From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Human rights (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Human rights, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Human rights on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Politics (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Politics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of politics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.

On democratic countries[edit]

It is ridiculous to pose the affluent, successful Noam Chomsky as somehow being a political dissident in the US, as if he were somehow persecuted or prevented from airing his grievances. Simply disagreeing with official policy and writing numerous tracts to voice this does not qualify one as a dissident anymore than thousands of other unhappy commentators.

If we are going to compare "so-called" democracies to blatantly authoritarian regimes, then specific examples of actual persecution (as opposed to boycotts or investigation of legitimate wrongdoing) need to be briefly expounded. Armed groups, as the article leans toward saying, more properly fit in the mold of guerrillas, resistance groups, terrorists, etc.

The unsigned user above apparently uses a different definition than everyone else [1], that a dissident must be persecuted, poor, and objecting to a totalitarian regime. I've re-added Chomsky not only because I think the cap fits, but because he is widely considered a dissident: (194,000 google hits). Jens Nielsen 10:04, 12 February 2006 (UTC). I just checked two other famous dissidents using the same method. Vaclav Havel got 120.000 hits, and Aung San Suu Kyi 80,000. Considering this, I see no reason to remove Chomsky. Jens Nielsen 10:08, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Still Chomsky is not on the list. May be the article needs to be split on say Soviet dissidents, Chinese and US. I agree that Chomsky is widely percieved as a dissident. Now there are 250 000 results in google when you type "dissident noam chomsky". He is widely reffered as a dissiden. -- 16:54, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Chomsky is rather successful today, bit back in the 1960s he was arrested for his views (with some of his colleagues Chomsky even expected harsh prison sentence, although that can be judged as subjective point of view (on the other hand, he has proven himself often as very objective and also easy to admit his mistakes - not that he makes many anyway). So, to put it short - being arrested for your standpoint is more than enough for me to be qualified as dissident, not everyone should end up in a gulag like Solzhenitsyn in order to be a dissident (especially given that USA had no gulags as far as I know). Being successful now and having respectable career does not mean that one was not persecuted back in the days. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ansicpl (talkcontribs) 00:44, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

What this article needs[edit]

This article might be fleshed out to describe the various historic roles of dissident in society, including the anthropological data on dissidents in chimpanzee societies. Accordingly, the article might flow as follows.

That may be true as far as improving the article, but I'd like to address the issue regarding the world representation dilemma. I don't think that should even be a problem. There is a reason that this page is in English and is different from the Chinese page or the German page or any other language. There is a difference between biased agenda and not representing all world views. That's what I think this article realize! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:04, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

From Votes for deletion[edit]

  • Dissident - dictionary definition (and not even a very good one). --Delirium 18:11, Aug 2, 2003 (UTC)
    • fixed it up somewhat, still needs more content, however - SimonP 19:19, Aug 2, 2003 (UTC)
    • This will be a super article. Do not delete. See Talk:Dissident. Rednblu 09:39, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Unfortunately, this article didn't live up to Rednblu's prediction. I think the concept is way too broad to bring in specific and minute examples from all countries from around the world and in all historical eras. Perhaps it should focus on the meaning of dissidence and it's role in society. THEN link to articles on specific eras, countries, and people. As it is, it's a very weak WP embarrassment. Thanks, Wordreader (talk) 01:07, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Religious dissidents[edit]

There are also religious dissidents, which are those who actively oppose a dominant religion of a country.

I'm not sure that is necessarily applicable in the terms you describe. For example, say, a Sikh immigrant to the US could be described as a religious dissident because they opposed Christianity. Yet this does not at all imply that they are either oppressed for their beliefs or that their attitudes necessarily have any chance of gaining ground. If it were tailored to include merely those who oppose harsh, official implementations of religions in their native country then this could be better understood, though it obviously implies political dissidence in the first place.
In general, though, this article is not fleshed out very thoroughly. --TJive 19:48, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

Democtratic countries[edit]

In democratic societies political and social dissidents are supposed to be free from government pressure

How much can one get in prison when calling to abolishing the US constitution?--Nixer 15:42, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

