Quote of the day—Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

The GPU (secret police) exposed von Meck, and he was shot: His objective had been to wear out rails and roadbeds, freight cars and locomotives, so as to leave the Republic without railroads in case of foreign military intervention!

When, not long afterward, the new People’s Commissar of Railroads, Comrade Kaganovich, ordered that average loads should be increased, and even doubled and tripled them (and for this discovery received the Order of Lenin along with others of our leaders) the malicious engineers who protested became know as limiters.

They raised the outcry that this was too much, and would result in the breakdown of the rolling stock, and they were rightly shot for their lack of faith in the possibilities of socialist transport.

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (Volume One) page 45.
[I was talking about this with son James last night so I thought I would post it too. Basically the lesson is that progressives have a burning desire to eliminate those that point out reality to them. Some of the most visible battles in our country today are the battle over Obamacare and the right to keep and bear arms. They refuse to recognize the realities of economics and human nature and are willing to have us imprisoned and/or killed when we attempt to explain reality to them.

But it is much more widespread than those. Look at the war against Islamic terrorism. Progressives insisted that we are to blame for our conflict despite the very clear words from the terrorists themselves that they will only be peaceful after all people have submitted to Sharia Law. Or look at how they insisted that stand your ground laws were a factor in the George Zimmerman case. Progressives have beliefs which contradict reality and if they have the power they become very dangerous when reality is forced upon them.

The constant conflict between reality and their beliefs is why the book Nineteen Eighty Four resonates so strongly. It brings to light the inherent conflict of the struggle we are facing. It is a battle between reality and their ever changing beliefs.

They insist that if we would acquiesce to their demands of a complete gun ban or a completely “free” government run health care system the world would be a better place. And they call us obstructionist because we insist what they demand cannot succeed. Today they call us obstructionists instead of limiters. I sometimes wonder if that is deliberate because some of them know the Soviet baggage associated with the word “limiters”.

I don’t wonder what they would do to those that insist upon maintaining a close connection to reality. If only they had the political power to deal with us as they wished our fate would be clear. That path has made countless history books of the most unpleasant nature.—Joe]

6 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

  1. The Gulag Archipelago is up next on my list of audiobooks. I’m looking forward to it, though I don’t expect it to be quite as gripping as what I just finished, Steven Pressfield’s Lion’s Gate.

    • I was surprised by it. I’m really not sure how he did what he did with that book. It doesn’t fit any pattern of “gripping” stories that I am familiar with yet I found I kept wanting to hear more.

  2. This notion of “reality is what I wish it to be” is also a major theme of Atlas Shrugged. It shows up very clearly in the scene where a coal burning train is sent through a long tunnel, with catastrophic (and expected) results.

    • True. Thanks for pointing that out. See also Rand’s Philosophy: Who Needs It?

      It’s interesting to me that we have so many people who have identified the problem, carefully explained it, offered solutions, and yet we can’t seem to resolve it. I suspect there is a deep seated flaw in human nature. We may only be able to mitigate the damage rather than resolve the conflict peacefully.

  3. I recall reading in a well-written spy novel an exchange in which a military person is explaining to his political masters why their plan might have problems. In fact their plan is completely insane and will lead to nuclear war.

    The military person explains that something like “objective, local environmental factors” will prevent the delivery of secret nukes into foreign capitals. And since the factors he is explaining are objective and local, as well as being fundamental to the local environment, they exist outside the political philosophy that made the idea seem possible in the first place.

    Recognizing, one way or another, that there are realities beyond the espoused political ideals makes for a more dangerous opponent. We don’t seem to have that trouble with progressives in the US, perhaps because they haven’t the ability to recognize reality beyond their statements or test ideas for truthfulness.

    • They don’t NEED to test their ideas– They already KNOW what they think. You just haven’t figured it out, which proves you less intelligent.

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