Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Addicted to Freedom

“One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world” - Russian proverb, quoted by Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn

On the very anniversary of the death of  Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitzyn, who died at age 89 on Aug. 3, 2008, a mere two months before our 2008 financial collapse  – in one of the oldest propaganda ploys in the book, MSNBC trotted out some quack psychiatrist to declare Tea Party members mentally unstable.

According to Dr. Stanton Peele, a psychologist and an “expert on addiction,” we are, “pursuing goals that can't be achieved. It's sort of like a child who has some kind of fantasy, and they keep asking you to give them things to acquire that, but it's impossible to arrive at the goal that they want. The idyllic paths that they are pursuing probably never existed and certainly not something we can reach right now.

“They [The Tea Partiers] are adamant about achieving something that's unachievable, which reminds us of a couple of things.  It reminds us of delusion and psychosis.  It reminds us of addiction because addicts are seeking something that they can't have.  They want a state of happiness or nirvana that can't be achieved except through an artificial substance and reminds us of the Norway situation, when people are thwarted at obtaining something they can't, have they often strike out and Norway is one kind of example to one kind of reaction to that kind of a frustration.”

Peele’s flabbergasting evaluation reminds us of Progressives who adamantly seek a government-run utopia, an artificial paradise if there ever was one, and which not being able to obtain through democratic means, they’ve lied, cheated, stolen, and gotten several generations of young people addicted to drugs in order to obtain it.  Hordes of beer sodden college students and the equally inebriated Media hailed Obama as some sort of “Messiah.”  And they call us delusional.
In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970, Solzhenitsyn quoted a Russian proverb: “One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world.”
His obituary in the UK Times read, “Those words succinctly encapsulated his literary creed.  In a country where autocratic leadership had long obliged the populace to seek more inspiring government, Solzhenitsyn, like Tolstoy, Dostoevsky or Akhmatova before him, became a vital source of spiritual succour to his huge circle of readers.”
That “more inspiring government” led to a ban on all his works of publication, beginning with A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962).  The story, set in a Soviet labor camp in the 1950s, describes a single day in the life of an ordinary prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov.  Published in the Soviet magazine Novy Mir, it was an extraordinary event in Soviet literary history—the first time an account of Stalinist repression had been openly distributed.
Despite the ban imposed on all his works after the publication of A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Solzhenitsyn was very widely read – in photocopied samizdat form (a key form of dissident activity across the Soviet bloc in which individuals reproduced censored publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader) – in his native Russia. He was also the only Russian writer to achieve the best-seller lists in the West, and sold more than 30 million books in more than 30 languages.

He spent much of his life in confinement – both enforced and self-imposed.  He was a
a passionately committed writer who believed it was his moral duty, in the face of systematic totalitarian obfuscation, to record Russia's 20th-century experience for posterity.

In his online autobiography, Solzhenitsyn wrote:

I was born at Kislovodsk on 11th December, 1918. My father had studied philological subjects at Moscow University, but did not complete his studies, as he enlisted as a volunteer when war broke out in 1914. He became an artillery officer on the German front, fought throughout the war and died in the summer of 1918, six months before I was born. I was brought up by my mother, who worked as a shorthand-typist, in the town of Rostov on the Don, where I spent the whole of my childhood and youth, leaving the grammar school there in 1936.
Even as a child, without any prompting from others, I wanted to be a writer and, indeed, I turned out a good deal of the usual juvenilia. In the 1930s, I tried to get my writings published but I could not find anyone willing to accept my manuscripts. I wanted to acquire a literary education, but in Rostov such an education that would suit my wishes was not to be obtained.  To move to Moscow was not possible, partly because my mother was alone and in poor health, and partly because of our modest circumstances.  I therefore began to study at the Department of Mathematics at Rostov University, where it proved that I had considerable aptitude for mathematics.
But although I found it easy to learn this subject, I did not feel that I wished to devote my whole life to it. Nevertheless, it was to play a beneficial role in my destiny later on, and on at least two occasions, it rescued me from death. For I would probably not have survived the eight years in camps if I had not, as a mathematician, been transferred to a so-called sharashia, where I spent four years; and later, during my exile, I was allowed to teach mathematics and physics, which helped to ease my existence and made it possible for me to write. If I had had a literary education it is quite likely that I should not have survived these ordeals but would instead have been subjected to even greater pressures.
 Later on, it is true, I began to get some literary education as well; this was from 1939 to 1941, during which time, along with university studies in physics and mathematics, I also studied by correspondence at the Institute of History, Philosophy and Literature in Moscow.

