The timeliness of Solzhenitsyn’s 1978 Harvard speech

words not made with lungs

For months, I have inwardly debated writing something about the times we are living in and have— until now— come out on the side of keeping my thoughts to myself. But I just read Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s commencement address to Harvard in 1978, and the prescience and relevance to our own era are too uncanny not to comment on. He could give the same speech today, and we would have no idea it was written over thirty years ago.

Solzhenitsyn wrote The Gulag Archipelagofrom his experience in the prison camps under Communist Russia. It is a scathing critique of Communism, and Solzhenitsyn pulls no punches. Even in his speech at Harvard, he states unequivocally,

“I hope that no one present will suspect me of expressing my partial criticism of the Western system in order to suggest socialism as an alternative. No; with the experience of a country where socialism has…

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