Judging Communism and All Its Works: Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago Reconsidered

A reconsideration of Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago that talks about its continuing relevance to Russia and the West, published yesterday at voegelinview. The piece's writer, Daniel J. Mahoney, is a Solzhenitsyn scholar who also serves as the Vice President of The Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Center.

Macbeth’s self-justifications were feeble—and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb, too. The imagination and the spiritual strength of Shakespeare’s villains stopped short at a dozen corpses. Because they had no ideology.

Ideology—that is what gives villainy its long-sought justification and gives the villain the necessary steadfastness and determination…

Thanks to ideology, the twentieth century was fated to experience villainy on a scale calculated in the millions.
— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago