thoughts on our disastrous trillion-dollar military:
unnecessary. It does not defend the United States. The last time it did so
was in 1945. The United States has no military enemies. No nation
has anything even close to the forces necessary to invade America, and probably
none the desire. A fifth of the budget would suffice for any real needs.
boys” are not noble warriors protecting democracy, rescuing maidens, and
righting wrongs. They are, like all soldiers, obedient and amoral killers.
Pilots bombing Iraq or Syria know they are killing civilians. They do not care.
If ordered to bomb Switzerland, they would do it. This is the nature of all
armies. Glamorizing this most reprehensible trades is just a means of usefully
stimulating the pack instinct which we often call patriotism.
The militarily is America’s
worst enemy. It does enormous damage to the United States while providing
almost no benefit. Start with the war on Vietnam that cost hugely in money and
lives, ours and their, with no benefit. Iraq: high cost, no benefit.
Afghanistan: High cost, no benefit. Syria: High cost, no benefit.
costs in lives and money do not include the staggering cost of weapons that do
nothing for America or Americans. Do you, the reader, believe that you are
safer because of the F-35? Do a dozen aircraft carriers improve the lives of
your children? Will the B-21, an unbelievably expensive new thermonuclear
bomber, make your streets safer? Then add the bleeding of engineering talent
better spent on advancing America’s economic competitiveness. The country
has many crying needs, falls behind China, but money and talent go to the
can not escape from the soldiers. The armed forces have embedded themselves so
deeply into the country that they have almost become the country. America is
little more than a funding mechanism for what clumsily may be called
the military-industrial-intelligence-media-Israeli complex. Some of these
entities belong to the military (NSA). Some depend on it (Lockheed-Martin).
Some use it to their own ends (Israel), but the military is the central
infection from which the other symptoms flow. Congress? A
storefront, a subcommittee of the Knesset or, as P. J. O’Rourke put it, a
parliament of whores. Factories, jobs, contracts, towns depend on military
spending. If the Second Marine Division folded, Jacksonville NC would dry up
and blow away. So would dozens of other towns. Without military spending,
California’s economy would crash. Universities depend on military research
The military has achieved its
current autonomy by degrees, unnoticed. The Pentagon learned much in Vietnam,
not about fighting wars, which it still cannot do well, but about managing its
real enemy, the public. The media, which savaged the war on Vietnam, are now
firmly controlled by the corporations that own them. Thus we do not see
photos of the horrors committed by American aircraft bombing cities. While the
existence of phenomenally expensive weapons like the B-21 is not quite suppressed,
coverage is so slight that most Americans have never heard of it. This the
Complex learned from the F-35 debacle. And of course Congress thoroughly
bought and wanting jobs in its districts, allows no serious opposition to
anything military. Neither Congress nor the media point out the extent to which
military expenditure dominates the economy, draining resources from
does the military not win wars? In part because winning is not in the interest
of the Pentagon and those who feed on it. Wars generate profitable contracts
for all manner of supplies and equipment. Either winning or losing ends the
gravy train. For example, the war on Afghanistan of almost two decades has
become an entitlement program for the arms industry, accomplishing nothing,
killing countless peasants, and lacking purpose other than maintaining an
unneeded empire and funneling money to the Complex.
did the Complex free itself from civilian control? The crucial step in
depriving the public of influence was the neutering of the constitutional
requirement that wars be declared by Congress. The military thus became the
private army of the President and those who control him. Then came the All
Volunteer Army, which ended inconvenience to or mutilation of the children of
people of importance, leaving the body bags to be filled by deplorables from
Memphis or Appalachia or Mexico. America’s wars then became air wars and
finally drone wars, reducing casualties to very few. The public, both ignorant
and uninvolved, became acquiescent.
write, we wait to see whether Trump, and those behind him, will put America
deeper into the Mid-East and perhaps war with Russia. If he does, we will read
about it the next day in the newspapers. It will be expensive, dangerous, and
of no benefit to anyone but the arms industry and Israel.
