Freedom Fighter

An Interview with Natan Sharansky

The disturbing enthusiasm for authoritarian ideas among young people is not confined to the Right. The Left, too, is seeing an upsurge in political violence committed in its name, as well as a general rollback of its defense of the liberal ideas it once loved and protected. Natan Sharansky is equipped as few others are to speak about the horrors of authoritarian politics. He was a legendary human rights activist sentenced to the Gulag in the last decades of the USSR. He emerged unbroken and with the unshakable conviction that democratic values are of crucial, world-historical importance. Here he explains the failure of communal memory on the question of communism and what he sees ahead for Russia and the world.

Octavian Report: How would you respond to the argument that a human rights and freedom agenda has no real place in foreign policy?

Natan Sharansky: It’s really unfortunate and disappointing how quickly historical experience is disappearing. Maybe the fate of historical experience …

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