“The Socially Friendly “

“Let my feeble pen, too, join in praise of this tribe! They have
been hailed as pirates, as freebooters, as tramps, as escaped
convicts. They have been lauded as noble brigands — ^on Robin
Hood on down to operetta heroes. And we have been assured
that they have sensitive hearts, that they plunder the rich ^d
share with the poor. Oh, exalted confreres of Karl Moor! Oh,
rebellious, romantic Chelkash! Oh, Benya Krik! Oh, barefoot
Odessa lads and Odessa troubadours! “
“And the psychology of the urki was exceedingly simple and
very easy to acquire:

1 . I want to live and enjoy myself; and f the rest!

2. Whoever is the strongest is right!

3. If they aren’t [beat]ing you, then don’t lie down and
ask for it.* (In other words: As long as they’re beating up
someone else, don’t stick up for the ones being beaten. Wait
your own turn.)

Beat up your submissive enemies one at a time! Somehow this is
a very familiar law. It is what Hitler did. It is what Stalin did. “
“How many citizens who were robbed knew that the police
didn’t even bother to look for the criminals, didn’t even set a
case in motion, so as not to spoil their record of completed
cases — ^why should they sweat to catch a thief if he would be
given only six months, and then be given three months off for
good behavior? And anyway, it wasn’t certain that the bandits
would even be tried when caught. After all, prosecutors^
“lowered the crime rate” — something demanded *of them at every
conference — ^by the curious method of ^ply quashing cases,
especially if they foresaw that there would be many defendants.

Finally, sentences were bound to be reduced, and of course
for habitual criminals especially. Watch out there now,- witness
in the courtroom! They will all be back soon, and it’ll be a
knife in the back of anyone who gave testimony!

Therefore, if you see someone crawling through a window,
or slitting a pocket, or your neighbor’s suitcalse being ripped
open-^shut your eyes! Walk by! You didn’t see anything! “
“The Gulag Archipelago Two (1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation III-IV)” by Aleksandr L Solzhenitsyn

“Obviously you have seen nothing, comrade. It was a figment of your overractive hallucination.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s