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Morality and Survival under Stalinism
Speech or Presentation
Pages 3 (753 words)
Name 1 Name Class Instructor Date A Devil’s Bargain: Morality and Survival Under Stalinism The overriding moral dilemma for those who lived under Stalin’s rule was whether or not to betray one’s personal value system. To do so was to compromise one’s individuality and moral integrity; remaining true to one’s humanity was dangerous and held profound consequences for everyone involved.
Glover calls this morally repugnant choice “corrosive” (Glover 313). It forced the populace to participate in a socially acceptable “norm” that reinforced the government’s version of the truth. Glover quotes Solzhenitsyn, who pointed out that normally inane words and gestures were carefully scrutinized for underlying meaning and, as such, had to be carefully managed and “edited” so as not to appear contradictory or challenging. “Every wag of the tongue can be overheard by someone, every facial expression observed by someone. Therefore every word, if it does not have to be a direct lie is nonetheless obliged not to contradict the Name 2 general, common lie” (Glover 274). There is an element of absurdly black humor in this, an emperor-has-no-clothes complicity in furthering a “truth” everyone knows to be false. To call into question the official version of events and affairs is to admit to the lie and to one’s role in its maintenance. Under such circumstances, morality itself, then, morphs into a utilitarian arm of the state. ...
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