Mods, if this has been posted in the wrong forum, please move it to where you deem it belongs. Thank you.
Lately there has been a lot of discussion about Socialism on this board. Some Americans wonder why it is that a large number of people are so
vehemently opposed to Socialism, when the idea that a country of people shares responsibilities and takes care of each other seems so noble. How could
it possibly be a bad thing? Everyone has what they need to survive, and everyone works toward a common goal. How can this idea possibly turn such a
large part of the American population off? Are they selfish, greedy and evil? Is it that they want to have the freedom to take more than they need to
survive? Are they really so callous that they would deprive the needy of shelter and food if it meant that in order to do so they would have to give
up a few luxuries?
I thought to myself; What better way to explain Communism to somebody who’s only read the word in a book, or heard it spoken in a College classroom
than to relay my family’s story? I may not be an expert on the history, I may not know all the facts, but personal experience has got to count for
something, doesn’t it? Although I’m reluctant to share so much detail about our lives on the internet for everyone to see, I hope that maybe it
will enlighten a few people to what it was like to live in a Communist country. Please keep in mind that my country was one of the more free Communist
countries out there, if that makes any sense.
I am going to tell my story by dividing it into different segments.
(By the way, I hope that if there are people here who have lived in or escaped from China, Cuba, Russia, or any of the other former Soviet countries,
it would be great if you shared your story as well. If you think you see something in my post that is untrue or inaccurate, I welcome you to correct
me. I think it would probably benefit me, and those who haven’t experienced it for themselves.)
Although I’ve been living in the U.S. for many years, I was not born here. I was born in Eastern Europe, in a country most Americans don’t even
know exists. They may know it by it’s former name; “Czechoslovakia”. When I was born, Czechoslovakia was already neck deep in Communism. The
Russians had taken full control and moved a lot of their military into our country by force many years earlier. Russia was a terrible place to live at
the time, so many ordinary Russians were more than happy to come to our country to live. It would not have been so terrible, except that some of the
older folks I’ve talked to say that many (not all) of these people were rude and felt entitled to everything. They received special privileges or
treatment. How true that is I don’t know, I’m just repeating what I was told.
There wasn’t really much we could do about the invasion. We were outnumbered, because in total our country had maybe 15 million people. We were
surrounded by countries who wanted a piece of us on all sides. We could either side with Hitler or Stalin, or we could be blown to bits by our
neighbors (Hungary and Poland) who’s Governments had been drooling over our land for centuries. As terrible as it was, first we sided with Hitler,
because he promised he wouldn’t let Poland or Hungary touch us if we did. Once the Germans were defeated and the war ended, we were invaded by the
Russians under the guise of “liberation”, and that’s how the country turned Communist. The process of subjugation began.
Story of an old-timer:
My grandmother told me a few interesting stories about a year ago. She never talked much about this part of her life to me before, so I was more than
happy to listen. She told me about the time she was 16 years old, and the Cold War was beginning. A group called the Partisans formed. They were
composed of Slovaks and maybe some Russians who fought against the Germans (that’s my guess). They came by her family’s house and had an automatic
weapon pointed at them. She said that while they sat on a bench, she and her family were laying on the floor. They were unable to sleep, because they
were left to wonder when these men would decide to shoot them. I’m not sure why they held them at gunpoint. I can’t remember that part of the
story, or whether she explained it at all.
My grandmother recalls the day the Russians rolled into her village in tanks. It was winter time, and somehow they ended up having a snowball fight.
They were tossing snow at each other when my grandmother decided to take a handful of snow and showed it in one of the Russian soldier’s faces and
eyes. He fell off some short steps. He became so upset that he pulled out his pistol and was about to shoot her dead. One of the other soldiers talked
him out of it and she ran away. She ran to her aunt’s house to hide. She didn’t come out for three days. The angry soldier was told that she ran
into the field somewhere and that they couldn’t find her. The other soldier talked to his superior about the angry soldier’s behavior, and her
family was assured that nothing would happen to her if she came home. He lied for her and told the others that she was very sick from spending the
night hiding in the field.