In the USA? Nothing: calling for the abolition of the US constitution is protected free speech and carries no penalty. Gwernol 19:42, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
I said not exactly. How much can one get in prison when calling to abolishing the US constitution with non-contitutional means?--Nixer 20:06, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Again, you can't AFAIK be imprisoned in the US for simply for calling for the abolition of the constitution by non-constitutional means - that's free speech. However, if for example you lead an armed insurrection and killed five people you certainly would be jailed for murder. But the sentence you received would be for murder, not for saying you wanted to overthrow the government. Gwernol 20:27, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
So public calls for overthow the government in the US are not punished?--Nixer 20:35, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Correct, and this happens all the time, see for example [2] or [3]. There are lots of similar examples on the Net and you'll find similar nut jobs throughout the states. Most people just ignore them, but they have the protected right to say what they say. Gwernol 20:44, 22 February 2006 (UTC)


I think the term is mostly used according the USSR. In other countries (western, Asian, Nazi Germany etc) leaders of opposition or rebels are not called dissidents. So this is USSR-specific term.--Nixer 20:13, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. It may be that the term originated in discussions of Soviet disenters (does anyone know for sure?) but it is now much more widely applied. For example the term is often used to describe political prisoners and objectors from China, Cuba, Myanmar and other repressive countries. Gwernol 20:34, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
Ok, maybe now it is more widely spread but only by analogy with the USSR and mostly used in contrext with communist countries. It is very rare to hear the term in context with non-communist country (the most widely used terms in this context are resistance, rebels, terrorists, extremists, revolutionairs, non-constructive opposition etc).--Nixer 20:45, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English term in its political meaning was used in Wilson's To the Finland Station in 1940, and by Koestler in relation to Irgun in 1949. Only the two last examples (from 1970 and 1981) are related to dissidents in the USSR, though this usage probably prevailed throughout 1970s and 1980s, and strongly influenced the subsequent use of the word.
As for the history of the term in Russian, it seems that the article confuses Russian word 'otshepentsy' ('отщепенцы', 'those who split') which was often used pejoratively to describe any true or imaginary oppositionists to the Soviet regime, and the term 'dissidents', which never had pejorative meaning. Most likely, the latter term was first used in relation to the USSR by Western journalists, then, either immediately, like words 'refusenik' or 'peacenik', or through the Russian broadcasts of Western radio passed into unofficial Russian usage, and only after that began to be used in Soviet newspapers, mainly in the form 'so called dissidents' to emphasize the distance between the author and the subject.
BTW, all occurrences of the word form 'dissident' in the National Corpus of Russian Language before 1990 are from the dissident sources like Erofeev or Nekrasov.
--Pseudodemetrius 16:19, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

What about House Un-American Activities Committee? Wasn't that really a search for American dissidents? -- (talk) 06:35, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Pharmacological dissent[edit]

Why does pharmacological dissent take up the maojority of space in this article? Maybe extending the first, general description of dissent would be better?

Pharmacological dissent 2[edit]

As far as the sources state, the United States is the country which keeps more proportion of its population under the torture of confinement. And the main cause for imprisonment in US seems to be racially and classy selective drug "offenses" prosecution. So, pharamacological dissent seems to deserve space, for it would be the leading cause of physical repression of dissidents in US, a country self-described by its authorities as "democratic" (remeber countries such as the Democratic Republics of East Europe).

Yes, but one of the most famous dissident in Spain is Antonio Escohotado who you can find in Any person can include english version of

Militant dissidents ?[edit]

The definition of this seciton corresponds to the word insurgents. This section should be moved there. dima 23:21, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Chomsky/Zinn again[edit]

The section on the US seems silly to me. So, two articles or so have described Chomsky and Zinn as dissidents. Is that worthy of an encyclopedia article? David Duke has probably been described as a dissident by someone; lots of conservatives think Obama's America is a totalitarian state in which conservatives are dissidents. Should we include in this article any attribution of dissident-ness to anyone? Let's delete that section. BobFromBrockley (talk) 11:33, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

recent addition to lead[edit]

The addition of US 'dissidents' to the lead adds nothing to the article. Every group in history has played the victim, and at least half of them have arguably been dissidents. I suggest it be removed. I'll wait a decent interval for further comment. RayTalk 04:16, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

