THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO: AN ANALYSIS
Recently, I have taken an interest in Eastern European and Russian literature. During my youth, Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky were sometimes discussed in the academic world (Usually in a comical tone spoken by sophisticated “cultural enthusiasts” that mocked the encyclopedic length of their most famous novels). But the only interest I ever had during my youth was a fear of having to absorb them. Discovering Soviet films over the last decade was an eye opening but satisfying experience. Watching a film style that is completely unique and original relating to a specific region of the world was fascinating and got me interested in Russian culture and history. This lit that fire of curiosity in my soul that got me pursuing Russian novels. A few months ago, I started my first, the historical novel THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. For a good majority of my life, I was told that this novel would help me understand what the Soviet Union was. After reading this 616-page classic of literature, I have to admit that my understanding was severely lacking. But it also had an influence on my thought process that was unexpected.
Solzhenitsyn weaves the dark reality of living in the Soviet Union during this time with his own experience of surviving the Gulag for over a decade. The book is broken down into three main parts: An opening section that explains the history of the Communist uprising from the author’s perspective, the chaos of rule under Lenin, and the creation of the prison industry including the Soviet bluecaps who ran them. The second part is an attempt to explain ever-changing Soviet law and the dozens of non-defined reasons that led to the imprisonment, torture, and death of millions of citizens. Finally, the last part is an analysis of the constant movement and synchronicity that this expanded prison system eventually had on the Soviet landscape. The book has moments of pure hilarity especially when Solzhenitsyn explains the history of Communism and his memories of the people who ran this “sewage disposal system.” But he also dives into philosophical thinking often with religious overtones when it comes time for the reader to understand his mindset during this evil time. The second chapter, THE SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM is truly heartbreaking. As the Communists became more authoritarian and started cracking down on the people of Russia, he comes to the realization that a lack of understanding about how evil human beings can become and the systems of oppression that they create could have been stopped with acts of resistance.
“How we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?...Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur — what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked. The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!”
He also describes the lack of understanding about the miserable circumstances that were about to engulf the Russian people,
“We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.”
While contemplating why some of his Russian brethren could torture, and in the worst cases, murder their fellow countrymen, he contemplates the idea of good versus evil,
“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 and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”
As I thought when reading this quote, the world would be a lot easier to enjoy if every villain was as easy to recognize as they are in Hollywood movies or the novel THE LORD OF THE RINGS. But in our own reality, the world is much more complicated than that. In Communist Russia, the legal rules were this, “If the state accuses you of a crime, then you are a criminal.” Nowhere was a jury of your peers or an appearance in front of a non-partisan judge ever possible. The administrative state already had determined your punishment even before the trial had begun. Many were sentenced to death. Then, a general amnesty was given before death sentences became part of the Gulag again. Jail terms were often handed out indiscriminately. Two people who got charged with the same crime would get different sentences, one for only five years, the other twenty-five. Political prisoners would often get ten to fifteen and treated better than the common criminal. Even then, they often faced execution at a higher rate. The” educated” would get the worst treatment of all. Engineers, professors, authors, electricians, and civil servants would often be blamed and imprisoned for the mistakes or impossible production expectations of the government. When questioning the government on meeting quotas, this would automatically lead to a long prison sentence. Because as the Communists leaders always believed about themselves, they were never wrong. You are just a spoiled bourgeois traitor. When reading about the horror of the Gulag which was enforced on anywhere between ten to twenty million Soviet citizens (According to various opinions) and led to millions of unnecessary deaths and the starvation of millions more, there is only one thought that comes to mind. How could the people of the Soviet Union allow this to happen? These two quotes put this whole historical experience into perspective. It is the inherent flaws which every human being carries with them.
“It was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … a small corner of evil.”
And about the purpose of religion,
“Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”
The impact this book had on me was unexpected. As an individual who is quickly approaching the half century mark on this planet, a clear understanding of our present-day circumstances overwhelmed me. Over the past two years, and nine months of my life, authoritarianism has made its way into my own life in ways that were unforeseen just a short time ago. Every single thing that has been enforced on us by the government, our jobs, or the medical pharmaceutical industry can be explained by Solzhenitsyn’s past experiences. But here is the real kicker of my analysis. I no longer consider the politicians that govern in California or in DC as anything other than a threat to my way of life. These people are criminals, vandals, and arsonists. As the FTX scandal clearly showed, we have reached the point in our empire where the elitists and wealthy loot the country before its collapse. It is bi-partisan and if the American people don’t wake up soon and fight back, our wealth will be gone, and we will be living under an authoritarian surveillance state. Politicians throughout history have always been out-of-touch with the people. This was also the case in the Soviet Union as Solzhenitsyn explains,
“The old proverb does not lie: Look for the brave in prison (Lock downed in their homes), and the stupid among the political leaders!”