She then talked about the German soldiers who came to stay in their home. She said they had skulls on their helmets. She and her family gave them food
to eat, sowed up their socks or whatever else they needed. Among them was one who spoke Hungarian. He told her mother and father not to leave her
alone in the house, because they would surely try to rape her. He asked them not to tell anyone what he had just told them, because he would probably
get into trouble as well. I’m not sure his buddies knew he spoke Hungarian. All in all the Germans treated and protected her family while they
stayed there. They had an understanding that as long as they took care of them, the soldiers in turn would treat them well. One day while my
grandmother was doing something around the house, she hung something over their radio. This caused it to crash to the floor and break into pieces.
They used the radio to communicate and hear what was going on in the field. She thought they would kill her when they found out. She started crying.
When the soldiers found the broken radio they weren’t angry. They told her that it was O.K. and told her she could stop crying.
These were some of people’s first experiences of Communism. Although it may sound terrible, many old-timers will vouch that when German soldiers
came to stay with them, the experience was night and day compared to the Russians. In a twisted sort of way the Germans seemed more civilized. Of
course we’re not talking about what happened during the war, but I’m sure you understand what I’m getting at.
Confiscation of Private Property:
My family owned a good portion of land. They weren’t extremely wealthy by any means, but they were well-off. My great-grandfather was a farmer. He
had fields he tended to, and he had some livestock such as two or three cows, chickens, two horses, and who knows what else. When the Communists took
control, they decided that it wasn’t right that any man should own that much land or livestock. They confiscated his land and his livestock, and
made it the people’s land and livestock. To add insult to injury, they still expected him to take care of these animals and the fields, but he
wasn’t allowed to keep the profits. The profits went to “the people”, but what that really meant is that it probably went into the pockets of
the crooked Comrades. The same thing happened to farmers all over the country. Everything was nationalized. Often the Government called it’s
citizens for “brigada”. This meant that if you were a student or an able-bodied person, you were sometimes required to help out in the fields. You
didn’t have a choice. If you didn’t have a job, one was assigned to you. If you refused to work, they could throw you in jail.
Many of the wealthy families were kicked out of Czechoslovakia when the Communists took control. They claimed that the wealthy were the reason for all
their suffering. The families (whether guilty or not) were allowed to take only as many possessions as they could carry. Their crime was that they
were rich. It didn’t matter whether or not those families were charitable to the towns in which they lived, or that they had lived their whole lives
in a country they loved. Their homes were then burglarized, all valuables stolen, and property severely damaged. This also happened to a few churches.
The Communists liked to use these buildings as chicken coups just to make a statement. They destroyed many historical buildings and lost a lot of
valuable historic artifacts and artwork. Castles were emptied of most of their valuables and one-of-a-kind furniture. Some of the furniture and books
were used as firewood. It would be one thing to appreciate beauty and use it to the benefit of the community, but it’s another to senselessly
destroy these things out of anger. I guess when you’re cold in the winter with acres upon acres of forest around you, it’s still necessary to keep
warm by burning antiques.
In school kids were being indoctrinated at an unprecedented level. We were required to call our teachers “Comrade Teacher” instead of “Mr.
Olach” for example. I remember being taught that Russia is the best country in the world. My parents always got a kick out of that. They were
anti-Communist, especially my dad. They would ask me in front of their friends “What’s the best country in the world?” and I would proudly
respond “Russia!” They would laugh about it, but I’m sure on the inside they were concerned.
In class during art lessons we would receive coloring pages filled with Russian cultural subjects, we would read Russian poems translated to our
language, and we would be made to practically worship the “partisans” (the same people who nearly blew my grandmother’s family away) and Russian
war heroes. If I recall correctly, the classrooms had our Communist president hanging on the wall. In fourth grade kids were required to start
learning to speak Russian.