Despite the asphyxiating
economic presence, the military keeps aloof from America. This too serves the
purposes of the Complex, further preventing attention by the public to what is
not its business. In the days of conscription there was a familiarity with the
armed services. Young men from most social classes wore the uniform however
ruefully and told of their experiences. Not now. The career military have
always tended to keep to themselves, to socialize with each other as the police
do. Now the isolation is almost hermetic. You can spend years in Washington or
New York and never meet a colonel. Military society with its authoritarianism,
its uniforms and its uniform government-issue outlook is not compatible with
civil society. To the cultivated, military officers seem simple-minded,
conformist and…well, weird.
it all up and you see that the citizenry has no say–none–over the Complex,
which is autonomous and out of control. If the Complex wants war with
Russia or China, we will have-war with Russia or China. Ask people whether
they would prefer a naval base in Qatar–which most have never heard of,
either the base or the country–or decent health care. Then ask them which
military destroys America and there is nothing–nothing at all
that you can do about it.
the Complex drives foreign policy, and in directions of no benefit to
America or Americans. For example, the contrived fury against Russia. Why
this? Russia presents no danger to America or anyone else. The Complex
makes foreign policy for its own ends, not ours.
rising Asia is challenging the America military Empire. The tide runs against
the Complex. North Korea faced Washington down and became a nuclear power. The
Crimea went back irrevocably to Russia. East Ukraine does the same. Iran got
its treaty and becomes part of the world order. In the South China Sea, China
ignores the US, which once was supreme in all the seas. The war against
Afghanistan heads for its third decade and the war on Syria seems to have
failed. Other things go badly for the Empire. The dollar is under siege as
a reserve currency. China grows economically, advances rapidly in technology
and, doubtless terrifying to Washington, tries to integrate Asia and Europe
into a vast economic bloc. The Complex beats the war drums as its fingers
loosen on the world’s collective throat.
desperately needs to stop the rollback of American power, stop the erosion of
the dollar, block the economic integration of Eurasia and Latin America, keep
Russia from trading amicably with Europe. It will do anything to
maintain its grip. All of its remote wars in far-off savage lands, of no
importance to America or Americans, are to this purpose. A militarized America
threatens Russia, threatens China, threatens Iran, threatens North Korea,
threatens Venezuela, expands NATO, on and on.
has been hijacked.
I have been let down by all of my heroes
and role models. Not some of them. Not most of them. All of them. Except one.
I was taught to save by my father. When I bought my first house, he very
generously wanted to help me and even offered to contribute something to the
down payment. I declined when I found out that I had more money in the bank
than he did. He joked that his companies were his savings account; we all know
how that turned out.
I was taught character, courage, and taking responsibility by my grandfather.
Towards the end of his life, having exhausted his resources on caring for my
grandmother, he walked away from the beautiful, twice-mortgaged house he had
owned for three decades and left it for the bank.
I was taught leadership and personal sacrifice by my uncle. After attaining
fame and great power, he was awarded an important position at one of the most
corrupt organizations in the world. He did not resign from it when its crimes
were revealed to the public.
I revered Umberto Eco for his great learning and his intellectual insight. When
I read Belief or Nonbelief, his debate on religion and God with Carlo Maria
Martini, the Roman Catholic cardinal of Milan, I was astonished and bitterly
disappointed by the shallow, superficial, and petty nature of his arguments.
I admired and looked up to one of my father's friends of more than thirty
years. I considered him to be the epitome of a good, smart, successful,
civilized man. I could not believe it when my father asked him to be a
character witness at his trial, and he demurred for fear of how it might look
and what people might say.
I always considered The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius to be the
philosophical gold standard and Aurelius himself to be an exemplary man. Then I
read more human history and realized that his son and successor was Commodus,
and that he had uncharacteristically failed to prepare an adequate succession
plan for the empire over which he ruled.
I cannot tell you how many authors I perceived to be great, only to learn that
they were charlatans, conceptual plagiarists, plodders, experts in literary
sleight-of-hand, learned historians rather than brilliantly original creators,
and in some cases, the apparent beneficiaries of a sprinkling of pixie dust by
a flighty passing muse.
Do I look down on any of
these men because they lacked the perfection that I naively perceived in them?
Do I reject their teachings? By no means! To the contrary, their failings only
served to teach me that they were mortal men, not demigods, and that I, too,
can hope to surmount my own failings and character flaws. They remain my heroes
and my role models today, I merely see them in a more mature and realistic
light that shows their strengths in contrast with their weaknesses.
The fact that your heroes are not perfect does not make
them any less heroic. It actually makes them more heroic, because their
failings are a glimpse into the struggle they faced, every day, with the
manifold temptations of a fallen world.
Who was the one hero who never let me down? JRR Tolkien. I loved his books
deeply and passionately from the time I read the first page of The Two
Towers, and everything I have since read of his, and everything I have
subsequently learned about the man has only given me more cause to admire him.
