Gulag Archipelago, Vol II: Quote #1

And even while sitting peacefully among the fragrant hay mowings of Razliv* and listening to the buzzing bumblebees, Lenin could not help but ponder the future penal system. Even then he had worked things out and reassured us: “The suppression of the minority of exploiters by the majority of the hired slaves of yesterday is a matter so comparatively easy, simple and natural, that it is going to cost much less in blood … will be much cheaper for humanity” than the preceding suppression of the majority by the minority.^

According to the estimates of emigre Professor of Statistics Kurganov, this “comparatively easy” internal repression cost us, from the beginning of the October Revolution up to 1959, a total of… sixty-six million—66,000,000—lives. We, of course, cannot vouch for his figure, but we have none other that is official. And just as soon as the official figure is issued the specialists can make the necessary critical comparisons.

~Gulag Archipelago, Vol II, page 4

66 MILLION. For comparison, that is more than the combined populations of the States of California AND Texas. For those of a world-wide persuasion, choose between wiping out the UK or France.

Another way to look at it is like this:
WWI caused between 20-40 million deaths.
WWII caused 85 million deaths.
The Black Plague killed approximately 25 million.

But no matter how you compare it, look at it or intellectually think about it, one fact remains: Communism caused that massive number. In fact, there is a term for 1 million deaths, it is called Mega-Death.

A Quote from: The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 1 (5)

Shut your eyes, reader. Do you hear the thundering of wheels? Those are the Stolypin cars rolling on and on. Those are the red cows rolling. Every minute of the day. And every day of the year. And you can hear the water gurgling — those are prisoners’ barges moving on and on. And the motors of the Black Marias roar. They are arresting someone all the time, cramming him in somewhere, moving him about. And what is that hum you hear? The overcrowded cells of the transit prisons. And that cry? The complaints of those who have been plundered, raped, beaten to within an inch of their lives.

We have reviewed and considered all the methods of delivering prisoners, and we have found that they are all . . . worse. We have examined the transit prisons, but we have not found any that were good. And even the last human hope that there is something better ahead, that it will be better in camp, is a false hope.

In camp it will be . .. worse.

~ page 703

Talk about cheery stuff eh? I just got shivers reading that final sentence.

A Quote From: The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 1 (#4)

gulagarchipelago (Custom)

Instead of the twenty men Cell 21 was supposed to contain, there were three hundred and twenty-three! There was water underneath the bunks, and boards were laid in the water and people lay on those boards. That was right where the frost poured in from the broken windows. It was like Arctic night down under the bunks. There was no light down there either because it was cut off by the people lying on the bunks above and standing in the aisle. It was impossible to walk through the aisle to the latrine tank, and people crawled along the edges of the bunks. They didn’t distribute rations to individuals but to units of ten. If one of the ten died, the others shoved his corpse under the bunks and kept it there until it started to stink. They got the corpse’s ration. And all that could have been endured, but the turnkeys seemed to have been oiled with turpentine — and they kept driving the prisoners endlessly from cell to cell, on and on. You’d just get yourself settled when ‘Come on, get a move on! You’re being moved!’ And you’d have to start in again trying to find a place!
~ page 644

And this is just in one of the holding prisons before any of the prisoners got to their final destinations.  As much as I am loathe to admit it, I don’t think I could hold on to my humanity in such a situation.  I pray to God my Christianity is never tested like that.

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Several Quotes from: The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. One

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(Please forgive us, reader. We have once more gone astray with this rightist opportunism — this concept of “guilt,” and of the guilty or innocent. It has, after all, been explained to us that the heart of the matter is not personal guilt, but social danger. One can imprison an innocent person if he is socially hostile. And one can release a guilty man if he is socially friendly. But lacking legal training, we can be forgiven, for the 1926 Code, according to which, my good fellow, we lived for twenty-five years and more, was itself criticized for an “impermissible bourgeois approach,” for an “insufficiently class-conscious approach,” and for some kind of “bourgeois weighing of punishments in relation to the gravity of what had been committed.”
`Page 342
Chapter 7

 

Comrade Kursky!
As a sequel to our conversation, I am sending you an outline of a supplementary paragraph for the Criminal Code. . . . The basic concept, I hope, is clear, notwithstanding all the shortcomings of the rough draft: openly to set forth a statute which is both principled and politically truthful (and not just juridically narrow) to supply the motivation for the essence and the justification of terror, its necessity, its limits.
The court must not exclude terror. It would be self-deception or deceit to promise this, and in order to provide it with a foundation and to legalize it in a principled way, clearly and without hypocrisy and without embellishment, it is necessary to formulate it as broadly as possible, for only revolutionary righteousness and a revolutionary conscience will provide the conditions for applying it more or less broadly in practice.

