Wednesday, August 6, 2008

In Memory of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: 11 December 1918 - 3 August 2008

I read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn a long time ago, in high school. The world has lost a great man and writer who so compellingly documented life under tyranny.

Memorable Quotes:

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.

Any man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle.

It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones.

Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul.

In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.

The whole raison d'etre of serfdom and the Archipelago is one and the same: these are the social structures for the ruthless enforced utilisation of the free-of-cost work of millions of slaves.

Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory.

You can have power over people as long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power.

The next war... may well bury Western civilization forever.

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