The last true art form is that of the written word. When all is silenced, that which is naturally silent prevails. Language is the force that binds us together. Not only do we use this medium to interact with our nation, but as a platform to communicate and expand throughout the world, touching many cultures and human beings in just a few words. Combining these two elements is a key step in forming a universal awareness, equipped with a set of sympathies for those we can’t ‘understand’.
It is by this empathy and desire to expand that when one is heard, another will struggle to understand.
When The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics rose in 1922, nearly 85% of the population was illiterate. It soon became the government’s mission to educate the people. In fact, anyone who could read or write was immediately hired as a teacher. Khrushchev pushed accessibility, making it clear that education was essential to their society. Shortly after this period, a newly educated people were ready to rise against an oppressive government.
Post-Stalin era, Samizdat [самиздат] began circulating and reproducing forbidden texts using grassroots methods. Friends and colleagues alike spent hours with carbon paper copying the content by whatever means available: by hand or by typewriter. Eventually as success and likeness came about other methods were introduced. These copies were hidden in plain sight. Passed on from a friend, hidden inside accepted literature, or even just strewn about. Even the one thing intended in language (understanding) was lost and soon numerous typos, nondescript covers, and partial copies became common among the 200,000 readers across several nations.
Their brand of literature infiltrated the Soviet government, its peoples, and many other nations oppressed by police states. Each circulation, release, and essay became a prized part of clandestine act.
The message was rounded, observing the many different religious and cultural paths of The Union. Samizdat [самиздат] stands today in history as an essential group of political and social dissidents that helped reform the oppression of The Soviet Union.
As we stand before challenging events and are slammed with propaganda, whether it be from Russia, Syria, North Korea, or even The United States: Take the time to think. What are you reading in the news? Do the things you read lead you to assume a tone towards those people? Did stereotypes enforce your speech? Your opinion?
The conflicts of today are within government buildings, the riots they ensue are simply an adverse reaction to medication.
Do not let any opinion lead you to form a generalization. No two people are the same, regardless of geographic location.
Samizdat [самиздат] is symbol of this acceptance. Publishing things you (as a single unit) may not agree with and treating them with respect in order to educate the people, to help them understand one another. To represent each person as they are- a person!
Go forth and communicate!