Secondhand Gulag

Children Standing on a Fallen Statue of Stalin   (Photo by David Turnley/ Getty Images)

Svetlana Alexievich’s Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets can only be compared to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago (1973). It is an absolutely indispensable look into the human condition.

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Lego-block Hopes and Reign of Terror Dreams


The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers. Or all the noblemen. College professors. People with glasses. Kulaks. The petty bourgeoisie. Any kind of bourgeoisie, for that matter. Perhaps some of them do not entirely deserve it, considered under an abstract concept of justice. But we do not live, you and I, in any world of abstraction. We live in the hard materiality of social economics, and humanity is suffering. The ground must be cleared, even if some flowers are ploughed under with the weeds. Even if some wheat is lost with the tares.[1]

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