A few months after Stalin’s death, strikes broke out in labour camps all across Siberia; the strikers’ demands were modest and ‘reasonable’: the release of the very old and the too young, a ban on random shooting by watch-tower guards, and so on. One by one, the camps succumbed to threats or false promises from Moscow, and only Mine 29 at Vorkuta held out, surrounded by two divisions of NKVD troops, with tanks. When the troops finally entered the main gate, they saw the prisoners standing behind it in a solid phalanx, their arms linked, singing. After a brief hesitation, the heavy machine-guns opened up — the miners remained massed and erect, defiantly continuing to sing, the dead held up by the living. After about a minute, reality prevailed, and the corpses began to litter the ground. However, this brief minute in which the strikers’ defiance seemed to suspend the very laws of nature, transubstantiating their exhausted bodies into the appearance of an immortal singing collective Body, was the occurrence of the Sublime at its purest, the prolonged moment in which, in a way, time stood still.
— Slavoj Žižek, Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?: Five Interventions in the (Mis)Use of a Notion