Friday, September 7, 2012

Welcome

Welcome to my blog, Life’s complexity and mortal weight. In case you hadn’t guessed, I lifted the name from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s 1978 Harvard commencement address. When I read that speech 4 years ago, it struck with me for a few reasons.

First, it helped me realize how blessed I was to grow up in a time and in a place wherein people enjoyed the greatest freedom and prosperity in the history of mankind. Solzhenitsyn, the democratic activist persecuted for decades by the Soviet regime, was not so blessed.

Second, it brought to my mind the great quality of character forged in the necessity of standing up to a totalitarian regime. How unformed and frightened turn-of-the-century Americans are by contrast!

Lastly, it gave me hope. I believed then and I believe now that we have lived in a fairy tale, and as bad as things seem, they can and will get worse. And while we may suffer, a fair amount of good, strong souls will rise to the challenge, like Solzhenitsyn did.

Natan Sharansky also was a democratic activist persecuted by the Soviets. It was on reading his book, Defending Identity, a second time, in 2011, that the threads of disparate philosophical ideas began to converge in my mind. These threads include secularism (I prefer “humanism”), totalitarianism, individualism, and human nature. These themes will dominate this blog.

My name is Joseph Dooley. I’m 26 years old and I’ve been writing since I learned how to type. I grew up in Texas but I lived nearly 5 years in the belly of the liberal beast, Maryland. History is full of flawed men who nevertheless were uniquely suited to face a great challenge to mankind’s existence. Solzhenitsyn and Sharansky are among them. Through my writing, I hope to convince readers of the truth and help to reverse the backwards momentum of the present. As Francis Schaeffer wrote: “Any ways in which the system is still working is largely due to the sheer inertia of the continuation of the past principles. But this borrowing cannot go on forever.”

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