One reason that it takes me so much longer to write Arts of Dark and Light
than other fiction and non-fiction is that I am always striving to write
something I consider worthy of Tolkien's influence, and of which he would
approve if he were ever to read it.
That's one way to avoid the
merit-based IQ showdown that is looming at the elite universities. Get rid of the tests:
There are now well over 1,000 colleges and universities that don't require
SAT or ACT scores in deciding whom to admit, a number that's growing every
year. And a new study finds that scores on those tests are of little value in
predicting students' performance in college, and raises the question: Should
those tests be required at all?
Colleges that have gone "test optional" enroll — and graduate — a
higher proportion of low-income and first generation-students, and more
students from diverse backgrounds, the researchers found in the study, Defining
Access: How Test-Optional Works.
"Our research clearly demonstrates that these students graduate often at a
higher rate," said Steve Syverson, an assistant vice chancellor at the
University of Washington Bothell, and co-author of the study.
"When a college considers going test-optional, one of the first reactions
that people, including alumni, feel is that the college will be admitting less
qualified students," he added. Syverson says the study should reassure
admissions officials who've decided to go test-optional.
Syverson and his team of researchers studied 28 public and private institutions
that no longer require test scores, and tracked about 956,000 individual
Students like Ian Haimowitz, a sophomore at George Washington University, a
test-optional school in Washington D.C.
He says in the beginning, he felt like a fish out of water.
"I know for a fact I'm the first Nicaraguan-American, the first Latino,
the first Jewish Latino that a lot of kids meet," he says.
He adds that when he arrived at GW, he looked around and asked himself,
"What am I doing here with kids who went to private schools and got the
best education possible?"
It was a very different world than he grew up in back in New Mexico.
"I remember my freshman year of high school, I didn't have a math teacher.
Maybe that's why you see in my test score that I didn't have a good grounding
in math. But I believed my potential was still there."
Ian was a straight-A student in high school, but his SAT scores were so low he
didn't think any top tier school would accept him. He says not having to submit
his test scores opened the doors to a top selective school.
We can safely expect the Ivy League schools
to try to get rid of objective testing as soon as possible, before it becomes
obvious that there have been some very heavy thumbs on the admissions process
at all of their institutions.
(You can backtrack this series thread from here.)
Studies 1-6 explained that we are now living in a
kingdom age. Jesus confirmed that many times. Just before His ascension, we
read this in Matt. 28:18-20: “Then Jesus came to them and said,
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go
and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have
commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the
Is there any indication in that quote which might
lead us to believe that we will fail in this mission? Moreover, is Christ
expecting us to fail in a commission He has given us? Where is the biblical
Why do so many Christians believe in a failed
mission and to whose advantage is that?
If you still have doubts about our dominion
commission, please review the past studies and ask God prayerfully to enable
you to see it clearly. I know whereof I speak. I’ve been there!
Assuming we’re on board with the kingdom
commission, what next? What are we going to do with it?
The next segment of our CAP will cover the
instruments that God uses to accomplish His mission. We are part of that
Much of what you will be reading you have rarely
heard preached, if ever. Is it any wonder why we are ineffective as
Christian society should be different from others. How so? Decentralized
Jesus is sovereign – no human institution has that authority.
only three institutions authorized by God – family, church, and state
pyramid societal structure is Satanic
– responsible men under God
The following is from Gary North’s “Unconditional
Surrender” Attachment is for your files.
If Christianity presents us
with a unique view of society's crucial foundations - God, man, law, judgment, and time
- then we should expect to see important
differences between Christianity's view of social institutions and rival
religions' view of these same institutions. We should expect to see
these institutions constructed on different philosophical foundations. We
should also expect to see vast differences in the efficiency of these
institutions, depending on whether they are found in a Christian society or a
One of the most important
features of Christian social theory, or at least Protestant social theory, is the absence of any totally sovereign human
institution. No institution is granted final
authority, for no human institution is free from the destructive effects of
sin. Only Jesus Christ can
claim total sovereignty in time and on earth. Jesus Christ alone is the link
between man and God. His revealed word, the Bible, is the final
authority for man, not the pronouncements of committees, bureaucrats, or
religious leaders. Three institutions are covenantal by nature. Covenantal
institutions are established by an oath before God. Only three institutions are covenantal: family,
church, and state.
