Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes

A quotes list created by Lee Sonogan


An impressive dissident during the Soviet Union, he was a captain in the Red Army until his time spent in a gulag. There under communism treason, he questioned a lot of things very relevant to the philosophy of existentialism. Influencing so many people to a point that he won the Nobel prize (literature) many years later, Jordan Peterson of modern times was one of them. And I am another as this stuff of inauthentic individualism scares the crap out of you. While providing answers to some of the greatest speculated evils of the world.

  • “A great disaster had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
  • “Thus it is that no cruelty whatsoever passes by without impact. Thus it is that we always pay dearly for chasing after what is cheap.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956
  • “It’s an universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
  • “Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956
  • Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
  • “In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956
  • “You only have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power—he’s free again.” ― Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Двести лет вместе
  • “The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
  • ‘… What about the main thing in life, all its riddles? If you want, I’ll spell it out for you right now. Do not pursue what is illusionary -property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life -don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn for happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing. It is enough if you don’t freeze in the cold and if thirst and hunger don’t claw at your insides. If your back isn’t broken, if your feet can walk, if both arms can bend, if both eyes can see, if both ears hear, then whom should you envy? And why? Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart -and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know: it may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted on their memory.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
  • “You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.” ― Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • ‘The meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering but in the development of the soul.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward
  • “Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • “The sole substitute for an experience we have not ourselves lived through is art and literature.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
  • “A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.” ― Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • “Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the twentieth century.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
  • “A great writer is, so to speak, a second government in his country. And for that reason no regime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones.” ― Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • “If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?” ― Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle
  • “Pride grows in the human heart like lard on a pig.” ― Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • “We didn’t love freedom enough. ” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, books V-VII
  • “A genius doesn’t adjust his treatment of a theme to a tyrant’s taste” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
  • “Many of you have already found out, and others will find out in the course of their lives, that truth eludes us if we do not concentrate our attention totally on it’s pursuit. But even while it eludes us, the illusion of knowing it still lingers and leads to many misunderstandings. Also, truth seldom is pleasant; it is almost invariably bitter.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
  • “It is unthinkable in the twentieth century to fail to distinguish between what constitutes an abominable atrocity that must be prosecuted and what constitutes that “past” which “ought not to be stirred up.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

I strongly believe rationale does not mean much unless there is an equal half of unorganised religion. Better yet, spirituality too hold people up into at least the third dimension. Then these two-dimensional concentration or death camps literally or figurately will never happen again. In current times this is not the case and could learn a lot from Solzhenitsyn’s life.

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