All kids were required to become “pioneers”. Girls wore a light blue blouse and dark blue skirt with a red scarf around the neck. Boys were
dressed in the same colors, but with long pants on. On Communist holidays we would gather in front of a Communist monument in town, we would line up,
recite Communist rhetoric and sing Communist songs. As a kid I thought it was all fun. I was having a good time! I was a good little Communist. Lol!
We didn’t really understand at the time what we were signing, so basically it was meaningless to us. We just did what our teachers wanted us to do.
One week out of every year the school would gather all the kids and take us to a big meadow where we would practice with smoke grenades, crawl on the
grass, and perform other physical activities which were heavily borrowed from a military boot camp. Again, we were kids and we thought it was fun and
games. We got to be outdoors, and that’s all that mattered to us.
We were forced to go to the dentist by the school. It seems like a great thing. Free healthcare, right?! Well, it wasn’t great at all. We were
brutalized at the dentist’s office. The dentist would drill our teeth without using any anesthetic, so we felt absolutely everything. If we started
crying from the pain, the dentist would tell us to be quiet and stop sulking. I ran away from the dentist’s office numerous times, and had to be
escorted by two of my classmates who made sure I stayed. It was a great experience, one that has stayed with me for years.
When it was time for a student to attend college, getting into a good school was very difficult. It wasn’t what you knew, it was WHO you knew. The
comrades at the top would first ensure spaces for their own children, their friend’s children, or to the children of those who could bribe some
comrade to put in a good word for them. You could have been an absolute genius with excellent grades, but that wasn’t always enough to get you
admitted, unless maybe you vowed to use your intelligence to somehow further their agenda. Then they could show you off to the world, much the way
they forced athletes to be the best they can be for their country. Their job was to be the best, and if they couldn’t do that, they were dealt with.
The whole Capitalist world had to know that Communists were superior to them in every way.
As I mentioned previously, everyone had to have a job of some kind. Unless you were pregnant or in school, you had to have a job. If you didn’t have
one, one was assigned to you. Don’t get me wrong, its not like you couldn’t work in the field of your interest. Of course you could, but whatever
it is you were doing, you knew you were doing it to make the Communists look good. Maybe this seems great at first glance, but the problem is that you
couldn’t really start your own business if you wanted to. The job you got, chances were that you were not getting paid enough to make it worth the
trouble. Since there was no positive motivation to make you work harder, most people worked just enough to make it look like they’re doing
something. They weren’t doing their best. Imagine if the Government forced you to be a fry cook for the rest of your life. Forget your dreams and
ambitions. They had no place in this Communist society. Everything you did was supposed to benefit the society as a whole, regardless of what YOU
wanted to do with YOUR life. Sure you could be an artist, a musician or a writer! That’s if you painted Communist murals, played in a Communist
orchestra or wrote stories, poems and novels praising the Communists. It was one way of getting paid. I guess in that way you could still live part of
your dream. God help you if you painted, sang or wrote something against the Government. That’s how many creative people learned to use symbols to
spread their discontent. Sometimes they were caught, and sometimes they weren’t. I remember hearing about conspiracies of how some singer met his
demise because of the things he sang about. Sometimes people disappeared.
If there was a popular American song and people liked the tune, you could be sure that the Communists would have singers use the same music and tone
of the song, but sing completely different lyrics in Slovak or Czech to give the populace some kind of alternative. I don’t know how it was in other
Communist countries, but in our house we listened to American music and we watched a few American movies on videotape. There was an underground market
for them. Many times they were terrible quality, and someone in their living room would record themselves over the audio to translate everything a
character in the movie said. Sometimes you could hear their wife washing dishes in the background. Lol! Communists didn’t want you to watch American
movies, because they were afraid that this would give people ideas about leaving, or trying to achieve the same kind of lifestyle. As I mentioned
earlier, our country was slightly more lax than other Soviet countries, so I don’t remember us getting into trouble for owning all those
videocassettes. The Communists just didn’t allow those movies to play on TV. We had all of maybe five channels, and half of them were in Hungarian.
