The Gulag: The Coming Fear Under A Life Of Lies
Considering that most, if not all by now, of the claims by the Revolutionary students at the University of Missouri have either been debunked or were always simply too absurd on their face to be taken seriously Normal, mentally healthy people; considering that the Radical students at Yale are demanding a preposterous and utterly inane and idiotic set of conditions be met; and considering the fact, despite all this, that these budding Nihilist Wobblies have gone from triumph to triumph, it is worth looking at where these kind of things will lead us if we do not stop them immediately.
Such behavior as that exhibited by the Revolutionaries [and that is what they are because that is what they seek: the overthrow and destruction of the American Way Of Life in favor of the grand and beautiful ‘safe-space’ of a Leftist Utopia] is not new or unique. It has been seen before in History, no more blatantly than in pre-Revolutionary and Revolutionary Russia. And where did it lead then?
Freedom was muzzled utterly.
Constant Fear ruled the heart and mind, Betrayal, of all types and kinds, became a the survival tool of choice, and The Lie became the dominant form of Existence.
From Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago:
Just as there is no minute when people are not dying or being born, so there was nominute when people were not being arrested. Sometimes this came close to a person, sometimes it was further off; sometimes a person deceived himself into thinking that nothing threatened him, and sometimes he himself became an executioner, and thus the threat to him diminished. But any adult inhabitant of this country, from a collective farmer up to a member of the Politburo, always knew that it would take only one careless word or gesture and he would fly off irrevocably into the abyss.
Just as in the Archipelago beneath every trusty lay the chasm (and death) of general work, so beneath every inhabitant lay the chasm (and death) of the Archipelago. In appearance the country was much bigger than its Archipelago, but all of it and all its inhabitants hung phantomlike above the latter’s gaping maw.
Fear was not always the fear of arrest. There were intermediate threats: purges, inspections, the completion of security questionnaires — routine or extraordinary ones — dismissal from work, deprivation of residence permit, expulsion or exile….
Given this constant fear over a period of many years — for oneself and one’s family — a human being became a vassal of fear, subjected to it. And it turned out that the least dangerous form of existence was constant betrayal.
The mildest and at the same time most widespread form of betrayal was not to do anything bad directly, but just not to notice the doomed person next to one, not to help him, to turn away one’s face, to shrink back. They had arrested a neighbor, your comrade at work, or even your close friend. You kept silence. You acted as if you had not noticed. (For you could not afford to lose your current job!)
And then it was announced at work, at the general meeting, that the person who had disappeared the day before was . . . an inveterate enemy of the people. And you, who had bent your back beside him for twenty years at the same desk, now by your noble silence (or even by your condemning speech!), had to show how hostile you were to his crimes. (You had to make this sacrifice for the sake of your own dear family, for your own dear ones! What right had you not to think about them?)
But the person arrested had left behind him a wife, a mother, children, and perhaps they at least ought to be helped? No, no, that would be dangerous: after all, these were the wife of an enemy and the mother of an enemy, and they were the children of an enemy (and your own children had a long education ahead of them)!
…The overall life of society came down to the fact that traitors were advanced and mediocrities triumphed, while everything that was ‘best and most honest was trampled underfoot….
The permanent lie becomes the only safe form of existence, in the same way as betrayal. Every wag of the tongue can be overheard by someone, every facial expression observed by someone. Therefore every word, if it does not have to be a direct lie, is nonetheless obliged not to contradict the general, common lie.
There exists a collection of ready-made phrases, of labels, a selection of ready-made lies. And not one single speech nor one single essay or article nor one single book — be it scientific, journalistic, critical, or “literary,” so-called — can exist without the use of these primary cliches. In the most scientific of texts it is required that someone’s false authority or false priority be upheld somewhere, and that someone be cursed for telling the truth; without this lie even an academic work cannot see the light of day.
And what can be said about those shrill meetings and trashy lunch-break gatherings where you are compelled to vote against your own opinion, to pretend to be glad over what distresses you (be it a new state loan, the lowering of piece rates, contributions to some tank column, Sunday work duties, or sending your children to help on the collective farms) and to express the deepest anger in areas about which you couldn’t care less — some kind of intangible, invisible violence in the West Indies or Paraguay?
But if only it had all ended there! After all, it went further than that: every conversation with the management, every conversation in the Personnel Section, every conversation of any kind with any other Soviet person called for lies — sometimes head on, sometimes looking over your shoulder, sometimes indulgently affirmative. And if your idiot interlocutor said to you face to face that we were retreating to the Volga in order to decoy Hitler farther, or that the Colorado beetles had been dropped on us by the Americans — it was necessary to agree! It was obligatory to agree! (And a shake of the head instead of a nod might well cost you resettlement in the Archipelago….)
But that was not all: Your children were growing up! If they weren’t yet old enough, you and your wife had to avoid saying openly in front of them what you really thought; after all, they were being brought up to be Pavlik Morozovs, to betray their own parents, and they wouldn’t hesitate to repeat his achievement.
And if the children were still little, then you had to decide what was the best way to bring them up; whether to start them off on lies instead of the truth (so that it would be easier for them to live) and then to lie forevermore in front of them too or to tell them the truth, with the risk that they might make a slip, that they might let it out, which meant that you had to instill into them from the start that the truth was murderous, that beyond the threshold of the house you had to lie, only lie, just like papa and mama.
The choice was really such that you would rather not have any children.
[re-paragraphing mine; all excerpts from: Volume II, Book IV, Chapter 3: Our Muzzled Freedom]
It’s amazing how quickly new ways become habitualized in our Modern Age. It took but twenty or so years in Russia for the above to take hold. It will not that long in the mega-speed times we live in.
If we do not crush these Revolutionaries now, before their kind of actions become common-place, become routine, we will find ourselves in the kind of situation experienced in the Soviet Union, as described by Aleksandr Isayevich:
In various parts of our country we find a certain piece of sculpture: a plaster guard with a police dog which is straining forward in order to sink its teeth into someone. In Tashkent there is one right in front of the NKVD school, and in Ryazan it is like a symbol of the city, the one and only monument to be seen if you approach from the direction of Mikhailov.
And we do not even shudder in revulsion. We have become accustomed to these figures setting dogs onto people as if they were the most natural things in the world.
Setting the dogs onto us.
Do we want to be remembered as the Americans who let the rabid dogs loose?