posted ago by GoldenPlains ago by GoldenPlains +47 / -1

Welcome back to Book Club!

This is the next discussion thread for The Gulag Archipelago. Next weeks will cover chapters 9-12.

I'm going to have a poll going forward every week. I'm going to ask if you want to continue doing this book or stop and have another vote thread for a new book. Here is the poll: https://youpoll.me/67974/ . I figure the next book will be required to be fiction. Next week I'll check the results and if the 'continues' win then I'll post the next discussion thread.

If we do continue I'm going to also have a post wrapping up part 1 which will allow for people to comment about any part of this first section.

Previous Discussions:

Chapters 1-2

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

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CatoTheElder 9 points ago +10 / -1

Throughout chapter 6 there is a secondary theme, explicitly stated on pg. 263,

"every Soviet person who had lived abroad had to be imprisoned in camp".

This comes from the fact that anyone who has ever seen the relative plenty of even wartime Europe will know that the starvation and poverty, the inevitable result of communism, is not normal. Thus anyone who had lived abroad had to be silenced lest they spread discontent. As long as a single communist exists anywhere in the world, they will work to destroy all other systems, because theirs is so inferior. The only way to make them stop is to make them stop existing.

As usual the footnotes are where the interesting information is, A footnote on page 266 has this tidbit about ex post facto laws:

The Chinese, in fact, will promulgate precisely such laws--just give them the chance to reach out that far.

And of course Solzhenitsyn is correct in his prediction.

The only thing chapter 8 really points out is that we are still in the phase where the left gives lip service to the law. The trial of Chauvin shows that the outcome is determined before the trial ever starts, but at least there is a trial.

As for the poll, we might as well end here. Much of Solzhenitsyn's book so far seems excessively redundant. Fortunately, it seems that the book is organized from most relevant and broad to the least important and detailed.

MetallicBioMeat 6 points ago +6 / -0

But the next volume details the camps, which must truly be the best part...

subbookkeeper 3 points ago +3 / -0

every Soviet person who had lived abroad had to be imprisoned in camp

Oh we have that in Australia now.