I finally picked up an old copy in a Church second-hand book stall. It isn't enjoyable reading. But the things we are facing in the West today are definite echoes of those terrible, distant rumblings.
Solzhenitsyn compiles many stories of people who suffered under the Communist boot.
Here are a few quotes:~
"[Christians] were supposedly being arrested and tried not for their actual faith but for openly declaring their convictions and for bringing up children in the same spirit. As Tanya Khodkevich wrote:
'You can pray freely,
But just so God alone can hear'
(She received a ten-year sentence for these verses)
At this turning point in our history [the early 1930's], there were some lonely voices of protest or abstention - and very, very great bravery was required to say 'No!' in the midst of that roaring chorus of approval.
if people had been heroic in exercising their civil responsibilities, there would never have been any reason to write either this chapter or this whole book..."
He thought the Soviet tyranny could have been stopped if everyone who disagreed with it had spoken up when they had opportunity.
And so to today in the West. I offer you this 15 minute interview featuring a British dissident for comparison. He's had the temerity to publically criticise a man who was publically rejected by the British Police due to his organisation's history of making up Islamophobic hate crimes while receiving major government funding. He has been twice prosecuted for being rude.
The Michael Leunig cartoon provokes us into considering if things are really as good as we are told they are. Is this sort of world really one we want to live in?
Good, good. Carry on then.