The Coming False Confessions

 

I am currently reading (actually listening to) the abridged version of the Gulag Archipelago. What inspired me to do so? Frankly, it was to fill in some much-needed knowledge about what we could be facing in this country if one-party rule is realized. Does this sound alarmist? It does, including to me. I don’t want it to be true, I don’t want to think that people who occupy this country in the same way I have, natural-born and public educated, will become the oppressors of their fell0w-citizens. Can I even say “citizen” anymore? Is it an approved designation? After all, words (and thus thoughts) are in flux.

As I have contemplated the description by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn of Stalin’s gulags, I have been particularly struck by how “crimes” were assigned and “confessions” were obtained. Solzhenitsyn offers a detailed tutorial of how everyone is broken — no matter how strong and resistant, no matter how righteous your thoughts and actions, no matter how innocent your behavior. Gulag is an unremitting story of a society completely corrupted and in which no one is safe.

As I listened to the description of various interrogation techniques employed I was struck with how many are currently employed by law enforcement. You say, “whoa there, steady on, don’t go Through the Looking Glass!” I am not being critical of law enforcement. And let me quickly state that not all of the interrogation techniques described by Solzhenitsyn involve torture, brutality, and barbarism. Many are psychological. And they are employed by law enforcement because they work.

But here is the important part: These techniques work whether or not there is anything to confess. Although not pervasive there are a number of cases where false confessions have been coerced. And five of the techniques described in the Gulag Archipelago have been used in those cases: lying by interrogators (to include false promises or false evidence), lengthy interrogations that physically and emotionally exhaust the interrogated, “good cop” “bad cop” approaches, no assistance of counsel, isolation within a windowless room depriving the interrogated with a sense of the passage of time and creating a sense of dependency on the interrogator. An important safeguard against false confession in law enforcement is that there be independent corroborating evidence of the truth of the confession. In Gulag, no such protections existed because the object of the process was to convict, fill the labor camps and terrorize everyone else into submission to State control.

With this in mind consider the fate of those arrested and incarcerated for alleged crimes at the US Capitol Building on January 6, 2021: How have they been treated in contrast to BLM rioters and looters? Have they had effective assistance of counsel? Has solitary confinement “softened them up” for confessing to something they did not do? What independent corroborating evidence exists for anything to which they might confess? Do we even know who they are? Yes, we know of some, but how many are there, and what exactly was their involvement in intentional criminal activity?

Most importantly, does the United States have political prisoners? For many decades, probably throughout the history of the country (recall the Sedition Act under President John Adams), there have been persons jailed for opposition to the government. When that opposition has been through violence most people accept that their jailing is due to the violence and not their political positions. Conflating acts of violence with “free speech” is dangerous. And thus it was particularly disingenuous of Chris Cuomo in defense of the “mostly peaceful protests” to ask on his CNN show last summer “Show me where it says protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful”. Using the Cuomo standard why was anyone arrested at the Capitol Building on January 6? Why have so many been detained without bail?

The first sentence for participation in the Capitol Building riot has been handed down:

Paul Hodgkins, a 38-year-old Floridian, is now the first Capitol rioter convicted of a felony to be sentenced. He pleaded guilty last month to obstructing congressional proceedings — specifically, the counting of the electoral votes, which he helped delay on January 6. He spent about 15 minutes inside the Senate chamber, wearing a Donald Trump shirt and carrying a Trump flag.

Eight months for Hodgkins for helping delay the counting of votes, while charges are dropped against BLM arsonists and rioters. Your business and livelihood can be completely destroyed, peasant, and your life ruined, but no jail time for those responsible. But if a legislator is inconvenienced and maybe a bit frightened, eight months and probably more for the perpetrators.

As the Gulag Archipelago recounts, when the prosecution is political, legal protections disappear. And our courts have become increasingly unreliable in ensuring that civil liberties are protected and that there is equal justice under the law. The FISA abuses remain unaddressed. The courts are denying standing to states suing other states trying to enforce the constitutional system of federal electors. Chief Justice John Roberts justified a fictional reason for declaring Obamacare to be constitutional because elections have consequences. Well then, by G-d, the courts need to make sure that elections are free and fair, the rules adopted in a constitutional manner, that laws are faithfully executed, and that persons who object to government acting outside of constitutional processes have equal protection of the law. Otherwise, we are entering a period when the following may become true for us:

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

And

“Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty.”

