Open letter of Dean Reed to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Dear colleague by art Aleksandr Isayevich!
I, as an American artist, must reply on some of your charges, published by capitalist press all over the world. In my opinion, they are false charges and the peoples of world must know, why they false. You stamped the USSR as deeply sick society, struck by hatred and injustice. You say that the Soviet government could not live without the enemies, and entire atmosphere in the hatred, which does not stop even before the racial hatred. You probably speak about my native land, but not about yours. Indeed precisely America, but not the USSR, it wages wars and creates the stressed situation of possible war, in order to give the possibility to its economy to act, but to our dictators and military-industry (VPK) to acquire still more wealth and power on the blood of Vietnamese people, our own soldiers and all freedom-loving peoples of world. Sick society is at my native land, but not at yours, Mr. Solzhenitsyn!
Specifically, the USA, but not the USSR, became the most violent society, which the history ever knew. America, where the Mafia has more economic power, than even the largest corporations, and where our citizens cannot walk at night along the streets without the fear to undergo the attack of criminals. Indeed precisely in the USA, but not in the USSR, their fellow citizens killed in the period with 1900 more people, than it perished American soldiers in both World Wars, and in Korea and Vietnam! Specifically, our society is considered convenient to kill any progressive leader, who finds courage to raise voice against some our injustices. That is what a sick society is, Mr. Solzhenitsyn!
Further you speak about the racial hatred. In the USA, but not in the USSR for a period of two centuries remain unpunished the murders of the Negroes, whom they hold in half-slavery. In the USA, but not in the USSR the police beats and arrests any Negro, who attempts to appear in defense of his rights.
Then you say that the freedom of speech, the honest and complete freedom of speech - here is the first condition of the health of any society and ours also. Attempt to extend these thoughts among the suffering peoples, forced to fight for existence and to live in spite of your will under the oppression of dictators, who are held in authority only because of the aid of the USA.
Tell about your thoughts to people, whose health consists only in the fact that half of their children dies during the delivery, since they do not have money for the doctor, and they suffer entire life without the medical service.
Tell about this to people of capitalist world, whose health lies in the fact that they spend entire life in the fear of unemployment. Tell to American Negroes, as much them helped in fact the freedom of speech in the process of their rightful fight for the equality of rights with the white, when after two centuries of the freedom of speech in an American-like kind in many regions of the USA they think that to kill Negro is like to go to bear hunting!
Tell to the workers of capitalist world about your ideas about the freedom of speech as of the first condition of health, if because of the shortage of money their children cannot develop their mental abilities in the school, and therefore they will never learn to read! You speak about the freedom of speech, while the major part of the population of the world is still speaking about the opportunity of learning to read! No, Mr. Solzhenitsyn, your definition of the freedom of speech as the first condition of the health of society is faulty. The first condition consists in making the country of healthy mentally, moral, spiritually and physically, so that its citizens would read, write, work and to live together in peace.
No, Mr. Solzhenitsyn, I do not admit your first condition of the health of society and especially in your definition and context. My country, known for its freedom of speech - this is a country, where the police will attack participants of peaceful marches. In my country peaceful marches are permitted, and so far war continues in the same time, since demonstrations, evidently, do not change at all the policy of government. Do you really think that VPK, which rules in my country and in a half of the world cares about the freedom of speech? Its rulers realize, that they and only they possess ability to make decisions. Truly the freedom of speech is in the words, but not in reality.
You stated that the USSR does not march in step with XX by century. If this is true then this is because the USSR goes in front by one half step of XX century! Do you really propose to your people to abandon the role of a leader and advanced guard and to return to the inhuman and cruel conditions existing in the remaining part of the world, where the injustice truly abounds in the atmosphere of almost feudal conditions of many countries? Mr. Solzhenitsyn, in the article it is also said, what you – long-suffering writer from the Soviet Union. Apparently, this means that you much suffer because of the absence of moral and social principles, and that your conscience torments you during quiet night hours, when you remain one by one with yourself.
It is correct, that the USSR has its own injustices and deficiencies, but indeed everything in the world is relative. In principle and in reality your society is trying to build really healthy and fair society. The principles, on which is built your society, are healthy, clear and fair, while the principles of my society are cruel, mercenary (selfish) and unfair. Obviously, there can happen some mistakes and injustices in life; however, there is no doubt that a society built on fair principles has more prospects to come to fair society, than that, which is built on injustice and exploitation of a man by man. Society and government of my country are behind the time, because their sole purpose consists in to keep a status quo in the entire world. Specifically your country attempts to make progressive steps into the name of humanity, and if it is not perfect sometimes and stumbles at times, then we must not condemn entire system for these defects, but must greet it for its courage and striving for laying new ways.