Longing for Socialism
21 October, 2010
Longing for Socialism

Putting it encyclopedically, ‘Socialism is an economic and political theory advocating public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources’. Isn’t this wonderful?  We have been dragged trough the thick and thin of the socialist economic system and, amazingly, have emerged safe and sound, with only a few dents on our spiritual and economic body. I say spiritual because we (the peoples of the now-defunct Soviet block) have lived through it without faith in

divine powers and prophets like Jesus or Mohamed, when Abraham and Sarah simply used to be a subject of mockery. The absence of spirituality has told on our souls and minds so severely that it continues persisting even in today’s life, about a quarter of a century after the demise of the socialist system world-wide, except a couple of remaining stubborn hopefuls, still fiddling with the notorious utopia. I say economic because even in the wildest ever capitalism, which we are trying to entertain in the post-communist era, the socialist way of thinking and working is still flagrantly present in the reality, which we tend to proudly identify as ‘market economy’. In general, nobody (except the God) knows what could be the most optimal version of the world economic order. Whatever the mankind has done to our Earth so far is suspected to be disastrous to Mother Nature. Most of the people on the planet are still living in poverty and hunger. Various nations at various stages of historical development have tried different ways of economic survival. One of the most talked about economic experiments was socialism. As I hear very often, socialism has worked quite well for some of us, but some were simply victimized to its weird ways and means. The grandiose socialist experiment in the former Soviet Union was short-lived and abortive. This is why it had eventually collapsed and millions are still caught under its debris. The lesson was harsh and bitter, and the name of the game now is ‘Good Riddance!’ In spite of the constant malfunction and eventual failure of the socialist system, there are people all over the territory (one sixth of the entire globe) of the ex-USSR who are openly nostalgic about socialism. They chronically miss the socialist fringe benefits like free education and health care, almost no charges on domestic utilities, gratis housing, free summer holidays, complimentary coaching in any kind of sports, dirt-cheep hotels and tickets in movie-theaters, universal exemption from taxes, practically non-existent transportation fees, all kinds of payments out of the bottomless state pocket, and finally, no pain of direct responsibility for the future of the country. Certainly, this kind of ‘good life’ was possible only at the expense of personal freedoms and human rights which were absent then and are kind of present today. Why then so much nostalgia about socialism? Was it the sense of more security about the future? Or maybe the guaranteed chances of survival without too much sweat! Could it have been fewer headaches about earnings? Or freedom from necessity of accumulating too much wealth!
Think about it!

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