Our World Now, and Then

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, in each government, in each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elites, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society. There are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life. Harvard Speech, 1978, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

To the ill-considered hopes of the last two centuries, which have reduced us to insignificance and brought us to the brink of nuclear and non-nuclear death, we can propose only a determined quest for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently spurned. Only in this way can our eyes be opened to the errors of this unfortunate twentieth century and our hands be directed to setting them right. There is nothing else to cling to in the landslide: the combined vision of all the thinkers of the Enlightenment amounts to nothing. Our five continents are caught in a whirlwind. But it is during trials such as these that the highest gifts of the human spirit are manifested. If we perish and lose this world, the fault will be ours alone. Tempelton Speech, 1983, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Since 1983 has anything changed? The world 35 years ago, as Solzhenitsyn mentioned resembles exact similarity in today’s world as well. The quest for the warm hand of god, or the man with courage, remained with the same urgency, while may with an ever decreasing chance of finding. What was our world then, it is the same now. Only with some years have passed, in oblivion.

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