Solzhenitsyn's Warning to the Future

It is a conceit of the modern world that history is governed by reason. Reason is like an axe to the living, growing tree of history, with its convoluted branches, each cell and molecule emerging as a matter of sheer contingency, one building upon the next—so that great events arise from innumerable plots and threads. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote a series of exhausting books, totaling thousands of pages, about unreason in history and the subsequent creation of the modern world, in which the axe of reason, as he puts it, is rare, and when it does fall sometimes creates absolute terror.

 

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