In 1941, a few days before the outbreak of the war, I graduated from the Department of Physics and Mathematics at Rostov University. At the beginning of the war, owing to weak health, I was detailed to serve as a driver of horse-drawn vehicles during the winter of 1941-1942.   Later, because of my mathematical knowledge, I was transferred to an artillery school, from which, after a crash course, I passed out in November 1942.   Immediately after this I was put in command of an artillery-position-finding company, and in this capacity, served, without a break, right in the front line until I was arrested in February 1945.
This happened in East Prussia, a region which is linked with my destiny in a remarkable way. As early as 1937, as a first-year student, I chose to write a descriptive essay on "The Samsonov Disaster" of 1914 in East Prussia and studied material on this; and in 1945 I myself went to this area (at the time of writing, autumn 1970, the book August 1914 has just been completed).

I was arrested on the grounds of what the censorship had found during the years 1944-45 in my correspondence with a school friend, mainly because of certain disrespectful remarks about Stalin, although we referred to him in disguised terms. As a further basis for the "charge", there were used the drafts of stories and reflections which had been found in my map case. These, however, were not sufficient for a "prosecution", and in July 1945,  I was "sentenced" in my absence, in accordance with a procedure then frequently applied, after a resolution by the OSO (the Special Committee of the NKVD), to eight years in a detention camp (at that time this was considered a mild sentence).

I served the first part of my sentence in several correctional work camps of mixed types (this kind of camp is described in the play, The Tenderfoot and the Tramp).  In 1946, as a mathematician, I was transferred to the group of scientific research institutes of the MVD-MOB (Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of State Security). I spent the middle period of my sentence in such "SPECIAL PRISONS" (The First Circle).   In 1950,  I was sent to the newly established "Special Camps" which were intended only for political prisoners. In such a camp in the town of Ekibastuz in Kazakhstan (One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich), I worked as a miner, a bricklayer, and a foundryman.  There I contracted a tumor which was operated on, but the condition was not cured (its character was not established until later on).

One month after I had served the full term of my eight-year sentence, there came, without any new judgment and even without a "resolution from the OSO", an administrative decision to the effect that I was not to be released but EXILED FOR LIFE to Kok-Terek (southern Kazakhstan).  This measure was not directed specially against me, but was a very usual procedure at that time. I served this exile from March 1953 (on March 5th, when Stalin's death was made public, I was allowed for the first time to go out without an escort) until June 1956.  Here my cancer had developed rapidly, and at the end of 1953, I was very near death. I was unable to eat, I could not sleep and was severely affected by the poisons from the tumor.
However, I was able to go to a cancer clinic at Tashkent, where, during 1954, I was cured (The Cancer Ward, Right Hand). During all the years of exile, I taught mathematics and physics in a primary school and during my hard and lonely existence, I wrote prose in secret (in the camp I could only write down poetry from memory).  I managed, however, to keep what I had written, and to take it with me to the European part of the country, where, in the same way, I continued, as far as the outer world was concerned, to occupy myself with teaching and, in secret, to devote myself to writing, at first in the Vladimir district (Matryona's Farm) and afterwards in Ryazan.

