The world’s most heinous tyranny was not an apparition or a deviation from Marxist ideals, Solzhenitsyn demonstrates; it was, rather, the inevitable consequence of expecting perfection from imperfect human beings.
I see this way of criticising Marxism (or Leninism) a lot, and while there is defintely truth to it, I do not like the way it’s commonly put, because it implies that the Marxists’s conception of a perfect person is right. It implies that a perfect person is as as the Marxists and Communists describe — eg. thinking only of others, without selfish desires, etc. — only we are too imperfect to ever get there. But the Marxist conception of a perfect person is weird and wrong. We don’t ever want people like that. We are imperfect, but our imperfections aren’t a matter of having individual desires, and caring for our family. It would be more accurate to say that “the world’s most heinous tyranny was the inevitable consequence of trying to mould people into grotesque shapes”.
(Besides, Stalin imprisoned and killed millions of his own followers who were dedicated to his brand of Marxist-Leninism. He wasn’t really that worried about perfection. If there was the slightest possibility that you could be a threat to him, it didn’t matter how much of a good Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist you were.)