The striving of individuals and groups to lead an independent life within a society they regard as alien or hostile is an ancient phenomenon. One need only think of the early Christians under Roman rule; Jews in the ghetto or the shtetl of Eastern Europe; dissenting or non-conformist Protestants in 17th century England; Catholic or Buddhist monks in monasteries; Mennonites or Hutterites; communes in early 19th century America; the counter-culture of the 20th century. Sometimes these individuals and groups sought to remould the society of which they were an unwilling part; sometimes they tried to withdraw entirely from society and live their own life in communities isolated from the world around them.
KeywordsCivil Society Communist Party Independent Activity Party Leader Civic Activity
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