Steve Jobs gives Chilean miners iPods

Inserito da 15 Ottobre, 2010 (0) Commenti

Si tratta di :English Articles,hoaxes

IT’S TRUE OR FALSE ??

Also get $10K gift, invite to Europe soccer games

Nearly a day after the last of the 33 miners were dramatically rescued from the Chilean mine in which they were trapped for two months, the swag is already rolling in. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has sent each of the 33 miners the latest iPod, Reuters reports. As each faces newfound celebrity — one is said to have penned a book while stuck 2,050 feet underground — the perks aren’t limited to the latest Apple goodies: A Chilean singer-turned-businessman has given each miner $10,000. A Greek firm has offered free tours, soccer teams have invited them to take in games in Europe. Hollywood has also been captivated by their story. The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reported that Spike TV is planning a mining reality series dubbed “Coal” from the producers of “Deadliest Catch” that focuses on two co-owners of Cobalt Mine in Westchester, W.V., their 40-plus employees, families and community members. Viewership of the rescue efforts drew more than 8 million viewers Tuesday night across cable networks, with Fox News averaging 3.2 million, CNN attracting 1.9 million and MSNBC collecting 1 million in primetime.

 

FROM www.hollywoodreporter.com

Categories : English Articles,hoaxes Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

a stupid fraudster can be an investment consultant working with UBS International Holdings BV in the Netherlands ?

Inserito da 7 Ottobre, 2010 (0) Commenti

Si tratta di :English Articles,hoaxes

e-mail by a fraudster who is believed particularly intelligent, but in reality it is not at all

UBS International Holdings BV Herengracht 600 NL-1017 CJ Amsterdam, Netherlands. www.ubs.com/investmentbank Greetings, I am an investment consultant working with UBS International Holdings BV in the Netherlands. I will be happy to work this transaction out with you if you have a corporate or personal Bank Account and if you are reliable and honest. I need strong Assurance that you will never let me down, as I can arrange and provide you details/documentatal proof so that fun ($8.5million) will be transferred into your account as the next of kin to the late depositor(Abbas Farhan al-Jabouri, who was an Election candidate and also a business man). Abbas Farhan al-Jabouri and his two relatives were executed in Mohammed al Malih, near Mandali onthe 29th of January 2009. During one of our periodic auditing I discovered a dormant accounts with the said balance (Eight million, five Hundred thousand Dollars only), this account have not been operated for some years now. At this moment I will not be able to issue more details about this business, until your response is received. If you are not familiar with my Bank profile, please take a moment of your very busy schedules to read about my Bank websit (www.ubs.com/investmentbank). I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible via my private email; hendrikb_usb@yahoo.co.jp Thank you for your time and attention. Warmest Regards, Mr.Beuker Hendrik Investment Consultant. UBS.

Categories : English Articles,hoaxes Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

La catena Conosciamoci meglio o era meglio la catena dell’interrogatorio ?

Inserito da 9 Agosto, 2008 (0) Commenti

Si tratta di :Catene di Sant'Antonio

Questo genere di Catene si chiamano conosciamoci meglio sono una quantità esorbitante di domande secondo me è una cosa improponibile ci vuole moltissimo tempo e poi vengono chieste troppe cose…

A voi il testo..

1. La prima domanda è facile: che ore sono?
2. Nome sulla tua carta di identità:
3. Nomignolo:
4. Luogo di nascita:
5. Residenza attuale:
6. Numero di candele che avevi sulla tua ultima torta di compleanno:
7. Data in cui di solito spegni quelle candele:
8. Segno zodiacale:
9. Altezza:
10. Colore degli occhi:
11. Numero di scarpe:
12. Animali domestici:
13. Occhiali?

