Socialism: Real Life Account

True Story: Living Under Socialism By Tatiana Laux

USSR: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

I received a suggestion to stop scaring people with socialism. Are you kidding me? I was born in USSR, lived in it for many years, and saw how it collapsed. You can’t tell me I saw it on TV, read in the news, shared somebody’s post. It was my life. It was life of my parents and grandparents. Oh, you should be afraid. You love your comfortable life, you should be very afraid. I came in US in 2001. Remember yourself in 2001?

Now I tell you about myself. When I came to America I was 27 year old and for the first time in my life I saw with my own eyes a toaster, microwave, flat screen TV, freezer, CD player, coffeemaker, electric kettle, DVD player, laptop, cell phone, blender, meat without bones{filet}, fish without bones{filet}, everybody has cars, young people who live without parents, women have more than 3 pairs of shoes, more than 1 purse, most of them have a professional pedicure and manicure. I am pretty sure I forgot something.

The People and The Leaders

And I came from the first socialist country in the world, from the biggest country in the world with tons of resources, thrifty and smart people. We were building socialism for 74 years, shouldn’t we have all these simple for a regular american things? My mom has master’s degree in education, my father was an Major with several degrees, I was working since 17. Our family members and friends, coworkers and neighbors weren’t drunkards or addicted to drugs and nobody owned a coffee maker. You couldn’t buy it at any store, they simply did not exist. Do you know why? Because our beloved leaders didn’t think we the citizens need it. You don’t need a pedicure, 4 pairs of shoes is too many, and microwave is for lazy capitalists. Yes, I am afraid to go back to socialist living. You should be too.


Chapter I

Jump to Chapter II …………. Jump to Chapter VI (Religion)

Jump to Chapter III

Jump to Chapter IV

Jump to Chapter V (Healthcare)

Here is more about socialism in Russia from first hand. Luckily, I was born not during its establishment (1917-1920s) when at first the rich and, this is important, the clergy were robbed, killed or driven away, then the middle class, the bone of every successful society, was destroyed. They called it expropriation of expropriators. Thank goodness I wasn’t born during victorius march of socialism during 1930s with blossoming of labor camps and total fear of being arrested, killed, or one and then the other for disagreement with the line of the party, taking for yourself an ear of wheat which supposed to go to government storage, or just for being a person of the “wrong” nationality.

Collectivism Verses the Individual

I was born in 1973 during the mellow period. With your mommas milk and by observing behavior of others you learned how to navigate the society. The biggest rule: be like everybody else. It’s no I, me, mine in socialism, only we, us, ours. Don’t complain, don’t have an opinion, don’t dress, move, speak, behave differently, don’t attract any attention and you will be ok.

Remember that and now let’s go shopping. Do you like shopping? You do? Did you make a shopping list? Now throw it away. It’s not what you want to buy, it’s not even about what you need to buy, it’s what we have in the store today and whatever it is you better grab it because in a few hours it will be gone. Do you see this long que? It’s a line to buy tomatoes. And here’s another line to buy grapes. Both lines are for an hour and a half but it’s good there are two of us. You take place in one line and I will take another. Don’t whine, it’s first and could be the last grapes of the year, you never know with our stores. So we are standing in lines. For an hour and a half. I got a kilogram of tomatoes(sorry, they won’t give you more) and grapes just ran out, right in front of you.Ooops, better time next week, next month, maybe next year.

Solutions for Shortages

My town was a small town by Russian standards, only 240 000 people. We had small stores, bigger cities had bigger stores and more choices, small towns had tiny stores and very few choices. It also mattered at what part of the country you lived. Lots of goods were rationed. Here is my monthly food voucher( per month and per person): I could get 1 kilogram (about 2.5 pounds) of chicken ( it was blueish, probably died by it’s own death and came with the head, feet and all the guts and some feathers. So how much of actual usable chicken was in that kilogram?); 1 kilogram of butter( some cities didn’t have butter at all. Zero butter. Ever.); 1 kilogram of meat or sausage( go for the sausage, meat is not exactly meat, it’s pile of bones with some slivers of old cow), 1 bottle of vodka (only one? aren’t we Russians?).

Many products were limited(remember those tomatoes?), some were a rare item at stores or did not exist all together. I did not know about the existence of kiwi. I saw bananas for the first time when I was 12. They were totally green and as usual we had to stay in line to get them. We found them by accident when were visiting a nearby bigger city. Our city did not received bananas until the collapse of the socialism. Still I was lucky, I tasted peaches and apricots a couple of times. My aunt lived in Ukraine and I had opportunity to pick them from the trees when we were visiting her. Majority of people did not had an aunt in Ukraine.There weren’t any berries at stores. Ever.

Did you hear about the Russian sturgeon and its tasties caviar? Never saw it at the store. Russia has 12 seas(!) but only in books had I read about oysters, shrimp, octopus, clams, scallops, lobsters. Here is your choice of the fish at the store ( everything is bone in, with guts, scales, and a tail):pollack, herring, mackerel, pike, sprats. What are sprats? They are tiny fishes which you feed seals in Sea World. In USSR they fed people with it.

For the half of my live in USSR I did not not use toilet paper. Not because I am a nasty person, because it was not available. We had to use a piece of a newspaper. And when you scored couple of rolls you would not notice a difference, for it was as rough as the newspaper. Nobody heard about paper towels and tissues. It wouldn’t be allowed in Russia, we can’t wasteful, use a rag. So why the biggest country in the world with a huge cornucopia of resources could not feed and wipe its own people? About that next time.

To Comrades Who Love Socialism

“Dear comrades loving socialism, here is some more of witness notes. My living in the USSR (1973 until it’s collapse in 1991). For the readers who stayed tuned this is part 3. The last time, if you remember, I took you grocery shopping. We stood in line for an hour and a half and scored some tomatoes, but so rare at the soviet stores grapes unfortunately ran out in front of us. This is the end of the season, most likely we won’t see any more grapes for the whole year. Oh well, may be we will find more satisfaction in a department store.

Come in, comrade, let’s see how beloved government taking care of your needs. Not many shoppers are at the store, the salesperson is yawning and looking at us very unfriendly. We bother her with our presence. Like always in situations involving a person of any power and trust me a salesperson is a person of power in USSR we pretend we did not notice her full of hatred look and proceed. Just like I thought, nothing interesting. Almost empty clothes racks with only choices of dull or ugly. Every single piece so conveniently for you is made from colors of fabric which hide stains the best and will last longer: gray, brown, black. Oh, this one has a bow!

The same with shoes. Very few, made to last but openly ugly. May be better luck in different department. Don’t get too excited though, luxury goods( whatever government decides to call luxury goods) are unavailable or do not exist.