We watched whatever they wanted us to watch. Luckily there was enough Czechoslovak programming for children as far as movies and cartoons are
concerned, which didn’t have anything to do with politics. At least nothing I caught. Communism was all around us, but as children we didn’t quite
notice unless our parents talked about it.
In restaurants, in stores and in Government offices the customer was not always right. The workers were downright rude. You wanted to buy something?
They were doing you a favor by serving you! You practically had to beg for someone to help you out. After all, they didn’t own the store and they
weren’t making much money from it, so to them you were a nuisance. It forced them to do their job, and they didn’t like it much. They were
dissatisfied with their poor lives, and you added to their misery. If you didn’t like the way they talked to you, too bad. It’s not like you can
jump into your car and go to some store down the street. There was one furniture or electronics store per region if you were lucky. Either you bought
something there (if they even had anything worth while on the shelves), or you went home empty-handed.
If you didn’t like something, they’d tell you to hit the road, Jack. In a Capitalist society this kind of behavior would be financial suicide,
but not in a Communist country where such things as bread, jeans and bananas were so rare. People would stand in a huge line waiting to be able to buy
oranges or bananas, or bread. They put up with it, because it was a once or twice a year treat!
People also didn’t make enough money to buy themselves decent cars. Most people traveled by bus, train, bicycle, or tram. You had three choices. You
could either buy a Trabant (Russian car), a Skoda (Czechoslovak car), or maybe Fiat (French car). They were very small cars, and some people would
drive them literally until the floor completely rusted out and you could see the pavement under your feet. People who owned sedan-sized cars were
considered very well-to-do. I remember seeing only one person in the neighborhood who had such a car, and I remember everybody admired it. Compared to
the cars that you see here in the U.S. it was nothing special at all.
People didn’t make enough money to have luxuries such as German Shepherd-sized dogs. It cost too much to keep him fed. If people had dogs, they were
small. My dad happened to be a very intelligent person who’s skills the Comrades sought. He was an innovator and improved on a lot of heavy
machinery. They needed him and praised him. They even published his picture and name in a newspaper and talked about his achievement (can’t remember
what it was anymore) to show people what an exemplary Communist he was. Lol! When they invited him to join their Communist party, he flat out refused.
This angered them a lot, but they were torn. They needed his talents, but he stood against everything they believed in. They tried to coerce him by
paying him an above average salary, which gets me to my point. We were able to afford a German Shepherd! Lol!
When my dad brought the dog home, a lot of our neighbors were very jealous. They expressed their jealousy in a strange way. They asked my dad why we
needed such a huge dog. We didn’t need the dog, but we wanted to have the dog. Here in the U.S. people take for granted that they can own
practically any animal as a pet, and nobody is going to question whether they need that animal. Nobody asks “why buy it? It doesn’t produce any
milk and it’s not good meat to eat”, because everyone here understands that one is free to have anything one works hard for. If you want the
companionship of a dog, you have the freedom to buy one as big as you want, as long as you treat it right.
As with everything else, the Government taxed us on the dog. It must have been a significant amount. One winter day a stray German Shepherd puppy
wandered into our yard and befriended our dog. We decided to keep him since our dog was willingly sharing his food with the puppy. Unfortunately when
the tax man came and saw that we now had two dogs, he decided to tax us on both of them. As much as we hated to, we had to give the puppy to my uncle.
It was heartbreaking for me as a kid. A touching fact about this story is that even though my uncle lived about 20 miles away, the puppy ran away from
his house and we found him in our back yard the next day! I have no idea how he found his way home, but my uncle said the dog was watching the road
from the back window all the way to his house. Of course we had to drive him back over to my uncle since we couldn’t afford to pay taxes for both
To conclude the employment segment, basically people were making very little money, and they couldn’t afford the luxuries of almost anything. Many
gardened and owned chickens or rabbits not because they enjoyed it, but because it was a way to sustain them when they couldn’t afford to buy food
at the grocery store. Here in the U.S. people garden because they enjoy it and they want fresh food.