The source of social order is God. Specifically, it is the Holy Spirit, who was
sent to comfort the church (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit came to guide men into
all truth: "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide
you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall
hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come" (John
16:13). And we know that "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is
liberty" (II Corinthians 3:17b). It
is God's sovereign power over the creation that holds all things together, and
we know that the established relationship between Cod's law and external
blessings guarantees the preservation of social order for those societies that
strive to conform themselves to the revealed law-order of God.
Biblical social theory
therefore affirms the order-producing effects of a decentralized system
of competing, yet ideally cooperating, institutions. No single institution needs to provide
this social order. Indeed, no single institution can, since the concentration
of power involved in such an attempt is self-defeating and in total opposition
to biblical social order. Freedom and
order are achieved only when men throughout a society are striving to
reconstruct all their social institutions along the lines outlined in the
Whenever we see a social
theory that proclaims the validity of a pyramid structure of
institutions, with some institutions at the bottom, and a
single institution at the top, we are facing the society of Satan. The pyramid structure, both in social theory and architecture,
was basic to pagan antiquity. It is also the reigning social theory
of modern socialism and communism. It places men at the base of the pyramid,
and it places the state at the top.
The Bible proclaims the
existence of multiple sovereignties, multiple institutions that bear lawful authority. Human
institutions possess legitimate sovereignty, but all such sovereignty is limited
and derivative. God alone possesses
absolute sovereignty. Any attempt by any institution to command final authority is
demonic. All institutions
are under God and governed by God's law. No single institution commands
permanent authority over all the others.
What the Bible proclaims as binding is
this: responsible men under God, but
never autonomous men under God. Neither the one (state,
church, family) nor the many (individuals) can claim absolute
sovereignty. Neither collectivism nor individualism is valid as an exclusive
principle of social order. What the Bible proclaims is covenantalism: individuals
and institutions under God and under God's applicable laws.
Strange, that Rod Dreher seems to think so, but he doesn't grasp that
it is only the foundation built upon the rock that will stand:
I heard from a friend this morning who told me a story about a family we
both know. A solid white working-class family. In the youngest generation,
they’ve started falling apart in a way that will be hard to fix. It’s the usual
Charles Murray Coming Apart thing: the loss of being bound by a sense of
religious or traditional moral obligation, followed by a loss of a sense of the
importance of marriage, especially for childbearing, and on down the line.
Maybe they’ll pull out of this spiral, but odds are against them. I would bet
money that some of them are thinking of the trouble they’re in as something
that just happened to them. It’s like people who live in a nice house, but who
wake up one day to discover that the yard has turned into a jungle of weeds, and
the roof is leaking, and termites have eaten out the walls … and they wonder
who came overnight and destroyed their nice house....
No social species can survive if its men (and women) are too drugged out and
undisciplined to hold a job. No social species can survive if its people cannot
make the adaptive imperatives that Wade Davis says all cultures must make. My
dad was a civil servant and my mother was a school bus driver. My folks never
had much money, and were, as I see now, living much closer to the edge than
they let us know as kids. They didn’t want to burden us with anxiety. I also
understand why my father instinctively imprinted the same taboos on his
children. His basic code was:
- Work hard,
and above all things esteem those who do
yourself and those around you, especially your elders
- That means
dress up for church, say “yes ma’am” and “yes sir,” “please” and “thank
you,” and keep a clean yard
- Be honest
- Do not
lie, and that means in all things be true to your word
generous to others, but never expect anybody to give you anything
- Kids need
mamas and daddies, but a mama and/or a daddy who puts their own interests
above doing right by their kids are of no account
- Do not
keep company with people who don’t believe these things and live by them,
because they will only bring you down
You will note that “God” is not in this list. He believed in God, but his
God was pretty much the transcendent guarantor of this code, and nothing more.
problem is that there are too many who want to cut down the tree but keep
living in the tree house. They don't understand that it simply isn't going to
float there in the air by itself, but without the tree, it will fall to the
ground, be smashed to bits, and badly harm everyone inside it. This is not a
mystery. The descent of the modernists is the descent into post-Christianity
and societal self-destruction. And the fact that the modernists are opposed to
their natural successors, the post-modernists, does not make them on our side.