During all the years until 1961, not only was I convinced that I should never see a single line of mine in print in my lifetime, but, also, I scarcely dared allow any of my close acquaintances to read anything I had written because I feared that this would become known.  Finally, at the age of 42, this secret authorship began to wear me down. The most difficult thing of all to bear was that I could not get my works judged by people with literary training.  In 1961, after the 22nd Congress of the U.S.S.R. Communist Party and Tvardovsky's speech at this, I decided to emerge and to offer One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

Such an emergence seemed, then, to me, and not without reason, to be very risky because it might lead to the loss of my manuscripts, and to my own destruction. But, on that occasion, things turned out successfully, and after protracted efforts, A.T. Tvardovsky was able to print my novel one year later. The printing of my work was, however, stopped almost immediately and the authorities stopped both my plays and (in 1964) the novel, The First Circle, which, in 1965, was seized together with my papers from the past years. During these months it seemed to me that I had committed an unpardonable mistake by revealing my work prematurely and that because of this I should not be able to carry it to a conclusion.

It is almost always impossible to evaluate at the time events which you have already experienced, and to understand their meaning with the guidance of their effects. All the more unpredictable and surprising to us will be the course of future events.
We’ve followed the Soviet model in ruining our country with debt and the Progressives are following the Russian model in demonizing dissent.  Peele was a guest of MSNBC host Martin Bashir.  Bashir urged Peele to psychologically evaluate supporters of the Tea Party.
“It reminds us of addiction because addicts are seeking something that they can't have," Peele said. "They want a state of happiness or nirvana that can't be achieved except through an artificial substance and reminds us of the Norway situation, when people are thwarted at obtaining something they can't, have they often strike out and Norway is one kind of example to one kind of reaction to that kind of a frustration.
“They are adamant about achieving something that's unachievable, which reminds us of a couple of things. It reminds us of delusion and psychosis," Peele continued.  “They want no new taxes because they seek some kind of idyllic past.  No new taxes won't bring them economic recovery so they will have to turn their attention to some other supposed method of attaining that until they go through all of them.  Perhaps they can push through all of them.  Perhaps people will become discontented and people are likely to get riled up, and it could become a very angry movement; it could, potentially, become a violent movement.”
The Progressives are going by the book.  Everything we didn’t think could happen here in America is happening.  Now we have psychological assessments of dissenting voices by the Men in the White Coats.  The banning of books can’t be far behind.  If they can get away with banning french fries and Twinkies, and numerous other items and activities, it’s only a small step to book banning.  Because it’s unconstitutional, they must find other means to ban dissenting writers.  The Net Neutrality law is one way.  We have a bad economy and municipalities will gladly shutter their libraries and sell of their books rather than demand that an angry union take a pay cut.  Young people are being weaned off printed books through the e-book.  Don’t get me wrong; I have a tablet myself and I love it.  But I can see down the road where books, or at least authors like Solzhenitsyn will be banned from school and university libraries.

We have to put our “LikeMinds” together and prepare for this eventual disaster.  We must muster courage, for no doubt, the future book police will find excuses to raid our homes and private libraries and fine or jail us, as they jail Christians in China for holding church services in their homes.

The appearance of this quack psychiatrist on MSNBC is the first warning sign.  They evidently find us more dangerous to their cause than they’re willing to admit.  They know we’re not afraid of them.  They want to make sure that the general population is, though.  They’ve evidently realized what we knew since 2009 – the average Joe Six-Pack and Soccer Mom Jane are our targets.

What our Tea Partiers don’t yet understand is just how critical the written word – in its most protectable form, the printed book – is to a republican society.  Democracies are illiterate mobs run by an educated elite.  In a republic such as ours, everyone has the same access to knowledge.  Our taxes pay for those libraries and are one of the best uses of our tax dollars.  Don’t let any Liberal argue you into a corner that you’re threatening the libraries.  They’re the ones threatened by the public library, not us.  In fact, they know just how important libraries are to us and that’s why they try to shut them down during a fiscal crisis.

Still, it’s a government-run entity and we should worry about government overreach reaching into our libraries and removing so-called “anti-government” books like “The Mind of a Conservative” by William F. Buckley, Jr., or “The Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith.

The writing is on the wall, the lunatics will soon be rampaging through our libraries, and the Media will be blacklisting authors.  Read the signs of the times.  They want to break us of our “addiction” to freedom and reading for ourselves is one of the most individualistic, though anti-social (in their eyes) acts we can perform.  The addiction we must break is to relying on the television for all our information, especially stations like MSNBC.

It’s better to read a good book than to be in bad company.


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