Racism Is Bad, But Lawlessness Is Worse


For this author, despite the common cry that the circumstances surrounding both Brown and Garner and the resulting chaos are about race, there is no direct connection. There is, however, in both cases an absolute connection to lawlessness, which I suggest is the root of the matter.

In his famous commencement address at Harvard University in 1978, Alexander Solzhenitsyn cautioned us as to a deeper problem facing our country both then and now. Solzhenitsyn said, “Indeed sometimes the warnings are quite explicit and concrete. The center of your democracy and of your culture is left without electric power for a few hours only, and all of sudden crowds of American citizens start looting and creating havoc. The smooth surface film must be very thin, then, the social system quite unstable and unhealthy.” [3]

The counsel in Solzhenitsyn’s speech didn’t deal with surface issues, but went straight to the core. He declared it was time for citizens to think less about human rights and more about human obligations. He argued the time had come for citizens to take responsibility for themselves and their own behaviors, and that all people, every class and race, should stop looking for the government to save them. [4]

For some time Americans have felt this country was on the wrong track. We seem to be drifting further and further away from our moorings. Solzhenitsyn spoke of this as well, when he contended, “This tilt of freedom toward evil has come about gradually, but it evidently stems from a humanistic and benevolent concept according to which man – the master of this world – does not bear any evil within himself, and all the defects of life are caused by misguided social systems, which must therefore be corrected.” [5]

Continued on BarbWire


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