Central Planning

Rule of thumb: if, in theory, a person can live without a thing, the thing becomes a luxury, therefore we are not going to spend resources and produce it. Don’t forget the USSR did not import electronics, did not let citizens to travel abroad, very few foreign movies were showing, no foreign magazines were allowed,even foreign radio stations were blocked, KGB send noise on their frequencies ( I am serious). That way soviet people weren’t aware of lots of goods. The beloved leaders were smart, if people don’t know they are missing out on something, they are not going to be upset. We were flying to space, we were stockpiling unspeakable amount of weaponry, but we did not know about the existence of tissues, paper towels, diapers, staplers, cellphones, toasters, microwaves, fax machines, MRI scanners. PET scanners, CAT scanners, CDs and CDs players, air conditioners, answering machines, instant cameras, grass mowers, blenders, digital cameras, home computers, printers, battery powered drills, saws, and other tools.

Maybe we shouldn’t go shopping after all, it’s too depressing. Wait, I see a long line, It must be something interesting they are selling there. Lipstick! Of two different colors! And mascara! Yes, you need to spit (!) in the box to activate the mascara and apply it with a sad looking brush, but it’s mascara. Oh, we should buy it. Can we, please?

Our Constitution

Some people had more than the others. “Wait a minute”, say you, ” All people are equal under socialism, the constitution guarantees it, we’re all the same.”

” You are so cute”, I respond, ” The constitution of USSR promises freedom of speech also. Would you like to start yelling We want more food! or Soviet shoes suck! , or maybe you want to make a protest sign ” I don’t like my beloved leader anymore!” and we will see in how many minutes a lovely KGB agent will scoop you up? Though I will be standing across the road. Just in case.”

So who had more than the others? First of all, servants of the people, how they called themselves, the party leaders. Second, big bureaucrats, then smaller bureaucrats, then managers of warehouses and salespersons. I told you a salesperson was important, didn’t I?. Imagine, we are taking turns eating soup from the same bowl. The first eater takes whatever he wants: broth, potatoes, carrots, onions. But he likes meat the most and he eats it all. The second eater is ok. He has enough broth and vegetables. Potatoes ran out on the third person, carrots on the fourth but we still have more eaters. Are you getting my drift? The last eater had one spoon of broth with a single pea in it. And guess what? He was happy. He had a pea. The last time they were sharing soup together he had only broth.

We had special stores for “servants of the people” , “important” people and their families. Where were the stores and what exactly was in them was a big secret and you don’t put your nose where it does not belong in USSR for you will lose it. The hidden stores were graded by coolness.The more important person you were the cooler hidden stores you were allowed to enter and more and better stuff you “deserved”. My father was a major and he had an access to one of those secret stores. But he was only a major, above him were all the colonels, generals, many of bureaucrats, and all the party leaders, so his store wasn’t too cool. Mostly what he brought from there was meat. A piece of beef about 1 kilogram (2.5 pounds) but most importantly the meat had only few bones in it verses the beef from a grocery store which had more bones than meat. We had a joke about the store bought beef. ” How do they cut a cow carcass at the store?” “They use explosives.”

I remember one time my father brought me boots from that store. They were WHITE! They were only “colorful” boots I had for the all time living in Russia.

Managers and salespersons of the warehouses and stores had more goods also. Just simply because they had access to them. Socialism is a system of control and distribution of the goods. All of the produced by the country(i.e by the working class) goods belong to the government. Then the bureaucratic apparatus distributes the goods along the people, therefore a person who does the distribution immediately acquires power and control. He jumps ahead of the line. An example, Mom of my classmate was a general manager of the furniture store. Every week she would take a shipment of some furniture from Moscow. By the way, our city had its own furniture factory; the furniture produced in it was shipped in Moscow warehouses and then was distributed around the country. The producers don’t have contacts with buyers under socialism. If buyers could directly acquired the goods from producers and negotiate prices between ourselves by supply and demand accordingly, we could get rid of nothing producing managing bureaucrats, improve and faster system of delivery of the goods and … it would be capitalism. Oh, no, that handsome young man with a steel look and metal muscle under his fitted grey suit is coming towards us. Repeat after me aloud: “Capitalism is bad. Capitalism is bad.” Whew, he passed us.

15 Cherry Cabinets For 240,000 People (divided equally)

Back to the manager. Today she received a very nice shipment: 15 cherry china cabinets.They are a big rarity, that gives them value.It’s only 15 of them ( my city’s population is 240 000 people), that gives them even more value. The question: how many china cabinets will be available for sale? The right answer is … Wait for it…You guessed correctly, it’s zero. The manager could keep one for herself, but most likely she already has similar cabinet from the last year shipment. So she will use it to obtain other goods which she does not has access to but the managers of other stores do in trade for herself, maybe a nice coat. Or she could use the furniture to obtain some favors from the bureaucrats, get friendly with a doctor; keeping party leaders happy is also always a good idea.( And the winning bet would be to assume that the prices of “her” cabinets will be two or three times more than original.) So yes, worker class will have zero cherry china cabinets available at the store. We could put a guard with a gun to the store to make sure the cabinets will hit the furniture store floor, but the agent needs a rare cherry cabinet too. Should we put a guard to guard the guard? How can we guarantee the second guard does not need a cabinet? The manager could double it up with a table, or a couch. By” losing” two of the cabinets the manager is still in the lead: 13 out of 15, not bad at all. Then lets shoot them. We tried that in 1930s, it was very unpopular among the population. Arrest them. Not everybody wants them to be gone. A new manager could ask four times more than she asked. Plus, none of it is their fault, it’s the system’s.

Do you see now how in socialism some people are more equal then the others and how the working class, the producer of all the goods, is on the bottom of the pool? The working class is the last eater with a spoon of empty broth in it.

So what if we’ll take a bigger bowl? Will we have enough soup for everybody then? If we’ll make more goods? Next time I show you why the bigger bowl does not guarantee more soup in it.

Chapter II

Working Class Bottom Of Pool

I’ve been living in America, for almost 20 years and even now every time I see tangerines at a grocery store I think about winter. Maybe for somebody it’s about the beach and palm trees but for me it’s about snowy December because only in December did greatest government in the world of the free workers and peasants, soviet Russia gave its people the opportunity to taste this fruit. Tangerines and oranges with the diamond shape sticker Morocco on them, mmm, tasty. Few tangerines, oranges, some walnuts, five chocolate candies, and a small chocolate bar in a simple plastic bag, that was a single present every soviet child would get for Christmas.

I say Christmas what for Americans would be Christmas but actual holiday that was celebrated in the USSR was New Year. Christianity wasn’t in favor under soviet rule and all the religious holidays (and celebrating of the birth of the Jesus was a religious holiday) were simply banned. So we celebrated New Year. Can you imagine giving your child only one gift for Christmas? And inside of the present were only food items? But we the future doctors,engineers,and cosmonauts of the mighty and free (why did they always tell us we were free?) Soviet Socialist Republics were excited and grateful for this humble gift.

Food shortages

Yes, USSR did not have enough food for everybody. Yes, we did not have much choice of clothes and shoes. Yes, we did not even have diapers or toasters at all. Could it be we did not work hard enough, didn’t do better planning, did not think about efficiency, and profitability? You know what? It could.

