An essay on lies by ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN

LIVE NOT BY LIES
ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN

… Let us admit it: we have not matured enough to march into the squares and shout the truth out loud or to express aloud what we think. It is not necessary. It’s dangerous. But let us refuse to say what we do not think. This is our path, the easiest and the most accessible one, which allows for our inherent, well-rooted cowardice. And it is much easier (it’s shocking even to say this) than the sort of civil disobedience that Gandhi advocated. Our path is not that of giving conscious support to lies about anything at all. And once we realise where the perimeters of falsehood are (everyone sees them in his own way), our path is to walk away from this gangrenous boundary. If we did not paste together the dead bones and scales of ideology, if we did not sew together rotting rags, we would be astonished how quickly the lies would be rendered helpless and would subside. That which should be naked would then really appear naked before the whole world.

So in our timidity, let us each make a choice: whether to remain consciously a servant of falsehood (of course, it is not out of inclination but to feed one’s family that one raises one’s children in the spirit of lies), or to shrug off the lies and become an honest man worthy of respect from one’s children and contemporaries

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yup. Stand firm, and refuse to say that which you do not believe. Speak the truth and be reviled, then feared.

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