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Monday, August 04, 2008

Freedom Fighter Solzhenitsyn Dead at 89

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian author and freedom-fighter, has died at 89.

The Associated Press has some excerpts from the works of this man who suffered under the brutal Soviet system, spending several years in the gulag.

I read Solzhenitsyn's "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" many years ago. It was a tough read, filled with the stifling cloud of human oppression and hopelessness. If I had ever had any doubts about the evil of the inhuman Soviet system...

CNS News also has an extensive writeup on Solzhenitsyn's life and works.

Solzhenitsyn was not only a freedom fighter but a moral crusader as well. He saw the dark path of hedonism and materialism that many in the West are on, and saw that it, too, can lead to destruction. Any time we forget God and elevate selfish desire, we flirt with doom

Solzhenitsyn said in his Templeton Address in 1983:

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.’

“Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval...

...But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.’

For those who believe personal freedom is too great a burden to bear, or that capitalism is a brutal economic system, they would do well to read about Solzhenitsyn's works and his life--and his moral admonitions.

Perhaps if they did, they would not be so discontent with the most free and most fair society the world has ever seen. They might also not work so hard to remove God from our public square.

And just maybe, they'd rethink their embrace of Marxist philosophy...and where it leads.


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