From Dr. Jordan B. Peterson <[email protected]>
Subject Foreword to the Gulag - Two Years Later
Date October 19, 2020 12:17 PM
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JBP Weekly 10/19/2020 

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** October 19, 2020 | DR. JORDAN B. PETERSON

** Foreword to the Gulag Archipelago
(Estimated Read: 2 Minutes)
"...The three volumes of The Gulag Archipelago—one continuous, extended scream of outrage—are, paradoxically, brilliant, bitter, disbelieving, and infused with awe: awe at the strength characterizing the best among us, in the worst of all situations. In that monumental text, published in 1973, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn conducted “an experiment in literary investigation”—a hybrid of journalism, history, and biography, unlike anything ever written before or since. In 1985, the author bestowed his approval upon Edward E. Ericson, Jr’s single-volume abridgement—republished, on the fiftieth anniversary of the completion of the full three-volume edition and centenary of the author’s birth—and sold some thirty million copies, in thirty-five languages. Between the pages of Solzhenitsyn’s book—apart from the documentation of the horrors of the legions of the dead, counted and uncounted, and the masses whose lives were torn asunder—are the innumerable soul-chilling personal stories, carefully pres
erved, making the tragedy of mass betrayal, torture and death not the mere statistic Stalin so disdainfully described but individual, real and terrible.

It is a matter of pure historical fact that The Gulag Archipelago played a primary role in bringing the Soviet Empire to its knees. Although economically unsustainable, ruled in the most corrupt manner imaginable, and reliant on the slavery and enforced deceit of its citizens, the Soviet system managed to stumble forward through far too many decades before being cut to the quick. The courageous leaders of the labor unions in Poland, the great Pope John Paul II and the American President Ronald Reagan, with his blunt insistence that the West faced an evil empire, all played their role in its defeat and collapse. It was Solzhenitsyn, however, whose revelations made it positively shameful to defend not just the Soviet state, but the very system of thought that made that state what it was. It was Solzhenitsyn who most crucially made the case that the terrible excesses of Communism could not be conveniently blamed on the corruption of the Soviet leadership, the “cult of personality” surrounding
Stalin, or the failure to put the otherwise stellar and admirable utopian principles of Marxism into proper practice. It was Solzhenitsyn who demonstrated that the death of millions and the devastation of many more were, instead, a direct causal consequence of the philosophy (worse, perhaps: the theology) driving the Communist system. The hypothetically egalitarian, universalist doctrines of Karl Marx contained hidden within them sufficient hatred, resentment, envy and denial of individual culpability and responsibility to produce nothing but poison and death when manifested in the world..."

-excerpt from Dr. Peterson's Foreword to the Gulag Archipelago

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In this related clip, Dr. Peterson reads Solzhenitsyn's speech to the Swedish Academy on the occasion of his acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

** The Gulag Archipelago ([link removed])

** Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Recent Media Releases
The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast
Foreword to The Gulag Archipelago: 50th Anniversary ([link removed])

Dr. Peterson had the great privilege of writing the foreword to the 50th-anniversary version of the abridged version of one of the most important books of the 20th century, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago, a devastating account of the absolute horror wreaked upon the people of the Soviet Empire by the acolytes of the doctrine of Karl Marx. He reads the foreword here, in its entirety, and encourages everyone to purchase and study the book. It changed the world.

A video lecture available in full on YouTube for the first time
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We are excited to share with you today, the first of six video lectures publicly available for the first time. These lectures are taken from Dr. Peterson's 12 Rules for Life Tour in Australia.

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