Moreover, this is not just a
merely ideological crisis, manifested in the increasingly totalitarian Liberal
self-destruction of Western civilization. It is also a geopolitical crisis,
caused by the following fact: Moscow, once a center of global Communism (that is, one of the poles of
the Enlightenment spectrum), is rapidly transforming – unless it deviates from
Solzhenitsyn’s legacy – into a Vatican, or if you will, a Mecca of
Conservatism. It is precisely here where the strongest redoubt that defends the
image of mankind in its traditional Christian interpretation is now located.
Translator’s Foreword (Fluctuarius Argenteus)
Almost by necessity, all
previous Kholmogorov translations have been those of his older texts, with a
“lag” between the original and the translation varying between several days and
several months. What you see now is a much rarer treat. Kholmogorov has just
finished a long and engrossing article on Alexander Solzhenitsyn, clocking in
at 16,000 words, to be published by a Russian conservative outlet. Publishing a
complete translation on The Unz Review would require the text to be split into
three or four parts, and would be an exercise in futility if the figure of
Solzhenitsyn doesn’t attract enough attention from the readership in the first
As a result, this text was
born. It is the preamble to Kholmogorov’s yet-unpublished Solzhenitsynean
magnum opus, and it functions well on its own as a glimpse into Solzhenitsyn’s
status in present-day Russia, going far beyond CliffsNotes truisms and common
ideological myths surrounding his name. The article argues that, far from being
a relic of the Cold War, Solzhenitsyn remains a relevant figure, perhaps even
more so than during his lifetime, with many of his predictions coming true and
some of his suggestions and ideas being adopted wholesale by the Russian
It is worth adding that
Solzhenitsyn’s global importance is far from diminishing any time soon as well,
attracting both detractors (usually from the NeoCon/NeoLib Unholy Alliance, as
evidenced by this hot take) and admirers (e.g., Jordan
B. Peterson, one of the Alt Right’s intellectual darlings, speaks fondly of
Solzhenitsyn’s influence on his life philosophy in 12 Rules for Life).
Unz Review readers have the
rare opportunity to get a primer of this article before it comes out in
Russian. If it flies well with the audience, get ready for an epic three- or
Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Russian Prophet
Translated by Fluctuarius
Alexander Solzhenitsyn was,
without doubt, the most politically successful author in world history. Surely
there were crowned poets, but their talents had never been truly exceptional.
There were politicians awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, such as Winston
Churchill. There were men of letters who had made a successful bureaucratic
career, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Prime Minister of Saxe-Weimar. But
there was but one writer whose words could uplift entire continents and send
shockwaves through global political trends. There was only one who bequeathed
his nation a detailed ideological and political program that would become not
less, but more relevant after his death. This man was Solzhenitsyn.
At present, Russia – to both
the joy and chagrin of many – is entering a new political era, codified
specifically by Solzhenitsyn’s writings and ideas. It is not the Solzhenitsyn
of ideologically varnished Liberal anthologies, nor is this his twisted
inversion, the Solzhenitsyn who, as an “enemy of the people”, is the
never-ending source of Neo-Communist hysterics. The driving factor of current
politics is becoming the true Solzhenitsyn, as revealed in his actual writings
– novels, short stories, articles, discourses, and interviews.
Some formulas coined by the
writer became part of government policy, such as the emphasis on the
“preservation of the people”. Others became a political reality, such as his
call for a nationally minded authoritarianism, as opposed to the aping Western
multiparty democracy. There are also still many – such as his ideas regarding
the zemstvo, organs of “small-space democracy” – that are yet to be
widely heard and discussed.
Our civic and political
maturation, in line with Solzhenitsyn’s vision, is happening right here and
now. For many years, Solzhenitsyn kept pointing out that the mid-17th century
church reforms that had provoked the schism of the Old Believers was one of the
direst and most calamitous events of Russian history. Nothing could be more
pathetic than a struggle against the most pious and hard-working part of the
Russian nation. But we nowadays see a determination to heal that old wound from
within both the government and the Orthodox Church.
On August 30, 1991,
Solzhenitsyn wrote a letter to President Yeltsin, urging him to refrain from
automatically accepting Soviet administrative demarcation lines as the new
state boundaries. For more than 15 years, he kept insisting that the idea of
Crimea and Sevastopol as parts of the Ukraine is nonsensical, and that the
Eastern Ukrainian oblasts, once known as Novorossiya, should be granted the
right to make their own choice of allegiance in a referendum. A rejection of
all attempts to “drive a wedge between kindred peoples” and construct the
Ukrainian state as an anti-Russia project is a mainstay of Solzhenitsyn’s
writings – and reflective of his own dual Russian (Solzhenitsyn) and Ukrainian
(Scherbak) ancestry. All of this seemed of only minor importance at the time of
his passing in 2008, but ever since 2014, we have been living in a reality
where these issues have again become cardinal.
