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Solzhenitsyn

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Post 03 Feb 2014, 21:32
I'm happy to see there are still people who have their facts straight.
http://rt.com/politics/solzhenitsyn-rus ... ument-338/
Post 03 Feb 2014, 23:04
Was Solzhenitsyn maliciously anti-socialist or was he just a starry-eyed romantic? I believe he made negative comments about capitalism but his alternative to socialism and capitalism looked like a return to some kind of idealized Christian agrarian commonwealth.
Post 03 Feb 2014, 23:17
Piccolo wrote:
Was Solzhenitsyn maliciously anti-socialist or was he just a starry-eyed romantic? I believe he made negative comments about capitalism but his alternative to socialism and capitalism looked like a return to some kind of idealized Christian agrarian commonwealth.


Yes, he was anti-establishment but did not really provide any path by himself. People like him could "thrive" in their anti-sovietism because it was very easy to find flaws in the USSR. Instead of focusing on making something positive he focused on negating everything. Pathetic, from my perspective.
"Promote what you love rather than bashing what you hate" is something Solzhewhateverkin never really grasped.
Post 04 Feb 2014, 14:30
Actually, he was into right-wing authoritarianism and nationalism, and was one of those "against both communism and capitalism" people who wanted Russia to be capitalist and authoritarian, but not controlled by finance capital (read: Jews) but rather credit unions or some shit. At the end of his life he became a big time Putin supporter.

Also he wrote a bunch of shitty books on "how things ought to be" that no one read and those who did made fun of him for them because he was so out of touch with reality. I read his most popular turd of a creation in this category, "How can we improve Russia?" (Как нам обустроить Россию) in which he derides the USSR for not being authoritarian enough, I don't recommend anyone read it unless you are interested in the thought processes of the USSR's majority Russian nationalist/non-liberal dissidents.

His shining moment came in 1994 when he returned to Russia and talked at the newly established Russian State Duma (the main legislative organ since Yeltsin's tanks shelled the Supreme Soviet), but it was just him ranting about how everything is shit and not what he wanted and they never invited him back there again.
Post 04 Feb 2014, 14:52
Kirov wrote:
Actually, he was into right-wing authoritarianism and nationalism, and was one of those "against both communism and capitalism" people who wanted Russia to be capitalist and authoritarian, but not controlled by finance capital (read: Jews) but rather credit unions or some shit. At the end of his life he became a big time Putin supporter.

Also he wrote a bunch of shitty books on "how things ought to be" that no one read and those who did made fun of him for them because he was so out of touch with reality. I read his most popular turd of a creation in this category, "How can we improve Russia?" (Как нам обустроить Россию) in which he derides the USSR for not being authoritarian enough, I don't recommend anyone read it unless you are interested in the thought processes of the USSR's majority Russian nationalist/non-liberal dissidents.

His shining moment came in 1994 when he returned to Russia and talked at the newly established Russian State Duma (the main legislative organ since Yeltsin's tanks shelled the Supreme Soviet), but it was just him ranting about how everything is shit and not what he wanted and they never invited him back there again.


Wow. And this is the guy so many people lionize? I skimmed the Wikipedia article about Solzhenitsyn, and I see he apparently criticized the U.S. for leaving Vietnam and for not being "manly enough" to continue the fight there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandr_Solzhenitsyn
Post 04 Feb 2014, 15:22
Basically a Great Russian chauvinist whose main fault was being born in the wrong century. Him and Ayn Rand form the two opposing ends of the "dissident exile" spectrum.
Post 04 Feb 2014, 16:21
The thing about Solzhenitsyn is that he had literary talent and he happened to come up with A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch at a time when it suited Khruschev to allow a work like that out as a testament to his deStalinization campaign.

The Gulag Archilpelago established him in the West as "a Voice of the Russian people crying out against the tyranny of the Soviet System". There was plenty of questionable material in GULAG, but it was both an important and ambitious work which was highly critical of the Soviet system and the fact that it wasn't written in exile gave it extra credibility.

Ultimately it might just as well have been a commission piece for the CIA, but because the official histories originating from Soviet sources were a little too soft on their subject matter GULAG came to be accepted as authoritative work. The Soviets may have contributed to this in their deliberate understatement of the excesses of the GULAG system. When it was finally published officially in 1989 it was too much all at once for a system which was having its' feet kicked away from under it.

As far as the rest of the world was concerned Solzhenitsyn became officially irrelevant the day the Soviet Union collapsed. He had served his purpose. It's really only a shame that people payed any attention to him as a non-fiction writer in the first place. It's always easier to criticize than to do of course. Unlike many Soviet critics Solzhenitsyn did not lay the blame for perceived Soviet flaws in the lap of Stalin, instead for him it started with Lenin and it was a terrible project from the outset. He might have been a proud Russian (for whatever that's worth), but I don't think he was ever anything less than a dedicated enemy of Communism and if nobody else recognizes this at least we should.
Post 04 Mar 2014, 16:25
I always loved the way Gore Vidal described his writing:

‘To give the noble engineer his due he is good at describing how things work, and it is plain that nature destined him to write manuals of artillery or instructions on how to take apart a threshing machine.’

Talk about a back-handed compliment!
As for the man's politics, yes I heard they were reactionary and vile.
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