Not to mention, the most dangerous men/women on this planet are the true believers. The people that are doing this for the good of humanity (Bill Gates, Dr. Anthony Fauci). Why was Adolf Hitler more dangerous than Benito Mussolini? Because Hitler truly believed in his vision of fascism while Mussolini only did it to accumulate power. There is a significant difference between these type of people.
“To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good, or else that it’s a well-considered act in conformity with natural law. Fortunately, it is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions.”
When an alternative viewpoint became the popular narrative, our leaders would not accept it. The default option was to censor any information that they personally did not support. This basic lack of human intelligence when it comes to actual tolerance and accepting differing viewpoints is the norm for most politicians. This is why governments are the worst tools of oppression in the world.
“It’s a universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”
The mainstream narratives involving every aspect of the pandemic (COVID-19, biolabs, masking, hospitalization, deaths, and vaccines) were all lies masquerading as political opinions in a propagandistic push for more control over our lives. Unlike Russia though, U.S. citizens have defeated this power grab by our politicians and governmental agencies for the time being. There is a quote from THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO that explains why,
“You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”
Thank God we have so many Americans with integrity. Even though the lies have been exposed and a sense of “freedom” has returned for now, the damage that our politicians, corporate leaders, and the globalists have done to this country maybe irreparable. Who knows if they are going to make another attempt at enforcing the technocratic state they crave? And if this is the case, what are we going to do about it? Well, the best way to win is through two effective means. First, ignore the government and the media. Live your life the way you want. Do not let fear or intimidation take away from the beauty of this world. Enjoy the short amount of time that you have. If a law seems ridiculous, ignore it especially if it leads to no consequences. Second, accounting for his long prison term, the beauty of life can always be found in little things. Solzhenitsyn found plenty of it in his locked cage,
“The rule of your life is this: Do not rejoice when you have found, do not weep when you have lost.”
Gain different perspectives and wisdom and travel as much as possible,
“Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”
Rulers and prison wardens believe they can control it all. But this is in contradiction to human nature. Anyone with nothing to lose can regain their freedom no matter the circumstances,
“You only have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power—he’s free again.”
Learn to appreciate everything and everyone in your present-day life who have personal importance to you. Don’t let the need to accumulate goods ruin your happiness.
“Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart -and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know. It may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted on their memory.”
And finally, some great philosophical advice,
“Live with a steady superiority over life -don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn for happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.”
As you can probably surmise, I recommend this book to everyone. It should be required reading in colleges across the country (It currently is in Russia). To compare this to a film, THE GULAG ARCHIPELAGO is THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION of prison novels. Read about the stupidity and pure evil of Lenin and Stalin and the crimes they committed against their populations and see how it compares to many of our present-day problems. Appreciate the fact that as a free citizen (For now), you did not have to suffer the horrors that were inflicted on so many undeserved people in a time not too far removed from our present. Personally, reading about terrifying incidents throughout history has always given me positive vibes. Not because I am a sick masochist. Because it makes me appreciate everything I have and everyone who loves me. There is nothing better that that.
No matter whether you agree with me or not about my personal media choices, I hope that your mind has at least been opened to these alternative possibilities. The mainstream media currently is dying a slow and painful death and as the Twitter Files continue to be released and CNN, ABC, NBC, etc. continue to be exposed as propaganda outlets for big corporations and the government, the media that most people became familiar with during their lifetimes has begun to fade away. A new generation of media outlets is taking over. And who knows what is going to happen with these new platforms? They may become just as corrupted and pointless as CNN is currently. But until that day arrives, I will continue to put faith into the information that they provide over anything that the mainstream outlets try to promote.
The last alternative media outlet is Antenna Pod. My current version is downloaded thru an alternative app store called F-Droid, which only provides downloads for open source, Linux based applications. Antenna Pod can also be found on the Google Play Store (It is not available on Apple). So instead of subscribing to Audible or using the hellish advertising and tracking platforms posing as podcast players like Podcast Republic, Stitcher, Podcast Addict or Apple Podcast, Antenna Pod is open source and has access to over a million podcasts free of charge. I highly recommend this service (Even the Google Play one is better despite the tracking) for listening to your favorite podcasts. Below is my current selection of podcasts that are in my Antenna Pod application.
