The road to perdition

Solzhenitsyn writes about his eight years spent in a Soviet Gulag and observes that thieves flourished because they were encouraged by the State to steal private property. Sentences were extremely lenient compared to other types of criminality at that time which was from 1918 to 1956 as recorded in the ‘Gulag Archipelago’.


“How many citizens who were robbed knew that the police didn’t even bother to look for the criminals, didn’t even set a case in motion, so as not to spoil their record of completed cases – why should they sweat to catch a thief if he would be given only six months, and then be given three months off for good behaviour? And anyway, it wasn’t certain that the bandits would even be tried when caught. Finally, sentences were bound to be reduced, and of course for habitual criminals especially.”


The theory behind this was that thieves were merely considered a product of the environment. That there was no moral autonomy involved in choosing this ‘opportunist career’. Private property was ‘up for grabs’ as long as it was not Stalin’s private property. When these thieves were then placed in positions of power in the Gulag they turned these unjust institutions into a hell on earth exploiting every opportunity even to the extent of plunder of prisoners sentenced to death.


Of course this is contrary to Marxist ideology which seeks to excuse the actions of criminality as based upon an unfair society exploiting a class of people reduced to theft by an unforgiving authority. This is not, however, the testimony of Solzhenitsyn who saw the reality of Marxist thought and its evolution into Communist ideology. The reality was the wholesale destruction of a nation and its Christian moral integrity.


The thing is Solzhenitsyn is writing about the Soviet Union of seventy or eighty years ago. Yet what he says equally applies to the England of today. For example, the following is a headline from the Daily Telegraph newspaper dated 7th August 2014:


“The Court of Appeal ruled 62 judges across England and Wales let off criminals, including terrorists, murderers and rapists, with light sentences.”


In Solzhenitsyn’s Russia – A Soviet Union – Christians were persecuted for their traditional beliefs. For their faith in Jesus Christ a person could be sent to prison for ten years hard labour.


This is not yet the case in England today. We are not yet a nation where its politicians promote the rights of thieves over and above the rights of Christians. But there is every sign that we are on that road to perdition.

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