“Scanning through the preliminary program for next month’s APA Convention in San Francisco, I ran across the Presidential Symposium above. One doesn’t have to ponder very long to figure out who is the target of was the stimulus for this symposium – Dr. Allen Frances and some others of us who are lesser irritants. From the titles, I expect that they are going to suggest some kind of code of conduct for writing in the media, rather than recognize that all their critics did was let the cat out of the bag..”
Saturday 13 April 2013 1BOM
“Dissent is a sentiment or philosophy of non-agreement or opposition to a prevailing idea (e.g. a government’s policies) or an entity (e.g. an individual or political party which supports such policies). The term’s antonyms include agreement, consensus (when all or nearly all parties agree on something) and consent (when one party agrees to a proposition made by another).
In some political systems, dissent may be formally expressed by way of opposition politics, while politically repressive regimes may prohibit any form of dissent, leading to suppression of dissent and the encouragement of social or political activism. Individuals who do not conform or support the policies of certain states have been described as “dissidents.” Several thinkers have argued that a healthy society needs not only to protect, but also to encourage dissent.
In a well-known letter to Arnold Ruge, Karl Marx wrote: “if constructing the future and settling everything for all times are not our affair, it is all the more clear what we have to accomplish at present: I am referring to ruthless criticism of all that exists, ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be.””
“A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. When dissidents unite for a common cause they often effect a dissident movement.
The noun was first used in the political sense in 1940, with the rise of such totalitarian systems as the Soviet Union”
“The term dissident was used in the Eastern bloc, particularly in the Soviet Union, in the period following Joseph Stalin’s death until the fall of communism. It was attached to citizens who criticized the practices or the authority of the Communist Party. The people who used to write and distribute non-censored, non-conformist samizdat literature were criticized in the official newspapers. Soon, many of those who were dissatisfied with the Soviet Bloc began to self-identify as dissidents. This radically changed the meaning of the term: instead of being used in reference to an individual who opposes society, it came to refer to an individual whose non-conformism was perceived to be for the good of a society. An important element of dissident activity in “Soviet Russia” was informing society (both inside the Soviet Union and in foreign countries) about violation of laws and human rights: see Chronicle of Current Events (samizdat) and Moscow Helsinki Group.”
Where are the critics?
Summation: Some definitions can be understood by absence rather than presence.