Who Is A Dissident?


 

The current political climate in the U.S., as well as many other countries throughout the world, has had the gringa interested in what exactly is a political dissident. Considering how some of the gringa’s ideologies, beliefs and personal life missions are diametrically opposed to all things Trump, as well as the gringa’s big, fat mouth, is it plausible to think that the gringa is a dissident? What happens to dissidents? Will I end up in a Trumpian gulag? Well, the gringa is not a fortune-teller. So, lacking the skill to predict the future, the next best thing is to form a conclusion based on what has happened in the past. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane of dissident history:


Definition of a dissident: A person who opposes official policy, especially if within an authoritarian state.


Yep, sounds like the gringa is a dissident. And who are my most illustrious partners in crime?


Ancient Dissidents: Apparently, dissidents are nothing new under the sun for the civilized world. Ancient world history is rife with famous dissidents. For these well-known names, no explanation is necessary for the work they did to turn the world upside down and inside out.

  • Jesus 
  • Socrates
  • Buddha
  • Confucious
  • Leonardo da Vinci

Modern Era Dissidents: Regardless of where you live on this magnificent planet we all call home, you probably have a native-born dissident that will make you proud.

  • Argentina: Jacobo Timerman, although born in Soviet era Russia, was actually an Argentinian of Jewish descent. As an author, journalist and publisher he was a thorn in the side of the regime in Argentina of the 1970s responsible for what is known as the Dirty War. He was arrested, tossed in the clink and tortured by the government of Argentina who didn’t appreciate Timerman exposing their dirty, little secrets. 

  • Azerbaijan: Elnur Majidli is an Internet activist promoting the principals of democracy. He blogs and organizes from self-imposed exile in France. Considering that his native government has accused him of attempting a violent overthrow of the powers that be during the Arab Spring of 2011, seems he won’t be going home anytime soon. Although criminal charges against him were dropped in the summer of 2011, the gringa thinks he should play it safe and remain in France!
  • Bulgaria: The 70s were turbulent times in many places. In Bulgaria, communism held sway with a regime known for its oppression and brutality. So brutal, in fact, that writer Georgi Ivanov Markov was assassinated by one of the favorite methods of Communist Eastern Europe despots, poison. Markov was an active journalist known for outspoken diatribes against Bulgaria’s communist regime. Defecting to the UK would not protect him from Bulgaria’s retribution. An assassin fired a micro-sized pellet of ricin into his leg from an umbrella as they both strolled down London’s streets.
  • South Africa: The gringa feels no need to elaborate on this nation’s most famous dissident, Nelson Mandela. Although he eventually liberated his country, it came at the cost of decades of imprisonment and years of torture and deprivation.

The gringa watches as what can only become terrible history for her nation unfold around her. Certainly she joins the ranks of dissidents. There is no doubt that authoritarianism is an apt descriptor for the current administration. Should resistance prove unsuccessful at changing the mad course embarked upon by the US government, the slide into brutal oppression will most likely be rapid. 


For those who remain outspoken and open about their resistance, there may be prisons especially erected, just for us. Guards will probably be trained in unique methods of enforcement and information extraction, just for us. New rules will be created to manage those who remain on the outside, special social governance, just for us. Although the US has historically divided the population into groups of “others” defined by gender, sexual preferences, ethnicity and religion, those divisional lines will become blurred as a new citizen class is created, just for us. So, if the gringa suddenly disappears, check out the new dissident prisons I expect will be springing up. Maybe you can get on the visitor’s list!

Sources:  The New York Times

PBS

Image Credit: Art Of The State

Video Credits: NoteworthyNews’ Channel

BIO

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