Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Solzhenitsyn 40 Years Later

From American Thinker:
In June 1978 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn delivered the commencement address at Harvard titled “A World Split Apart.” It was a speech devoted to the emergence of “different worlds,” including our own Western society. On one side of the divide is a freedom diverted to unbridled passion with the accumulation of material riches to be valued above all else. Man is the center in this equation, as there isn’t any power above him, resulting in a moral poverty searching for meaning.

In days after this speech, the Fourth Estate accused Solzhenitsyn of “losing his balance,” of representing a “mind split apart.” He thought one could say what one thinks in the USA, but democracy expects to be admired. The press argued “the giant does not love us.” Was Solzhenitsyn right? He did use positive signs in the heartland. “Gradually another America began unfolding before my eyes, one that was small town, and robust, the heartland, the America I had envisioned as I was writing this speech.”
Now we have the luxury of examining the address forty years later. As I see it, Solzhenitsyn was “cautious” based on the way cultural conditions have unfolded over these four decades. The U.S. is preoccupied with material goals, a condition that has reached full efflorescence from the rationalist humanist tradition. The Higher Power to which Solzhenitsyn refers is in serial descent, having gone from more than 90 percent of the populace embracing God to about 70 percent, with the trend line in descent well established. (Read more.)

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