Paranoia, Control and Censorship:
People were not free to speak their minds. If your neighbor didn’t like you, he could report you to the Government. He could make up any crazy story
about how you said you hated all Communists and hated the Government, and that’s when the secret police would show up at your front step and start
questioning you. They would try to force you to give up other people who have the same ideas as you do. They would threaten you and say to you that if
you didn’t turn them in, you would serve jail time.
Although Communists were atheists, in Czechoslovakia they were a little more lenient on people who decided to go to church. Although neither of my
parents were very religious, my family befriended a Catholic priest in town. He proved to be a very exemplary and great human being over the years. He
told us that the Communists asked him to spy on people who came in to confess. He never turned anyone in and never gave the Communists any information
on anyone in town as long as he lived.
People at work were ordered to spy on their coworkers all the time. The news on TV never said anything positive about the Western world. It was always
“evil capitalists this, evil capitalists that”. They would lie to us and say that people in the Western world are starving right now. They’re
poor and miserable, and compared to them we are very well off. I remember watching a propaganda video from decades ago where the Communists claimed
that the U.S. was responsible for the potato beetle, who was destroying our crops. Maybe it was true and maybe it wasn’t, but I’m leaning toward
it being a lie.
Naturally in order to perpetuate these ridiculous lies, people were not allowed to travel outside the country unless they chose Russia, China, Hungary
or Cuba as their destination. My aunt went to Russia once. When she came back she told us stories of how there were rats running around in the grocery
stores and restaurants, and that there was barely any food on the shelves. It was two or three times more miserable over there, than in
Czechoslovakia. Hell, Czechoslovakia probably seemed like paradise in comparison! So much for Russia being the best country in the world.
If somebody through a very long process was allowed to travel to let’s say Germany, that person was not allowed to take his whole family with him.
He was forced to leave behind one child in order to ensure that the family would return back home. There were many instances in which men would escape
to the West without their families. They would leave behind their children and wives, or sometimes they would escape with one child left behind. They
would promise to try to come get the child at a later time when it was safer. If people ever returned from the Western world once they crossed that
border, they were not allowed to say anything positive about it. Sometimes the Communists threatened those who were about to travel outside the
borders by stating that very bad things would happen to their families if they didn’t come back. If our Communist society was so awesome and the
Germans were suffering and starving on their streets, why would they have to threaten people to get them to come back home? Well, the answer is
Czechoslovakia had some beautiful old (medieval) towns, castles and mansions. It still does, but when the Communists rolled in, they decided to
destroy the countryside by building hideous apartment blocks in all the cities. The idea was to house as many people as possible, as cheaply as
possible. You still had to pay rent on them, of course. They weren’t free. The apartments were tiny in most cases, and most of them were one bedroom
apartments where a family of four had to make do. There wasn’t enough money to keep the buildings maintained, so a lot of the time these buildings
would start falling apart without anyone being able to fix them up or repaint them. They littered the countryside, and every single one was just like
the other. People used to joke that when they would come home from work, they would have a hard time finding their own apartment or building, because
they all looked the same. The buildings became an absolute eye-sore over the years and they didn’t blend in well with the natural surroundings at
all. The point was to create the cheapest housing possible, and they certainly achieved that goal.
Communists believed that the bare essentials is all that a person needed. Two of my aunts lived (and actually still do) in one of these buildings,
though they’ve moved several times in the past. I remember staying with them when I was a child for a couple of weeks in the summer, and
experiencing great thirst at night. Why? Because at 10:00 or 11:00PM they would shut off the water in the building, so you couldn’t take a drink and
you couldn’t flush the toilet until morning. People didn’t buy bottled water like we do here, they relied on what came out of the faucet. I also
remember getting stuck in the elevator. It wasn’t uncommon, so when it happened you’d have to yell for somebody to come and open the door. The
elevators were tiny. You could barely fit two or three people in one, and it always felt like a death trap. To their credit, 30 or 40 years later
those same elevators are still in operation! LOL!