14. Piercing?
15. Tatuaggi?
16. Apparecchio?
17. Pregi:
18. Difetti:
19. Tre parole per descriverti:
20. Qual è la parola o frase che dici più volte?
21. Cosa fai di solito quando ti senti giù?
22. Cosa fai per rilassarti?
23. Il numero che ti piace di più?
24. Perché?
25. Il film che non ti stancheresti mai di vedere?
26. Il piatto che ti fa leccare i baffi?
27. Il miglior giorno della settimana?
28. Il cantante prediletto?
29. La canzone che ti fa venire la pelle d’oca ogni volta che la ascolti?
30. Il programma televisivo che ti tiene incollato alla poltrona?
31. Il ristorante che ti soddisfa di più?
32. I fiori più belli?
33. La bevanda alcolica che preferisci?
34. Lo sport che ti affascina di più?
35. Il gelato più buono?
36. L’animale più carino?
37. Il comico che ti fa morir dal ridere?
38. Il colore più bello?
39. Il libro sul comò?
40. Il gioco della Settimana Enigmistica che ti scervella di più?
41. L’attore/attrice più seducente?
42. Il profumo che spruzzi prima di uscire?
43. La foto che ti piace di più?
44. Il sito internet più intelligente?
45. Il genere di musica più appassionante?
46. Il cartone animato più stupido?
47. La marca del tuo evidenziatore prediletto?
48. Le materie che a scuola ami (o amavi)?
49. La frequenza radio su cui sei sempre sintonizzato?
50. Il canale televisivo?
51. X o Y?
52. 3 o 5 porte?
53. Sprite o 7up?
54. Caffè normale o con panna?
55. Coperta o piumone?
56. Lasciare o essere lasciati?
57. Smemoranda o Comix?
58. Dare o ricevere?
59. Disney o Warner Bros?
60. Ristorante o fast-food?
61. Topolino o Paperino?
62. Tuta da sci o costume da bagno?
63. Cappotto o giubbotto?
64. Croissant o biscotti?
65. Breil o Swatch?
66. Playstation o Xbox?
67. Seven o Eastpak?
68. Quiz o Reality Show?
69. Siamo a metà: cosa stai pensando in questo momento?
70. Art Attack o Albero Azzurro?
71. Neve o sabbia?
72. Acqua, Aria, Terra o Fuoco?
73. Descrivi il/la tuo/a migliore amico/a ideale:
74. Descrivi il/la ragazzo/a dei tuoi sogni:
75. Sei a favore o contro l’eutanasia?
76. Sei a favore o contro la pena di morte?
77. Qual è il negozio che sceglieresti per spendere tutti i soldi di una carta di credito?
78. Qual è la materia che ti interessa di meno?
79. Qual è la cosa che ti fa più arrabbiare?
80. Qual è la cosa più bella che esiste?
81. Quali sono le zone in cui ti piace essere baciato/a?
82. Qual è la cosa dalla quale non ti separeresti mai?
83. Qual è il tuo personalissimo posto per riflettere?
84. Qual è il prof che ricorderai vita natural durante?
85. Qual è l’ultima cosa per la quale hai pianto?
86. Che gioco preferisci a carte?
87. Che nome aveva il tuo pupazzo preferito da bambino?
88. Che sport pratichi o ti piacerebbe praticare?
89. Che cellulare hai?
90. Che shampoo usi?
91. Che suoneria hai in questo momento?
92. Che orologio porti?
93. Che nome daresti ai tuoi figli?
94. Che taglia porti?
95. Pensi di essere in sovrappeso?
96. Ti sei già ubriacato/a?
97. Ti sei già innamorato/a?
98. Hai già amato qualcuno al punto di piangere?
99. Hai già avuto incidenti in macchina?
100. Hai gia nuotato nudo/a al mare o in piscina?
101. Hai già bevuto un cuba libre?
102. Hai mai chattato?
103. Hai mai lavorato part-time?
104. Scrivi qualcosa che hai fatto e che non rifaresti mai.
105. Scrivi qualcosa che hai fatto e che rifaresti anche subito.
106. Scrivi tre cose che, se potessi tornare indietro, cambieresti.
107. Scrivi una tua fobia.
108. Come dovrebbe essere festeggiato il tuo compleanno ideale?
109. Come ti vedi da qui a 10 anni?
110. Come dovrebbe essere la casa dei tuoi sogni?
111. Quando è stata l’ultima volta che sei stato all’ospedale?
112. Quando eri piccolo che mestiere sognavi di fare?
113. Quante lingue conosci?
114. Quanto ti piace il tuo lavoro?
115. Cosa c’è stasera in televisione?
116. Cosa non sopporti di te stesso?
117. Cosa usi per farti passare il singhiozzo?
118. Cosa aggiungeresti (o avresti aggiunto) alla tua scuola?
119. La cosa più bella che ti sia mai capitata?
120. E la più brutta?
121. Dove passeresti volentieri le tue vacanze?
122. La nazione (o la città) che ti piacerebbe visitare:
123. La situazione più imbarazzante di tutta la tua vita:
124. Il mezzo di trasporto che usi di più:
125. Il concerto a cui non avresti voluto mancare:
126. Credi in Dio?
127. Sei già stato condannato per qualche crimine?
128. Colore delle calze/calzini?
129. Di che colore è il tappeto della tua stanza?
130. Quante volte hai fatto l’esame per la patente?
131. Se fossi un peccato capitale, quale saresti?
132. A che ora vai a dormire?
133. Ti penti dei peccati che hai commesso fino ad ora?
134. Fumi? Se no, hai mai provato?
135. Mangi spesso al ristorante?
136. Da quanto tempo sai usare il computer?
137. Perdi spesso la calma?
138. Sai nuotare?
139. Sabato sera: cosa fai di solito?
140. Per concentrarti dove studi, solitamente?
141. Cambieresti colore di capelli?
142. Domani finirà il mondo… quali sarebbero le tue ultime eroiche gesta?
143. Se avessi una macchina del tempo, in che epoca del passato vorresti vivere?
144. Credi nell’amore a prima vista?
145. Qual è l’ultima e-mail che hai ricevuto?
146. Chi ti risponderà più in fretta?
147. Qual è la persona che meno probabilmente ti risponderà?
148. Che ore sono?
149. Dì una cosa alla persona che ti ha mandato questa mail:
150. Per finire dì qualcosa a chi legge queste righe:

