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How the great truth dawned by Gary Saul Morson | The New Criterion

Solzhenitsyn often cites the memoirs of the revolutionary R. V. Ivanov-Razumnk, who compared his imprisonment under tsars and Soviets. Under the tsars, interrogation never involved torture, while under the Soviets it was routine. The tsars never thought of arresting relatives of criminals: Lenin remained free and was accepted to higher education although his brother had been hanged for his role in a conspiracy to murder Tsar Alexander III. The Soviets built camps for “the wives of the accused,” and “member of the family of a traitor to the motherland” became a criminal category. In some periods, the children of these traitors were put in orphanages, where most died, while in others they were simply executed. The tsars never conducted arrests at random, but Stalin issued quotas for each district, and Lenin explicitly called for the arbitrary execution of innocent people, since killing the innocent, he explained, would create a terrorized, therefore submissive, population.

Why is it, Solzhenitsyn asks, that Macbeth, Iago, and other Shakespearean evildoers stopped short at a dozen corpses, while Lenin and Stalin did in millions? The answer is that Macbeth and Iago “had no ideology.”

Anyone can succumb to ideology. All it takes is a sense of one’s own moral superiority for being on the right side; a theory that purports to explain everything; and—this is crucial—a principled refusal to see things from the point of view of one’s opponents or victims, lest one be tainted by their evil viewpoint.

To build communism for innumerable future generations of perfect people, the sacrifice of the relatively few, imperfect homunculi of the present was a small price to pay. For that matter, compared to the infinite future, every one alive would be a trivial number. In any case, as it was often phrased, the deaths were caused not by us but by History.

We sought an explanation for those prisoner cattle cars, but it should now be clear that it is not cruelty that requires explanation but the reverse. To ask the reason for cruelty is to ask the wrong question. People sometimes ask the reason for slavery, but since slavery was practiced everywhere for most of human history, the right question is the opposite one: why was slavery eventually abolished in many places? In the Bolshevik context, it is mercy and compassion that require explanation.
religion  christianity  russia  russian  soviet  cruel  communism  stalin  torture  siberia  conscience  morality  ethic  writer  literature  prison  redemption 
november 2019 by aries1988
Twitter
RT : long ago predicted changing being released as permafrost melts in . Th…
methane  climate  Climatescientists  Siberia  from twitter
october 2019 by kcarruthers
Twitter
Non è corretto dire che la e l' sono fottute. Secondo uno studio approfondito, infatti, lo siete an…
Siberia  Alaska  from twitter_favs
august 2019 by fugaz
Twitter
The record heat in this summer not only has caused massive fires, but large areas of rapid permafrost melt…
Siberia  from twitter_favs
july 2019 by NewWonder
Instagrammers are swarming this turquoise lake. It's actually a toxic dump.
A turquoise lake in Siberia has become a sparkling background for Instagram photos, drawing so many people that a nearby coal plant operator had to issue a warning: It's not a pristine oasis, it's a chemical dump.

"You can not swim in the ash dump," the Siberian Generating Company said in a statement after its artificial lake became a "star of social networks."

That, of course, hasn't stopped people from trekking to the lake that some have dubbed the "Novosibirsk Maldives" for its tropical appearance. Some show up in swimsuits; one couple took wedding pictures there; and at least a handful have ventured into the dreamlike, but toxic, waters on paddleboards or pool floats.
socialmedia  instagram  siberia  russia 
july 2019 by terry
从海参崴到莫斯科,西伯利亚大铁路也太长长长长了吧
本文来自微信公众号: 环行星球(ID:huanxingxingqiu) ,作者:小可,制作/制图:孙绿&大绿,照片:小可,标题图来自视觉中国,原标题《从海参崴到莫斯科,这篇西伯利亚大铁路也太长长长长长长长了吧》…
travel  train  siberia  from instapaper
july 2019 by aries1988
Surviving in the Siberian Wilderness for 70 Years (Full Length) - YouTube
"In 1936, a family of Russian Old Believers journeyed deep into Siberia's vast taiga to escape persecution and protect their way of life. The Lykovs eventually settled in the Sayan Mountains, 160 miles from any other sign of civilization. In 1944, Agafia Lykov was born into this wilderness. Today, she is the last surviving Lykov, remaining steadfast in her seclusion. In this episode of Far Out, the VICE crew travels to Agafia to learn about her taiga lifestyle and the encroaching influence of the outside world."
agafialykova  video  russia  taiga  oldbelievers  lykovs  civilization  wilderness  siberia  1978  1936  sovietunion  religion  isolation  survival  history  families  technology  towatch 
june 2019 by robertogreco
DNA from 31,000-year-old milk teeth leads to discovery of new group of ancient Siberians -- ScienceDaily
Two children's milk teeth buried deep in a remote archaeological site in north eastern Siberia have revealed a previously unknown group of people lived there during the last Ice Age. The finding was part of a wider study which also discovered 10,000 year-old human remains in another site in Siberia are genetically related to Native Americans -- the first time such close genetic links have been discovered outside of the US.
ancient  anthropology;  archaeology;  ancestors  bridge  northamerica  firstnations  nativeamericans  siberia  landbridge  anthropology  civilizations  cultures;  early  evolution;  human  humans;  lost  treasures 
june 2019 by xer0x
For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II | History | Smithsonian
Fascinating story about a family in Russia that was cut off completely from the world for around 40 years. They were part of a persecuted Orthodox sect known as "Old Believers."
history  russia  religion  society  siberia 
may 2019 by Brandonshire

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