In the smaller villages and towns people still lived in ordinary houses. Some were as old as 300 years and they still looked great compared to “Lego
land”. I have to say that the Communists developed some of the UGLIEST architecture in the world. There are some 3rd world countries who’s shacks
look better. Lol! One of the worst-looking cities (in my opinion) is “Poprad” which just happens to be very close to one of our most beautiful
natural features, the High Tatra mountains. You’ve got ugly lego land in the foreground, and beautiful snow-covered mountains in the back. Having
done this to the landscape should almost be a crime.
Hospitals and Healthcare:
Healthcare was free. Anyone could go to a hospital and get treated for whatever. Whether you would walk out of that hospital alive is another matter.
For example my dad injured his arm and was ordered by his boss to go get it treated. The doctor (surely a genius) not only insisted his arm was
broken, but he put the cast on the wrong arm! My dad went home, had his friend cut the cast open, and when it was time to go back to the hospital to
get it examined, he had his friend make him another cast so he wouldn’t get in trouble for taking it off.
See, the problem was that even though good doctors existed, they felt that the stress and workload they had to endure was too much. Their salaries did
not reflect their hard work, so some decided to escape and go to countries where they would be better appreciated. Some might argue this is very
selfish of them, but just imagine yourself working your butt off, yet remaining in the same, miserable financial position for the rest of your life.
It takes great sacrifice and martyr-like attitude to be able to stick to that job, not to mention having to worry about an oppressive Government
watching your every step. People have their limits.
Hospitals were not very well funded. Doctors didn’t have all the equipment and medicine they needed. There just wasn’t enough money for
everything. There wasn’t enough money to provide new technology, new tools or more beds. Even though the healthcare was for free, in many cases it
was terrible. That’s not to say that they screwed up a lot, but many times the resources just weren’t there.
Sometimes when people would go to a doctor, they would bring him either money or presents. It could be homemade sausage, or chocolates, or alcohol.
They did this to sort of bribe the doctor to do a good job for them, or to take them first.
My dad was increasingly being threatened by the Communists. He was not afraid to speak his mind, and would sometimes say anti-Communist things. Was
this a smart move on his part? I don’t know. Was it better to say one thing and believe another, or was it better to speak your mind? He refused to
conform. His boss was getting paid less than he was, and that led to some tension. Somebody accused my dad of trying to start a revolution. When he
was younger he served in the military, had been a sniper in the special forces, and sometimes liked to go to the shooting range. We had some air
rifles at home. He used to take me with him sometimes to teach me to shoot. I guess maybe he thought I might have inherited some of his talents. One
day the secret service showed up at our front door, and said they needed to search our house for weapons. They accused him of gathering weapons for
the revolution. My dad showed them we only had the air rifles, but I guess this wasn’t satisfactory. They left, but they would visit him at work
every now and then, trying to coerce him into giving up some names. They threatened him that if he didn’t turn in people which shared his ideas, he
would spend ten years in jail. Of course ten years could mean twenty years, or maybe a lifetime. Who knows if you’d even survive prison! I guess it
would depend on how long the Communist regime would last. My dad didn’t want to turn anybody in, and he didn’t want jail time. It came down to
only one possibility, and that was escape.
He and my mom were very secretive about their plan. Nobody was allowed to know, not even his mother. They made it look as if we were going on vacation
to Hungary. That’s what they told me as well. They asked me to pack a backpack, and that’s all I had. That’s all I thought I needed. A couple of
our friends would accompany us on this “vacation”, a husband and wife. The wife was pregnant. When the day came, my grandmother came to our house.