And

“To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good, or else that it’s a well-considered act in conformity with natural law. Fortunately, it is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions…
Ideology—that is what gives the evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

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  1. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Rodin: Chief Justice John Roberts justified a fictional reason for declaring Obamacare to be constitutional because elections have consequences.

    That act of open dishonesty is as responsible for bringing us here as much as any riot. Every patriotic citizen gave up a measure of hope that day.

    Well then, by G-d, the courts need to make sure that elections are free and fair, the rules adopted in a constitutional manner, that laws are faithfully executed, and that persons who object to government acting outside of constitutional processes have equal protection of the law.

    Obamacare and corrupted elections are just points on the long straight line. There is no end to what the left will do. What is going to happen when the struggle sessions burst out of the universities and HR departments and the police take a role?

    • #1
  2. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Why did Stalin want the false confessions or any confessions at all? I’ve never understood that. He had the power to “disappear” people without trial or due process. He killed people at his whim. What did he get out of the confessions, false or otherwise?

    I’ve always thought that there’s something in the answer we–normal people–need to know and understand and take advantage of.

    I can’t come up with a single reason he needed confessions. He controlled the press. He could say they confessed after he killed them. He didn’t have to have a confession from them at all. And the world didn’t care what he did.

    Or is it that there existed a middle-class group of people that Stalin was afraid of in some way. Were the confessions to placate them? Is there more strength in the public than the public realizes?

    I think we need to understand this. Was Stalin afraid of a middle class group of people stopping him if he didn’t somehow justify his actions?

    Because if there was such political power in the USSR at that time, that would explain everything Solzhenitsyn wrote.

    The burden is on us, and we can change things.

    • #2
  3. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The treatment of the 400 people involved in the January 6 demonstration may be the most important event in the history of western civilization. This is a turning point.

    • #3
  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Once upon a time, I was very involved on a volunteer basis with our local school system. One year we had big financial crisis to deal with for a variety of reasons. I was working with the public to try to get help. I realized in talking to people that the hardest thing in the world to do is get people to stop what they are doing to do something else that needs doing.

    We are all living our lives in increments of days and weeks. We have things we want to do. We have promises to keep.

    No one wanted to stop what they were doing and wage the Revolutionary War or the Civil War or World War I or II.

    That’s why things sometimes fall apart before we act.

    • #4
  5. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    I strongly recommend Arthur Koestler’s 1940 novel ‘Darkness at Noon.’  The protagonist, Rubashov, is an Old Bolshevik who has been arrested by Stalin’s regime and charged with various made-up crimes.  Although Rubashov has increasing doubts not only about the regime but about the whole Marxist worldview, his interrogators are able to get him to confess–knowing that he will be executed–to save the Revolution and the Party to which he has devoted his life.

    • #5
  6. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    The guy that got sentenced for felonious disrupting of a Congressional activity is interesting.  Did he really do that?  That is like blaming one particular raindrop for a flood.  We all agree that the counting ceremony was suspended, but how does some particular guy in some hallway take the blame for that.  Surely the intention of the law was prevent people from going into the chamber and start yelling and screaming and preventing activities.  I doubt the law was intended to push someone, because the ceremonial leader suspended an activity because they were scared.  Typical of a federal prosecution, they give you a choice of pleading to something you maybe didn’t do or going to federal prison for 40 years.

    • #6
  7. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM


    MarciN (View Comment)
    :
    Why did Stalin want the false confessions or any confessions at all? I’ve never understood that. He had the power to “disappear” people without trial or due process. He killed people at his whim. What did he get out of the confessions, false or otherwise?

    It provides legitimacy to the government in the eyes of those left unarrested.

    “Well, they must have done something wrong. Mr. Schumer still has his music shop open, so it’s not like they are after ALL the Jews. Just the ones plotting against the government. They won’t come for me because I’m a good and responsible citizen.”

    It divides the citizenry and casts protestors as villains and conspiracy theorists. Does that sound familiar? Go back and look at the most highly contested articles on Ricochet. Among conservatives, that believe that we are the last defense, half of us still trust the institutions and that people arrested really did something wrong. The rest of us are hyperbolic conspiracy theorists.

    If people were just disappearing, that would get out eventually. But if the state provides a legitimate reason for someone disappearing, people are more accepting of it.

    • #7
  8. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Glad some folks are paying attention to what is going on.  They’re going to end what is left of the Republic.  There may be no recourse other than to move states with sane governors out of the Republic.  Too dangerous?  Yes if the Chinese are not already in control.

