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posted ago by GoldenPlains ago by GoldenPlains +43 / -0

Welcome back to Book Club!

This is the first discussion thread for our next book - The Gulag Archipelago. Next weeks will cover chapters 3-5.

If you don't have a hard copy of the book here is an archive link provided by u/8bitArchitect on my last post: https://archive.org/details/TheGulagArchipelago-Threevolumes

Comments (30)
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PatrikStar24 18 points ago +18 / -0

It has been a long, heavy, and harrowing read, and have had to take it in little pieces at a time (you WILL get depressed if you read it all at once). Frankly, there are too many good quotes for me to pick from in these 2 chapters alone. But if I had to pick one (and only one), I would pick this excerpt from the end of chapter 2 detailing the British (and apparently American as well) betrayal of millions who were fleeing Soviet persecution after the end of WWII.

All during 1945 and 1946 a big wave of genuine, at-long-last, enemies of the Soviet flowed into the Archipelago. (These were the Vlasov men, the Krasnov Cossacks, and Moslems from the national units created under Hitler.) Some of them had acted out of convictions, other had been merely involuntary participants. Along with them were seized not less than one million fugitives from the Soviet government---civilians of all ages and of both sexes who had been fortunate enough to find shelter on Allied territory, but who in 1946-1947 were perfidiously returned by Allied territories into Soviet hands. ^45

And now… for the long and sobering (for lack of a better word) footnote. Any emphasis belongs to the author.

  1. It is surprising that in the West, where political secrets cannot be kept for long, since they inevitably come out in print or are disclosed, the secret of this particular act of betrayal has been very well and carefully kept by the British and American governments. This is truly the last secret, or one of the last, of the Second World War. Having often encountered these people in camps, I was unable to believe for a whole quarter-century that the public in the West knew nothing of this action of the Western governments, this massive handing over of ordinary Russian people to retribution and death. Not until 1973---in the Sunday Oklahoman of January 21---was an article by Julius Epstein published. And I am going to be so bold as to express gratitude on behalf of the mass of those who perished and those few left alive. One random little document was published from the many volumes of the hitherto concealed case history of forced repatriation to the Soviet Union. “After having remained unmolested in British hand for two years, they had allowed themselves to be lulled into a false sense of security and they were therefore taken completely by surprise. . . . They did not realize that they were being repatriated. . . . They were mainly simple peasants with bitter personal grievances against the Bolsheviks.” The English authorities gave them the treatment “reserved in the case of every other nation for war criminals alone: that of being handed over against their will to captors who, incidentally, were not expected to give them a fair trial.” They were all sent to destruction on the Archipelago. (Authors note, dated 1973)

I had heard some of this before, but to see it all laid out like that… I’m going to hate myself at the end of all this, aren’t I? It even had a codename: Operation Keelhaul .

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DoctorDank 9 points ago +9 / -0

I had vaguely heard of that before I read this, but I didn't realize it was on such a wide scale. It's insane, to me.

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estbleu 14 points ago +14 / -0

And all of a sudden the fateful gate swings quickly open, and four white male hands, unaccustomed to physical labor but nonetheless strong and tenacious, grab us by the leg, arm, collar, cap, ear, and drag us in like a sack, and the gate behind us, the gate to our past life, is slammed shut once and for all. That's all there is to it! You are arrested!

There you have it, if the NKVD had proper diversity this'd never happen

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DoctorDank 6 points ago +6 / -0

I caught that, too! Evil white males confirmed.

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GoldenPlains [S] 11 points ago +11 / -0

Hey u/DomitiusOfMassilia can I get a sticky, thanks.

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GoldenPlains [S] 3 points ago +3 / -0
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DomitiusOfMassilia 1 point ago +1 / -0

Sorry, work got away from me.

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GoldenPlains [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

No problem man, thanks!

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DoctorDank 11 points ago +11 / -0

At what exact point, then should one resist? When one's belt is taken away? When one is ordered to face into a corner? When one crosses the threshold of one's home? An arrest consists of a series of incidental irrelevancies, of a multitude of things that do not matter, and there seems no point in arguing about any one of them individually--especially at a time when the thoughts of the person arrested are wrapped tightly iabout the big question: "What for?" --and yet all these incidental irrelevancies taken together implacably constitute the arrest.

This is exactly what is happening in western society, except with thought/language control. Scary.

