====== FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ======
America First Party
1630 A 30th Street #111
Boulder, Colorado 80301
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Solzhenitsyn was Right: Imperial Arrogance, Cowardice, Socialism, and Godlessness Endanger Us
Boulder, CO - With the passing of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who survived extreme government abuse in Soviet gulags, we have the opportunity to recall his friendly warning to the West. It was delivered at Harvard's commencement 30 years ago.
He reminded us then that it was not long ago that mighty European powers were seizing colonies, but that in the 20th century, "the conquests proved to be short lived and precarious -- and this, in turn, points to defects in the Western view of the world which led to these conquests." Now, with 700+ overseas military bases, defense commitments to 60 nations, and our conquering of nations which have not threatened us, we have yet to discover the risk of imperial overstretch and the "blindness of superiority," as he put it.
After years in an isolated gulag, Solzhenitsyn was shocked by what he saw in the West. He cried out against the self-censorship of the media, which, although technically free, he said, imposed censorship by giving voice only to ideas which are in fashion. In addition, the lack of courage, he said, "particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite," gave the "impression of loss of courage by the entire society," and that "from ancient times declining courage has been considered the beginning of the end."
Solzhenitsyn mentioned that individual well-being, or happiness, "in the morally inferior sense of the word," is guaranteed by the "welfare state." But he pointed out that this shallow form of well-being "has begun to reveal its pernicious mask" by fostering a disinclination of individuals to sacrifice for the common good; socialism, he said, is similar, in that it "leads to a total destruction of the human spirit."
He lamented that man has been made "the measure of all things on earth-imperfect man, who is never free of pride, self-interest, envy, vanity....On the way from the Renaissance to our days we have enriched our experience, but we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility."
"We recognize with gratitude the kind warnings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn," stated National Chairman Jon Hill, "and hope that all citizens will have the thoughtfulness, insight, and courage to robustly defend society from all that imperils it -- while there is still time."
Jonathan Hill, National Chairman, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 4
Michael Lynch, Press Secretary, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 2