Categories : Catene di Sant'Antonio Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Many SMBs unprepared for online security threats

Inserito da 7 Agosto, 2008 (0) Commenti

Si tratta di :News,Sicurezza

About 35 percent admitted to not being concerned about cybercrime even though another 20 percent said their companies had been victimized by online crime.

A surprisingly large number of small and midsize businesses appear to be either blissfully unaware of or uncaring about the online security threats they face, according to a survey conducted by security vendor McAfee.

The survey was conducted on officials from 500 US and Canadian companies with less than 1,000 employees each, McAfee said that nearly 45 percent of the respondents didn’t see their businesses as being valuable targets for cyber criminals, while more than half felt their organizations simply weren’t well-known enough to attract the attention of attackers. About 35 percent admitted to not being concerned about cybercrime even though another 20 percent said their companies had been victimized by online crime, and almost one-third of the latter group said they had been attacked at least four times over the past three years.

Perhaps the most surprising finding was that nearly 20 percent of the surveyed companies said they had no security protections at all in place against online threats. Yet 90 percent said they relied heavily on the Internet for their business, noted Darrell Rodenbaugh, senior vice president of McAfee’s midmarket business unit.

“Many SMBs think cybercrime is an issue for larger companies,” Rodenbaugh said. “They think larger companies make better targets because that’s where the money is.” But the reality is quite the opposite, he added.

“Our information says that cyber criminals prefer smaller organizations because they are more easily attacked,” Rodenbaugh said. That’s because smaller companies often have far less manpower and financial resources to invest in IT security than their larger counterparts do.

On average, smaller companies employ just one to two full-time workers to handle all of their IT functions, according to Rodenbaugh. So it isn’t surprising, he said, that many SMBs don’t have anyone dedicated to information security, or that they devote at most an hour per week to security efforts. And often, companies that think they have sufficient protections really don’t, Rodenbaugh said. For instance, roughly half of the respondents who felt their companies had adequate security controls told McAfee that they trusted the default settings on their IT equipment.

For the most part, McAfee’s findings are an accurate reflection of attitudes toward IT security in the SMB market, said Adam Hils, an analyst at Gartner. He agreed that many small and midsize companies, which Gartner considers to be those with between 20 and 1,000 employees indeed don’t think of themselves as likely targets of cyber attacks.

The situation is both the result of a lack of awareness and “a desire to not have to spend on security until you have to,” Hils said. “It’s easy to convince yourself of something if that’s what you want to believe.” But like Rodenbaugh, he said that in actuality, SMBs are more likely to be targets of cyber criminals because their systems increasingly are seen as being easier to break into than the ones at larger companies are.
Hils said that as a percentage of their IT budgets, SMBs do tend to spend more on security than larger companies do typically, 5 percent to 10 percent, as opposed to between 3 percent and 6 percent at bigger businesses. Even so, he added, the actual dollar amounts that small and midsize companies invest in security often aren’t enough to keep them secure. “Most of the time, they’re playing catch-up,” Hils said.

