Solzhenitsyn Summarizes How Russia Lost Its Way (Part 1)
“Men have forgotten God.”
For some reason, when I write about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn I feel like I am writing about something important, something precious that has been lost. It’s become cliche to say that people who forget their history are destined to repeat it. This is why Solzhenitsyn’s voice must not be muffled.
The more I read of his writings and his thought, the more apparent it is that his message will never lose its relevance. The reason for this is that he is addressing our human situation from a wholly different level. Our current media-driven culture produces a constant barrage of instant coverage of events, especially when regurgitated through social media sharing, so that we can practically participate as spectators to holocausts, disasters and even micro-aggressions wherever they occur, as they happen.
The realm from which Solzhenitsyn speaks is on a spiritual level. Through his writings he strove to pull back the curtain so as to reveal what was really happening, the real conflict between good and evil.
Marxist ideology is built on lies and deceptions. Marxism fosters discontent, stirs up envy, spins the illusion that if things were different everything would be fair. The reality is that life can never be fair. As John F. Kennedy famously said:
“There is always inequity in life. Some men are killed in a war and some men are wounded, and some men never leave the country, and some men are stationed in the Antarctic and some are stationed in San Francisco. It’s very hard in military or in personal life to assure complete equality. Life is unfair.”
Marx disliked religion because people who believe in mercy, who believe it is wrong to hold grudges and nurture bitterness, are not good fodder for a revolution. Thus Atheism became the official religion of the Cultural Revolution.
My aim in sharing the above was to create a context for these observations by Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
I’ve been taking a deep interest in Solzhenitsyn lately. As I’ve said often over the years, if a man is worth knowing at all he is worth knowing well. Here are several related links.
Remembering Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: A Profile in Courage
In 1970, the year I left home for college, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the…
Solzhenitsyn Indictment of the West Still Stands
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were…
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.