“We must first understand this socialist culture of the woke who seek to control what we think, what we say, and how we live. We must believe—like Solzhenitsyn did—that the truth can defeat them.”
oris Lessing, the British novelist, playwright, and the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature said of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s masterwork The Gulag Archipelago, “… it helped to bring down an empire. Its importance can hardly be exaggerated.”
The world breathed a sigh of relief when the Soviet Union finally collapsed in 1991. The deadly Marxist government there had starved, disappeared, and murdered millions of people around the world. The Soviet Union had invaded, subverted, and dominated weaker countries for decades. Two years before the collapse, the Soviet’s wall in East Germany had come down, flooding the tide of freedom across Russia and starting the process of sinking the Soviet Empire. But for the 16 years prior to those events, Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag manuscript had been circulating underground, ragged mimeographed copies passing secretly from hand to hand, rotting the foundation of everything the Soviets had built.
Today, from the remaining scraps of its rotted foundation, Marxism has risen again, adopted by new revolutionaries bent on dominating Europe and the United States. I submit here that the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn may be the best weapons we have against this nascent empire of human destruction, the Woke Empire. The current pandemic of deadly woke ideologues are one election away from subverting the United States and from there, the world. They currently lack only a few major levers of power to re-establish an official state in America.
Our largely submissive media would have us believe that the woke are really just an annoying gaggle of screeching feminists and pajama boys; however, I believe Solzhenitsyn would immediately recognize the woke as the stifling and corrupt inheritors of Soviet Marxism and, in turn, believe that this resurrected golem of global domination again stalks the earth.
In his 1978 commencement speech at Harvard University addressed to the architects of the emerging woke culture, Solzhenitsyn berated them:
“It is almost universally recognized that the West shows all the world a way to successful economic development…However, many people living in the West are dissatisfied with their own society. They despise it or accuse it of not being up to the level of maturity attained by mankind. A number of such critics turn to socialism, which is a false and dangerous current…Socialism of any type and shade leads to a total destruction of the human spirit and to a leveling of mankind into death…”
The parallels between the Soviet and Woke Empires are many and redolent, starting with their foundational impulse: resentment. Resentment is easy to detect in their central documents, in the personal disposition of their leaders (such as those that organized “The Women’s March”), in their literature, art, aspirations, and in the general effect they have on their followers. Even in the Communist-red color of their hammer and sickle and clenched fist graffiti, we can see the modern marks of an envy-sickened Cain.
We must also understand that we are not fighting our young, woke people; we are fighting the ideology that has captured them.
While Solzhenitsyn was serving his third year of an eight year sentence in a gulag labor camp for writing a derogatory remark about Joseph Stalin in a private letter to a friend, Winston Churchill offered this summary of the socialism that had recently destroyed much of Western civilization by 1948:
“Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.”
After his release from prison, Solzhenitsyn, at the risk of his own life, wrote and secretly circulated the Gulag manuscript that detailed the horrible truth about the Marxist/Socialist empire that was similar, only more developed, than the one we face now.
We must first understand this socialist culture of the woke who seek to control what we think, what we say, and how we live. We must believe—like Solzhenitsyn did—that the truth can defeat them. We must be brave enough to stand and speak the truth and be prepared, like Solzhenitsyn, to suffer for it. To do less is a betrayal of our history and the condemnation of our children to slavery.
We must also understand that we are not fighting our young, woke people; we are fighting the ideology that has captured them. Marxist socialism—particularly as it is taught today in the United States from grade school through university—is simply the political expression of the nihilistic evil that lies in every human heart. This truth was revealed to Solzhenitsyn after his Marxist illusions were finally burned away by years of suffering in the gulags. As he writes:
“It was granted to me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how good. In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In the surfeit of power I was a murderer and an oppressor. In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts…That is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me: ‘Bless you, prison!’ I…have served enough time there. I nourished my soul there, and I say without hesitation: ‘Bless you, prison, for having been in my life!'”
Can we turn the woke from Solzhenitsyn’s path of suffering? Even now, as over 300 of them are heading to federal prison for their crimes against us in the recent riots, can we show the others this evil that infects them? Is there anyone more qualified than Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to speak on our behalf?.
Jim Proser is the author of Savage Messiah: How Dr. Jordan Peterson Is Saving Western Civilization and No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy: The Life of General James Mattis.