I’ve gotten a couple of emails on the thought of Solzhenitsyn as offering a real alternative to the choice between Strauss
("natural right") and Heidegger ("history").
This is a tough issue for blogging. But a new book by Mary Keys arrived in the mail! So I refer all interested to her AQUINAS, ARISTOTLE, AND THE PROMISE OF THE COMMON GOOD (Cambridge, 2006), 170-72. Let me quote one sentence: "In our times, the moral sensibility shown by dissenters in the former Soviet Union and its satellites offers strong experential support--generally from outside Thomistic circles and often from non-Christians--for the humanity of humility and its role in forming the character of the truly magnanimous person." Mary quotes the Czech dissident Havel at length, but Havel often acknowledges his debt to Solzhenitsyn for his conception of "personal responsibility."