Anne Applebaum

Gulag: A History


It's a work of labor as much as debt and sheer investigative powers. It covers every aspect of the Gulag system from its pre-history to its closing-down.

Russia's history is sad, unsentimental, and violent. One must thank God that Americans took a more noble and humane path for their history. If people get what they deserve, the Russians must be really wicked, and Americans must congratulate themselves for their differing paths.

Take these words from a Russian of today: "Perhaps the old system was bad -but at least we were powerful, we don't want to hear that it was bad." So will the devil himself say on the day of reckoning.

Bad people make bad systems. "The new Russian elite's arrogant contempt for its fellow citizens lives on" says the author. Seems like Russia is in for some more trouble soon.

One might wrongly assume that once through the first half of the book, the second will be just more of the same, but read on, it can always get worse.

Despite the huge amount of information it collects, it still does not cover the story of the "special exiles", millions of people who were sent not to concentration camps but to live in remote villages were they died of cold, starvation or overwork.

Gorky's description of the prisoners of the forced labor camps, and the kulaks: "half-animals". He and the other "intellectuals" were the ones most exhilarated by the "progress" of Soviet society!

What still amazes me most is the extreme voluntary blindness that many Russian communists reached to explain away THEIR OWN arrests and torture: "We are honest Soviet people, hurrah for Stalin, we aren't guilty and our state will free us from the company of all these enemies. Their arrests were caused by "the cunning work of foreign intelligence services".

With this kind of people what can anyone expect for a country? Thank God, again and again, for America.

"Es cierto que el Romano es libre de hacer todo lo que quiera. Pero también lo es que tiene que soportar las consecuencias de sus actos. No importa que se haya equivocado, que le hayan engañado o incluso forzado: un hombre no se deja forzar: etiamsi coactus, attamen voluit. Es libre; pero si distraído, imprudente o atontado, prometió pagar una determinada cantidad y no puede pagarla, se convierte en esclavo de su acreedor."

Rudolph von Ihering

“Slavery, protection, and monopoly find defenders, not only in those who profit by them, but in those who suffer by them.”

Frédéric Bastiat

On the true nature of the Castro Revolution in Cuba: "The revolution was a cover for committing atrocities without the slightest vestige of guilt ... we were young and irresponsible. We were pirates. We formed our own caste ... we belonged to and believed in nothing -no religion, no flag, no morality or principle. It's fortunate we didn't win, because if we had, we would have drowned the continent in barbarism."

Jorge Masetti -In the Pirate's Den

La anarquía, es decir, la ausencia de fuerza estatal, no es una forma de Estado, y cualquiera que acabe con ella por el medio que sea, el usurpador nacional o el conquistador extranjero, rinde un servicio a la sociedad. Es un salvador, un bienhechor, porque la forma más insoportable de Estado es la ausencia de Estado.

Rudolph von Ihering

"El envidioso está afligido no solo por sus males propios, sino por los bienes de los demás."  -Hipias

[la norma de conducta de los progres] "No hacer nada que alguien pueda envidiarme." -Hipasos




Seguimos a la espera de la reedición de este importante libro del gran escritor español José Pla

Historia de la Segunda República.


También a la espera de este importante libro del genial Rafael Abella.

Finales de enero, 1939, Barcelona cambia de piel


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