    • #8
  9. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    This passage is from Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin – Paradoxes of Power. This hit me pretty hard in context with what happened in the summer of 2020 and Biden’s later installation. Selective justice, abolishing/restructuring the police, letting criminals loose. It’s all there:

    On March 4th, 1917, rather than try to salvage a police force out of the dissolving tsarist police, whose offices in the capital had been ransacked, the Provisional Government formally abolished the Department of Police and okhranka, while reassigning Special-Corps-of-Gendarmes officers to the army. But the newly formed “citizen militias” that were supposed to replace the police failed miserably: looting and social breakdown spread, thereby hurting the poor as much as the rich, and staining the cause of democracy. (Some militias, predictably were headed by former convicts who escaped or were released from prison in the chaos.) On March 5th, 1917, the Provisional Government dismissed all governors and deputy governors, almost all of them hereditary nobles, in an attack on “privilege” and preemption of “counterrevolution.”

    • #9
  10. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Stina (View Comment):


    MarciN (View Comment)
    :
    Why did Stalin want the false confessions or any confessions at all? I’ve never understood that. He had the power to “disappear” people without trial or due process. He killed people at his whim. What did he get out of the confessions, false or otherwise?

    It provides legitimacy to the government in the eyes of those left unarrested.

    “Well, they must have done something wrong. Mr. Schumer still has his music shop open, so it’s not like they are after ALL the Jews. Just the ones plotting against the government. They won’t come for me because I’m a good and responsible citizen.”

    It divides the citizenry and casts protestors as villains and conspiracy theorists. Does that sound familiar? Go back and look at the most highly contested articles on Ricochet. Among conservatives, that believe that we are the last defense, half of us still trust the institutions and that people arrested really did something wrong. The rest of us are hyperbolic conspiracy theorists.

    If people were just disappearing, that would get out eventually. But if the state provides a legitimate reason for someone disappearing, people are more accepting of it.

    That’s a very good explanation. I think it might also be showing the government’s power over people. One discussion about the book 1984 I heard was that the point wasn’t that the state was making people lie by saying 2+2=5. The point was that the government was making people say whatever they wanted them to. If Big Brother turned around and told them to say 2+2=4 it wouldn’t make Big Brother right. The state would still be evil and coercive.

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Good article and good questions, Mr. Rodin.  Those are good comparisons to make.

    • #11
  12. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Our own Peter Robinson interviewing Kotkin. He explains the confessions around the 40:00 mark:

    • #12
  13. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):


    MarciN (View Comment)
    :
    Why did Stalin want the false confessions or any confessions at all? I’ve never understood that. He had the power to “disappear” people without trial or due process. He killed people at his whim. What did he get out of the confessions, false or otherwise?

    It provides legitimacy to the government in the eyes of those left unarrested.

    “Well, they must have done something wrong. Mr. Schumer still has his music shop open, so it’s not like they are after ALL the Jews. Just the ones plotting against the government. They won’t come for me because I’m a good and responsible citizen.”

    It divides the citizenry and casts protestors as villains and conspiracy theorists. Does that sound familiar? Go back and look at the most highly contested articles on Ricochet. Among conservatives, that believe that we are the last defense, half of us still trust the institutions and that people arrested really did something wrong. The rest of us are hyperbolic conspiracy theorists.

    If people were just disappearing, that would get out eventually. But if the state provides a legitimate reason for someone disappearing, people are more accepting of it.

    That’s a very good explanation. I think it might also be showing the government’s power over people. One discussion about the book 1984 I heard was that the point wasn’t that the state was making people lie by saying 2+2=5. The point was that the government was making people say whatever they wanted them to. If Big Brother turned around and told them to say 2+2=4 it wouldn’t make Big Brother right. The state would still be evil and coercive.

    Stalin didn’t know he was going to die in 1953 in the bedroom of one of his many mansions. For all he knew, he was going to be facing a revolutionary tribunal in six months.

    According to Arkady Vaksberg in Stalin Against the Jews, Stalin liked to assign Jews to run his slave labor camps, in case he ever needed scapegoats for the atrocities he ordered.

    Similarly, a gloss of legality might be worthwhile, in case he ever faced consequences for wiping out the Soviet Union’s Founding Fathers.

    In the short term, of course, having trials and confessions helped keep useful idiots like Agent LIBERAL (Julius Rosenberg) in line.  Whittaker Chambers recalled arguing with Priscilla and Alger Hiss about the Moscow Trials:  like proto-MSNBC hosts, they swallowed everything.

    • #13
  14. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Why did Stalin want the false confessions or any confessions at all? I’ve never understood that. He had the power to “disappear” people without trial or due process. He killed people at his whim. What did he get out of the confessions, false or otherwise?