Lack of incentive: Lack of food

I joined the workforce couple months before the death of the Soviet Union. I was hired to work in the archive on the military factory. The factory was huge. It took a whole city block and had its own zip code. One of the three people of my city (with population of 240 000) worked on it, including both of my parents and now myself. To get to my archive I had to pass through the warehouse. While I was walking through the warehouse on my first working day, I was looking at the workers in the blue robes and I noticed that nobody was doing anything. People were talking to each other, drinking tea, looking at pictures in a magazine, one woman was applying a mascara, the other was mending a sock, but they weren’t actually working. About 30 to 40 minutes later the workers started counting metal pieces, writing numbers on on the worksheets, tidying up the shelves with work parts on them, but they did it slowly and unenthusiastically. At 10 o’clock they had tea. They work some more 10:30 to noon and then it was a lunch break. After the lunch hour the workers continue working stopping now and then for tea. Men were taking lots of smoking breaks. About 30 minutes till the end of the day the workers starting preparing to go home, I mean they stopped working. What the hell?

Let’s look into that hell. When in 1917 the bolsheviks took over the country they nationalised everything. If you think it doesn’t’ sound too bad, think again. Here is what happend. They took your business (small, big or family it did not matter), they took your land, they took your house, they took your money in the bank, they took your art collection, they took your guns, they took your jewelry, they took your silver spoons and gold framed ikons. If to you it’s nationalisation, to me it’s robbery. They say, everything belongs to the people now, but in reality a person,a single citizen, owned nothing. I have nothing.You have nothing. Everything belongs to the government. A government is not people, it’s a heartless, breathless mechanism. It will distribute food for you, assign you an apartment, will make a chart how much money you will get for a type of work you will perform for it. You are not a person anymore but a number, a small screw in the slow and cumbersome machine of the socialism. It doesn’t matter how hard you work you still will own nothing. Your paycheck increase will depend not on amount of hard work and dedication you put out but on the amount of years you worked and on your place in the food chain.

Food Chain

Remember, the last time I told you about consumers of soup from the same bowl? The first eater gets more choices. The biggest paycheck got party leaders. According to >money Who Had the Biggest Paycheck in USSR in 1980s we had 19.5 millions of the party workers with the population of the country of 140 million. It’s 14 % of of all eaters from our bowl. Plus 2.5 million of bureaucrats. They do not produce anything but have the biggest appetites. The First Regional Committee Secretary had salary of 500 rubles per month, Minister – 800, general manager of a factory -800, teacher- 150, engineer – 160, worker 180, nurse -80. Minimal salary – 70 rubles. Average salary across the country was 180 rubles which would be 281 dollar per month. To become a general manager would be a sweet deal. Big paycheck, better and bigger apartment free car with a chauffeur, access to: more and better goods, important people, better service, choices, respect, control, power… To become a general manager not only you need a degree (which understandable) but become a member of the Communist Party and have connections. It was the only way. It’s not because you are smart, willing to work late, always on time, capable, the best, but because of your devotion to the party and knowing the right people. “Our people”. It’s like a clan. Almost impossible to penetrate. My father used to say, the proverb each solder dreams to become a general is true, because the solder will never become one.The general has his son to raise, the seat has been already reserved. All the power was concentrated among the party and people with positions with access to goods (like the manager of the furniture store). You need to know people to become The People. So tell me again, how are we equal under socialism? I have to admit, I myself used a power of a connection, or I (17 year old girl, right after school) would never get a job in the archive at the better paid military factory.

So to summarise, you will never get paid better and receive more and better services and goods (even sausages were made differently for the “important” people) if you don’t have the connections and don’t pledge the allegiance to the party. That removes all the interest from work. People like to have satisfaction from work, we want to be recognized for our labor, we want to be rewarded. If you killing yourself working but receive no reward, you will stop working. Also if you are not allowed to have your business, you will stop caring. You willing to work 60-80 hours on your business, you sacrifice holidays and vacation if needed, you take risk; nobody cares about the business as much as its owner. In USSR nobody, a minister, a nurse or a peasant, were interested to work more productive and efficiently. What’s the point? You get paid the same, you can’t move up. Carrots were rotting in the fields ( I gather 3 or 43 boxes of carrots, I will paid the same), dresses were dull ( to make a cute dress takes more effort and time, but I get paid the same). Should we, Comrad Secretary, make our heads hurt thinking about better living conditions, or distribution, or managing? Nah, let’s have tea instead, we are getting paid.

A true story. Before joining the military my father was a machinist. His job was making small parts like bolts and screws. He was young, eager, healthy, and naive. He also did not smoke. Every morning at work he would jump to his machine and would make parts. It was interesting for him (naive) to be better at his job and produce more small parts. One day one of the older guys, came to him and said: “Bro, you need to chill.” ” What do you mean?”, asked my dad. “You make us look bad. If the boss sees how many parts you make, he will order us to do the same. Do we really want to?” My father did not want a confrontation with more experienced colleges, did not want to create a confusion at the workplace and he chilled. He worked slower, produced a bare minimum, and started taking tea breaks. Socialism abandoned the market system and capitalistic way of reward or financial incentives (work more= get paid more) and failed. It will fail all the time. You nationalize and centralize everything and you will have to have a big bureaucracy and a system of control. By doing that you create more consumers which will be taken away from the number of the producers.( Don’t forget you still have other non producers: children, disabled, old, the army.) You make the idea of becoming rich shameful and if the salary does not reflect your abilities the producers will stop caring about producing all together. You will have less and less soup in your bowl to begin with.

Socialism fails to understand the essence of the people. We like our stuff. It makes our life better, more comfortable, more pleasant, more secure, more bearable. Even a caveman hangs a mammoth skin on the opening of the cave to keep the warmth inside, he puts a handful of leaves on the floor to sleep more comfortably, he draws a deer on the wall to make the dwelling prettier. We would like to work less and have more. We are not equal, we do not want to be equal. We would like to become a somebody, make a name of ourselves, have recognition and some people will always have more then the others. We would like to be Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton, George Washington, Albert Einstein, Madonna, Picasso, Mother Teresa, Leo Tolstoy, Drake, Tom Brady, a princess, a superhero, or a mermaid . We don’t want to be like everyone else. And yes, the leader of the cavemen will walk in the cave, he likes the skin, the leaves, the deer and he will want the cave for himself. And it’s OK. As long as we have an opportunity to improve our life. The caveman will dig a bigger cave, will hunt another mammoth, will gather more and fluffier leaves, will draw another deer and it will be even better than the first one. As long as we have an opportunity, as long as we are allowed to improve our life we willing to take orders, follow the rules and work hard, you take that pursuit of happiness away and we lose the interest and everything becomes a WHATEVER

Chapter III

This Time of Civil Unrest In The U.S.


At this time of civil unrest and “woke” conscience I would like to talk about USSR once more. I can’t let go, can I? I just see similarities all over the place.

The productivity of producers depends on a carrot or a stick. The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics failed the carrot miserably. When the socialism abandoned a sliding scale of payment ( get paid according quality and amount of work; more and better=bigger paycheck) and a created leveling scale instead (get paid according your status and years of work not the quality), when any positions of leadership depended on direct managing of the party (loyal to the party= get a good position) it lost the ability to excite the masses about their production. I made 78 widgets, he made 50, we got paid the same; next day I will make only 50.

