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“Live not by lies,” was the advice that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (born December 11, 1918) gave his compatriots when they asked him how to stand up to the crushing might of the Soviet Union.  He did not seek an open confrontation with the regime.  Neither resistance nor violence could succeed in the face of a remorseless killing machine.  Individuals would simply…

Macbeth’s self-justifications were feeble—and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb, too. The imagination and the spiritual strength of Shakespeare’s villains stopped short at a dozen corpses. Because they had no ideology.
Ideology—that is what gives villainy its long-sought justification and gives the villain the necessary steadfastness and determination . . .
Thanks to ideology, the twentieth…

As late as Nov 29, 1988, well into the Gorbachev period of "glasnost," Suslov’s successor and top party ideologist, Vadim Medvedev "confirmed Solzhenitsyn would remain on the Soviet Union’s blacklist of forbidden writers," saying that “to publish Solzhenitsyn’s work is to undermine the foundation on which our present life rests.”’[1] As Edward Ericson and Daniel Mahoney write in their introduction…

The incomparable force of Solzhenitsyn is connected with his person, to what defines his message: the unconditional refusal of the lie. It can happen that one cannot tell the truth, he repeats, but one can always refuse the lie. The Soviet regime appears to him to be perverse as such because it institutionalizes the lie: despotism calls itself liberty, the…

The Other Solzhenitsyn. Daniel J. Mahoney. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine's Press, 2014.
 
Daniel J. Mahoney’s The Other Solzhenitsyn is a much needed reappraisal of the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s place as a writer, philosopher, and political thinker in the English-speaking world where he is caricatured as a Russian nationalist, religious zealot, and political authoritarian. In nine chapters, Mahoney portrays a different Solzhenitsyn…