+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Remembering Alexander Solzhenitsyn 1918-2008

  1. #1

    Default Remembering Alexander Solzhenitsyn 1918-2008


    Alexander Solzhenitsyn ­
    Hero And Sage
    By K. R. Bolton
    8-4-8

    In Solzhenitsyn's death on August 3, at 89, there passes one of the few truly great men of our time. Not only a courageous individual, but also one of rare insight. Whether such prophets are honoured in their own Time, let along their own land, is another matter.

    Solzhenitsyn was born in 1918, at a time when the Bolsheviks had not even consolidated their power. Serving during World War II in the Soviet Army, he was sentenced to ten years of prison camps and internal exile for critical comments about Stalin to a friend.

    After the death of Stalin, and eventually a new regime eager to give the impression of a different era, Solzhenitsyn's first and only book published in the USSR, "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch," appeared in 1962. However, Solzhenitsyn could not be co-opted by the new regime and was exiled from the USSR in 1974.

    Solzhenitsyn also refused to be co-opted as a Cold Warrior defender of the liberal decadents of the West, as the Trotskyites had been. In fact he offended liberal sensibilities. His rejection of the Communist system was on the grounds of its spiritual impoverishment, its materialism and mass conformity, and in this he saw a parallel in the West's liberalism. Unlike most of the other Soviet dissidents, he was not a liberal-democrat, or a potential neo-con. He therefore made enemies among both the liberal literati and the corporate power elite such as those among the New York Times, and the likes of Henry Kissinger, who had in 1975 blocked Solzhenitsyn from visiting the White House, and had attempted to block his being awarded honorary citizenship by the Senate.

    MORE- http://rense.com/general82/alex.htm
    "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on."
    .....................The Zengrifter Interview (PDF) |
    The Zengrifter / James Grosjean Reputation Debate
    -----------------------------------------
    “Truth, like gold, is obtained not by growth, but by washing away all that is not gold.” — Leo Tolstoy........
    "Is everything a conspiracy? No, just the important stuff." ZG

  2. #2

    Default

    In 1978 Solzhenitsyn was invited to give the Commencement Address to Harvard.
    www.freewebs.com/renaissancepress

    Here he analysed with depth and vision such as few have, the fundamental malady of Western Civilisation. He declared that the West had lost its moral courage, starting at the top among the ruling elite and the intellectuals. Solzhenitsyn traced the decadence back to the ideology dominant in the West, lambasting the Western ideal of the happiness of the greatest number and a freedom that becomes licentious. Decades of technical and social progress had granted the masses the accumulation of goods, but also spiritual and moral impoverishment; happiness "in the morally inferior sense." This has led to the desire for ever more possessions, "without opening the way to free spiritual development." The excess of leisure and affluence had undermined any notion of the defence of higher values and of sacrifice. Drawing on the lessons of biology, Solzhenitsyn warned that "habitual safety" is not conducive to the well-being of an organism.
    "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on."
    .....................The Zengrifter Interview (PDF) |
    The Zengrifter / James Grosjean Reputation Debate
    -----------------------------------------
    “Truth, like gold, is obtained not by growth, but by washing away all that is not gold.” — Leo Tolstoy........
    "Is everything a conspiracy? No, just the important stuff." ZG

  3. #3

    Default

    The speech was a shocking blow to the Liberal Establishment. The New York Times called Solzhenitsyn "dangerous". The Boston Globe called him the "mad Russian." He was condemned by neo-con guru William Buckley, and by liberal columnist Arthur Schlesinger Jr. The Washington Post called him "irrelevant" to democracy. Rosalyn Carter, friend of that paragon of liberalism, Rev. Jim Jones, responded with total incomprehension.

    Solzhenitsyn could not be co-opted to the liberal cause. It seemed mighty ungrateful. He did not fit in with the Western intelligentsia, and refused to compromise his writing style for the sake of popular culture. He lived not among the rootless cosmopolitans but among the woods of Vermont.

    Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia in 1994, but equally he would not be co-opted by a post-Communist regime that sought to import the liberal decadence he had decried in the West. He held capitalism in disdain, opposed the way the oligarchs were talking over the post-communist economy and held to a vision of Russia as having a unique culture and destiny, under the impress of Orthodox faith. Therefore he refused the Order of St Andrew offered by Yeltsin, paragon of the type of liberal rot the West wished for Russia. But he did accept an award from Putin.

    Solzhenitsyn was the embodiment of the Russian soul, as such not itself of the "West" (see Spengler, Decline of the West), but provided a detached analysis of what ails the West Civilisation. We continue to ignore his wisdom, while Russia seems to have embarked on a course of revival based on the crucible of suffering that leads to spiritual realisation.
    "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on."
    .....................The Zengrifter Interview (PDF) |
    The Zengrifter / James Grosjean Reputation Debate
    -----------------------------------------
    “Truth, like gold, is obtained not by growth, but by washing away all that is not gold.” — Leo Tolstoy........
    "Is everything a conspiracy? No, just the important stuff." ZG

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    N.E. US
    Posts
    144

    Default

    Very true, zg. All of his warnings went unheeded. From TV stupor, right up to habitual safety. I was in college then, and that speech was passed along. We had a copy of it stored in the memory banks at the "Computer Union". I read it the first time later that year. Clearly, a man that saw the extremes of both sides of the Cold War, and adamantly stated that no room was to be left in between.

    The West has indeed lost its founding moral compass, no thanks to the lawyers, the 4th Estate, and the happy blogger, and has lost its ability to be responsible for their own actions, answering to none other than their own conscious. We like to hear ourselves talk, and we talk not of events, or purpose, but of each other, and how "I" fit in. We didn't like his words then, and no one likes to hear this now.
    To err is human, to air is Jordan, to arrr is pirate.
    Theres plenty of face cards to make 20, but it takes an Ace to make Blackjack.

    Nickel & Dime them into Bankruptcy.

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Remembering Marilyn Ferguson 1938-2008
    By zengrifter in forum ZenZone General Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: July 28th, 2015, 07:30 PM
  2. Remembering Beloved Adi Da Samraj 1939-2008
    By zengrifter in forum Religious Cults & Spirituality
    Replies: 128
    Last Post: February 18th, 2015, 03:40 PM
  3. Solzhenitsyn hails Putin
    By zengrifter in forum ZenZone General Discussion
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: April 2nd, 2014, 01:54 PM
  4. Arthur C. Clarke 1918-2998
    By zengrifter in forum ZenZone General Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: March 21st, 2008, 02:44 PM
  5. Ingmar Bergman: 1918-2007
    By zengrifter in forum ZenZone General Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: July 31st, 2007, 11:24 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts