posted on Feb, 13 2007 @ 07:29 AM
People choose what they are going to believe political, and I won't waste my effort trying to change minds. I'll give you a personal story, a book
suggestion, and then leave it alone.
This was back in the winter of 1986. I was getting the chance to travel for the first time, and see communism up close. It was in Budapesht. I had
a friend who was also an archaeology student.
He lived in an apartment I wasn't allowed to enter, as a tourist. Be he told about living in this huge, drab, Stalin-era housing high rise. The
individual apartments didn't have thermostats, because that would be "capitalist." The management set the temperature for the whole housing bloc.
Due to shortages of natural gas, the temp was set at just a few degrees above freezing. People were at risk of getting frostbite, even dying, inside
So what the tenants did was to start leaving the door open on their oven. Instead of cooking anything, they'd just use the oven to heat the whole
apartment. It was an even bigger use of natural gas than just letting people be warm would have been. And because it was collective housing, they
couldn't cut the heat off to just one apartment, or to the heat but not the ovens.
What was the government's response? Admit the limits of collective living? Of course not. The government set up what they called "oven police."
Who would make surprise inspections--they'd barge into your apartment, and check your oven to see if you were heating your apartment by wasting the
So the people would make up a batch of dough. When the shout of "oven police" would come up through the ventilation shaft, or via a morse-code tap
through the walls, everyone would throw the dough into the oven, and claim that they were legitimately baking bread.
So then the oven police were armed, and would lock the apartment down, and to swat-style raids to see if your oven was hot but your dough was cold.
My friend said some people had been arrested and "disappeard" for the offense of faking baking.
And all in the name of collective living.
The book I suggest is one than no one ever reads any more, because it's about communism. It is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's 1973 The Gulag
Archipelago. While the theme is technically the system of Soviet prison camps for political criminals, Solzhenitsyn does an incredible job of
describing life in a police state.
Not that it will change anyone's mind. But information at least lets you critique marxism (and maybe its opposite as well) from a knowing
All the best.