In this series from the Hoover Institution, Russian anti-Soviet dissident Yuri Yarim-Agaev discusses what it means to be a dissident under communist rule.
Under Soviet rule, being a dissenter--a dissident--was transformed from a verb into a noun that defined who you were. Very much like denying Obama's birth certificate makes you a birther and not agreeing with global warming makes you a denier. The Marxists in this country have learned well from their Soviet forebears.
If you are not ready to die for standing for...for being dissident, you will be broken. Your only weapon is [your] resolve. The KGB knew this, they knew to diagnose how strong you are.
Yuri: What can give you readiness to die for that cause? [It] is not moral imperative: you have to live through communism, through the denial of good and evil.
Moderator: was it an "evil empire?"