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DoctorDank 9 points ago +9 / -0

So many good quotes but I want to mention this one, footnote, page 6:

"In other words, 'We live in the cursed conditions in which a human being can disappear into the void and even his closest relatives, his mother and his wife... do not know for years what has become of him." Is that right or not? That is what Lenin wrote in 1910..."

Good to know that Commies have always been massive hypocrites, especially considering Lenin oversaw the construction of the Gulag apparatus.

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CatoTheElder 7 points ago +8 / -1

I haven't ever read this before, but so far it is pretty much what I expected. Page 13 is the money quote that everyone knows. I actually disagree with it in part.

and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?

This at best gets you a 1:1 KDR. To really have a chance at survival one would have to go and eliminate them at their residence. Defense does not stop the enemy. The reward for a successful defense is another defense attempt. The reward for a successful attack is never having to attack or defend again.

On page 69 and 70 Solzhenitsyn relates a story about applauding for Stalin, but that story can just as well be applied to the PoX and fags: it is not enough to merely allow their existence, they must be applauded, and who ever applauds the least is destroyed.

And on page 71, if we read between the lines, we learn the origin of the jew soap myth.

Telegrams transmitting instructions of this kind were sent via ordinary channels in a very rudimentary code. In Temryuk the woman telegrapher, in holy innocence, transmitted to the NKVD switchboard the message that 240 boxes of soap were to be shipped to Krasnodar the following day. In the morning she learned about a big wave of arrests and guessed the meaning of the message! She told her girl friend what kind of telegram it was-and was promptly arrested herself.

Some person involved with the creation or use of that code was later reassigned to create propaganda against Germany.

On pages 81 and 82 we see what they will do to occupied areas.

To arrest all such persons would have been, from the economic point of view, irrational, because it would have depopulated such enormous areas. All that was required in order to heighten the general consciousness was to arrest a certain percentage--of those guilty, those halfguilty, those quarter-guilty, and those who had hung out their footcloths to dry on "the same branch as the Germans. After all, even one percent of just one million fills up a dozen full-blooded camps.

They will not arrest everyone, as they cannot, they want to rule people, not ashes. But you will not be one of the "lucky ones" as everyone reading this is their enemy, even the glowie feds.

However there is one way to avoid being arrested, as mentioned on page 85: "They did not touch those who had lived a purely vegetable existence." Of course anyone who has posted here, for any reason, does not qualify for that.

And finally we find out on page 92 what could stop the madness: daring to arrest the Chosen ones. If Stalin had followed the advice of Cato the Elder regarding doctors he might have lived to see his plan though.

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Fursona7 6 points ago +6 / -0

In 1927, when submissiveness had not yet softened our brains to such a degree, two Chekists tried to arrest a woman on Serpukhov Square during the day. She grabbed hold of the stanchion of a streetlamp and began to scream, refusing to submit. A crowd gathered. (There had to have been that kind of woman; there had to have been that kind of crowd too! Passers-by didn't all just close their eyes and hurry by!) The quick young men immediately became flustered. They can't work in the public eye. They got into their car and fled. (Right then and there she should have gone to a railroad station and left! But she went home to spend the night. And during the night they took her off to the Lubyanka.)

Pg. 15-16

Defense does have benefits but one thing lacking in this example was the drawing of blood. The arrest was called off due to resistance but with none of the fatal kind. I think your viewing those carrying out the arrests as having principles. If there was stiff enough resistance those expecting an easy job would balk at having to put their lives on the line to do their job. If enough people had resisted violently enough, since the vast majority were dead anyway if hauled off the gulags, the security apparatus could have fallen apart due to desertion. It’s all hypothetical speculation though since that never happened.

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CatoTheElder 5 points ago +6 / -1

The ones carrying out the future arrest will have the strongest of principles: Hatred. You are a Nazi, after all you post on Nazi forums like KIA2.win. You are personally responsible for the deaths of 6 million of the Chosen Ones. They will HATE you. Additionally, they will have 100 years of added experience in making arrest of all kinds. The US mission in Afganistan wasn't to deal with some goatfucking terrorist or establish a democracy in a land where that will never work. It was to develop methods to deal with arrest of hostile, and possibly armed individuals.

Edit: I should point out, the woman referenced successfully defended the first time, and thus got another chance to defend herself, where she failed and was taken to a camp.

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subbookkeeper 2 points ago +2 / -0

"They did not touch those who had lived a purely vegetable existence."

What does that mean?

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CatoTheElder 4 points ago +5 / -1

Those people who are absolutely normie. They hold no political opinion that they are not told to have. They submit to any thing that the state wants. Essentially they are NPCs.