She was crying and I didn’t understand why. She suspected that we would never return, and that she’d never see us again. My dad lied to her and
insisted we were coming back. I tried to comfort her saying we’d be gone just two weeks! It’s just a vacation! Thinking back, my parents seemed to
keep it together pretty well. We were leaving behind a house full of everything we owned, including our dog in the back yard. We couldn’t take him
with us, as it would have been too suspicious. My dad even bought a new satellite dish just for the purpose of pretending like he was going to install
it when we got back. Nobody in their right mind would spend money on a satellite if they didn’t intend to return, right?
Six of us got in the car and we started driving toward Germany. It was going to be an eight or ten hour drive across country. Since my parents took
both me and my sister, there was a real fear that they would never let us past the border. For my parents and our friends it was a nerve-racking trip.
When we got to the border, my parents asked me to get down on the floor and hide. If any of the border guards had seen me, it would have been the end
of our trip. Luckily my dad had a friend who worked on the border. He set it up in such a way that this was the guy who got us through. I remember him
in his uniform looking at us, and looking at me. He checked their passports and waved us through without a hassle. As we crossed that border I could
feel the sense of relief in everyone. We were now in Germany. My parents couldn’t believe it. It must have felt amazing.
We drove until we reached Munich. We parked the car and headed for the nearest police station we could find. It was beautiful there, nothing like the
Communists described. Our friends were very nervous about having left the country. They were afraid of what would happen to their families. Although
my parents tried convincing them to stay, they were just too terrified and decided to return a day later. I’m sure they must have been questioned by
the secret police when they returned. I’m sure they asked a lot of questions about us.
When we got to the German police station, my parents asked for political asylum. Long story short, we were granted to stay, were provided with
housing, my dad was given a community job, and we lived a few miles from Munich. Once I realized that we were staying in Germany for good, it started
sinking in. Not only did I own only what was in my backpack, but we left our dog behind!
While we got acclimated to our new home, back across the border my grandparents, family and friends were being interrogated by the Communists. They
wanted to seize the house and property, but couldn’t as it was in my grandmother’s name. When they came to take our belongings, she stood in the
doorway with an axe and dared them to come in. Needles to say they changed their minds. My mom’s side of the family was absolutely furious. They
didn’t get to say goodbye, and now they were being interrogated and questioned. Eventually it stopped, but while it lasted it was not pleasant for
them. Some family members really resented us for it for years, and on some level maybe still do.
My grandmother took care of the house and our dog. Unfortunately some of our neighbors were still unhappy about us owning a German Shepherd, so
somebody hired a guy to shoot our dog. Yes, that is how petty some unhappy people can be. Actually it was fairly common practice for petty people to
settle their disputes by killing their neighbors dog or goat, or whatever. Miraculously our dog got away, but suffered a gun shot wound to his
stomach. My grandmother nursed him back to health. When he got his health back, a few months later the guy who didn’t get the job done the first
time decided to work a different angle. He poisoned our dog. This time he didn’t pull through. The poison made his throat swell up to the point
where he couldn’t even take a drink anymore, and died of starvation. When I hard this news I was so incredibly angry, I can’t even describe. The
pettiness and disgusting behavior of some of our miserable human beings is ugly beyond belief. The dog never hurt anyone, so I couldn’t understand
why somebody would do that to him to get back at us.
Two years later Communism fell in our country peacefully, and people were able to feel freedom again. They were free to travel across the border and
saw that the Western world was great. They realized all the lies they had been told. They began building their economy on the Capitalist model in
order to bring their lives out of darkness. It was a very difficult transition since many people lived nearly their whole lives under Communist rule,
but for the younger generation it came a little easier. You see, the older folks were so used to being taken care of and told what to do by their
former Government, that when they finally had the freedom to do whatever they wanted, they actually started missing the cage they had been imprisoned
in for 30 or 40 years of their lives. They didn’t know how to adapt to this new environment quickly enough. Nobody was there to hand them a job.
