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Twenty years of freedom. And some people still miss the communist era

In History, Politics on November 16, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , , , ,

Tomorrow is November 17, 2009 – the Czech Republic and Slovakia will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, i.e. twenty years of freedom.

1989

(c) CTK News Agency

Communism as a form of government is inherently totalitarian and the pre-1989 era had many signs of oppression and totalitarianism. And yet we still hear occasional voices (of old geezers, especially) that the era of communism was better than the post-revolution times. Their most frequent stupid arguments and errors are:

Stupid argument 1: Before 1989 there was no unemployment.
Reality: Avoiding work was against the law. Moreover, the communist regime had people’s job under control. There were thousands of people who could not do what they wanted or what they studied for. Thousands of people were fired from their jobs for minor mistakes and they ended up sweeping streets. The was no labour market. The process of recruitment of new employees often included the “is-he-a-good-communist” criterion.

Stupid argument 2: What is the point of having open borders, we have no money to travel.
Reality: Before 1989 there was the Iron Curtain and people were shot and killed, or “at least” thrown in jail, for leaving their own country. The communist regime did not want to have the image of a regime that people want to run away from, so it wanted to lock people in. It has been established numerous times that the Iron Curtain wasn’t there to protect, but to prevent (see above).

Stupid argument 3: Before 1989 a loaf of bread cost 5 Czechoslovak crowns, now it is 30.
Reality: It makes absolutely no sense to compare the socialist system of economy with the current one. In Middle Ages, a man could exchange his future wife for ten cows. Now he has to marry her and earn money to raise a family.

Stupid argument 4: I never had any negative experience with the state police.
Reality: Thousands of people were spied on and prosecuted (forget fair trial) for badmouthing the system, or for listening to Western radio stations, or for meeting “enemies of the regime”. Many were executed, again, without fair trial.

The most ironic thing is the “freedom paradox”: the people who say “communism was better” are allowed to say it because they live in a democratic society now. Had they said “capitalism is better” before 1989, they would end up in jail.

And on a slightly lighter note: because we have the freedom of speech now, they have every right to say what they want. But what if the current government decided to load them onto trains and transport them to North Korea? Maybe they would enjoy it: a) North Korea has a communist government which is exactly what they have been missing, and b) in North Korea they would finally get the big picture, and having learned from the Velvet Revolution, they could try to overthrow Kim Chong-il.

The STEM agency recently conducted its annual Are you proud to be Czech? poll (1,270 respondents):

poll

(c) TCDW, using the STEM agency data

6 Responses to “Twenty years of freedom. And some people still miss the communist era”

  1. […] celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, and The Czech Daily Word lists “most frequent stupid arguments and errors” of those who believe that “the era of communism was better than the post-revolution […]

  2. This was a great piece. Thanks for posting this.

  3. Your “reality” is unfortunately just right wing propaganda…. pure fantasy. You’re so out of touch with Czech society…. no one uses the term Velvet Revolution other than American idiot right wing degenerates. Czechs know what occurred was an internal coup which betrayed the nation.

    If Communists are so bad, why are they the 3rd/4th largest members of parliament since? With the Socialists being the first and the right never having a stable coalition? The left is still most popular and its only a matter of time before the criminals get what they are due.

  4. Stupid argument 1: Before 1989 there was no unemployment.

    Employment was a right. You went to school, chose what profession you wanted to go into, and based one entrance exams you got into professional schools or universities. You were then guaranteed a job after graduation.

    Stupid argument 2: What is the point of having open borders, we have no money to travel.

    Having served in the military, there were constant threats from the Americans in West Germany. Our borders were secured to protect us from saboteurs and many many were caught! We couldn’t travel because of Western embargoes, they wouldn’t give us visas.

    Stupid argument 3: Before 1989 a loaf of bread cost 5 Czechoslovak crowns, now it is 30.

    The loaf was 30, there were no taxes, utilities were subsidized, home loans were interest free, and meals at decent restaurants were under 10Kc

    Stupid argument 4: I never had any negative experience with the state police.

    There was never an internal spy agency such as Homeland Security in the US. There was really no opposition in Czechoslovakia and only about 400 criminals were executed between 1948 and 1989. How many in the US during that time?

    Actually, the media is very anti socialist, especially the private, and it was illegal to say that things were better for 10 years…. However, it didn’t prevent the Communist Party from remaining among the top most powerful parties in parliament.

    We’re not a stupid people and don’t need foreigners dictating propaganda to us.

  5. I see you’re Czech…. unfortunately a degenerate.

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