NOTE: This list changes constantly. It really depends on my mood and interests at any particular time.
ANYTHING BETTER? – Podcast hosted by Paul Virzi and Bill Burr, friends, and comedians. Bill Burr started the ALL-THINGS COMEDY NETWORK and hosts multiple podcasts with his close friends. This is my favorite one of the bunch. I used to listen to his twice weekly published MONDAY MORNING PODCAST, but the episodes started getting too long. Under two hours is the sweet spot for my attention span (This is why I DO NOT LISTEN to Joe Rogan).
CONAN O’BRIEN NEEDS A FRIEND – Will continue to promote this podcast on EarWolf. It is still the funniest thing in the podcast universe. The show is based around Conan interviewing a celebrity weekly in a long form interview.
FATMAN BEYOND – Another Podcast from another independent company, Smodcast. Owned by film director Kevin Smith, this is one of the half dozen podcasts that he hosts. Topics revolve around our present-day movie culture obsession with comic books and updated information on upcoming films.
GOLD, GOATS, N GUNS – Speculative geo-political podcast from Lew Rockwell veteran, crypto enthusiast, and quasi-libertarian Tom Luongo.
There is an independent podcast network with 20 to 30 minute long, four to five times a week podcasts based around every professional sports team in the NFL, MLB, NHL, College Sports, and the NBA. It is called the Locked On Network. I limit myself to three podcasts about my three favorite professional sports teams.
LOCKED ON RAMS
LOCKED ON KINGS
LOCKED ON PADRES
LORE – From the independent podcast company Grim & Mild comes a 30-minute podcast based on historical folklore with a few ghost stories thrown in for good measure.
RAMS ICONIC – My first podcast owned by a billion-dollar business. In this case, it would be the Los Angeles Rams. This revolves around conversations with classic Rams players from their long and storied history and hosted by ex-Ram D’Marco Farr.
THE COUNTERJAB – Brand new podcast hosted by Dr. Peter McCullough and John Leake that focues on COVID-19 misinformation. This can also be found on Dr. McCullough’s COURAGEOUS DISCOURSE Substack page. But it can be listened to for free on Antenna Pod.
DANGEROUS HISTORY PODCAST – My favorite history podcast hosted by CJ Killmer, a now-retired history professor. This discusses alternative histories and stories not known by the majority of Americans. His recent focus on war propaganda has made this podcast a mandatory listen.
JIM ROME PODCAST – Another podcast owned by a large corporation (Audacy); these are long form interviews by sports journalist Jim Rome with some of the most famous athletes of the current and previous generations. Jim has always been a fantastic interviewer, so these podcasts are always fascinating.
TOM WOODS SHOW– Five times a week podcast about liberty and individuals fighting back against the government.
TULSI GABBARD SHOW – Another new podcast focusing on long-form interviews related to topics close to Tulsi’s heart, stopping the military-industrial complex, the protection of female rights, media corruption, and more.
And finally, YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS – A history podcast about 20th Century Hollywood that airs a handful of times a year in a seasonal format. This podcast is one of my favorites and the show will often analyze interesting film actors from the last Century.
Finally, during this final part of my five-part series on Alternative Media, I want to make an announcement. Starting in 2023, Expert of Some will be creating a Twitter account. Due to monetizing this website, my future book, and classes that I want to start releasing on my website (More information on the latter two in 2023), I am going to start a Twitter account for promotional purposes only. It will be some version of my name, Expert of Some. When the account becomes active, I will send an email and post it permanently at www.expertofsome.com.
In terms of the podcasts, feel free to reach out with your own personal favorites. Next week, I will provide a review for a historical book that I just recently finished. After that, there is going to be a deeper dive into history related to a topic that has become incredibly fascinating to me. Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2023!
Facebook is evil!
Facebook is run by an alien posing as a human being.
Facebook is bad for everyone psychologically.
What other reason is necessary to not use one of the worst inventions of the 21st Century?
I decided to use Facebook for a short period of time in the mid-2010s under an alias. My account lasted a little over a year before it was suspended. Since I refuse to send a tech company my driver’s license and Social Security Number (Through their request to keep my account open), I decided to abandon my account. Something about Facebook has never felt “morally ethical”. Why does a company need so much personal information to use their services? What guarantee do I have that my privacy will be protected? As we have come to understand, Facebook cannot give you this guarantee.
