Friday, March 19, 2010

Essay on Communism

Communism Essay

Be happy! If you have never lived in a communist country, be happy. You don’t know what it is like to live in a communist country? I am going to explain it to you. Communism is a good idea, but in reality it doesn’t work. There is no effort spent on upgrading society and no freedom to travel.

The basic communist ideas are really nice. Everything will be everyone’s. Everyone will have a job and get paid the same because all jobs have the same importance. There won’t be rich and poor people, and everyone will have the same good standard of living. In a communist country all people will live in nice homes, help each other, and be happy. These ideas sound very good, but real life is different. Communists forgot one important thing; they will work with people who have their own needs.

The Czech Republic was a capitalist country until 1945 and after that it became a communist country. At that point everything froze for more than forty years. People started to think different, “Why should I repair the store, it is everyone’s and someone else can do it.” “Why should I try to sell new products, my salary will be the same anyway.” “Why should I work hard and long hours, if I won’t get a raise for it.” All of these “Why’s” changed our country unbelievably. There was no upkeep in technology and business. Everything became old and obsolete because nobody cared about it. The Communists were telling people, “This is the best way to go, we are doing everything right.” The Communists washed people’s brains; there was only one newspaper, Rude Pravo (The Red Right), and one TV channel, CTI (The communists TV).

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The media lied about the world outside the country and made it look like the Czech Republic was doing well. I remember when I was little I wore the same clothes as all of my classmates, not because we had school uniforms, but because there wasn’t competition and the factories produced only one kind of children’s clothing. I waited in huge lines for basic goods such as butter, bread, milk, and even toilet paper. I ate my first orange when I was six years old, after my mom spent many hours in front of the store to bring me this big surprise. Back then, communism didn’t look that bad to me because it was the same for everyone and I never thought that it could be different.

Czech people wanted to make sure that the Republic was doing well by visiting foreign countries for comparison; however, they were stopped at the borders and sent back home without reason. The Communists didn’t let people travel to democratic and capitalistic countries because they knew how good these countries were doing. Only other communist countries were possible to be visited. Borders were extremely controlled to make sure people didn’t try to go to forbidden countries. Border control was really intense, so people almost stopped traveling. For example, one time my parents took me for a trip to Yugoslavia. Two weeks before the vacation, they had to fill out the paperwork needed for traveling. They had to list what we were bringing with us, what we were planning to buy, where we were staying and what we were going to do there. When our family got to the border, we had to get out from the car, and for four hours we sat in a small room and answered the same questions again and again. All that time, two border officers went through all of the things we had in the car. It felt like we were drug smugglers or something even worse. Many years later, I found out that we weren’t anything special. Communists treated everybody the same to make sure people didn’t bring lots of money and personal things for immigration to some democratic country.

I grew up in a communist country, and I can say it wasn’t easy. I’m happy that the Czech Republic has been democratic now for thirteen years. There are big changes, but everything is going slow and hard. It is easy to change the system, but to change people, it is hard. It will take many years before all people will think for themselves, and not how the Communists made them think.

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