Tag: Gulag

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We continue our small reading group of Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, vol. 1, to help us understand what is happening today. You can read the original post: The Gulag Archipelago, V. 1: Ch. 1&2. For the next two weeks (October 1-15), we continue with Chapter 7, “In the Engine Room,” Chapter 8, “The Law as […]

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On Finishing The Gulag Archipelago

 

Earlier today I finished the final volume of The Gulag Archipelago. Whereas Mark Twain defines a work of great literature as “Something that everyone wants to have read but no one wants to read,” I still think I’d like to re-read this one. There’s very little I can do for the multitudes processed through the Soviet prison camps, but I can bear witness. To that and to the camps that are still maintained in North Korea, Cuba, and other dictatorships around the world.

Even if there weren’t such camps in existence today I’m far too pessimistic to believe “never again.” If anything, I hope to be the one in the camp rather than the one running it. To that end, here are some lessons I learned from the book to help survive the Gulag.

 

In their third episode, the Young Americans take the occasion of the recent New York primary victory of 28-year-old self-declared socialist Millennial Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to wonder if their peers really are all socialists now, or are just going through a phase. They also reflect on the 10th anniversary of The Dark Knight and debate whether it is the best blockbuster released in their (so far relatively short) lifetimes.