During the rise of social media website MySpace, I enjoyed the anonymity that it provided. You could get into interesting group conversations with people, dive deep into topics of personal interest, and debate with people interested in the same bizarre subjects without revealing anything personal about yourself. When Facebook rose from the ashes and began the destruction of MySpace back in the late 2000s, something about this felt like it was being forced onto our culture with an “invisible hand.” The website had minimal content and felt sterile like walking into a room with bright white walls, floors, and doors. There was no character with Facebook. But my opinion did not matter. Facebook was on its way to a hundred-billion-dollar valuation and would soon become the owner of Instagram, WhatsApp and would dominate the chat and social media categories.
Skip ahead to 2020 and the creation of my https://www.expertofsome.com website. One of my goals in creating this website was to promote my blogs, future novels, and any other creative activity without using the marketing power and prestige of the evil Big Tech companies. While Substack is used to support independent journalists, and Rumble is used to support my favorite independent video creators, I needed to find a Facebook and Twitter clone to help build my audience. This is when I discovered MeWe. Like Telegram, MeWe is not a perfect defender of Constitutional Values. MeWe succeeds because it protects your privacy, does not bombard you with advertisements, nor track you with insidious cookies (I was able to confirm this through my own privacy evaluation of the website on Linux). MeWe has no problem with individuals using aliases for communication on their social media website. Under my alias, Expert of Some, I have become very active on MeWe (Especially in Sports chats). Listed below are the groups in which my participation is active.
Anarchy: To discuss the philosophy of rule by “no government.” This group is often filled with unhinged people as well as a tremendous amount of spam.
College Basketball: College basketball fans are more interesting to talk with than the NBA.
NFL Chat: A discussion about the most popular sport in the United States.
NHL Fans for Life: A group discussion about the NHL.
MLB: The best MeWe chat with the most educated baseball fans I have ever encountered.
Minor League Hockey: I am a big fan of AHL minor league hockey. I have three teams that play within an hour of my house and two of those teams are affiliated with my two favorite teams, the Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks.
Parrots USA: A fun chat about my favorite pet, the parrot.
Hiking and Outdoors: A chat group of people mostly posting beautiful images from their hikes or camping trips.
Linux and Open Source: As a Linux user, I am still fascinated with this topic. But this group is a very unsavory and obnoxious group.
Here are the publications I follow on MeWe (Many of these were moved over from Telegram).
Babylon Bee: Best online satirical website that focuses on religion and conservative/libertarian humor.
The Epoch Times: Independent news source covering topics outside of the mainstream hive mind.
American Thinker: Complex stories written about complex issues.
Schiff Gold: Goldbug investor Peter Schiff and stories about economics from his unique point of view.
Gateway Pundit: Often covers conservative and contrary opinions that the mainstream media will not talk about or ignores.
Slashdot: Covers tech industry breaking news.
Sports Illustrated: Breaking sports news and interesting long form stories about sports-related topics.
Here are the charities and institutions I follow on MeWe (Many of these I support financially).
Children’s Health Defense: RFK Jr.’s charitable organization that focuses on chemicals, vaccines, and medical malpractice that can be linked to the rise in childhood diseases and medical issues throughout the United States.
Tenth Amendment Center: An organization that focuses on states’ rights and the need to swing the power structure back to the states and away from the Federal government.
Free Thought Project: Has a libertarian perspective and focuses on the abuses of state power in the United States.
Californians for Vaccine Choices: Also known as Stand-Up California. An organization to fight back against the oppressive vaccine mandates and masking imposed on the state.
So there you go. Four different alternative websites, four complete lists of news organizations, individuals, and charities that have become my primary topics of research. Since 2020, my interests have changed dramatically. There are no film or television history, cryptocurrency, or music websites to be found. The overwhelming change in our culture towards authoritarianism that was brought about by these COVID-19 lockdowns, masking, and vaccine mandates really focuses your brain on what is important not only for yourself but your family.
Next week will be my final post on this topic. I use an open-source podcast application called Antenna Pod. I highly recommend this program over the advertising infested garbage provided by Amazon, Apple, and Google. Until then!
