With the passing of Solzhenitsyn we lose a great soul, and a great figure of history.
I don’t know that he was more responsible than Reagan, John Paul II, Gorbachev, or Yeltsin for the fall of the evil empire. But he was certainly braver than all of them. Reagan led the rival superpower, the Pope led a great church, Gorbachev and Yeltsin were powerful insiders. Solzhenitsyn had a few loyal friends, and his words.
He was like Milton’s seraph Abdiel, who rebels against the rebel angels in Paradise Lost.
Unshak’n, unseduc’d, unterrifi’d,
His Loyalty he kept, his Love, his Zeal;
Nor number, nor example with him wrought
To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind
Though single. From amidst them forth he pass’d,
Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustain’d
Superior, nor of violence fear’d aught;
And with retorted scorn his back he turn’d
On those proud Tow’rs to swift destruction doom’d.