Fear of KGB & of Fear of IRS
17 January, 2013
Fear of KGB & of Fear of IRS
In the former Soviet Union, it was the KGB (Committee for State Security) who terrorized people. Public was just afraid of the state security system. At a first glance, KGB should have been the most beloved body in the country because it provided for the security of Soviet Citizens, but in reality, it emanated dread and fear, using its power towards subduing the Soviet people to the benefit of the soviet regime. If you, for some reason, were summoned to
KGB, you were in for a 100-percent trouble.
‘Kagebeshnik’ (KGB serviceman) was a deprecating and frightful word. Cracking jokes about KGB was definitely conducive to imprisonment if not more. Being discreet when mentioning KGB was a norm of life for a reasonable person. Nobody wanted to mess with the creepiest body of the country. People were just scared even at hearing the name. Conversely, an American is not afraid at all of CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) or FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), for that matter. No American citizen would start trembling all over at mentioning those names. Americans simply know that those organs of power are doing their job, and they will never have to do anything with them unless an American perpetrates a crime. Instead, the most feared and hated body In the United States is IRS (Internal Revenue Service). IRS is simply a horse of a totally different color. At mentioning IRS, Americans would give a nervous smile and would usually joke the bothering inconvenience off. Getting an unexpected envelope from IRS might easily trigger an extensive coronary. People are seriously afraid of IRS and they will do anything in the world to avoid any sort of complications with it. If you want to stay out of trouble, you better be right when faced with IRS. Ask an American what kind of a day is the 15th of April and you will not need to wait for the answer. The presumable respondent’s face will immediately register the answer: ‘the worst day of my life – the day of grand financial reckoning’. You’d better behave as you must that particular day of your calendar and settle accounts with IRS if you do not want to find yourself in one of the reformatories of the country. Drawing a parallel between a sense of fear of a Soviet citizen before KGB and an American citizen’s trepidation in the face of IRS might be the funniest, but also, the fairest comparison one could ever think of making. And still, fearless, witty and nettling anecdotes are rife about IRS in the States. It was certainly much easier for a political regime and existent ideology to scare a Soviet species than a regular American. This might as well be a symptom of level of freedom and democracy in those two geopolitical giants – the former being already defunct and the latter still being alive and kicking. If you want to hear one of those sarcastic stories about IRS, here it goes: “An American taxpayer received his tax return for 2011 back from IRS which puzzled him. IRS was questioning how many dependents he had claimed. The confused taxpayer replied that he had presented a list of dependents – 12 million illegal immigrants, 3 million crack heads, 42 million unemployed people on food stamps, 2 million people in over 243 prisons, half of Mexico, and 535 persons in the U.S. House and Senate”. Imagine a Soviet citizen cracking a joke like this one about KGB! Isn’t it wonderful that the scary soviet times are now dead and gone? Why then those old symptoms are still here? Why then the people still doubt the freedom of courts – the most important among the features of a free society? The answer is that the Sense of panic towards state authorities was being nursed in the soviet public in the duration of seventy dreadful years. And the legacy is still there – it is not difficult to scare a former soviet citizen. A former soviet citizen was historically used to rubber-stamp legislative bodies, the government-friendly courts and the arbitrary dictate of law-enforcers. A Soviet citizen has always thought that this was a norm which should never have been rebelled against. The contemporary Georgian citizenry is the direct continuation of a soviet citizenry. For eradicating the remnants of fear towards authorities not enough time has passed yet. Probably! Americans revolted against the British crown with an absolute sense of liberty before authorities, and they have carried that sense throughout centuries. They will not give up that sense of freedom for anything in the entire world. Independent courts which are the foundation of a free society will always be the most valuable standard of morality for a regular American no matter what kind of metamorphosis is in store for the United States in the nearest future. It was not an accident that I had used KGB and IRS for pulling the parallel between them. The people, who had been afraid of KGB for almost a century, will hardly appreciate a free independent court system. If the government imposes on them that kind of judiciary, they will take it for granted; they will not rebel, they will tolerate the situation without a sound. And the people who are afraid of IRS simply know that they should not steal. That’s all! This does not have anything to do with a political muteness. Soviet political heredity and political psychology is very powerful and it will take longer than we think to be gotten rid of. The sense of freedom in a former Soviet citizen is formal and unreal. The fear for a state authority is latently dormant in them. If this is not true, why do the citizens of former soviet republics, including Georgia tolerate the shackled and fettered courts? Why? Let me reiterate on the raised subject: being afraid of KGB was low and immoral which destroyed an actively productive citizen. Being afraid of IRS is a highly moralistic fear which helps build prosperity of a nation.
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