"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Friday, 1 July 2011

Friday Post

Dividing good and evil: Reading Solzhenitsyn

"Our political class does not imprison its dissidents. It does not hand out ten-year sentences over an alleged conversation. It does not starve its own people. It does, however, seek to privilege both its own ideology and the furtherance of its own wealth and position, together with that of its provisional wings in the media and, most importantly, the international financial system. It seeks to micro-manage as many aspects of its citizens’ lives as is feasible. And, through its barely concealed connivance with the European project, it looks to elevate the state from the role of servant to that of master.

"From the coalface of Stalin’s insanity, Solzhenitsyn reports on the strange mutations which warped the legal, judicial and penal systems which fed the gulags, the labyrinthine prison system which, at one time, threatened to host every individual in the USSR except Stalin. Once the state becomes the arbiter of justice rather than its executor on behalf of the sovereign will of the people (however much it pretends to proletarianism), ideology will begin to drive social interaction rather than reflect it. Gulag is an eminently quotable book, but this is a particularly chilling passage:

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