There is a war without weapons being fought today in America. It is a battle of worldviews and philosophies. On one side, we have a philosophy based on materialism that denies the transcendent and intrinsic value of the human being. On the other side, we have a philosophy that embraces the transcendent and intrinsic value of the human being.
One leads to bondage and hopelessness and the other leads to freedom and liberty. We all desire freedom and liberty. However, there is a catch to sustained liberty in a society. Liberty must be undergirded by truth, morality and virtue. Otherwise, liberty is transformed into license and bondage is quietly slipped into the equation masquerading as ‘Freedom’.
On June 8th, 1978 Alexander Solzhenitsyn delivered the commencement address at Harvard University. Solzhenitsyn was a Nobel Prize winning Russian novelist, activist, soldier and teacher. He understood the war without weapons and delivered a historical speech entitled ‘A World Split Apart’ that should be read at every university commencement.
Below are some quoted sections I find insightful and a link to read the entire speech.
“Harvard’s motto is “VERITAS.” Many of you have already found out, and others will find out in the course of their lives, that truth eludes us if we do not concentrate our attention totally on it’s pursuit….”
“And yet — no weapons, no matter how powerful, can help the West until it overcomes its loss of willpower. In a state of psychological weakness, weapons become a burden for the capitulating side. To defend oneself, one must also be ready to die; there is little such readiness in a society raised in the cult of material well-being….”
“Liberalism was inevitably displaced by radicalism; radicalism had to surrender to socialism; and socialism could never resist communism. The communist regime in the East could stand and grow due to the enthusiastic support from an enormous number of Western intellectuals who felt a kinship and refused to see communism’s crimes. And when they no longer could do so, they tried to justify them. In our Eastern countries, communism has suffered a complete ideological defeat; it is zero and less than zero. But Western intellectuals still look at it with interest and with empathy, and this is precisely what makes it so immensely difficult for the West to withstand the East.” Continue reading the speech…
- Have we lost our will-power?
- Has freedom become such a burden that we have succumbed to indifference and entitlement?
- Do you even care anymore?