhenitsyn ~ 1918-2008


I'm really glad somebody posted this. Solzhenitsyn was one of my heroes. To publish "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" when he did was one of the bravest things I can imagine. He was a true Russian patriot.

I dunno, read some of his Reagan-era speeches about the commie threat (with titles like "The Mortal Danger") and he sounded indistinguishable from the American right-wing lunatic fringe. Little wonder he was so bitter, but he wasn't doing the Russian people (not to mention the rest of the world) any favors by spouting Red Menace scare talk in the nuclear age.

Well, he lived it, so I would imagine he was a better authority than your everyday "American right-wing lunatic fringe" as you reference.

And hey Sherman, isn't your birthday coming up? I found you the most perfectly ridiculously gift on Shopgoodwill.com!

(As the John Waters character says on "The Simpsons": I like things that are tragically ludicrous or ludicrously tragic."

Here's the speech Solzhenitsyn gave to Harvard's graduating class of 1978:


fargle, seeing as how he lived through some of the worst that the soviet union generally dished out to dissidents and political prisoners, it's really easy to see why he felt that way.

I believe that Comrade Farglebargle's assessment is correct. Even the late, honorable CPUSA Secretary-General Gus Hall felt that the pro-West ("American right-wing lunatic fringe" if you prefer) ramblings of a half-mad, so-called "dissident" amounted to nothing more then just that. In his book "The Sakharov-Solzhenitsyn Fraud", Sec. Hall observed "If, to prove its basic, democratic essence, socialism had to give a handful of vile slanderers free access to the media, then indeed there would be a serious crisis... Socialist democracy is not contingent upon the rights of a handful of renegades and traitors."

It is emboldening to see that some are willing and able to be unpersuaded by the singular, literary offerings of one man - a "vile slanderer" or someone who sounds like an "American right-wing lunatic."

With those brave enough to resist such historical non-sense, the world will continue its path towards a post-American future where every man and woman can cast an eye to the Motherland and know that they shall never want again!

Spokonya Noc, Tovarishch!

to be fair, comrade, Alexander spoke disparagingly of both the east AND the western cultures.

He initially denounced Marx and Engels and communism as inherently violent in nature and as something that couldn't be contained within borders and even assimilated culture. according to him, communism only sought to spread itself throughout the world, for that was the only way that it could exist.

Oh yeah, he was also an anti-Semite, but I suppose that makes me a commie for saying so. I shall go prostrate myself before the shrine of Joe McCarthy.

I just can't stop looking at the dent in his forehead.

Sure, he has a butt forehead (much less common than the butt chin) but just look at those eyes!

He saw some suffering, that's for sure.

Wow, Solzhenitsyn spoke bad about Communism? Um, if you had endured the torture that he did, you might have some not so good things to say about the system that put you there. And, yes, he also talked bad about western culture, he thought the west was full of narcissitic people fixated on pop culture. I think he nailed that one pretty well. He, like many Russians who grew up in the Communist regime, had real problems adapting to capitalism and western culture. In my opinion, he seemed to fear that western culture would diminish Russian culture, and in my visits to Russia, I can see why he would fear that. But to be fair, he also made some very bad anti-Semitic remarks in later life. Those I can't and don't want to defend, but in the whole, I still admire the man.
And Girl, yes my birthday is approaching, but now I'm becoming a little afraid.

Particularly if you are concerned about narcissistic pop culture and its effects on oneself, Sherman. Be very afraid!

Does anyone read posts before responding anymore? I wrote "Little wonder he was so bitter" and received several "if you had endured the torture that he did" responses. Got it. And yes, he was a great writer. But he was no expert in international relations. His rhetoric contributed to the anti-Soviet hysteria of the 80's, which in turn fed the Soviet's paranoia about the west, which lead to near-nuclear exchanges more than once and fed countless Soviet-U.S. wars in the third world, not the least of which was Afghanistan, the blowback of which we're dealing with today. One can't blame A.S. for everything, of course, but he was part of the problem.

Blaming A.S. for the nuclear arms race and Afghanistan? Sounds to me like you are blaming him for everything. He had more to do with the fall of the Soviet Union than he did with any of that.

Farglebargle, half of the posts had to do with butt chins and Sherman's birthday. It's not all about you, darlin'.

And your posts were duly noted, and responded to. Just because someone read your post doesn't mean they are required to agree with it...

One can’t blame Solzhenitsyn for the cold war and arms race, but one can blame him for egging on the hysteria with his whacko speeches in the 70’s and 80’s. It's an even bigger stretch to credit him with the fall of the Soviet Union. Makes more sense to credit Khrushchev, who promoted “Ivan Denisovich.”
Dear girl, I usually like your posts and thought you’d be the last person with whom I’d get into a snit, but it's apparent you need to go easy on the ganja. I wrote that Solzhenitsyn was bitter due to his experience and you and a couple of others responded by restating that point as if it were disagreement, and it wasn’t even the issue.
Actual discussion here is futile. This thread is not about me nor Solzhenitsyn; it’s about butt chins and birthdays. If anything it seems to be about the western vapidity the writer warned about.

Now, fargle, you need to read the posts. I never said that he was responsible for the fall of the Soviet Union. I just said he had more to do with that than he had to do with the arms race and Afghanistan. Actually, in my opinion, the person most responsible with the collapse of the Soviet Union was Stalin. His paranoia and extreme desire to keep total power led to the death and imprisonment of many of the Soviet Unions great minds. In essence, he crippled his own nation by removing the people who could best help it grow and replaced them with cowering reactionaries who refused to accept necessary change until Gorbachev forced it down their throats. It may have taken 40 to 50 years to finally disintegrate, but for me Stalin was the real problem.

Nor did I say he was responsible for nuclear arms race and Afghanistan. I said he was part of the problem.
I would agree about Stalin, though the real problem goes back to the system that gave him power in the first place, the dictatorial Leninist model of socialism. It didn't work in any country.

"Go easy on the ganja"? WTF?

And you are the only one in a snit, or flogging a dead Russian horse...

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