His dark talent

An overflow quote from the Georgian Godfather post…

The mustached Producer [of the show trials] knew each of them very well. He also knew that on the whole they were weaklings, and he knew, one by one, the particular weaknesses of each. Therein lay his dark and special talent, his main psychological bent and his life’s achievement: to see people’s weaknesses on the lowest plane of being. And the man who seems … to have embodied the highest and brightest intelligence of all the disgraced and executed leaders… was N.I. Bukharin. Stalin saw through him, too, at that lowest stratum at which the human being unites with the earth; and Stalin held him in a long death grip, playing with him as a cat plays with a mouse, letting him go just a little, and then catching him again. -A. Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago vol1, “The Law Matures, p. 412

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