Saturday, February 13

Prophetic Alarms

On this day in 1974, Nobel Prize winning novelist, essayist, and historian, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Soviet Union. A prominent founding member of the Russian Samzat Movement, an underground resistance to Communist rule organized by artists, scientists, writers, and intellectuals, Solzhenitsyn was the author of several books exposing Soviet tyranny--all of which proved to be very embarrassing to the Kremlin and the Politboro. His books, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, The Gulag Archipelago, Cancer Ward, Full Circle, The Oaken Calf, and August 1914 are undeniable classics.

After his exile, he briefly became a media darling in the West. But then in 1978, he created a firestorm of controversy when in a commencement address at Harvard, he indicted Liberals in the West with the same politically-correct tendency to impose tyranny-in-the-name-of-freedom as his former Soviet masters in the Gulag.

This morning, I re-read the speech. Published as A World Split Apart, I found it as relevant today as it was when it was first delivered. Indeed, the oft-asserted ideological parallels between the Carter administration in that day and the Obama administration in this day, become strikingly, frighteningly evident as Solzhenitsyn voices his prophetic alarms.

1 comment:

mary said...

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/solzhenitsyn/harvard1978.html