Then it’s always a stick solution. Propaganda and methods of terror were wide spread and used not only to speed up production but to impose ideas, forms of morality, and behavior. My parents and I (and later my son also) lived in a one room apartment on the fourth floor in downtown of the small city (small by Russian standards; it had 240 000 people). We were lucky, we had a whole apartment for ourselves. Some people had to share an apartment with strangers. It wasn’t unusual to share a three bedroom dwelling with three unrelated to you families and share one kitchen and one bathroom. Plus our apartment had gas, running cold and hot water and indoor plumbing. Almost a palace.

The Three Fathers of Communism

Any way, every morning I would open the curtains and see the three signs. The first one was a big star on the top of the seventh floor building across the road. It would lite up at night, you can guess the color. Then there were the three heads of the fathers of the communism: Frederick Engels, Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin above the the entrance of the office building. The third sign was standing alone and was at least ten feet long. On the red background bold letters were teaching me: The Party Is the Mind, Honor, and Conscience of our Era. Good morning to you too.

It’s hard to believe but I grew up without any colorful and enticing advertisements on the streets. Insted we had red posters and great statues to remind us they’re always watching and to tell us what to think and feel. Here’s some of the slogans which were so casually imposed among us: Glory to Labor!, Who Doesn’t Work Doesn’t Eat!, Towards the Communism!, Study, Study, and Study!, Peace, Labor, May Day!, Art Belongs to the People!, Proletarians of all Countries, Unite!, Thanks to the Motherland for your Happy Childhood!, Who Is not with us, against us!, The People and the Party Are One!, Glory to the Party!, Lenin’s Work Is Alive! The soviet children did not have school buses, we had to walk; so by the time I reached the school I was well pumped up on a good behavior. Also on the way I had to cross a square with a big statue of Lenin in it. Grandpa Lenin, how they called him, the most humanly humanist, the people person from gray granite was standing on the maroon marble. One of his hands was tucked inside his long trench coat, he raised the other one with his fist straight up in the air, his eyes were stern and determined. You look at him and you just know: you better study hard, you better go to work, if you want to eat.

Unemployment was illegal

By the way, the Russian leadership fixed the problem with unemployment very ingeniously. They made it illegal! They made it illegal not to work. Here’s the great stick. Under Article 209 of the Criminal Code of USSR with the name Parasitism a person had four month to find a job, or go to school, or he/she might be exiled away from the big civilization and be forced to do labor with the maximum of five years ( and it’s not gonna be a nice place). This Article was in use for 30 years. After the collapse of the socialism, they removed it and allowed unemployment. But back to the little me.

Notice, I purposely do not write about before my time when the terror had inhumane unthinkable scale. I want to give you a witness notes. I write about 1970s and 1980s. As soon I entered the school building, Grandpa Lenin was greeting me at the door. He was in majority of the classrooms as well, as the joyful slogans. For example, our literature classroom had a sign: Take Care of Russian Language. It Was the Language of Lenin.

School Curriculum was Propaganda

All over,the education in Russia was good. You would learn everything by the end of the middle school including algebra, chemistry, biology, physics, second language, geography, world and Russian history, home economics. After that you would have a choice: go to a trade school or go to a high school for more education. Teachers created miracles by using only a chalkboard. No computers, even for teacher use, and nobody had computers at home. We went to school 6 days a week, spent there half of the day, the other half we did the homework. Do I need to say the school curriculum was highly biased? Yes, I should, because many of you don’t have a clue what is going on in American schools. All of the Russian school books had words of Lenin in them. They were pulled out of context but sounded good. Older children had to take notes of some of Lenin’s writings (of cause not those letters to comrades where he urges to kill his own unruly, misbehaved, “wrong” kind of citizens). We studied only approved authors. Some books were prohibited in USSR period, including the classics such as Animal Farm by George Orwell, The GULAG Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway and others, total of 100 books. You could go to labor camps, in some cases for more than 10 years, for reading them or for having them in your possession. By the way, I just couldn’t help myself, the first “black list” of anti-Marxist books were made by the wife of Lenin, Nadezhda Krupskaya. They include works of Plato, Descartes, Schopenhauer!

The history was deliberty chopped by Ministry of Education. We studied events what made Russians look good, briefly about Stalinism, some of the history was emitted. Lenin was untouchable. We did not study at school that the first labor camps in the world were created not by Hitler but by Grandpa Lenin. To isolate the class enemies the Presidium of All-Russian Central Executive Committee adopted the decree on forced labor camps in 1919!. Did you know about that? Lenin was also the creator of the KGB and the “red terror”. By his own words: 1. “…we put forward terror and triple terror, and if it is necessary, we will nominate another…( V. I. Lenin ” On the International and Domestic Situation” March 1922, Lenin V. I. PSS, 5th ed., Vol. 45)

2. “The court must not eliminate terror; to promise it would be self-deception or deception; but to substantiate and legitimize it in principle, clearly, without falsehood and without embellishment.” ( V. I. Lenin “Additions to the Draft Introductory Law to the Criminal Code of the RSFSR and Letters to D. I. Kurskiy, May 1922, Lenin V. I. PSS, 5th ed., Vol. 45)

We did not study that at school. The white army was blamed for all the casualties of 1920s in the Russian textbooks, but Lenin was the one who started execution of the politically incorrect, Stalin just made it perfect.

Required Steps

The final one is a choice, But beware…

The indoctrination of children was publicly known. The first step on the party ladder was to become an octabrenok ( from the month of October when the bolsheviks took over the country). Every first grader would become one. It wasn’t optional. One day the parents would be told to dress their children nicely ( white bows and white aprons(!) for the girls instead of black ones; white shirts for the boys instead of blue ones). The children would be lined up in the gymnasium. Speeches would be told and then they would order the children to repeat the oath. Honestly, I even did not understand the meaning of the oath and the meaning of all the kit and kaboodle. At the end, they would give you a pin with a red star and young cute Lenin on it. Since this moment you are responsible to remember to repin the star when your dress was being washed.

In the middle school you become a pioneer. No option to escape. Everything repeats, you’re getting a red scarf and bigger red star. Lenin on the star looks older. Aww, he is growing with you. On the day when I became a pioneer my father presented me with a rare book of the French author (sorry, forgot his name, just remember the book was about Templars). Father bought it from a man selling books from his coat pockets. The good books were scarce at the bookstores and the law prohibited private commerce, that’s why the sale was done in secrecy.

In the high school they gave you a choice to become a komsomolets, the step right before a communist, the necessary step to become a party leader. Finally, you got a choice, but pick wisely. You don’t have to join the party, but without it you will never have any managing positions under the soviet socialism. My father was a communist, my mom was not. My father wanted to move up on the ladder of the command, my mom did not care about it. I was too young to understand what I wanted from life at that point, but I did not become a komsomolets.

No, we did not do anything cool as children of the party. Pioneers are not boy scouts. We had to march in line, sing songs about our great country, and listen long speeches about the future victory of the communism.