    Theodore Dalrymple (aka Anthony Daniels) provides your answer:

    Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

    • #14
  15. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    See related post: https://ricochet.com/1008436/conservative-political-prisoners-in-d-c-sing-the-national-anthem-every-night/

    • #15
  16. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Requiring the defendant to issue some kind of half-assed loyalty oath as a condition of a plea bargain is unacceptable, especially given that the protest consisted of people who sincerely believed that they spoke for the rightful disposition toward the validity of the election.

    But Democrats want show trials in which Trump supporters are criminals and “insurrectionists” and there are no people of character and professional honor in senior positions in the DOJ.

    • #16
  17. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    David Foster (View Comment):

    I strongly recommend Arthur Koestler’s 1940 novel ‘Darkness at Noon.’ The protagonist, Rubashov, is an Old Bolshevik who has been arrested by Stalin’s regime and charged with various made-up crimes. Although Rubashov has increasing doubts not only about the regime but about the whole Marxist worldview, his interrogators are able to get him to confess–knowing that he will be executed–to save the Revolution and the Party to which he has devoted his life.

    Excellent.  I would also recommend O’Brien’s interrogation of Winston Smith in 1984.

    More and more, I am beginning to believe that we are falling into the grasp of a totalitarian government.  This is not a wild exaggeration; I look at the FBI’s manipulation of the FISA program, the Deep State’s sabotage of the Trump administration and the ridiculous prosecutions of a bunch of trespassers (while ignoring the wanton destruction of last summer).

    It should be an alarm to Americans of all political persuasions.

    • #17
  18. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The treatment of the 400 people involved in the January 6 demonstration may be the most important event in the history of western civilization. This is a turning point.

    579 people have been charged in the 1/6 Capitol Hill riot.  The vast majority have been released on their own recognizance.  https://www.insider.com/all-the-us-capitol-pro-trump-riot-arrests-charges-names-2021-1

    • #18
  19. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    The treatment of the 400 people involved in the January 6 demonstration may be the most important event in the history of western civilization. This is a turning point.

    579 people have been charged in the 1/6 Capitol Hill riot. The vast majority have been released on their own recognizance. https://www.insider.com/all-the-us-capitol-pro-trump-riot-arrests-charges-names-2021-1

    The linked article definitely has a point of view. Since I am viewing on my phone presently I only reviewed 1/3 of the cases in the table. Compare/contrast with antifa attacking night after night the Portland federal courthouse and how those people were treated. The 579 number does not impress. Very few of the “notes” in the table reference conduct a rank order above what was reported (and ignored) in Portland. Direct threats of physical harm to Nancy associated with entry to the Capitol puts one appropriately in the picture for investigation. The others do not rise above Antifa/Portland simply based on charges. And nothing in the table or the article (that I saw) says most have been released on their own recognizance. 

    • #19
  20. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I’ve always thought that there’s something in the answer we–normal people–need to know and understand and take advantage of.

    I can’t come up with a single reason he needed confessions.

    Their spirits must be broken. It’s harder to make a martyr out of someone who confesses. A martyr stands firm until death. A last-minute confession reveals the martyr as having a weak will, no strength, and therefore not a symbol for a cause.

    And for this reason it was required that Hodgkins intone “Joseph R. Biden is rightfully and respectfully the president of the United States.”

    • #20
  21. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I’ve always thought that there’s something in the answer we–normal people–need to know and understand and take advantage of.

    I can’t come up with a single reason he needed confessions.

    Their spirits must be broken. It’s harder to make a martyr out of someone who confesses. A martyr stands firm until death. A last-minute confession reveals the martyr as having a weak will, no strength, and therefore not a symbol for a cause.

    And for this reason it was required that Hodgkins intone “Joseph R. Biden is rightfully and respectfully the president of the United States.”

    That is so creepy. Did they take Hodgkins to Room 101?

    “There are four lights!”

    • #21
  22. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    The guy that got sentenced for felonious disrupting of a Congressional activity is interesting. Did he really do that? That is like blaming one particular raindrop for a flood.

    Yeah, we can’t do that.

    But if the raindrop broke a law and if we can get him for it, we should–even if a bunch of other raindrops get away.  Same principle as prosecuting voter fraud.

    Note the “if.”  I don’t know a thing about what laws could possibly apply here.

