National Review recently published an English translation of a short piece by the very late Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It was an old response to the highly critical reaction towards his infamous 1978 Harvard Commencement speech apparently available in English for the first time. In this “new” piece he doesn’t really say anything particularly profound but his words are remarkably more relevant today than in the past. He has been dead for a decade yet still speaks uncomfortable truths.

As a relative late comer to ideological conservatism I was unaware of how big a deal Solzhenitsyn was at one…