The Philosopher Between the Capitalist and the Communist
Chapter 36 : What is a Dissident?
Emma and Benjamin were never dissidents, because they were always Anarchists. There was nothing for them to dissent from, except their own sense and belief in liberty, which was more undefeatable than they were. To be a dissident, you must first have believed in what you're rejecting, otherwise, you're not dissenting, and the title "dissident" would never apply. In you never believed in it, you simply a non-believer, but if you believed in it once, but not anymore, then you've dissented -- you have become a dissident. There is only one disclaimer that might prevent someone from being a dissident under these conditions: that is when a group of people dissent together. At that point, you have a revolt and a revolution, your main character is a mass and not a personality, an idea and not an individual. But when you disagree with all others, after having agreed with them for the longest time, and not one person in the group takes your side, then you're a dissenter and a dissident. The mind of the revolutionary is different from the mind of the dissident. They are entirely different people altogether. The planet learned about revolutionaries from the original Communist Revolutions against Capitalism that happened in Greece, and after some time, then the planet knew the dissident type of personality. The first of the dissidents came in the forms of Roz and Pan, the lead organizers of the Militarist and Marxist factions in the panoply of Anarchia. Despite heavily intermixing with each other, the story and the idea behind Revolution is tremendously different from the story and the idea behind Dissent.
When you dissent from a prevailing and popular myth, you have nothing to gain. You initiate the action by admitting that you were wrong and then you complete it by claiming that everyone else is now suddenly wrong. Anyone can lead a revolt if there is enough discontent and hatred and "class antagonism" and "social decay," and those who participate in those revolutions can find themselves at the top of the world when they born only being able to imagine what it was like to look up that far. But to dissent, to be the only one apart from the others in the otherwise collective backdrop of society, it is something altogether and completely different. Until it becomes a revolution, the dissident has nothing to gain by their refusal to participate in a society that they disagree with. They have only the the anger, the hatred, the dislike, and the bitterness of those around them -- dissidents aren't trusted by their neighbors, they're the first to be accused when any crime is committed, and they often take their scorn with as much dignity as they take their punishment, even when it means facing the flames of the bonfire or the noose of the gallows. The type of person who would become a Dissident is a very different creature from the person who would become a Revolutionary.
Emma and Benjamin, or Roz and Pan. Each were their own army, the one revolutionary and the other dissenting. For moments, they worked together, at other times, they worked apart. And there were even times when you could say that there is not one without the other, that they had merged into the same entity, that they had become the same thing -- at a place called Anarchia. The Revolutionaries had been saved, but the Dissidents were still out there. The small rebellion of Emma in Athens and the individual revolt of Benjamin in Babylon ended up in their departure, and with them, the departure of anyone in those capital cities who would ever have hopes of attaining any type of liberty under their governments. But there were still the Dissidents, the groups of people who had revolted against an idea that they once believed in, now renounce, and accept all the futility of its designs. These were the last of the Anarchists and the first Anarchist Armies. They were farmers and soldiers, workers and sailors. And their leaders, Roz and Pan, were Militarists and Marxists. A Libertarian people led by individuals dissenting from Authoritarian ideologies. The Dissidents couldn't be bought off by any offer of their former empires to go back -- they could never do what the Revolutionaries had done.