So with Part 1 of this “alternative media option” series, I discussed the rise of Substack, a new subscription-based journalism platform where the best writers of our era that have been “dismissed” from their jobs for ‘wrongthink’ have found a home to engage in investigative reporting which included a short list of some of my preferred writers. Part 2 was a short discussion about Locals and Rumble, the alternative video streaming platforms that are in direct competition with Google’s YouTube and have found success as free speech alternatives for creators who have been removed by Google for speech violations usually related to COVID-19 lockdowns or Hunter Biden’s laptop. In that article, I also listed a few more video creators that are my personal preference. With Part 3, we will be looking at another alternative platform that is in direct competition with other mainstream chat services like Discord, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. Telegram, which started on August 14, 2013, is an end-to-end encryption app that has expanded onto desktop and other OS’s like Linux and has over 100 million users. From a security aspect, Telegram is not without controversy. Of the applications I have recommended, this is the one that still does not inspire 100% confidence. There are a couple of reasons for this. Unlike Rumble, Telegram buckled and began censoring Sputnik and RT News, two Russian-based news services that have direct ties to the Russian government, after the invasion of Ukraine. This is unacceptable and is the company’s first strike (As a baseball analogy, you get three strikes and then you are out!). Telegram has had some confirmed security issues which to the company’s credit, they usually resolve quickly. But if this has happened once before, how sure can anyone be that this won’t become a problem again? Third, they recently disclosed user data to a government that requested the information. This is the second strike. Finally, the founder of Telegram has big plans for the platform. It appears he wants to turn Telegram into a decentralized marketplace (CBDCs anyone?) for crypto wallets while creating a marketplace for exchange. This goes along with my recent discovery that he is a member of the World Economic Forum, the organization mainly responsible for “The Great Reset”, the political push by the elitists for global governance and a fascist public-private partnership that will obliterate individual freedom for every person on the planet.
My only defense for continuing to use Telegram is that my extended and immediate families use this application as our main communication tool through encrypted group chats. I can also send encrypted “chats” to any of my family and friends (If permission is given) on my contact list. This is the main reason for my continued usage of this application. In addition, there is a better messaging application that is more secure than Telegram called Signal which has better encryption and security. But, teaching your uneducated family how to use this application with keys and passwords is a difficult concept. So until this problem is resolved, Telegram is my default option for messaging. As I discover new dependable applications, I will update this post to a different chat service once I become comfortable with its usage capabilities and security details.
Due to Telegram’s increasingly “shady” history, I have moved most of my trusted news-gathering services over to MeWe, the alternative social media application that is the free speech alternative to Facebook (More on this in Part 4). As a messaging service, Telegram has the ability to create groups with hundreds of thousands of members able to follow every post. Because of this, many news gathering organizations, celebrities, and corporations use Telegram as another tool for promotion. Since I default to prioritizing Substack and MeWe before using Telegram, here are the groups I follow on this application that do not have an option available on those alternatives.
Dr. Peter McCullough: Probably the most important doctor in regard to the COVID-19 lockdowns, masking mandates, and vaccines. He is one of the first doctors who learned how to treat COVID-19 with medication on his patients and saved dozens of lives. Dr. McCullough has begun a divine calling in bringing attention to the evils of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and the broken and corrupt medical system. If you have Telegram, this is a mandatory “follow.”
LifeSite News: A Canadian based Catholic website that has been an incredible news source for two specific topics that have become important to me. First, they have been at the forefront of news about the freedoms being destroyed by the COVID-19 masking requirements and lockdowns. Second, they have published multiple in-depth articles on the corruption of the Catholic Church.
CounterPunch: An independent, well-researched, journalistic website that posts articles that often focus on the behaviors, deeds, and corruptions of corporations and governments throughout the world.
Strategic Culture Foundation: In-depth analysis, research, and policy opinions about geopolitical issues in the Eurasian region. An interesting alternative viewpoint to the American one when it comes to world affairs.
Mintpress News: Covers global imperialism, corporatocracy, and the loss of civil liberties of individuals all over the globe.
James Delingpole: A unique British perspective on the events and global problems of the past two years.
Antiwar.com: Best geopolitical news source that takes a strong libertarian, anti-war perspective to global events.
Glenn Greenwald: Mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2. His Telegram chat is more of a Twitter summation of a thought or topic of interest that he is tracking on a particular day.
Whitney Webb: Independent researcher and journalist that often focuses on the globalists/elitists and their plans for the world.
Armstrong Economics: Economist and geopolitical analyst who makes often successful predictions about present-day issues with a focus on investing for the future.
Next week, our 4th and final post about MeWe will conclude this series. At the end, I will be announcing a potential bonus 5th post with some updates on my personal life. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and spent some valuable time with their families. Until then!
EXPERT OF SOME