But it sure feels much worse when you do have something and that something is taken away permanently
Growing up in the proletariat class of communism, we never had much time to ponder over our perennial hunger or our miserable state in life, we were too busy trying to find something to eat, most of the time standing in lines daily to fight over the supply of food allotted that day by the benevolent socialist government run by the Communist Party.
Most of us were quite thin, malnourished, lacking vitamins and proper nutrition, but we were all in the same boat and we could do nothing about it as we had no arms to mount a rebellion to overthrow the Communist Party.
The communists and their sycophants ate well, lived well
The communists and their sycophants ate well, lived well, and enjoyed all the luxuries they accumulated by stealing everything of value that the proletariat at large had owned prior to the Bolshevik revolution. Their bank accounts were full, they took nice vacations and often, and we watched with resentment from afar.
We did not have the opportunity to better ourselves, or to develop the inner talents we were born with. We were too busy following the Communist Party rules and absurd regulations, to make sure we did not violate any of them or else we were imprisoned or re-educated in Siberia.
Creativity and allowed speech had to follow strict Party guidelines or else be censored for violating communist community standards, not unlike the social media moguls’ dictates today. But instead of being in Facebook jail for 30 days, you would find yourself in real prisons and the jailers threw away the key until they saw fit to let you go. Nobody followed the law, the law was what various Communist Party apparatchiks decided on a whim.
Individuality was verboten and nobody developed new ideas, projects, research, and other technical gadgetry. Worthless group-think with strict guidelines that augmented the collective was allowed.
I saw through the windows of nice restaurants an abundance of food that was sorely missing in our government run empty stores. These restaurants were off-limits for us as only the communist movers and shakers could afford such luxury. Mom was making 800 lei per month which, divided by the artificially pegged exchange rate of 12 lei to the dollar in 1980, it was about $67 a month from which we had to buy food, pay for water, electricity, rent, bus fares, and medicine. Dad was making slightly more, about 1,200 lei per month, a whopping sum of $100.
A fresh college graduate with an Economics degree earned the huge sum of 1880 lei per month, about $157 per month which allowed such a graduate to live a much better life if they could find food and lived together with their parents in a small 600 square feet concrete block apartment, standard government issue subsidized housing for all.
The proletariat knew they were missing a lot—they saw how rich Texans lived on the television series “Dallas” and their make-believe oil tycoon family. For some reason, the decadent capitalist show passed the censors. Perhaps they allowed the series on TV in order to show how evil capitalists were and that is why we lived so poorly, they were stealing it from us. At least that was the daily propaganda we heard on the two black and white television channels.
Communist Party stole our private properties, homes, and land
We were riveted weekly to another episode so that we could live vicariously and imagine what it would be like if we had their food, clothing, and the comforts of a real home instead of the drab match boxes we were stacked on 5-9 stories high after the wise Communist Party stole our private properties, homes, and land.
Before the show ended, I moved to the U.S. in 1978 and, as the next season of Dallas played on American television, my family back home was flooding me with questions about the show such as “who killed J.R. Ewing,” but most of all, did Americans live so well and did they have so much food?
I never thought personally that food would become an issue 42 years later in America due to a tyrannical government lockdown of the population under the guise of protecting them from a flu virus. The lockdown caught many people unaware who were buying food in smaller quantities and less frequently because many Americans ate in restaurants several times a week.
As an escapee from communism, the lockdown affected me much worse than it did many Americans around me. They were happy to hide behind masks, stay home, watch TV, get paid weekly for doing nothing, let government tell them what to do, where to go, how, and when. They were happy to comply. But to me, removing the choice of staying home or going out felt like the former communist life.
I went to restaurants just like my American brethren and now, the government closed them down and locked us in our homes with only permission to go to the grocery store and pharmacies. Suddenly, once the state government removed any opportunity to go to a restaurant, it felt much worse than when, under communism, we could not afford to go. I felt the tyranny on a much deeper level.
The entire communist country where I grew up was one big lockdown prison, with borders guarded with machine guns, heavily armed soldiers, and razor sharp barbed wire. But in the U.S., where radicals want to erase borders, we were bombarded by PSA propaganda, i.e., “we are in this together,” “alone together,” “you are not alone,” etc., all meant to increase and maintain population compliance. The country became one big masquerade ball with masks made of all sorts of materials including, as my friend Alexis joked, “Dr. Fauci’s underwear.”
I thought that this was a much more insidious form of tyranny. When it became evident that it was just a flu, the state and local government bureaucrats did not relent their socialist control of the populace and people continued to remain cowardly subdued, afraid of dying of the Covid-19 flu virus, while losing constitutional freedoms each day without as much as a whimper.
The moral of both experiences compared is that you can’t miss what you don’t have in the first place, but it sure feels much worse when you do have something and that something is taken away permanently.