With Communist greetings,
Lenin
`Page 435
Chapter 9

 

I will let Solzhenitsyn’s own words speak for me in this quote post:

We will not undertake to comment on this important document. What it calls for is silence and reflection.
`Page 436
Chapter 9

 

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Quotes from: The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. One

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Power is a poison well known for thousands of years. If only no one were ever to acquire material power over others! But to the human being who has faith in some force that holds dominion over all of us, and who is therefore conscious of his own limitations, power is not necessarily fatal. For those, however, who are unaware of any higher sphere, it is a deadly poison. For them there is no antidote.
~page 181

 

If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
~page 204

 

I didn’t want to say too much in these quote posts because I was hoping to save it all up for my book review, but my goodness, I’m only 200 pages in and I’ve already had 2 quote posts that my commentary could have filled one of my regular reviews. So why save it all up for the future?

People who acknowledge no higher power than themselves are the most dangerous people ever. No matter how good intentioned they might claim to be, or think themselves to be, power is poison. The problem is, in their death throes, they can destroy a whole country or even a civilization. That is why Ideas DO Matter, no matter how grandfatherly or benevolent the messenger might appear.

That second quote goes up squarely against the idea that humanity is evolving into some sort of better ideal. If people can’t, or won’t, acknowledge that evil exists, not just as a metaphysical idea, but as a concrete thing within themselves and within others, then you end up with Hitlers, or in the case of this book, Stalins. As bad as Hitler was, the more I’m reading here, the more I’m beginning to think that Stalin was one of the worst mass murderers the world has ever not acknowledged.

At the time of this post I’m only 36% into the book. It is tough going and I’m taking it slow. I was hoping to get it done by the end of the month but I don’t think that is going to happen now. More people need to read this and see what happens when people give up responsibilities and rights for security.

sigh…

 

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A Quote from: The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. One

gulagarchipelago (Custom)

But those same hands which once screwed tight our handcuffs now hold out their palms in reconciliation: “No, don’t! Don’t dig up the past! Dwell on the past and you’ll lose an eye.”

But the proverb goes on to say: “Forget the past and you’ll lose both eyes.”

– Page 7

 

 

 

 

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A Quote from: Entrepreneurship

entrepreneurship (Custom)

Entrepreneurs can adopt behaviour and strategies to mitigate the effects of these liabilities. For example, innovative new firms can establish alliances with incumbent large firms. These links enable them to access resources to develop the technology further, as well as to gain downstream access to final customers when they do not have the sales and marketing skills to do so. Such alliances may be a precursor to the entrepreneur being able to sell the business to reap a capital gain. On the downside, the more powerful larger partner can dictate terms and expropriate some of the entrepreneur’s potential gains.
-Page 28

 

So far, this book is filled with industry insider buzzwords like this. While not gobbledy gook, it is not something I would expect an Every Man Joe to just sit down and easily pick up and inculcate into their own personal knowledge base. I don’t think this is going to be a highly rated book by the time I finish if it stays like this.

 

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A Quote From: Lightning

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Maybe this is above your head right now, and maybe you’ll have to do a lot of thinking before you understand, but it’s important you realize there’s a way to live that’s in the middle, between killers and pacifists. You try to avoid violence. You never start it. But if someone else starts it, you defend yourself, friends, family, anyone who’s in trouble. When I had to shoot those men at the house, it made me sick. I’m no hero. I’m not proud of having shot them, but I’m not ashamed of it, either. I don’t want you to be proud of me for it, or think that killing them was satisfying, that revenge in any way makes me feel better about your dad’s murder. It doesn’t.”

(Laura to her 8 year old son Chris after assassins from the future try to kill them)

~Lightning, 55%

 

And little things like this are why I keep reading Koontz. This book feels like he was at the top of his game when writing. I’m enjoying the ever living daylights out of it so far.

 

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A Quote From: Monster Hunter Guardian

mhguardian (Custom)

Hansel came in, now dressed in an immaculate tuxedo. “Is this to your liking?”

“Yeah.” I pulled the pistol out and worked the slide to make sure the chamber was empty. I usually built my own guns—I’m a 1911 girl—but this was good.

“I was told this was a suitable weapon.”

“No kidding. It’s a Grayguns Compact custom P320 with a reflex sight.”

“I’m afraid I do not know what any of those words mean.”

“It means it’s pretty damned solid and been worked over by someone who knows what they’re doing.” I didn’t normally run a micro red-dot sight on my handguns, but I’d practiced with them enough to get over the learning curve. I checked the chamber again out of habit, picked a target—that potted plant would do—and dry-fired. Click. Flat trigger, good geometry, very nice.

“I assumed all your clients were assholes, but at least one of them has excellent taste in working guns.”

“He has several of these. Like you, he is a professional, but in a very different and unrelated field.”

“Come on, Hansel, you can admit you know John Wick.”

“Who?”

“The guy, they killed his dog…”

“That sounds terrible.”

“Never mind.” There were ten magazines already loaded with 115 grain Federal hollowpoints. Great for humans, and I just had to hope there weren’t any werewolves invited to the party. I took some mags out and started sticking them into Hansel’s jacket pocket.

“What do you think you are doing?”

“Look at this dress. Where exactly do you think I’m going to hide all this stuff?”

“These are besom pockets. You’ll ruin the lines! I am your bidder, not your Sherpa.”

He was going to be my hostage if he didn’t shut up, but the scowl I gave him must have convinced him that I meant business.

~Page 199

 

A bit of a longer quote this time but my goodness, this quote is this book in a nutshell. I love it!

 

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