    • #22
  23. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Rodin: …everyone is broken — no matter how strong and resistant, no matter how righteous your thoughts and actions, no matter how innocent your behavior

    Well, almost everyone. Recently I noted the following about Victor Serge (comment #6) when he was in one of Stalin’s prisons:

    “There came a time when the agitation abroad in his behalf became too much to overlook, and when a campaign for his release…had embarrassed even the intellectual prostitutes of the French fellow-travelling classes. Stalin decided to examine the case in person, but before doing so he asked his police chiefs what crimes Serge had confessed to while in the Orenburg camp. He must have been somewhat startled to be told that the prisoner had confessed to nothing at all (a distinct rarity in those times)…” (Arguably, page 593) [emphasis added]

    Great post.

    More:

    Rodin: I am currently reading (actually listening to) the abridged version of the Gulag Archipelago.

    I chose the unabridged, physical book for this one. Finished Volume 1 in  2014 but needed five years to recover before moving on to Volume 2. I am going to try Volume 3 this fall.

    A broad selection of others to add to your list: The Great Terror, The Rape of the Mind, In the First Circle, The Oak and the Calf, and (as always) I recommend digging into just about anything by Victor Serge (Memoirs of a Revolutionary, The Case of Comrade Tulayev, Men in Prison, … …)

    • #23
  24. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Why did Stalin want the false confessions or any confessions at all? I’ve never understood that. He had the power to “disappear” people without trial or due process. He killed people at his whim. What did he get out of the confessions, false or otherwise?

    This was a terrorist tactic to create fear, and evidence of his power.

    LORD, Help us.

    • #24
  25. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Stina (View Comment):


    MarciN (View Comment)
    :
    Why did Stalin want the false confessions or any confessions at all? I’ve never understood that. He had the power to “disappear” people without trial or due process. He killed people at his whim. What did he get out of the confessions, false or otherwise?

    It provides legitimacy to the government in the eyes of those left unarrested.

    “Well, they must have done something wrong. Mr. Schumer still has his music shop open, so it’s not like they are after ALL the Jews. Just the ones plotting against the government. They won’t come for me because I’m a good and responsible citizen.”

    It divides the citizenry and casts protestors as villains and conspiracy theorists. Does that sound familiar? Go back and look at the most highly contested articles on Ricochet. Among conservatives, that believe that we are the last defense, half of us still trust the institutions and that people arrested really did something wrong. The rest of us are hyperbolic conspiracy theorists.

    If people were just disappearing, that would get out eventually. But if the state provides a legitimate reason for someone disappearing, people are more accepting of it.

    Yes, and in their own sick way, those working to fill the Gulags, and control the people, thought they were in the right. On the right side of history, so to speak.

    On the outside, we can see the delusion, but they were all in.

    Also, Stalin and his goons needed some people. Who would be creating the dream society and economy.

    It was a school project gone bad. Very, very bad.

    LORD, Help us.

    • #25
  26. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    And for this reason it was required that Hodgkins intone “Joseph R. Biden is rightfully and respectfully the president of the United States.” “and 2+2=5.”

    That is what I would have said.

    (But I didn’t go to the rally.)

     

    See you Patriots in the camps.

    FYI: G-d Wins.

    • #26
  27. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    What an elegantly written, thought provoking piece.

    Only complaint is I wish I had not gone ahead and read it right before going off to bed.

    These words of Solzhenitsyn  will probably run rampant in my dreams:

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

    • #27
  28. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Ah, yes. Light and uplifting reading, especially Book II.

    The American gulag infrastructure is already well into being put into place. Then the true demonization begins, to justify detention to protect from domestic terrorism. Just need to transfer that Covid fear to a neighborly target.

    Here’s the 600-page abridged edition.

    https://amzn.to/3eNpmOP

    • #28
  29. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    What an elegantly written, thought provoking piece.

    Only complaint is I wish I had not gone ahead and read it right before going off to bed.

    These words of Solzhenitsyn will probably run rampant in my dreams:

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

    20-20 hindsight.  You might as well blame Jews for lining up with their suitcases for the trains to take them to the camps.  Or educated Cambodians who showed up at the stadiums to “start rebuilding our country”.

    There is also the problem of externalities, or “who will bell the cat”.  In real life, of course, there is no guarantee the “bell” you die for will even work.

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  30. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Jules PA (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    And for this reason it was required that Hodgkins intone “Joseph R. Biden is rightfully and respectfully the president of the United States.” “and 2+2=5.”

    That is what I would have said.

    (But I didn’t go to the rally.)

    See you Patriots in the camps.

    I call dibs on the top bunk. I’ve been practicing my tap code so we can send messages.

    • #30