Samizdat is a Russian word for the underground documents that were illicitly produced and distributed by private citizens behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. These documents contained ideas and information that were forbidden in Communist countries, usually because they shed light on the truth, which these totalitarian systems were trying to suppress.
Producing and circulating these documents was a punishable crime, but many people took the risk. Samizdat was an important method of empowering people and countering the propaganda of the regime.
- Read more about samizdat from the University of Toronto Libraries.
Today in the Western world, we are witnessing the rise of a new ideology that also seeks to suppress the truth. This ideology is anti-Christian in nature, and those who dare to question the tenets of this ideology are starting to be pushed out of society and punished in various ways. Princeton Professor Robert George explained this well in his famous speech at the 2014 National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., where he said:
...To be a witness to the Gospel today is to make oneself a marked man or woman. It is to expose oneself to scorn and reproach. To unashamedly proclaim the Gospel in its fullness is to place in jeopardy one’s security, one’s personal aspirations and ambitions, the peace and tranquility one enjoys, one’s standing in polite society. One may in consequence of one’s public witness be discriminated against and denied educational opportunities and the prestigious credentials they may offer; one may lose valuable opportunities for employment and professional advancement; one may be excluded from worldly recognition and honors of various sorts; one’s witness may even cost one treasured friendships. It may produce familial discord and even alienation from family members. Yes, there are costs of discipleship—heavy costs.Many people are becoming aware of a visceral fear which keeps them quiet. They are worried about the many possible negative consequences of speaking out against an increasingly militant, hostile and uncompromising ideology. Self-censorship has arrived.Publish with Us: The role of Culture Witness
Culture Witness aims to give a voice to those who have learned to stay silent. We hope to print articles, reflections and observations by ordinary citizens. If you have something to say, but have never published anywhere before, consider Culture Witness.
Because of the times we live in, we permit the use of pseudonyms. You must submit your piece under your own name, but you can then choose to publish it under an alias (the same alias for all your pieces).
Words have power, because truth has power. It has the power to change minds and to stop dictatorships in their tracks.
We believe it is important to keep the dialogue flowing, and the light of truth glowing. The fear of repercussions must not silence free and democratic discussion in our society.
Please consider sending your articles to us.