One of Solzhenitsyn’s chief
concerns was the question of Russian unity: The injustice inherent in the
system of federalism that was rife with another “parade of sovereignties”,
the idiocy of the central government making treaties with minority republics,
the unacceptable discrimination against the Russian language. Solzhenitsyn was
one of the first critics of the US Public Law 86-90 regarding the so-called
“Captive Nations”, in which Russia was tarred as the “occupier” of ephemeral
“nations” such as “Idel-Ural” and “Cossackia”. Once again, we feel
Solzhenitsyn’s legacy acquiring the most acute present-day relevance.
It is not just Solzhenitsyn’s
ideas that are coming to the fore, but even his historical appraisals. It was
Solzhenitsyn who hailed Peter Stolypin as the consummate Russian statesman, and
the late imperial Prime Minister now occupies a central place in the Russian
political canon. Likewise, it was Solzhenitsyn who singled out the figure
of Alexander Parvus in the history of
the Revolution, and nowadays, no analysis of the Russian Catastrophe avoids
discussing this international man of mystery and his contribution to Russia’s
destruction. The only figure that our present day views with more appreciation
than Solzhenitsyn is probably Emperor Nicholas II. However, even in this case,
we see a creeping evolution towards latent monarchism in Solzhenitsyn’s old
ROGPR: Towards Tropical
It sometimes seems that even
nature itself hews to Solzhenitsyn’s will. When he first proclaimed the
necessity of developing the Russian North-East and harnessing its vast and
inhospitable spaces, it seemed an impossible utopian dream. His claim that
“Russia is the North-East of the planet, and our
ocean is the Arctic, not the Indian” was countered by the seemingly commonsense
reply that the ocean is called the Arctic Ocean – or the “Ice Ocean”, as it is
called in Russian – because it’s literally covered with ice, and that one can’t
live in the permafrost. Soon afterwards, the rapid melting of the Arctic has
begun to provoke geopolitical ferment; there are conversations about
internationalizing the Northern Sea Route to foreign shipping, and mutterings
that Solzhenitsyn’s call to settle and secure the Far North was left unattended
for too long. But better late than never.
Solzhenitsyn’s legacy is not
only a Russian, but a planetary political phenomenon. It was Solzhenitsyn who
in his famous Harvard Speech warned the West that
they were not alone on this planet, that civilizations described by Western
historians and culture theorists are no mere decorative elements, and instead
living worlds in themselves, that cannot have a Western measure imposed upon
them. Russia, a unique civilization, is of these historical worlds. And the
Western measure itself has become subjected to spiritual corrosion, and has
fallen far relative to the bygone greatness of Christian civilization.
Solzhenitsyn’s once-shocking idea that a globalist “End of History” is
impossible has since been appropriated by Western political theorists, namely
Samuel Huntington with his “Clash of Civilizations”. This very idea has
constituted the bedrock of Russian foreign policy since Putin’s Munich Speechin 2007.
The Gulag Archipelago, published in the West,
carried out a sweeping detoxification of Western elites from their poisoning by
Communism, that “opiate for the intellectuals” (to quote Raymond Aron).
However, this transformation gave them no antidote for militant atheism, the
very force that had spawned Bolshevism. A liberal version of anti-Communism
logically led to the triumph of Communism under the modernized and updated
guise of Cultural Marxism – leftist feminism, totalitarian “tolerance”, racist
“anti-racism”, the final victory of Homintern. Even this had already been
envisioned by Solzhenitsyn. He theorized that, at a certain point in the
future, a Russia liberated from Communist totalitarianism would gaze in horror
at the triumph of a Liberal-built Western “Communism”.
That said, Solzhenitsyn’s main
concern was never an abstract global humanity, but the Russian people. He is
perhaps the writer with the most acute and intensely conscious national
awareness out of those who had risen to fame in the second half of the 20th
century. His resistance to Communism cannot be properly understood without its
main motive: The Russian people cannot and must not be used as a tool for any
utopias or experiments, be they Communist or “progressive” in nature.
Solzhenitsyn equally rejects political projects that treat Russians as
expendable fodder – be it for the Empire, or the “world revolution”, or the
triumph of industrialism, or the space race. Everything that improves and
intensifies Russian national life is good; everything that doesn’t, is bad.
