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The Gulag Archipelago: Is Solzhenitsyn's grand opus a vision of our future?

By Charlotte B. Cerminaro
web posted October 12, 2015

As difficult as it is to successfully describe the upheaval and ruination of a country after it happens, imagine the futility associated with trying to warn a nation already headed down the same path, before it's too late. Yet this is what we must do, what we are tasked to do, on a personal and social level. Those who are blessed with a clear understanding of this increasingly dire situation must not stand by idly while chaos and confusion reign. This was the point that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn so emphatically and insistently repeated against all odds, with an attitude of self-sacrifice and true courage that can only come from an accurate appraisal of the risks, we must not go quietly into that darkness.

It is a fearful thing to observe so many people in this age. It seems that the majority react in either one of two ways when confronted with undeniable and terrible proof of our situation: A complete denial of the facts, as if by doing so, one can "pretend" the problem away; the other is to pose as the contrarian, the one who holds the party line and seems to have a pat answer for every issue. This latter is the easiest to spot, for they are the ones that are usually the most outspoken. Frequently, they appear to be militant "dogooders", shouting down opponents at political rallies and supporting one specific candidate or cause, no matter how absurd this might be. They turn matters of national importance into personal or emotional issues and when challenged, will often react emotionally. There is no debating with this type, for if you disagree and wish to rationally and intelligently discuss relevant facts, the response will usually be sudden and shrill, and there will be no reasoning with them. If you do manage to actually engage in a discussion with the contrarian, you often find their ideas disorganized, illogical and unsupported by any evidence.

Given the current environment in the U.S. against intellectual freedom, religious freedom, academic freedom, freedom of speech and numerous other rights, one would think the Berlin Wall was still up, and located right here within America's borders. The only people who seem to have the right to free speech are those who follow the party line.

What is this party line, and who are its representatives? To put it simply, it is everywhere and in everything. Proponents of the new world order, the United Nations, NATO, the G10, G20, Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, environmentalists, Planned Parenthood, the European Union, FDA, DEA, NSA and many, many others. What these various groups all seem to have in common is the idea that individuals should not be allowed to think, vote, reproduce, follow their conscience, pray, read, or dispute, in any way, the ubiquitous rhetoric used for brainwashing the masses.

On the subject of truth and its importance, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn could not emphasize enough the necessity for people to arm themselves with knowledge that is based on evidence, to not be deceived by the government, special interest groups, or even themselves. He stated, "It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes. It may even lie on the surface; but we make mistakes because the easiest course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions especially selfish ones." This statement refers to the very sticking point of our society right now. He put a finger directly on the pulse of the artery that is hemorrhaging precious lifeblood at this very moment, and it was written a half a century ago. In an interview Solzhenitsyn gave for The Observer in 1974, he underlined the hallmark of his totalitarian government when he stated, "In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the state." As we sit here on this quiet, peaceful afternoon, somewhere, in the distance, I can hear the approaching drumbeats. They draw closer, almost imperceptibly closer, every day. ESR

Charlotte B. Cerminaro is a writer who lives in Washington state.

 

 

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