Recipe for Free Speech by Sena Chang

This piece was previously published in Daruma.

recipe for eternal suppression
free speech

Rating: 0 out of 5.

(9.2 million ratings)​1

by joseph stalin, 1929 

½ cup of journalists 
2 cups of censorship (disguise as cleansing of the media)
high gini coefficient (works best with >0.5)
a pinch of elites and a generous amount of peasants (1 : 20 ratio)
skyrocketing unemployment rate (the higher, the better) 
vast land area to hold crimson ink spilled by journalists (shush, don’t call it blood)
The Communist Manifesto​ by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1847) for indoctrination
handfuls of raging political instability
arbitrary hopes and dreams for major reform (disguise as a pragmatic plan​​)​
a pinch of leadership (the charismatic kind)
totalitarianism and ruthless dictatorship to taste 

slowly simmer away all remaining sense of morality/indoctrinate your veins with the fruit of Marx’s mind/separate your bourgeois class with the proletariats. a heterogeneous mixture is ideal. maintain the 1 : 20 ratio or all else will fail. 

carefully extract the heart of your deteriorating country and drown all ½ cups of journalism with censorship/all truth should be cleanly washed and deceit should lie stark naked – yet one has to shield this from the public’s eyes. garnish with overweening ambition and charisma. govern a flock of over-submissive sheep/meal prep done./start crushing your men of their conscience. melt power and pale skin into one. flambe your country to the ground and its 125 million
people​​3/you are in the большевик ​4​ (majority) as long as you dispose of the other​ ​ большевик (majority) /finally call it “free speech”. 

author’s note​: the journalists will spill red ink. don’t let it stain your flag. 

i see cracks start to appear everywhere/our social fabric rendered to rags and pieces of cloth strung together our remaining sense of humanness/the aching of hunger pervades my body/transparency sits decomposing on our earth/our society is a rotting log feeding off the
souls of the malnourished and exploited/our nation’s breath reeks of corruption/yet he is glorified./is freedom supposed to lock our voices in a chokehold? i write to deconstruct​​, to deconstruct this narrative until… 

the secret police come and shove their hands down my mouth​ Russia’s mouth/​farewell, mother.​  

storage time​: until death. store country in an airtight container. remember, oxygen allows them
to speak​​. 

nutrition facts 
0mg ethical principles; 0g democratic values 0% DV; 1,000g horror, bloodshed, loss; 0g freedom, 100g “freedom”

m.zedong__, adolf.hitlerr, and others have
made this recipe. 

This post is brought to you by
The Odds Against a Starry Cosmos
 by Abby Bland

The Odds Against a Starry Cosmos explores the intimacy of human relationship and growth against the backdrop of the natural world, moving through moments of grace, brokenness, and wonder.

Published by Perennial Press

1 The approximate number of people who passed away under Stalin’s reign.
2 A reference to Stalin’s Five Year Plans, as well as other dictators’ promises of reform
3 The population of Russia at the height of Stalin’s power
4 Pronounced “Bol’shevik” in Russian

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