Oh, what the songs we had, what the movies. Glory to us! We did not have spoiled divas on TV, did not have any funny gays ( you could be arrested for homosexuality and jailed for up to 8 years). Our TV showed us workers, teachers, peasants living hard a life ( if it’s not a comedy usually at least one person, often many, would die in the movie) but living it without remorse. A happy ending was extremely rare.

Collectivism Verses Individuality

Everything was about we.” We” was in songs, in teacher’s mouth, in speeches of our leaders. “We” has several objectives. It present us as a group, we are the same, we are whole. “We” doesn’t have individuality. Individuality is the enemy under socialism. Every person has it’s opinion, it’s feelings, it’s wants and needs. Socialism doesn’t allow you to have an opinion, it doesn’t want you to have feelings and wants, it doesn’t care about your needs. It’s always about the system not the people. “We” suggest you should do like everybody else. It whispers to you: ” Look, it’s more of us, do like us, think like us, join us. Everyone doing it, it must be right.”The phrase: “In my personal opinion” was publicly laughed upon, it was considered to be shameful to have your own point of view. ” Who do you think you are?” was the usual reply. You don’t’ need to have an opinion, the party has it, you are only a tiny screw, only a number. “We” was used as a control tool. It also was used for punishment when “we” was said in front of the group to shame undesirable behavior. For example, the teacher would say in front of the class: “We think Ivan is not a good friend.” Who is really “we” in her speech? That’s her, that’s her personal opinion, but she uses “we”, the class, the whole group to shame Ivan. Plus it’s easier to hide under”we”, it removes the personal responsibility. Do you notice the rise of “we” in America? Like they were saying in USSR, socialism is walking around the planet.

Chapter IV

Free Stuff

This is a chapter for individuals who believe in free stuff. Comrades, you’ll find a free cheese only in the mousetrap, don’t you know it? All your desirable “free” education, childcare, healthcare, roads and anything else you would like to have comes from your taxes. So you see you are paying for it just not directly. The more stuff you want to get for “free”, the more money you will have to surrender for your taxes (let’s assume you do pay your taxes). In the USSR the tax was 13% of the paycheck. Interesting fact, unmarried men (20-50 years old) without children and married women (20-45 years old) without children had to pay 6% extra, the government was punishing them for not having children; it did not matter if they physically could not have children. Any way, let’s pretend you are 20 years old unmarried working woman. Let’s see what you get for your 13%.

The roads. Russian roads were famous for their bad conditions. Even before the revolution N. Gogol, Russian classic author was saying: ” Russia has two problems: the fools and the roads.” Better roads were around Moscow, the rest of the country had roads with ditches and humps. Many local roads were unpaved and were untravelable after the rain or thaw. Some places did not have bridges, they used ferries which delayed traffic tremendously because they were slow and it was only so many of them. We had a ferry too. The ferry across Volga. Volga is the one of the biggest rivers in Russia. It was roughly a third of the mile in the place of the crossing and only one ferry to get from one side of the river to another. You missed the ferry, you had to wait for hours. They did the build the bridge later. It took them about ten years to do it.


The education. We had to provide all the school supplies and the uniforms ourselves, pay for breakfast and lunch. The school provided textbooks. No computers, no cool stuff, no field trips. Let me correct myself. They did installed 10 computers at my last school year (1991). 10 computers for the several thousands of students. They put the computers under lock and key in the room with metal bars on the windows. I sat in front a computer only a couple of times. I remember we turned it on, opened a file, and tipped a few zeros and ones. The teacher herself saw a computer for the first time in her life and simply did not know what to do with it. We did saw couple of movies on the biology, did couple of experiments in chemistry, listened to a couple of conversations in English, once we went in the court yard to measure something. So it wasn’t completely zero of fun stuff, but it wasn’t worth it to mention. I did have to learn how to make signs with an ink and a ruler on the big a piece of paper. I had to learn how properly to put on a gas mask, how to throw a grenade, we shot a rifle once. Also we did go to the fields, literally. Every fall they would load us into the buses, we would stand (!) in them shoulder to shoulder and the buses would take us to the fields of carrots, onions, beets, potatoes. And we would gather vegetables. For free. Several hours a day. They even didn’t provide any water, you had to bring water with you, as well as an empty bucket, for gathering. You don’t have a bucket, go and buy it. They used children for the free labor and even didn’t provide buckets.

The school sucked. I hated the school. I was overstressed and overworked. They tried to squeeze as much information in you as humanly possible. Whatever Americans learn in high school and sometimes colleges we had to learn in the middle school: chemistry. biology and botany, geography, algebra, trigonometry, second language, physics. You missed a day and you are behind. The teachers were stricted and did not forgive any nonsense. They could yell at you, humiliate in front of your peers, throw a piece of chalk at you. The curriculum was hard and full of bias and propaganda. No electives, you had to take them all. I liked the college though. Because we learned everything at school, at the college I had to take classes only applying to my degree. I was going to become a teacher of Russian language and literature so 90% of my classes were about methods of teaching, literature, history and rules of the language. I went to college after the collapse of the USSR in 1990s and they still did not have computers at colleges even to study at the library. I wrote my thesis not using Word or Office but pen and different colors markers on the several big pieces of paper. After the graduation of the soviet college you had to return the investment that the country put into you. You had to work for two years where the country needs you before you will be allowed to choose your own place of work. Most likely the country will send you to live and work in a God forsaken village. Not a desirable place to be. Remember those roads? By the way, if you are son or daughter of an “important” person, you have a chance to be accepted by Moscow university. If you are a nobody, forget about it.

The childcare. Too many children, not enough preschools. Parents had to wait for several years to get a spot. I had to wait for three years before my son got a spot in a preschool. You don’t pick the preschool or a teacher, you take what is available, what is assigned. The teacher to students ratio was 1 to 30. Again, the party leaders had special childcares with more and better toys and less children per class. Our city had only one special preschool. All the preschools and schools had numerical order instead of names, that childcare was…let me hear the drums… the name of that special place was Preschool #1. Number one! They even did not try to hide they were more special then the rest of us. They are going first. Always.

Housing: Learn About Common Housing

The housing. Not enough for everybody. You don’t get to pick a part of the city, a building, or an apartment, you get what they will assign for you. You are in luck if you are a party leader. Then you get several bedroom apartment in a desirable part of the city with tall ceilings and wide windows. If you are a regular nobody, you will wait for an apartment for a decade. While you are waiting you can get a room in a common house. My friend from work lived in one with her husband and two sons. A common house is a building with many tiny rooms with a few kitchens and bathrooms. One room per family. It doesn’t matter how big your family was you are getting only one room, not a bedroom, a room. You also had to share a bathroom and a kitchen with several other families. Above the common houses were improved common houses, where you had your own bathroom but still had to share the kitchen. Then there were shared apartments, where you had a room, had to share the bathroom and the kitchen with others but you had opportunity to inherited the other rooms if your neighbor/s died or moved out and they did not have any relatives. Finally, there were separate apartments. One, two, or three room apartments. Above that number of rooms considered luxury and impossible to get if, of course, you are not a “big” person. There weren’t any bedrooms because the rooms had multiple use. All the rooms were used for sleeping, studying, entertaining. Very often several generations were sharing the same apartment. At some point, there were four people living in my 400 square feet apartment: my parents, my son, and I. We had to remove all the doors but two ( the front and the bathroom doors) to preserve the space. Our “foye” was four steps long, you could make only two steps in the bathroom before bumping into the bathtub. But at least we had one. Not all buildings had running water in them, some did not have hot water, therefore they did not have bathtubs or showers installed; some did not have indoor plumbing. I was visiting a friend in St. Petersburg in 1991. The friend lived close to the old city with its palaces and museums. It was a shared room apartment and they did not have hot water. St. Petersburg is the second biggest Russian city and the third in Europe after Moscow and London. It 5.5 million of people and some of them don’t have hot water. In 1991! Imaging if some citizens of Los-Angeles ( the city of 4 million) wouldn’t have hot water in their homes. Some villages not only did not have indoor plumbing and running water but electricity and gas. Would you like to live in that village after your graduation? Don’t forget, everything belongs to the state, you can’t sell/buy a house or rent an apartment, so you are stuck.

