communists. Let the French and Italianncommunists, and those who vote fornthem, see how “free” the Hungariansnor Poles are (unless they misbehave andnhave to be disciplined). As the Russiannexpression goes, a tyrant may wantnsomething just because his left footnwants it.nIn Russia I lived with my family in anmansion in the countryside, my wife didnnot work and my son never went out tonschool until we left Russia when he wasn16. Are many Americans, not to mentionnHungarians or even Poles, as physicallynfree as we were on our estate.” Yetnwe were sure that we lived in a countrynwithout any politico-civic freedom, justnas there is none in Hungary or Polandntoday: there is only the tyrants’ currentnpermission to their subjects to live asnthey wish. How capricious and arbitrarynthat permission can be is exemplified bynthe purges of 1937. It was certainly anlife-and-death matter to an inhabitant ofnRussia whether he would die in the wavenof persecution of 1937 or live a littlenlonger because the wave was abruptlynstopped in 1938. As an inhabitant ofnRussia who was released from prison inn1938 put it: “We are now living asnin paradise.” But did the enormous scalenof persecution in 1937, as comparednwith the relative stability of 1938, proventhat Stalin’s regime in 1938 was freernthan it was in 1937.” The rules werenthe same; only the punishment hadnchanged.nEven if a tyrant permits some subjectsn(dissidents) to criticize him or to gonthrough some other motions emblematicnof a democratic society, this hasnnothing to do with politico-civic freedom.nAfter all, this is done with the tyrant’snpermission, such is his will, hisnleft foot wants it, and, by definition, henmay wish any wish he chooses, includingnthe wish that his subjects play at politicalnrights and civil liberties.nJ. his leads us to the question: whatnis political and civic freedom.” It is the effectivenpresence in a country of institutionsnwhich guarantee the personal in­nChronicles of Culturenviolability of a citizen to act against thenwill of the powers that be without harmingnthereby other people according to thenopinion, formed after a due process ofnlaw, of an ad hoc legal council of randomlynsampled, unprejudiced citizens.nAll that is known as trial by jury.nThe development of such freedom innpost-Roman history began with the firstntrial by jury in England at the beginningnof the millennium, before the MagnanCharta or Parliament. An independentncourt of justice is the beginning andncornerstone of the entire edifice. Howncan there be an election, for example,nunless the safety of any voter who votesnagainst a predominant group in power isnguaranteed by an independent court ofnjustice.? The ultimate paradox is that if anperson is not guaranteed protection bynan independent court of justice, therencan be no independent court of justice atnall, for members of the court—membersnof the jury, judges, witnesses and expertsn—must also be guaranteed safety, whateverntheir conclusions, decisions, verdicts,ntestimony or expertise.nIn 1913 a trial by jury in Russia returnednthe verdict of “not guilty” in thencase of Beilis (a Jew accused of ritualnmurder) against the will of the powersnthat be, and no tsar or police or the Ministrynof Justice could do anything aboutnit. This means that, as of 1913, therenwas a rudimentary degree of politicocivicnfreedom in “tsarist Russia” (whichnsome top American sovietologists stillncite as the worst example of benightedntyranny). To use the yearbook’s terminology,nit can be said that Russia wasnpartly free, in contrast to the free societiesnof today (the United States, Denmarknor Barbados) and the unfree societiesn(post-1917 Russia or post-1949nHungary).nIn post-1917 Russia and many otherncountries which the annual ranks asnfree or partly free, a trial by jury (if suchnexists in a given country at all) wouldnnot be able to pass an independent verdictnin a political, or politicalized, trialnagainst the will of the reigning power,nfor each member of the jury would fearnnnpersecution for the rest of his life. Perhapsnat some point the secret policenwould settle accounts with him by arrangingna car accident or mistreatingnhim in a hospital, for instance. In othernwords, in the post-1917 regime of Russia,nthe post-1949 regime of Hungary,nand in many others there has never beennany degree of freedom at all ever sincentheir establishment, nor do we have anynhope that there will be in the foreseeablenfuture. As to the fact that more Russiansnwere allowed to travel abroad in 1922nthan in 1953, or that there are, lately,nmore Hungarians than East Germans allowednto travel abroad —such facts,nwhile of crucial importance to the beneficiariesnof the tyrants’ leniency, are ofnno relevance to the freedom to which thenannual is presumably devoted.nAs a result, the annual’s classificationnof countries by their degrees of freedomnis insufficient and misleading, its researchnvalue notwithstanding. The mistakenstems, in my opinion, largely fromnthe predilection of many Western scholarsnto be influenced by the fashions ofnthe day, including totalitarian propaganda,nrather than to develop totallynindependent conceptual frameworks ofntheir own. Many Western scholars assumenthat to be tolerant, objective,nscholarly is to be eclectic, derivative andnsuggestible. Thus, the annual’s entry onnRussia begins: “The Soviet Union isnruled by parallel party and governmentnsystems: the party system is dominant.”nThis is what Soviet propaganda pamphletsnsay. Actually, in countries like post-n1917 Russia there is neither politicalnparty nor government in the sense thatnthey exist in the United States. Such ancountry is ruled (and owned) by chieftainsn(neither their names, nor theirn”posts” may even be known) via a rulingncaste, as in China in the 3rd century B.C.nor in nazi Germany. Soviet propagandanuses “Western names” on purpose: annAmerican must be reassured that thenstructure of the post-1917 regime innRussia does not differ in principle fromnthe social structure of the United States.nFor a Western scholar to repeat thesen