What Does Dissidents Mean? (4 Things You Need To Know)


Being a prepper requires more than simply stashing food, water, and guns. Being a prepper requires you to know the prepper lifestyle’s various ins and outs, and part of this means having an understanding of some of the vocabulary that certain survivalist-type people often throw around. In this article, we’re going to be exploring the question of, “What does dissidents mean?”.

Dissidents is a term that you’ll likely hear once or twice if you’re active in the prepper or surviver community, and while some of you reading this may know what it stands for, there’s a good chance that most of you have no clue what it means.

Dissidents and subversives are types of people that are often found in the prepper world, and you just may be one of these yourself without evening knowing it.

Many ideals and beliefs of being a prepper lie within what dissidents and subversives believe, and because of this connection, it’s important for you to know just what these two things stand for and mean.


According to Merriam-Webster, the word “dissident” stands for, “disagreeing especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief.”

Dissidents are also often referred to as political dissidents, and this term refers to folks that are against politics and/or the actions of the government.

For a lot of you reading this, you can now probably say with confidence that you are a dissident.

Although dissidents don’t necessarily rebel or fight the government or political system they don’t believe in, they do disagree with the majority of ideas of movements that they make. There have been dissidents with President Obama, and there are dissidents with President Trump. There will always be someone who has a strong disagreement with a political figure, and because of this, there will always be dissidents.

However, dissidents doesn’t refer explicitly to people that are against political figures or the government. As mentioned in the Merriam-Webster definition, it can also be used for people that don’t believe in religious groups, armed forces, or other large organizations.

Dissidents are often people who live the mantra of “fighting the man” or “fighting the power”, and this is a theme that you’ll see quite often in the prepper world. Not everyone who’s a prepper is a dissident, but more times than not you’ll find that these two things go hand-in-hand with one another.

U.S. Dissidents

In addition to the regular dissidents term, “US dissidents” is an alternative version of the phrase that’s picked up some popularity in recent years.

A bit different from the regular dissidents term, US dissidents is a reference to people in the United States that have exposed secrets or classified information of the US government. It’s essentially another term for the word “whistleblowers”, and it’s tied to people along the lines of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning.

Someone using the dissidents word is likely referring to the primary one and not US dissidents, but it’s still important to know both variants of it just to make sure you’re aware of exactly what you’re talking about or referencing to.

Confusing someone for a US dissident when they’re actually just a regular dissident is an error that’s often made in the prepper community, and it’s a simple one that can be easily avoided as long as you know what you’re talking about.


While on the subject of dissidents, we also need to talk about subversives.

Subversives and dissidents are often used interchangeably, and once again going back to Merriam-Webster, “subversion” is defined as, “the act of subverting: the state of being subverted: a systematic attempt to overthrow or undermine a government or political system by persons working secretly from within.”

Subversive people are ones that often take matters into their own hands and try to do things to create for change within the government, religions, or other groups that they have some sort of distaste or disagreement with.

Diving headfirst into subversion techniques requires a lot of manpower and careful planning, and in general, people that are considered subversives could also be classified as traitors or insurgents.

Being a subversive means that you’re actively working inside of some organization with the primary goal of causing havoc or bringing it down to its knees, and while some people try to justify their actions here, it’s usually something that’s looked down upon for obvious reasons.

Confusing dissidents for subversives

As mentioned above, dissidents and subversives are often confused for the same thing. However, as you can clearly see, they’re two very different groups of people.

On one hand, you’ve got dissidents that are against ideals and values of organizations.

On the other, you have subversives that take drastic action and measures to change the way that these organizations act and perform.

Although there are similarities between the two, it isn’t fair or right to say that both are the same.

Being a dissident doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything illegal or wrong to create for trouble within the group that you aren’t a fan of — all it means is that you have a distaste or disagreement for what that group spouts off.

However, being a subversive means you are taking those actions and are causing trouble. People who classify themselves as subversives claim that their actions are for the common good and such, but more times than not, these actions are done simply to create for more problems.

Because of this, it’s important that you know the clear differences between the two groups of people.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve made it to this part of the article, hopefully you have a clear answer for the question of, “What does dissidents mean?”. Knowing the meaning of this term and how it’s different and similar to subversives will make your life as a prepper that much easier, and it will also allow you to communicate with other preppers in a more politically correct manner.

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