His resolute and outspoken
anti-Communism, his determination to bring down the Reds whatever the cost, was
borne out of the conviction that the Occidentalist Marxist utopia had led to a
colossal and bloodstained waste of national human resources, that the Russians
had been reduced to cogs in a machine and fuel for the fire, that the organic
development of Russia, both spiritual and economic, had ceased. The constant
leitmotif of his books is not just the enunciation of the damage wrought by
Communist tyranny upon the Russian psyche and livelihoods, but also in
revealing the forces of resistance and freedom hidden inside that psyche.
In addition to his
anti-Communism, he was just as merciless towards both Occidentalist and plain
Western Russophobia. He lambasted the intelligentsia, devoid of tradition and
roots, as “the Smatterers”. He introduced the very notion of Russophobia
into modern political parlance, to be later developed into a coherent theory by
his closest ally, the mathematician Igor Shafarevich. Solzhenitsyn provided his
definition of Russophobia: The view of Russia as a backward “land of slaves”,
the claim that the Soviet regime was a natural continuation of historical
Russian statehood, both Muscovite and Imperial, which was purportedly also
based on wanton cruelty and inhumanity. In his anti-Russophobe polemics,
Solzhenitsyn emphasized the normalcy of Russia’s pre-Bolshevik
history. He spurned both October and February revolutions of 1917 as the fruits
of a nihilistic desire to unmake and remake Russia based on a total ignorance
of Russian life.
Solzhenitsyn is opposed to both
the verbal mockeries of Russia-bashing “pluralists” with their non-concealed
contempt for “this country”, and the cold determination of Western politicians
and political theorists to paint Russians and not Communism as the main
adversary of the West. Solzhenitsyn publicly lashed out at US military plans to
specifically bomb the Russian population in case of war, and came to realize
both his own and his Russian compatriots’ unenviable position as “a grain
caught between two millstones” – that of Communism and that of Western
It was clear to him that these
millstones were both just parts of an infernal machine built by a godless
anti-Christian “humanism”. Communism and Liberalism are two siblings spawned by
the Enlightenment ideology that would put mankind on the disastrous road of
worshiping Matter instead of Spirit, which would inevitably lea to the sullying
and degradation of said Matter. Solzhenitsyn puts forward a detailed and
consistent anti-Enlightenment doctrine: A return to God, voluntary
self-restraint and self-restriction of humankind, emphasizing duties instead of
ever-expanding “rights”, prioritizing inner freedom, and rejecting the
sacrifice of national life not only to totalitarian utopia but also to the orgy
of freedom. Solzhenitsyn’s doctrine is one of the most consistent and
politically sound Conservative philosophies formulated over the last couple of
centuries. His duel with the ghosts of Voltaire and Rousseau goes on after his
death, and the score is still in the Russian writer’s favor.
It was Solzhenitsyn’s activity
directed against the convergence of the Western and Soviet systems, towards the
moral discreditation of Communism and the awakening of a spirit of radical
resistance to the Red evil in the West, his critique of the Liberal foundations
and hypocritical hegemonism of the West itself, and last but not least, his
post-homecoming attempts at a moral consolidation of Russia around a
nationalist, conservative, populist, anti-Western and anti-Neo-Communist
platform – it was all of this which drove the global Enlightenment project into
its current state of crisis.
Moreover, this is not just a
merely ideological crisis, manifested in the increasingly totalitarian Liberal
self-destruction of Western civilization. It is also a geopolitical crisis,
caused by the following fact: Moscow, once a center of global Communism (that
is, one of the poles of the Enlightenment spectrum), is rapidly transforming –
unless it deviates from Solzhenitsyn’s legacy – into a Vatican, or if you will,
a Mecca of Conservatism. It is precisely here where the strongest redoubt that
defends the image of mankind in its traditional Christian interpretation is now
 A byword for the
snowballing secessionism of Soviet republics in 1988-91, when they first
proclaimed “state sovereignty” (primacy of republican legislation over Soviet
laws) and then full independence.
 The most common English
translation of his 1974 essay Obrazovanschina, alluding to the
narrow and superficial intellectual development of Liberal intelligentsia.
 Russian proverb equivalent
to “between the devil and the deep blue sea”, also the title of Solzhenitsyn’s
memoirs published in 1998-2003 (usually rendered in English as simply Between