Monday, August 4, 2008

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 1918-2008. R.I.P.

George already has a full length piece up on Solzhenitsyn this morning so there probably isn't much more that I can add.

Solzhenitsyn became the first internationally known Soviet dissident whose writings about the gulags who confirmed the West's worst fears about Soviet Communism.

However, unlike other Soviet dissidents like Natan Sharansky or Gary Kasparov, Solzhenitsyn had a profound distaste for Western style democracy and after nearly two decades in America he returned to Russia in 1994. In recent years, Solzhenitsyn had become more nationalistic in his views and became supportive of Vladimir Putin. He was strangely silent when it came to Putin's treatment of Kasparov and other foes of Putin. Then again he had also been ill for years and perhaps he just didn't have the strength.

Still, Solzhenitsyn's first hand critique cannot and must never be overlooked where it concerns the decline and eventual fall of Soviet Communism.

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