Edit: I should expand on this. NPCs can be chanters of slogans, and that is too politically active, after all they gulaged a quarter of Leningrad for chanting a slogan 20 years earlier. The people he is referring to are the ones that wake up, go to the factory, work their shift without complaint, go home and listen to the state propaganda, and the repeat ad nauseam. They are less than NPCs.

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subbookkeeper 1 point ago +1 / -0

Ah like herbivore men

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Killroyomega 2 points ago +4 / -2

Those are the soulless masses who live their lives according to social convention.

Go to school, play sports, get a degree in whatever, work a meaningless job. Every day do no more than is expected. Sports team won! Celebrate! Did well in work, promotion to meaningless managerial position. Happy!

Never question. Never wonder. Never explore.

It's an older description of the classic NPC. Those who exist yet are not alive. Robots who simply and surely follow all instructions without question.

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censorthisss 1 point ago +1 / -0

This at best gets you a 1:1 KDR. To really have a chance at survival one would have to go and eliminate them at their residence. Defense does not stop the enemy. The reward for a successful defense is another defense attempt. The reward for a successful attack is never having to attack or defend again.

1 to 1? I don't know if I agree. The barricades worked pretty damn well in the French revolution. Troops had to pull back because the losses just weren't worth the effort of fighting door to door.

Now if you're talking about a wide open battlefield without any cover, then I agree with you, but this stuff was going down in houses and large apartment type buildings. It's extremely difficult to attack a fortified position in close quarters, and short of using rocket launchers or something you're going to have a rough time trying to extract people.

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CatoTheElder 0 points ago +1 / -1

We aren't talking about revolutions, we are talking about the police kicking your door down at 3 am. You'll be lucky if you can even get to your gun before they get you. That is why I disagree with Solzhenitsyn. Action beats reaction. Don't be surprised, surprise them.

And even if you fortify, you won't get more of them than they get of you. Just look at Ruby Ridge: 3 of the Weavers were killed, and only one cop died. Or look at Waco, where only one cop was injured, and that was from friendly fire.

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censorthisss 1 point ago +1 / -0

I agree it's not a perfect comparison, but the idea is that once words starts going around town that neighbors are being disappeared in the middle of the night, people start setting up defenses in their homes. Stuff like sleeping with doors barricaded and weapons by their beds.

Will that change everything and lead to the desired outcome for the people? Not on its own but it's an important first step. You have to start somewhere.

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DictatorGerg 6 points ago +7 / -1

I read the book last year and yeah, if it isn't clear already from the first few chapters, reading this book will depress you and doom you to watching the world slowly kill itself while understanding exactly how it's happening because Solzhenitsyn laid it out for you.

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cccpneveragain 5 points ago +5 / -0

The main thing I get out of these chapters put quite simply is that really no one except the extreme elite (i.e. Lenin, Stalin) were immune to arrest for political purposes. There were pretty much examples listed from every other walk of life. Just the mere mention that you might not be a perfectly agreeable citizen was grounds to be swept away in the night.

So many that support at the very least the heavy handed censorship going around today don't realize that it's coming for them too. Maybe it never gets to arrests but the way the trend is going, just like the Soviets, you will be a perfectly agreeable citizen or you will be silent. I actually think it is trending towards arrest. Right now we are just still in the stage of destruction of livelihood for wrongthink.

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estbleu 1 point ago +1 / -0

Nah it's okay. Along with a record of crimes and transgressions, modern technology provides an infallible record of virtue. Did you see how I owned drumpfh on twitter? I'm a good citizen, a documented good guy on the right side of history!

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Killroyomega 4 points ago +5 / -1

I am filled with a great pride in having gotten even just a handful of men to read these most important of writings.

I have no other comment than this:

Learn the lessons your forebears chose to impart. They did so for a reason. Do not assume you are unique, or that the world is somehow different.

You will live as a slave and die as a slave unless you choose to live as a man.

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Fursona7 4 points ago +4 / -0

Reading through just the first two chapters of this text I’m struck by what happens and at just how alien life for the average Russian would be and how it got that way.

This may be off-topic for the discussion thread but does anyone have any good recommendations for books on the Russian Revolution or the rule of the Tsars to put what’s going on here into perspective? I’m trying to make sense of this through my knowledge of the American Revolution and the French Revolution and though I can see parallels with the French Revolution and the Terror the Russian version seems to be a Terror that just never collapsed even in the face of World War II and that dumbfounds me.

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deleted 3 points ago +3 / -0