According to Hils, SMBs usually spend most of their security budgets on anti-virus and firewall tools, while focusing less on equally important technologies like intrusion detection and identity management systems. SMBs also tend to prefer working with just one or two security vendors, from which they expect products that address a wide range of threats, he said. That’s one of the reasons why so-called unified threat management, or UTM, technologies have been gaining so much attention among mid-market companies.

Source : ComputerWorld (US)
Categories : News,Sicurezza Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

E’ morto a 89 anni lo scrittore Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

Inserito da 5 Agosto, 2008 (0) Commenti

Si tratta di :News

AE426AEBECB8FFCD78D86D3A7DD0

Era l’incarnazione della dissidenza nell’Urss

Mosca, 4 ago. (Apcom) – E’ morto Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, scrittore, drammaturgo e storico russo. Aveva 89 anni.
Solzhenitsyn, grazie ai suoi lavori, fece conoscere al mondo i Gulag, i campi di lavoro sovietici, e per questo gli fu conferito il Premio Nobel per la letteratura nel 1970. Fu esiliato dall’Unione Sovietica nel 1974 e ritornò in Russia venti anni dopo.
Lo scrittore è morto nella sua casa nella capitale russa nella notte tra domenica e lunedi “a seguito di una grave insufficienza cardiaca” alle 23.45 di domenica orario di Mosca (le 21.45 italiane), secondo quanto ha dichiarato suo figlio.
Solzhenitsyn rivelò al mondo la realtà del sistema sovietico nei suoi lavori “Un giorno nella vita di Ivan Denisovic“, romanzo scritto nel 1962, “Il primo cerchio” (1968) e “Arcipelago Gulag” (1973). Premio Nobel per la letteratura nel 1970, fu privato della cittadinanza nel 1974 ed espulso dall’Unione sovietica.
Visse in seguito in Germania, in Svizzera e quindi negli Stati Uniti, prima di ritornare in Russia nel 1994 dopo la caduta dell’Urss. Considerato a lungo come l’incarnazione della dissidenza contro il regime comunista, era autore di una serie di opere fondate sull’esperienza del totalitarismo, con la descrizione di tutti gli orrori dei campi sovietici.
Trascorse sette anni in un campo di lavoro nelle steppe del Kazakistan, poi tre anni al confino in Asia centrale. Riferirà la sua esperienza del gulag – abbreviazione sovietica del sistema dei campi di lavoro – in un breve romanzo, “Una giornata di Ivan Denisovic”, la cui pubblicazione venne autorizzata dal segretario del partito comunista Nikita Kruscev nel 1962, allo scopo di prendere le distanze dagli abusi del periodo staliniano.
Dopo la deposizione di Kruscev nel 1964, Solzhenitsyn rimase vittima di una campagna di denigrazione da parte del Kgb e dell’Unione degli scrittori sovietici da cui venne espulso.
Nel 1970 ottenne il premio Nobel per la letteratura, ma non l’autorizzazione a recarsi a Stoccolma per riceverlo. Tre anni dopo pubblicò a Parigi la trilogia de L’Arcipelago Gulag.
L’Occidente lo accolse a braccia aperte.
Red/Kat
Fonte Apcom

Solzhenitsyn: oggi camera ardente all’Accademia delle Scienze a Mosca

MOSCA – Sara’ esposta oggi nella sede centrale dell’Accademia delle Scienze a Mosca la salma di Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, lo scrittore-dissidente che rivelo’ al mondo la tragedia dei gulag staliniani. La camera ardente per l’estremo saluto dei concittadini iniziera’ alle 11 (ora locale) e terminera’ in serata. (Agr)

da corriere della sera 5 agosto 2008

International friends can read this

Solzhenitsyn, the conscience of Russia, who told the truth about the gulags – and so signed the death warrant of Bolshevism

Mail writer OWEN MATTHEWS’ grandfather was executed by Stalin, and his grandmother was sent to the death camps. Here he offers a unique insight into how Alexander Solzhenitzyn, who died this week, captured the terrible reality of the gulags.

For decades, the Soviet Communist Party claimed to be the ‘mind, honour and conscience of the people’.

But the truth was that the Party was the agent of unimaginable human suffering, lies and deception.

The true conscience of Russia was Alexander Solzhenitsyn – the man who dared to speak out against the regime and chronicled its crimes in painstaking detail.

