Friday, January 28, 2011

Solzhenitsyn's Sputnik Moment

Gulag Archipelago, Volume 2, Page 591. Aleksander Solzhenitsyn writing about his imprisonment in Soviet Gulags:

On that day when the USSR, with trumpets blaring, loosed into the heavens the first artificial earth satellite - opposite my window in Ryazan two pairs of free women, dressed in dirty zek pea jackets and padded britches, were carrying cement up to the the fourth floor in hand barrows.

‘True, true, that’s so,’ they will object. ‘But what can you say? Nonetheless it orbits!’

Pic shamelessly pulled from IOTW

UPDATE 3:15pm:

Speaking of Sputnik, Communist Romania's defecting Intelligence Chief and one of our favorite authors, Ion Mihai Pacepa, writes in today's American Thinker: Who Needs a Sputnik Moment.

Never in my worst nightmares did I expect to hear the president of the United States give voice to a dream of building "our generation's Sputnik moment." For the privilege of becoming an American citizen some 32 years ago, I paid with two death sentences, both levied on me by one of those Soviet bloc countries that spawned the Sputnik era and later collapsed under its own weight. From my vantage point, ObamaCare now looms over us with disturbing reminders of the Soviet bloc's Sputnik-era health care system.
But this greatest nation on earth, where "We, the People" have always been masters of our own lives, has never experienced a Sputnik-style society, and therefore most Americans have trouble predicting the long-term consequences of a health care system run by a Sputnik-era bureaucracy. I've been there, and I know what would happen -- the future would be scientific stagnation and human degradation.

Was there no one on Obama's staff that predicted the criticisms of the SOTU Sputnik reference?

Has GroupThink won the day in the White House?

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