The position of writers in society is one that is often taken for granted but because of their ability to view the past as well as the present with an empathy for characters of all classes they can have the power to influence the political debate.
The Independent reports that the points that Alexander Solzhenitsyn is making in a preface to an article he is republishing about the Russian revolution should make interesting reading in the Kremlin. He points out that the conditions that existed in the run up to the downfall of the Tsar are around now with a massive gap between rich and poor and a moral gap between rural and urbanised Russia. Of course the one ingredient missing is the First World War, and it is arguably the poor performance of the army and low troop morale that led to the Tsar’s abdication. That provided the power vacuum that led to the provisional then communist governments. But in terms of criticising the wealth gap Solzhenitsyn is making a valid point.