And in insisting that the Russian people ‘live not by lies’, Solzhenitsyn made a tiny but deep fissure in the wall of hypocrisy which was, in time, to crack the whole rotten system apart.

The truth Solzhenitsyn told helped to make Russia free.

As Mikhail Gorbachev yesterday acknowledged, Solzhenitsyn had ‘helped people see the real nature of the regime’ – and his writings had helped to ‘make our country free and democratic’.

Solzhenitsyn brought the terrible reality of the Soviet gulag home not just to foreigners but to ordinary Russians too.

In the bright, sanitised world of Soviet propaganda, Solzhenitsyn’s writing held a mirror to the Soviet Union’s darkest secrets.

He was to pay a heavy price for this.

After being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970 he was too famous to jail, yet his presence became too toxic for the authorities to bear.

He was forced on to a plane for America in 1974.

There, he retired to rural Vermont, where the winters reminded him of Russia.
But America, ‘land of the free’, was ironically to disillusion him as well, and he turned his indignation on the injustices of capitalism.

After two decades in exile, he returned to Russia in 1994 and was feted as an almost messianic figure.

It was here that Solzhenitsyn’s moral compass, so steady in the black and white world of Stalin’s Russia, began to waver.

But for all his hatred of the Communist Soviet Union, Solzhenitsyn found that he had no love for the capitalist Russia of the Nineties and what he saw as its decadent values.

He refused to accept a state prize from Boris Yeltsin because he had brought ‘so much suffering on the Russian people’.

Indeed, when Vladimir Putin – a former KGB officer – began to prune away the anarchic freedoms which Yeltsin had won, Solzhenitsyn hailed his ‘strong leadership’ and brushed aside Putin’s KGB past, saying: ‘Every country needs an intelligence service.’

Yesterday, Putin returned the compliment, lamenting Solzhenitsyn’s passing as a ‘heavy loss for Russia’.

Putin and Russia’s new president, Dmitry Medvedev, are expected to attend Solzhenitsyn’s funeral at Moscow’s Donskoi monastery today.
The strangeness of an ex-KGB officer paying tribute to Russia’s greatest dissident is a reflection of how conflicted Russia remains about its recent past – and in particular the legacy of Stalin.

He was the greatest mass murderer of the last century, starving millions in man-made famines and creating a prison system which claimed more lives than the Nazi death camps.

And yet recent polls have shown that Stalin is regarded as one of Russia’s most respected historical figures.

With the Kremlin’s blessing, school history books are being revised to show the ‘Great Leader’ in a more positive light, as the victor of World War II and the moderniser of Russia.

Putin even described the fall of the Soviet Union as ‘the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the century’.

Solzhenitsyn’s life was a refutation of that. The one constant in that life was that he was moved by a powerful, almost mystical, moral sense.

He felt compelled to speak out against what he felt was wrong, regardless of the consequences.
In his case, these injustices were eight years in the gulag, decades of harassment and denunciation by the Soviet authorities and the regime’s craven ‘intellectuals’ and, finally, 20 years of exile from the country which he loved with a passion.

His first crime was to criticise Stalin in a private letter to a friend in 1945.

When the military censor reported the letter to the secret police, Solzhenitsyn, then a young artillery captain twice decorated for valour, was sent, after a perfunctory trial, to Stalin’s nightmarish gulags.

Like 18 million of his fellow countrymen, he found himself plunged into a parallel world of unimaginable brutality, where prisoners slaved in the Siberian cold on madly futile projects like canals no one needed and train lines to nowhere.

Later he wrote of ‘the desperate loneliness of the accused, the confusion and dislocation, the fear and indignation of the men and women who were rapidly filling the Soviet Union’s jails’.

‘The whole apparatus threw its full weight on one lonely and uninhibited will,’ he recalled.

‘Brother mine! Do not condemn those who turned out to be weak and confessed to more than they should have. Do not be the first to cast a stone at them!’

Solzhenitsyn called Stalin’s prison system the Gulag Archipelago – like islands in a sea of frozen steppe, the barbed-wire fenced gulags were a state within the state.

After his release he penned a short story which described, in simple but devastating detail, one day in the life of a gulag inmate, Ivan Denisovich.

When it was published in 1962, during a brief post-Stalin thaw, One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich caused a sensation.

The state had tried to airbrush Stalin’s gulags, purges and famines from history.

Solzhenitsyn spoke for the millions whose voices Stalin had silenced.

