Contemporary Moral Issues
A comparison of the political writings of Edmund Burke and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
# 92828 | 1,356 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2006 |
Published on Mar 01, 2007 in Political Science (Non-U.S.) , Political Science (Political Theory) , English (Analysis) , English (Comparison) , Political Science (General)
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The paper examines the works of Edmund Burke and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. These are two men who are worlds and ages apart. Burke is an 18th century man who lived through the events of the French Revolution and Solzhenitsyn is a man of the 20th century who has lived through the ravages of the post Soviet Revolution in the early 1900s and spent time in Stalin's dreaded Gulag. Their political writings are hailed as contemporary pieces of literature. The paper looks at the views of the writers in of religion, on democracy and on capitalism. The major similarity lies in their criticism and skepticism of two popular concepts of their time, the French Revolution in Burke's and American democracy in Solzhenitsyn's. The paper concludes that the thoughts of these two political powerhouse writers are something the modern man should and must be cognizant of if only to be wary of the effects of things that are drastic without due diligence in their succeeding implementation.
From the Paper:"Enter the 20th and the 21st centuries and the ghost of Burke's writing still haunts the supposedly modern man. But setting Burke aside, Solzhenitsyn comes into the picture with an almost parallel criticism - not of a bloody revolt against fellow ruling citizens but democracy and society in the context of the American way of life. In his June 1978 address at Harvard, Solzhenitsyn states (Solzhenitsyn, 1978):
There is this belief that all those other worlds are only being temporarily prevented by wicked governments or by heavy crises or by their own barbarity or incomprehension from taking the way of Western pluralistic democracy and from adopting the Western way of life. Countries are judged on the merit of their progress in this direction. However, it is a conception which developed out of Western incomprehension of the essence of other worlds, out of the mistake of measuring them all with a Western yardstick. The real picture of our planet's development is quite different.
He refers to the point in fact that America defines its democracy in terms of the "American way" wherein freedom of speech, rights to acquisition of property and basic human rights are on the side of how Americans perceive and define it. But in the end the democracy enjoyed by Americans as to the notion again of rights of man and liberty can end up as; "In the process, however, one psychological detail has been overlooked: the constant desire to have still more things and a still better life and the struggle to obtain them imprints many Western faces with worry and even depression, though it is customary to conceal such feelings. Active and tense competition permeates all human thoughts without opening a way to free spiritual development. (Solzhenitsyn, 1978).""
Sample of Sources Used:
- Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution in France. 1790. Constitution.org. 11 November 2006. <http://www.constitution.org/eb/rev_fran.htm>.
- Solzhenitsyn, Alexander. Text of Address by Alexander Solzhenitsyn at Harvard Class Day Afternoon Exercises. Thursday, June 8, 1978. 11 November 2006. <http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/solzhenitsyn/harvard1978.html>.
Cite this Comparison Essay:
Contemporary Moral Issues (2007, March 01) Retrieved April 08, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/contemporary-moral-issues-92828/
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