Retrospective: The First Month of The People's Samizdat

Reflection by The Editors. Keep your creative torch aflame in your heart, brothers.

By: The Editors

In late August, the idea for The People’s Samizdat was launched in a flurry of e-mails sent between two long-time shitposters. We had a vague sense of purpose: we wanted to create a platform, a creative outlet for dissidents to share their works. We knew we wanted to create a space free from the poisonous irony, drama politics, and low-effort nonsense that pervades online dissident politics. We envisioned a creative aesthetic, namely “Sincere Romanticism,” that would be our blog’s essence: a strong moral confidence, a reworking of mythopoeticism into modern dissident art, and a joyful defiance of our acidic sociocultural situation. We had a name for the website, a URL, and (shockingly) enough brain cells to operate it.

The question now became: would the idea catch on? Would anybody even care? Would we get enough interest to even receive submissions? Could we find the time to run the website effectively? Was there a space for us in the dissident sphere? Quite simply, could we even find content to post? Those black clouds hung over long days and nights of planning and communication. These were anxious times. Uncertainty still hung over our pre-launch phase, as we attempted to generate awareness and hype over our planned grand opening on September 12th.

Many, many good friends and acquaintances stepped forth to help out little publication. Our logo came from a very close friend’s artistry. Hundreds of our anonymous shitposter friends arduously spread the word about the publication. Many people dove in, full force, and starting planning submissions right away. A particular well-known personality and creator turbocharged our launch, generously using his platform to share the news about our project. Every single repost, like, follow, and show of support; all contributed, and all were indispensable, to helping this blog find its legs and place in the dissident community.

In all honesty, the show of support we received surprised us. We did not expect much fanfare for a longform blogsite hosted by two anonymous posters. However, we were blown away by the enthusiasm shown by our online friends. Many good men showed their friendship, care, and loyalty by supporting this endeavor in its infancy. Our appreciation is hard to put into words: to attempt, we are, at the bottom of our hearts, grateful and thankful for every single person who showed us even an inkling of interest. We never knew quite how respectable, decent, and upstanding the dissident community was until we launched this publication.

Nothing at The People’s Samizdat would be possible without the support of our contributors, readers, sharers, and even those who simply pass our URL along. We mean that: none of this would be possible. Almost every article and story comes from a contributor who reached out to submit their works or answered our solicitations. Every interview is the product of a personality willing to take time out of their day for us. Every artistic or musical showcase comes from the labor of our contributors. All of this is produced solely by and for dissident creators. The heartening wealth of creativity in the dissident sphere has allowed us to make at least one post per day since our launch. Without our contributors, and without our valuable and supportive readers, we could not have created this platform. We thank you immensely.

As editors, we have had the task of receiving, reviewing, scheduling, and posting submissions. This has been the most enjoyable process of all and makes all of this worth it. The people in our dissident community are some of the most creative minds you will find anywhere. Every single submission has been high-quality, and every single one deserves publication. In different times, some of our creators would be well-known names in the literary sphere or have much clearer avenues to creative artistry. We have been astounded at the array of creative styles our contributors employ. The cleverness, the clear-eyed visions, the unique artwork, the pure poetic beauty – all of these contributions prove the literary and artistic worth of our dissident circles.

There is something quite powerful residing in the murky waters of the dissident community. Our entire lives have been marked by anti-beauty propaganda, attacks on our cultural heritage, atomization and loneliness, materialistic emptiness, and unfortunate physical pains. Many people feel unanchored from themselves, feeling incapable of producing anything of value in such an ugly world. Yet, as our contributors have shown, there is a potent creative power still present in all of us. We have not lost touch of our inner essence or our inner sense of beauty. We have not lost the ability to produce great and worthy works. We have found beauty among the wreckage of this world, and it is up to us to guard it for our generation and future generations. Us at The People’s Samizdat hope we are doing our small part in preserving, stimulating, and generating dissident culture.

Our first month of publication is now complete. Many more days, weeks, months, or possibly even years remain ahead of us – however long we can remain around, we will stay around. Our short-term objectives are to continue growing our readership, find and publish new potential creators, and to incubate the future works of the great minds that have already published with us. In the medium-term, we would like to begin physical distributions of The People’s Samizdat and pursue new partnerships within the dissident community. In the long-term, our goal is clear: we want to continue progressing the aesthetic evolution of the dissident right, and more simply, to keep hosting the great works our people produce.

It is an honor to be your editors. We hope to see our current contributors grow creatively, and we hope to welcome new creators as well. May we find victory, and may we keep finding beauty in this ugly world. May we never forget the great potential inside all of us, and may we always remember our strong spirit and will. Never let your creative flame burn out, and always remember you are capable of producing something special. Our door is always open for anybody looking to submit their works. Create for: THE PEOPLE’S SAMIZDAT!