By that logic, the article should be stripped of all examples and left at a generic definition. (Do you have a reference for the assertion that "Every group in history has played the victim, and at least half of them have arguably been dissidents"?)
That's not how editors generally practice article-writing in Wikipedia, and articles usually provide examples, following WP policies; since you're claiming POV, make sure to note WP:YESPOV & WP:BALANCE, thanks. AV3000 (talk) 04:29, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
By that logic, the article should be stripped of all examples except those significant to the development of the term as a concept. Such as, say, those relating to its etymology. This was precisely the state of the article beforehand. I won't make the article even worse to illustrate a point, but making leftists "dissidents" is just inviting the same from political conservatives - turning what was a reasonable article into POV-bait. RayTalk 06:22, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
So you're also proposing that the "Republican dissidents in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland" section be stripped, reducing the article to little more than a dictionary stub.
I've referred you to Wikipedia policies on balancing POV ("The neutral point of view neither sympathizes with nor disparages its subject, nor does it endorse or oppose specific viewpoints. It is not a lack of viewpoint, but is rather an editorially neutral, point of view." What Wikipedia policy supports your position? The solution to your theoretical objection is indeed to provide additional reliably-sourced material. For an excellent example of how experienced editors came to such an agreement on balance despite it being a contentious subject, see California Proposition 8 (2008) - it happens all the time on Wikipedia! AV3000 (talk) 13:18, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
The section on Northern Ireland reflects a peculiar useage of the term to refer to a specific faction, rather than a generic use. An article might well be expected to note such a specific useage where it is reasonably prominent and differs from the standard one. The solution to my dilemma is to bar generic useages of the term where it is, frankly, minimally useful flamebait designed to push a political claim of victimization, accurate or not. This is not a list of dissident groups, it is an article about the concept of being a dissident. Information not helpful to a neutral, straightforward exposition of the concept should be stripped from this article. RayTalk 22:13, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

I find that or other all groups are removed, or the US dissidents part should be re-added. Three people (one was me) made chnages, but no matter how it is written, they remove the US dissident part, claiming there are not enough sources (other parts have no sources, but they stay). Why is that? Jerappelle (talk) 17:13, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Cold War POV again[edit]

I´m trying to correct the obvious pro-USA anti-USSR bias of the whole article. A undoer expresses that POV by saying "totalitarian is not pejorative of the Soviet Union, it is descriptive". That´s plain POV that diminishes quality of encyclopedia, SINCE Soviet Union, for most of his history, didn´t accepted such cliché. They called themselves popular republics or democratic republics, remember? I think Cold War enthusiasts could create an article for "Soviet dissidence during Cold War" to stop narrowing the scope of such an important article. Drcaldev (talk) 16:10, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

US dissidents[edit]

In my opinion Chomsky cannot be considered a dissident in that he is not openly paying a price for his ideas. Manning (incarcerated) and Snowden, yes, becaue they are paying a price for exposing wrongdoing by their government. When you show wrongdoing by your government (people sent to Siberia (URSS), or military people torturing others in Iraq (USA)) and your government instead of doing something about the abuses puts you in prison so other people will shut up, that is a dissenter. Chomsky, as far as I know, was never put in prison. Manning was, and was even tortured. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jerappelle (talkcontribs) 17:01, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Do understand it ultimately doesn't really matter what you and I or any other wikipedian thinks. What matters is what reliable sources say, if somene is widely described as a dissident then it doesn't matter if any of us think of them as dissidents. Similarly it doesn't matter if any of us think someone is a dissident, if they are not widely described as dissidents then in reliable sources then it is unlikely they belong here and if they are living people, then it is unacceptable to list them as dissidents without quality sources (which isn't to say if they are not living we should accept poor quality sources).
I would also add there is nothing in the article suggesting that dissidents have to 'pay the price' to be considered dissidents. In addition, IIRC, you tried to add Assange who other then not being an American; we also have no good evidence he is 'paying a price for his ideas', as many or probably even most RS do not consider his current predicament to have arisen from his ideas of contention.
BTW, I agree with Jorm that 'government secrets' is the best WP:NPOV term. Whether or not 'military brutality' was revealed is disputed, personally I consider some level was exposed but as stated, my opinions don't matter. What is clear is government secrets were exposed and the charges Manning was found guilty of relate to this. (And Snowden obviously has not yet exposed any military brutality.)
Nil Einne (talk) 08:03, 3 August 2013 (UTC)