No Homeless: It is illegal

Everybody had to have a place to stay in USSR. To end up homelessness the government made it illegal. Another great trick of the Soviet Union. The Criminal Code of RSFR, Article 209, Systematic Practice of Vagrancy or Begging: A systematic engagement in vagrancy or begging, continued after a repeated warning issued by the administrative authorities shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to two years, or correctional labor for a term of six months to one year. How about that? You can’t be homeless or we will put you to jail. They did remove that Article after the collapse of the USSR.

Free Does Not Mean Fair

Do you think bureaucrats who assigned housing or preschools didn’t use their power of access to the goods in their interests? Do you think nobody magically jumped ahead of the line? Free doesn’t mean fair. It’s always somebody who is more equal then the others. Some people will have more and better even if we are paying the same taxes.

Free Healthcare

Next time I will write about free healthcare. For now you think about “free” and what percentage of your paycheck you would be willing to give up to get free services. For example, Sweden top income tax is 69.7%. Keep in mind, you will have to pay the same taxes even if you are not receiving the services. Not everybody wants to go to a college, not everybody needs childcare but everybody is taxed the same.

Chapter V


This chapter is for strong believers in healthcare free and for all. Earlier I was writing about the deceiving of the word free; none of the “free” services are really free, you pay for them from your taxes. Today I want to share with you my experiments of the free healthcare in USSR, or the other words, what we could expect for 13% of the income tax.My first, which I remember, experience with Russian health system dates 1974, I was three years old and I got terribly sick. I was coughing a lot, my temperature was high, I stopped eating, and had problems breathing. My parents called a doctor. The doctor said, she did not hear anything in my lungs or bronchi and prescribed aspirin for the fever. Aspirin did not help, the temperature was rising, I was coughing worse. The same doctor said, the lungs are clear, we don’t need an x-ray, drink more orange juice. In a couple of days the temperature reached 104. The doctor was positive, it’s just a cold, have more vitamin C. I turned delusional, started laughing for no reason and running around with the temperature rising to 105. My father took me to the emergency room. They did an x-ray. One of my lungs was completely full with liquid, the other had a half of goo in it. I had pneumonia of both sides. Yes, soviet medicine saved my life. I received several blood transfusions and they were dripping medicine directly into my lungs, they were giving me so many shots, nurses had to give them to me even in hands and fingers ( I still have scars from the lung tube on my chest and the shots on both of my hands). Over the course of the disease I turned from the plum girl into a stick and was not able to rich a healthy weight for many years ( I was 100 pounds when I came to America with the height of 5’5). The hospital workers saved my life, but this scary experience could be avoidable if that doctor detected the disease earlier. It was a bad doctor. And we couldn’t sue her. The medicine belonged to the state, we did not have private doctors, and you can’t sue the state. ( We also could not sue any salespersons, cooks, teachers, managers, etc. All the businesses belong to the state, you can’t sue the government.)

I was a sickly child and collected all kind of diseases, so I met doctors on the regular basis. The list of medication was always the same though: aspirin, penicillium, vitamin C, demerol, analginum, paracetamol, band-aid, iodine, mustard pads, salt, comomil, raspberry tea, manganese, sodium, garlic. This is it. In what century are we? Some of this drugs Americans don’t know, because US stop using them a long time ago, some of them even considered harmful. You won’t know what to do with the other stuff. Do you know what mustard pads are for? I always thought they were used to torture children. When you were coughing for a long time, your mom would wet a pair of them and put pads on your chest. In a couple of minutes the skin on your chest would hurt like the dickens, but Mom will let pads stay on you for quite a while. Was she enjoying the torturing or was making sure the “medicine” worked? The mustard pads were used, they say, to induce blood flow to your chest, which is suppose to minimise your coughing.To the same purpose was used salt and medicinal glass jars. Warm salt was put on your throat, the jars on your back, they turned your back purple.Their was also a gargling and breathing over a hot tea pot. Don’t you think it was some kind of voodoo type of healing? Drugs were cheap, but you had very little choice of them.

What happens when family are not allowed to visit?

The second time I was in the hospital when I was 10 years old. One of my joint bones was growing and had to be cut back. They said, I was big enough to stay in the hospital without my parents. I was in the hospital for two weeks. For the first week they did absolutely nothing. Nothing. I was laying around, eating tasteless food, nurses were rude and unfriendly, and no procedures were done for a whole week. I can’t explain that. Did they simply forget about me? Did someone jump the line for the operation? There were quite a few jumpers then. Four other children shared the room with me. One nine years old orphan waited for his turn for the operation. He had webbed fingers on his hands (his mom was an alcoholic and left him) and doctors wanted to remove the webs around his fingers. He arrived to the hospital before me and left after me. I guess, orphans were on the bottom of the pool and doctors weren’t in a hurry to attend to them.But finally the operation was done, I woke up after the sedation with a fever and started vomiting, soon after I couldn’t breath. I had a severe reaction to the pain medicine they gave me after the operation. One of the Moms of my little neighbors called a nurse. She came and couldn’t understand what happening to me, none of my drugs were unusual. I asked, what did they give me. She said, analginum, to which I was allergic. She started yelling at me, why I did not tell anybody about it. I replied: “ Nobody asked.” Nobody asked me, nobody asked my parents, it wasn’t in the paperwork. I also got yelled for not knowing hospital procedure ( nobody gave me any directions), I got scolded for not wearing a surgical gown for the operation ( nobody gave me one). I saw my surgeon only once, on the operation table. He already was wearing the scrubs and the surgical mask. The doctor asked me, for what procedure I am here for and I thought, does HE know what he supposed to be doing? Does he care what to cut? Will it be an appendix, an eye, right or left leg, which one do you prefer? He even did not check on me after the operation.I had operation on my foot and had to jump every day on the other healthy foot all by myself to the nurse, for her to change the bandages. The post surgical ward was on the fourth floor, elevators were only for the staff, so we, people with broken bones, had to limp to the first floor if we wanted to see our relatives.( No visitors were allowed beyond the foye.) Wheelchairs did not exist. That is your social medicine. But that wasn’t the worst. Soon hospitals became so poor they ordered patients to provide gloves, cotton, bandages, all the drugs.I have to remind you, the party leaders had their own hospitals with better food, equipment, personal care and never had shortages of any kind.

