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Author Topic: Solzhenitsyn  (Read 123 times)

Offline Michael Bush

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Solzhenitsyn
« on: March 21, 2019, 09:51:19 am »
"Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free."--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

"It is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions."--Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation V-VII

"To stand up for truth is nothing. For truth, you must sit in jail."--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

"Education doesn't make you smarter."--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

"A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy."--Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

"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."--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

"We didn't love freedom enough."--Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, books V-VII

"As the two-thousand-year-old saying goes, you can have eyes and still not see. But a hard life improves vision."--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

"Without any censorship, in the West fashionable trends of thought and ideas are carefully separated from those which are not fashionable; nothing is forbidden, but what is not fashionable will hardly ever find its way into periodicals or books or be heard in colleges. Legally your researchers are free, but they are conditioned by the fashion of the day."--Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

"Like a bicycle, like a wheel that, once rolling, is stable only so long as it keeps moving but falls when its momentum stops, so the game between a man and woman, once begun, can exist only so long as it progresses. If the forward movement today is no more than it was yesterday, the game is over."--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

"I leaf through the ancient philosophers and find my newest discoveries there."--Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle

"On the way from the Renaissance to our days we have enriched our experience, but we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility. We have placed too much hope in political and social reforms, only to find out that we were being deprived of our most precious possession: our spiritual life. In the East, it is destroyed by the dealings and machinations of the ruling party. In the West, commercial interests tend to suffocate it. This is the real crisis."--Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

"Because instant and credible information has to be given, it becomes necessary to resort to guesswork, rumors and suppositions to fill in the voids, and none of them will ever be rectified, they will stay on in the readers' memory. How many hasty, immature, superficial and misleading judgments are expressed every day, confusing readers, without any verification. The press can both simulate public opinion and miseducate it. Thus we may see terrorists heroized, or secret matters, pertaining to one's nation's defense, publicly revealed, or we may witness shameless intrusion on the privacy of well-known people under the slogan: "everyone is entitled to know everything." But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era: people also have the right not to know, and it is a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk. A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information."--Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

"If humanism were right in declaring that man is born to be happy, he would not be born to die. Since his body is doomed to die, his task on earth evidently must be of a more spiritual nature. It cannot the unrestrained enjoyment of everyday life. It cannot be the search for the best ways to obtain material goods and then cheerfully get the most out of them. It has to be the fulfillment of a permanent, earnest duty so that one's life journey may become an experience of moral growth, so that one may leave life a better human being than one started it. It is imperative to review the table of widespread human values. Its present incorrectness is astounding. It is not possible that assessment of the President's performance be reduced to the question of how much money one makes or of unlimited availability of gasoline. Only voluntary, inspired self-restraint can raise man above the world stream of materialism."--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

"It is not our level of prosperity that makes for happiness but the kinship of heart to heart and the way we look at the world. Both attitudes lie within our power, so that a man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy, and no one can stop him."--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward

"Or why should one refrain from burning hatred, whatever its basis--race, class, or ideology? Such hatred is in fact corroding many hearts today. Atheist teachers in the West are bringing up a younger generation in a spirit of hatred of their own society. Amid all the vituperation we forget that the defects of capitalism represent the basic flaws of human nature, allowed unlimited freedom together with the various human rights; we forget that under Communism (and Communism is breathing down the neck of all moderate forms of socialism, which are unstable) the identical flaws run riot in any person with the least degree of authority; while everyone else under that system does indeed attain 'equality'--the equality of destitute slaves. This eager fanning of the flames of hatred is becoming the mark of today's free world. Indeed, the broader the personal freedoms are, the higher the level of prosperity or even of abundance--the more vehement, paradoxically, does this blind hatred become. The contemporary developed West thus demonstrates by its own example that human salvation can be found neither in the profusion of material goods nor in merely making money."--Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
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