Showing posts with label Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Show all posts

Friday, August 08, 2008

No Tears For Alexander


Yes, I know that one should not speak ill of the dead. But, to be honest, that is bull. In the Marxist movement, at least at its revolutionary end, political obituary has always been measured by and has reflected personal and political reality. The recently departed Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn was a class enemy of the Russian and international working class. Solzhenitsyn did not start that way but he spent a significant portion of his life, especially after his years in the Stalinist labor camps, as a conscious agent of Western imperialism or, at the end, an advocate of the virtues of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Look, we of the anti-Stalinist, pro-socialist left had our people in the gulags and the labor camps too. Practically the whole Trotsky-led Russian Left Opposition along with other pro-socialist tendencies forced into internal exile by Stalin and his goons got liquidated. For what reason? In short, because they opposed Stalin, yet stood on the grounds of the October Revolution and for waging a political fight in order to save the soul of the Russian socialist experience.

This eulogizing of Solzhenitsyn by Western imperial polemicists of their former ‘poster boy’ makes my blood run cold. Interestingly, once the object of Western imperial design, the demise of the Soviet Union, was accomplished, at least in the West, Solzhenitsyn was thrown on the scrape heap (aided by his personal reclusiveness, as well). Personally, I had half an idea that he was still up in Vermont when I heard the news of his death. I do not know what his ultimate place will be in the world literary pantheon? (Probably less than one might have thought about forty years ago, after he wrote Cancer Ward and the other novels, which did have some literary merit.) However, as a nasty political opponent not just of socialism but of modernism the headline says it all- no tears here.