One of them was my mother’s father, Boris Lvovich Bibikov.

A devoted Bolshevik, Bibikov had received the Order of Lenin for his part in building the Kharkov Tractor Factory, one of the giant projects of the industrialisation drive of the Thirties.

But in the Great Purge of 1937, which Stalin launched against his real and imagined opponents, Bibikov found himself accused of crimes against the revolution.

He was tried by a secret court on evidence obtained under torture, and sentenced to death.

The usual method was ‘nine grams’, the weight of a pistol bullet, to the back of the head – my grandfather’s fate.
His wife, my grandmother, was sent to the gulag for 15 years as the wife of an ‘enemy of the people’.

His two daughters – my mother and aunt – were sent to an orphanage for re-education.

Some years ago I was given permission to read my grandfather’s secret police file.

It contained about 3lb of paper, the sheets carefully numbered and bound, with my grandfather’s name entered on the crumbling brown cover in curiously elaborate, copperplate script.

The file sat heavily in my lap, eerily malignant, and since the careful bureaucrats who compiled the file neglected to say where he was buried, this stack of paper is the closest thing to Boris Bibikov’s remains.

For the days I sat in the former KGB HQ in Kiev examining the file, Alexander Ponamaryev, a young officer of the Ukrainian security service sat with me, reading out passages of barely legible cursive script and explaining legal terms.

‘Your grandfather believed,’ said Ponamaryev.

‘But do you not think that his accusers believed also? Or the men who shot him?’

Solzhenitsyn once posed the same question.

‘If my life had turned out differently, might I myself not have become just such an executioner?’ he wrote in The Gulag Archipelago, his epic literary investigation of Stalin’s terror.
‘If only it was so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.

But the line dividing good from evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of their own heart?’

Solzhenitsyn’s persecutors, like my grandfather’s, were driven by the same motivations as their victims.

When people become the building blocks of history, intelligent men can abdicate moral responsibility.

Indeed the Purge – in Russian, chistka or ‘cleaning’ – was something heroic to those who made it, just as the building of the great factory was heroic to Bibikov.

The difference was that my grandfather made his personal revolution in physical bricks and concrete, whereas the secret police’s bricks were class enemies, every one sent to the execution chamber another building-block in the great edifice of socialism.

This was the true, dark genius behind Stalinism – a genius which Solzhenitsyn describes in terrifying detail. Not simply to put two strangers – executioner and victim – into a room and convince one to kill the other, but to convince both that this murder served a higher purpose.

This can happen only when a man becomes a political commodity, a unit in a calculation, his life and death to be planned and disposed of like a ton of steel or a truckload of bricks.

The men drawn to serve in the Soviet secret police, in the words of its founder Felix Dzerzhinsky, could either be saints or scoundrels – and clearly the service attracted more than its fair share of sadists and psychopaths.

But they were not aliens, but Russian men, made of the same tissue and fed by the same blood as their victims.

‘Where did this wolf tribe appear from among our own people?’ asked Solzhenitsyn. ‘Does it really stem from our own roots? Our own blood? It is ours.’

This question – how to cope with the beast in man – gives Solzhenitsyn’s writing not just its moral seriousness but its drama, too.

His stories are about men and women forced to make terrible choices.

In the process they occasionally find a kind of greatness and redemption in small acts of kindness or in tiny, private episodes of heroism.

At his best, Solzhenitsyn, like Tolstoy, described the hidden, tragic lives of his characters played out against a background of Russian squalor and casual brutality.

But for all his greatness and importance in bringing down the Soviet Union, by the time of his death Solzhenitsyn had become an irrelevance to the thrusting, new, oil-rich Russia of Vladimir Putin.

In that lies a tragedy because Russia has swung back from its infatuation with wild capitalism into a longing for authority and order.

Solzhenitsyn, once an idealistic Communist, understood better than most how power can pervert men and ideas.

He saw himself as a prophet not just for Russia but for all mankind, and in his later years turned to denouncing the corruptions of Russia’s chaotic brand of freedom and the dangers of liberalism.

But for all his unfashionable conservatism, he believed adamantly in the value of human dignity – and that a state abdicated all moral authority to order society if it abused its citizens.

For all its wealth, Russia remains mired in corruption and injustice. With Solzhenitsyn’s death it has lost its conscience, and is a poorer place for it.

Source : http://www.thisislondon.co.uk

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