22 June 2005

Solzhenitsyn on democracy

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn does not speak out often on the state of his country's political health, but when he does, it is something to take note of. The famed Russian novelist was interviewed on Russian television earlier this month. Echoing his analysis 15 years ago in Rebuilding Russia, Solzhenitsyn emphasizes that democracy cannot be imposed from above but must grow incrementally from the bottom up, beginning with local governments. He has harsh words, incidentally, for the current American effort "to impose democracy throughout the world," as well as for the functioning of "democracy" in his own country.

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