Free Maternity Care Experience

My personal worst experiment with Russian medical field was in the maternity hospital. It was in 1993, two years after the collapse of the USSR, but the hospitals still had the same staff, the same rules and procedures. I was pregnant and was about to give birth. I has being in labor for 11 hours and felt by now it was time to turn myself in. I was in pain but tried to compose myself, tried to save my strength for later. Two nurses were not in a hurry, they were doing the paperwork and discussing the patient (me) in front of everybody. One said: “It’s probably just a stomach pain, she is wasting our time.” Hello, I am sitting right here, talk to me and I will tell you, in 11 hours I figure out it wasn’t just a stomach pain! But I composed myself and said nothing. It was a doctor next. He had a bushy beard and smelled like an ashtray. He had to examine me. It so happened when his hand was inside me, pardon my bluntness, I had a contraction. I asked the doctor if he could remove his hand because it freaking hurts. He just smile and said: ” It’s fun only making children the rest is not so much. You will screaming soon and call Mommy.” I wanted to kick him in the face but I composed myself. You see, in Russia you don’t pick a doctor ( any doctor), you get a doctor which is available today, so you shouldn’t complain, kick, or stab your doctor, he will make you pay for that. Your life is in his hands. I did not argue with the bastard but promise to myself, I will not make a peep, just to prove him wrong. Like he cared. Russia does not know what an epidural is! All women give birth naturally, except when woman’s life is in danger and C-section is needed. I did not need C-section. I will not gross you out by details, just mention I did not scream, not even once. Mind over body, baby; I am awesome and very stubborn, ask my husband. 1993 was time when nobody (!) could be with you in the birth room, not even a father of the child. So it was the three of us: the doctor, the nurse, and the mother. Their job was to deliver the child. We succeeded, after that the doctor and the nurse ignored the mother. I had to bother them and ask if it is a boy or a girl and if the child was ok. Then it was afterbirth time. The doctor came over and without warning or warm and encouraging words pressed on my belly. I screamed for the first time, that hurt as a mother! Then they left me alone again. I was shivering from cold, under my butt was a painful metal dish for the blood discharge, nobody talked to me for two hours, and no blanket! The doctor did came over couple of times, but not to ask how I am feeling but to press on my belly again and again. I really wanted to hurt that bastard! At the end of the two hours they let me to see my son. Finally. They even let me kiss him and try to nurse. After about ten minutes they took my child away. Yep, children do not stay with mothers at all and you even can’t see them. It’s easier for nurses, nobody can monitor their work, bother them with questions and so forth. They will bring your child to nurse, not when your kid is hungry, but when it suits the nurse. All children eat at the same time, nobody cares if they are hungry or not; hurry up, we are on a schedule, you know. They did not bring my child. Is he ok? There is he? We don’t know. Find somebody who knows. Hours passed, nobody came. Only when I threatened to throw a fit they found me a doctor who explained, my son turned yellow, they had to do blood transfusion and he will be sent to a children hospital; you have 15 minutes to say good-buys. Hah? What happened? Why I wasn’t informed? I am not allowed to go with him? They don’t care about you or your child, they care only about procedures and it is not in their book to let know parents about the wellbeing of their children. You might disagree with their procedures and that is inconvenient; they might have to explain and convince, waste their time with you. It’s easier to work when parents do not have any control over their children; keep them in the dark, follow the procedures. After brisk 15 minutes with my child they took him away and I saw him again only in a week. No, not because I did not want to see him, because I was in one hospital and he was in the other. You see, after birth they keep you in the hospital for 8 days. It’s mandatory. They refused to release me earlier. The procedure, you know.

Here is other stuff about the maternity hospital. My mom warned me before going there: prepare a bag and two ropes, one long and one small. What…? You will find out. The small rope I had to use ( brace yourself, the gross part is coming) to hold up the piece of cloth they give you to prevent blood spilling all over the floor. Underwear is not allowed, no pads; they wash used clothes and give them back to you. Let me repeat, you use once somebody’s bloody clothes for your pads and to keep them between your legs you tie them up with a rope. Vomit was coming up to my throat while I was writing it. Hurrah to the free medicine when everybody’s in charge except the patient! Screw the people, follow the procedure!Let’s find out what the long rope was for. It was used for food. To fully understand this bizarre statement we need again to look into the rules of this hospital. NOBODY is allowed to see the Mother or the child. They say for health reasons, to keep hospital germ free. You can’t send anything to the mother or the child. They say for health reasons, to keep allergic reactions to a minimum. The food was awful and there wasn’t enough of it, so mothers used bags and ropes to get some food from their relatives. Here is the logistics. You tie the rope to a plastic bag. Make sure it’s long enough, we are on the fifth floor. Open the window and throw the bag down, wait for your husband, Mom or Dad to fill the bag and then you pull it up. Enjoy your snacks. Horrible, inhumane, uncaring, stupid, you fill the blanks.Even after 20 years of the end of the USSR they are still having problems supplying “free” hospitals with essential stuff. My mom got herself in ICU recently. A nurse ordered my mom’s relatives to buy and bring her adult diapers, liquid soap, wipes, and gloves.That was my story about “free” medicine, where a patient is only a breathing thing and a doctor is a part of the bureaucracy. You make a medicine free and for all, you will have to increase the amount the bureaucracy just to be able to run it. You will make it run by the state, you might forget to hold the doctors accountable for their actions. We already have that problem with the state running the VA hospitals. You can’t sue the VA doctors and they have very long lines for the patients waiting to see their doctors. My husband has to wait for half of a year to see his specialists and to receive the services. You want to run all hospitals like VA, you better hope you will never need a doctor. What do you think will happen to numbers of death per capita if all the patients will have to wait for half a year to see a doctor? Let me correct myself, not all the patients, it’s always will be people who are more equal then the others. The soviet party leaders, the beloved servants of the people, had special hospitals, which were better equipped and had better personal care. So ask yourself, do you qualify to be a”special” person? Because if you’re not you might be waiting in line to fix your broken back for months just like the rest of us. Welcome to socialised healthcare. Would like to speak to a community organizer?

Chapter VI Religion

I feel the need to share with you some thoughts about socialism and religion. I remember myself being in a church when I was five years old (1976). My parents and I were visiting the very old Russian city of Vladimir and my parents wanted to look inside of the historical and beautiful church. My town with 240,000 people living in it didn’t have a working church. When Bolsheviks came to our city they burnt down the small churches and in the biggest one made a brewery. So I never was in the church before. We came inside, we looked at the old icons and we left. I felt… nothing. Religion is considered to be a relic of the past, it was forcefully removed from everyday life and only old folks were visiting churches – very few of the survivors of the red terror in 1917-1922.

