“People perish for cold metal”

The interrogators did not write up charge sheets because no one needed their papers. And whether or not a [prison] sentence would be pasted on was of very little interest. Only one thing was important: Give up your gold, viper! The state needs gold and you don’t.

This is all from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. There’s more:

If you in fact had no gold, then your situation was hopeless. You would be beaten, burned, tortured, and steamed to the point of death or until they finally came to believe you. But if you had gold, you could determine the extent of your torture, the limits of your endurance, and your own fate.

It’s a good book, so far, but trying to compare the Soviet Union after World War I and a brief civil war to the present-day United States is a bridge too far. The only Americans today who might share the Gulag experience are the black ones, and even then their situation is less of a gulag archipelago and more of a traditional oppressed ethnic minority.

One thought on ““People perish for cold metal”

  1. Thank you for this, Branden. Buckley said he felt differently in the company of those who had read Solzhenitsyn–and so do we. The real value in Solzhenitsyn’s 3-volume work is not so much its relevance to where we as Americans have been, or who among us might identify with the miseries inherent in the socialist tyranny he described– but rather its stark depiction of “Gulag” as an earthly hell awaiting any society foolish enough to embrace statist authority, and sacrifice liberty on the bloody alter of collectivism.

    Just sayin’!
    Your loyal fans in the WOOF cave

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