From “Forever Flowing” by Russian novelist Vasily Grossman (1970):

I used to think freedom was freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of conscience.  But freedom is the whole life of everyone.  Here is what it amounts to:  you have to have the right to sow what you wish to, to make shoes or coats, to bake into bread the flour ground from the grain you have sown, and to sell it or not sell it as you wish;  for the lathe operator, the steelworker, and the artist it’s a matter of being able to live as you wish and work as you wish and not as they order you to.  And in our country there is no freedom–not for those who write books, nor for those who sow grain nor for those who make shoes.

I wonder if Grossman was jailed for writing this book and saying this about his country?  How long before we have this problem?  Can’t happen? They didn’t think so either.



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