You probably heard somebody saying: “Socialism and Christianity are close to each other.” Be careful, that person is openly lying to you or does not have any idea that socialism is. Socialism and religion do not go together hand and hand, they don’t mix, it’s oil and water. Even more, socialism looks at religion as an obstruction to the cause therefore it needs to be destroyed. Back to marxist classroom my, dear comrades. Here is what the father of socialism teaches us about religion. ” Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”. (Karl Marx A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, 1844). He also said “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions.” Listen to the words of Lenin: “Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze, in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man.( Vladimir Lenin, publication in Novaya Zhizn, 1905) Religion is a booze and opium, it can’t be good. The oppressed masses need to sober up, notice their poor existence, and take charge in revolution.

The Bible is Illegal

Both of my parents were raised without God in their soul. My father was a communist, he better not believe in God, better not to go to church, or he will be expelled from the party and his career would be over. Book stores did not sell Bibles. The Bible was declared anti-soviet literature, which opposed the ideas of Marxism-Leninism. In 1931 Stalin made it illegal to publish, sell or import the Bible. I grew up without words of God.

Collectivism Controls The Masses

Socialism and religion are on the opposite spectrum of beliefs. Socialism believes in “us”. “We” is the work word of socialists. They use it to put out ideas, to create an illusion of the majority of an opinion, to control, to humiliate. They always say we instead of I. By that they create a group which will apply a pressure on an individual. Your thoughts, wishes, needs, opinions are not important, only thoughts, wishes, needs, opinions of the group are important. We are equal, we are the same. Don’t put your interests above the group. No I in we. You are striped of the individuality, you are nobody, you are only a part of the group. Socialists use word masses instead of people. Even together people keep their individuality, masses are sexless, ageless, faceless, brainless group. Are they even human? Could it be masses of frogs or masses of rocks?

My parents were atheists, they did not have a choice under the soviet rule. They did not read or even see the Bible. They had a hard time explaining some of the history. My parents did not recognized the faces on the icons, they did not know how to describe work of famous painters based on the Bible stories. Every Easter my mom would die some eggs with onion peel. When I asked, why, she said: “It suppose to be that way.” “But why?” She couldn’t answer, couldn’t explain.

Any religion is based on individuality. It’s always very personal. It’s never “us” in front of the God, never” we” responsible for the deeds. It’s only you and the God. It’s what you, as individual, did with your life. Nobody is responsible for your mistakes but you. Nobody is responsible for your wellbeing but you. Nobody is in charge of your life but you. The God never equalize you with the group. You, as a person, are important to God. God teaches you the right way, but you have a free will to accept it.

Do you see now why individuality (religion) and collectivism ( socialism) do not mix? They are on the different spectrum of the idea. Freedom of choice, freedom of thoughts, freedom of behavior (religion) and all choices are made for you by the group (socialism). Personal: my God and I (religion) and public: the group and I (socialism). Nothing is personal with

socialism. The state needs to equalize you, to destroy your individuality for better mind and body control. Jesus never said: ” Andrew, take cloaks from Tom and John and give them to Sam, he will distribute them between Sarah, Amanda, Peter, and Rahel.” Socialism does it all the time. Do you remember what Jesus really said? ” If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” Matthew 19:21. It’s a personal choice: you directly helping somebody, but you also have a choice not to. Socialism does not give you a choice to disobey. With socialism for the wrong choice you are being ostracized, humiliated, and declared the enemy of the people.

What beautiful churches St.Petersburg and Moscow have! They hold great historical and artistic value what’s why they are still standing. Even bolsheviks recognized their importance. The churches were turned into museums. As a teenager I was walking on the marble floor among the marble columns looking at the bursting with gold ikons and grand iconostasis and felt sad and out of time. I wanted to be a part of this lost culture, my heart was longing for something, for something big, bigger than life itself. I did not know what exactly back then.


Socialism sees religion as an enemy. Religion, any religion, needs to be discredited or, even better, destroyed. Here is how you do it.

1. Break the link between the generations.

Russia was deeply religious country for centuries. Every village, even tiny, had a house of God in it. Every tzar was anointed by God. Every dwelling had at least one icon in it. The icon would be on the special shelf in the “beauty” corner – the first corner you see when you enter the living room. The Bible study was a part of the school education. Revolutionaries were painting religion as patriarchal, holding you down, outlived and stupid norm of behavior. You need to oppose the dying believes; no religion is a new thing. It was a movement of nihilizm, from Latin nihil “nothing at all”. It’s idea was to deny established forms of morality and social norms because human values are baseless and God does not exist.

2. Remove God from education.

After the revolution Bible studies were immediately removed from schools. The slogan of that time: ” A teacher teachers not God.”

3. Confuse the youth.

Revolutionaries were pushing to arms, to destroy the oppressors even by killing if necessary. “Rob the robbers!” is another slogan of that time. Here goes “you shall not kill” and ” you shall not steal” out of the window.

4. Make it illegal.

Soon after the revolution the churches were closed, many priests were killed. Churches were stripped from gold and silver, burnt to the ground, some of them were transformed into horse stables and breweries. Bolsheviks blew up the biggest Moscow church and made a public swimming pool on its place.

5. Use terror and propaganda.

Pioneers were standing near doors of the churches and were laughing at people who couldn’t let go of the old “slavery” habits. Thousands of priests disappear in the systems of GULAG. In 1937 along, by the information of, 136,900 priests were arrested and 80,000 were killed.

6. Replace religious beliefs with the state approved dogma.

After the destoing of the Christianity, turning it into something laughable and long outlived, socialist needed to give the masses new believes. They needed to believed into the state, into the good deeds of the party, into the socialism, into the building of the communism, into the bright future. The First General Secretary of Central Committee Nikita Khrushchev promised to build communism by 1980. Standing ovation, everybody is impressed. 1980s came and passed, communism didn’t happened.

Lenin became God

Lenin became a new God. His words were written on billboards, his work was studied in schools and universities. He was on the pictures on the walls, statues in squares and parks, he was speaking from the movies. Lenin’s body was never put to rest (totally anti-Christian move). The party mummified his body and installed it for public display into a mausoleum. People were standing for hours to get into the mausoleum to glance briefly at the “alive of all alivies”. Here are a few more slogans for you from my time: “Lenin lived, Lenin lives, Lenin will live!”, “The word of Lenin lives!”

The party did soften attacks on the church now and then, but when it happened people started to go to church in such big numbers, than the party had to tighten the screws again. Socialism doesn’t like a competition. By the way, the constitution of the USSR guaranteed the freedom of religion. What a joke!

My mom and I got baptized since then, we have become a part of something sacred and majestic. My believes in providence are very personal to me, like they should be to every person. Treasure and protect them, teach them to your young; nihilists are among us and they are at work.

114 CommentsLikeCommentShare

The reader might also like these articles:

How To Home School

Once upon a time, I had the world at my fingertips, until one day, an invisible illness changed everything, altering my path. In my turmoil, one thing that never left me was my ability to create

Enjoy this post? Please pay it forward:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • FriendFeed
  • LinkedIn
  • RSS

About Roma Cox

Education has always been my passion, and I am blessed beyond measure to be allowed to serve in this way. We offer many educational products and school supplies, information, workshops, news letters, tutoring services, volunteer work, and free consultations. Roma can be reached at (904)317-5330 from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. EST-U.S.
This entry was posted in Education - General and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.