American Samizdat

BlogHer Original Post

In the final decades of the former Soviet
Union, a vibrant underground literature emerged as dissident writers
circulated their own work and gradually reached larger audiences.  They
called it self-publishing, or Samizdat, and it made a major
contribution to the eventual downfall of the Soviet Union. 

The problem is different here in America, where we do not (yet) run
the risks of physical repression.  But our language has ceased to have
meaning, dignity, or beauty.  Our speech grows ever coarser, more
vulgar and more delusional, and less capable of helping us face the
problems before us.  

America has turned freedom of speech and the press into the freedom
to inundate the nation with the ugly and vulgar, the trivial,
self-obsessed and meaningless.   The antidote is not censorship or
repression.  It is quality:  the recovery of meaning, dignity and
beauty in language for the purpose of reasoning together, as citizens
and as human beings.

Here, on this website, the freedom to be ugly, vulgar, and
meaningless has no place:  thoughful, informed comments and criticisms
are welcomed.  Also, since I sign my name to what I write, I prefer
that you do too:  there just aren’t many good reasons not to sign your
name to civilized correspondence.  

Erin Solaro


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