Nobody was there to tell them what to do or how to do it. They still had a very hopeless, negative outlook on life, and if you suggested to them that
they should start a business or tell them there are great opportunities out there, they would still have a very defeatist attitude. “That’s
impossible. It will never happen. I’m not that lucky. They’ll just turn me down. I’ll fail. It will never work.” Communism seemed to suck the
life out of them. They quit before they even tried. It took nearly 15 years to get the country back on it’s feet, but they made tremendous progress
in just a few.
So, that’s my story and my experience of what Communism does to a country. Some might understand better now why I feel the way I do about Socialism,
and why I’m so turned off by it. Here’s where it went wrong:
Somebody decided that rich people were the bane of their existence. Somebody decided that it wasn’t fair that one person should have so much, and
another person should have so little. Somebody decided the solution to this problem was to kill or exile all the rich people, and take their
belongings by force. Somebody decided that now everything belonged to “the people”, and everyone was entitled to everything. Somebody then decided
that if you disagree with him, you are “the people’s” enemy and must be dealt with. At first the Communists allowed people to leave the country
of their free will. Those who had enough sense left before the borders closed shut. The people who stayed and disagreed with the regime change were
either imprisoned, killed or exiled. Old people stayed because they had no choice. The goal was to weed out the system of people who disagreed with it
and who would work against it. The secret service took care of that for the most part. People were rewarded for snitching and for being good little
Communists. As long as you did what they wanted you to do, you were O.K. So there you have it.
Some might wonder what’s wrong with this. Well, nobody should have the power to force you to do what they want you to do. If you come up to me and
say to me’ “Your land is now my land, but you’re still going to farm it for everyone around you”, I’m gonna say “Go farm it yourself”.
If someone tells me I’m not allowed to say anything bad about your idea of utopia, I’m gonna say; “Go #$%@ your system.” Some people like to
enjoy the fruits of their labor, but these people think you don’t deserve more than anyone else around you, even if they’re not working as hard as
you are. Everyone is equal, everyone has all the same stuff, everyone is taken care of, just do what we tell you to do.
Tell me why you would want to force an entire country to live by your model. Can’t you just develop your own small community of people who want the
same things as you, and leave everyone else alone? Take for example the Amish. They live the way they want in our society. If your system works so
well and your little community proves that it works, more people will join you of their own free will. People desire to be free and to be able to do
what they want to do. Nobody likes anyone else controlling their lives, dreams and aspirations. When you are forced to work for the good of society,
you are also forced to give up your life. What you want doesn’t matter anymore. You’re just another worker bee, and your dreams and aspirations
should never get in the way of the “good” of society as a whole. The redistribution of wealth means that everyone has the same things you do,
which also means that all those things are spread very thin across the board. When some people work harder than others, yet those others still receive
the same things as the hard-working people do, it is going to create a lot of tension and resentment. It will create a society of people who will do
their best only when the Government threatens their lives, and the lives of their families.
To those who still feel that Communism is possible, I suggest that you create your own little Communist society within a capitalist country (the way I
mentioned above), where you have the freedom to either keep living in it, or move out if it proves to be something you don’t like after all. It
makes no sense to force millions to live according to what you feel is right for you. People are going to leave in droves to escape your oppressive
ideas, and soon you’ll be left with no industry. You’ll have to build walls around this country to keep people in!
In conclusion, I probably left some things out that I’ll remember after I post this. I hope my story helps some people gain an understanding of why
immigrants fled to the U.S. to escape Communism, and why Socialism is such a dirty word in America. Many of the horror stories you’ve heard are
true, they’re not just Capitalist propaganda. Some people were happy living in Communism (the ones at the top telling everyone else what to do, and
the ones who were happy with the absolute bare minimum), that’s a fact, but most people were very unhappy in Communism,…. and that’s a fact too.
edit on 3-12-2010 by 2manyquestions because: (no reason given)
edit on 3-12-2010 by 2manyquestions because: (no reason