As some of my old friends may already know, I was born in Eastern Europe at a time when communist rule was in power and the Berlin Wall stood tall.
Life in a communist country would be difficult to describe in a single post, but to give you a general idea of what life was like behind the iron curtain, imagine living your life in a zoo as a zoo inmate.
You have your assigned cage, which usually it is to small and quite uncomfortable.
You suffer of heat in the summer and cold in the winter and of course you have just enough space to move around in circles.
Food is scarce, never fresh and never appetizing, just barely enough to avoid starvation. Same goes for the health benefits. Everybody has them, but they are reduced at a minimum and it doesn’t do much on improving the quality of your life but rather just to keep you alive.
Since competition is gone, everybody has a paying job. There is no unemployment and if somebody doesn’t have a job, a job would be created for him.
Of course the pay is dirt, barely enough to survive, hence the general attitude of the workers is: “You pretend to pay us; we pretend to work for you.”
All other commodities are limited and inadequate and the way to acquire them is usually by waiting in line for your turn – or by learning how the system works and how to grease the proper wheels.
- Have you notice how emigrants have no problem navigating through the red tape and getting along with the bureaucratic system with no problems while the regular American is quite stunned and incapable to make any sense out of it?
It is years of training baby!
You may want to stick around and learn a thing or two since it is looking like we are heading for the socialist paradise at a rapid pace :)
Entertainment and spiritual life in the communist zoo revolves around but kissing the party leader “the father of the country” a God like figure that all bow to and adore. (More or less voluntarily.)
The scientific materialism is the philosophy of the party and everybody in the zoo has to feel, think, and act in accordance with the party line. “Reason” rules supreme!
All human thought and beliefs were to be dictated by specially appointed “scientific” comities.
The schools curriculum, the books you read the music you listen the radio and television, theatre, opera, ballet and film, all aspects of social, artistic and spiritual life serve “the common good”
Individuality – unless you are the leading elite – is reprimanded and crushed.
Art has to serve the people, goes the party line.
All that is deemed unnecessary, decadent, bourgeois and immoral is dutifully removed.
Picasso paintings are removed from museums because they are anatomically incorrect. Monet and Manet are removed for depicting decadent bourgeois life.
So one and so forth – (Foot note: Some how all of these “bad” influences end up in the party cadres houses!)
Church and religion are eliminated too. (The beloved leader doesn’t like competition!)
All believers are persecuted and if lucky enough not to end up in a jail or a labor camp, you would end up at the bottom of the social order as a genitor or unqualified manual laborer.
Life in the communist zoo is kind of boring and uneventful if you are a compliant and dumb animal but it is quite a drag if you dream of the wild and open spaces.
Being one of the “born wild” animals I had a hard time adapting with the subservient life. I couldn’t understand why the other inmates did not revolted and quietly accepted their faith and their master.
So I didn’t have much of a choice other than ending in a political jail or even worse in a mental institution. Part of the signing of The Geneva Convention for human rights, political prisons were abolished and all the prisoners were moved into mental institution for “reeducation.”
So my only remaining choice was to run for the border.