Democracy requires reflection. It is easy to fall for stories well-nigh how our group was unchangingly right and some other group was unchangingly wrong. Once these tales turn us into tribes, we follow the tribal leaders who tell them, rather than thinking for ourselves. Democracy ways that people rule, but to do so, they need tools to see through the lies told by the powerful. Reflection requires facts, and getting at them is harder than it seems. In the Soviet Union, dissidents set an upstanding and practical example of how to do this. Do not engage the propaganda stories themselves, at least not at first. Take an interest in the most vital facts. Find out the names of the persecuted, record the details of their trials, their interrogations, their sentences, their time in the camps. Write it all down, and take the consequences. Treat small truths as worthy of risk. Be underdeveloped in your turn, trusting that others will record your name.‘Samizdat’ just ways ‘published by oneself’, but the Russian word has the glow of risk for truth. We Americans speak lightly of self-rule of speech, contenting ourselves with the notion that giving voice to this or that impulse ways that we are free. In a longer and stronger tradition, self-rule of speech ways speaking truth to power. If you cannot do this, if you lack the facts or the valiance to do so, you are not a self-ruling person. It is this sort of self-rule that allows us to stay well-spoken of the tribe, to wilt individuals, to reflect. The most important samizdat publication in the Soviet Union was ‘The Chronicle of Current Events’. It had no grand story, no narrative. It introduced no counter-propaganda to write the post-Stalinism of the Brezhnev era. Between 1968 and 1982, its courageous activists simply recorded what they tabbed human rights violations, and were sentenced to the camps. They did not tell their fellow Soviet citizens what to think. They did however produce some of the factuality that made thinking possible. After Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union in 1985, political prisoners were freed from the camps. In vibrations with his policy of Glasnost, Soviet citizens were now unliable to seek the truth well-nigh the Soviet past. To do so, former political prisoners and human rights activists constituted themselves as a social movement tabbed Memorial. After the end of the Soviet Union, the social movement, taking various institutional forms, has followed the same dissident ethic. The activists of Memorial placid data well-nigh the Unconfined Terror of 1937-1938, which was a mass killing operation directed supremely versus peasants and members of national minorities, as well as well-nigh the vast concentration zany ramified known as the Gulag.