The following is a blog article I wrote a year and a half ago at this blogsite. For the vast numbers of Americans who have no clue what it is like to conduct life in a Marxist community, please read about my personal experience in the nation of all Marxist nations, the good old USSR…..loveland for folks like Bill Ayers, Noam Chomsky, and Howard Zinn, may the latter rest in peace.
Shopping at a “specialty store” in the good old USSR:
“Kiev is the capital of the Ukraine. In 1966 the Ukraine was just another SSR of the USSR. Today it is independent from Russia, but remaining independent is a constant sturggle. Readers might remember the Russian Secret Police led government turned off oil supplies “traveling” to the Ukraine for reasons economic and political just this past winter..A good time to cause trouble. This part of the good old USSR, was the bread basket…farm country with a bit of coal lying around. Alas no vast oil reserves to assure annual income. The Ukrainians are Russian-like in language, and Orthodox-like in religion, but beyond that, Nationalism, the drive for independence from things Russian had been the driving wedge between these old time Viking tribes. Nearly 20,000,000 Ukrainian peasants were intentionally starved to death at the directive of Socialist State policy under Josef Stalin.
I wonder how many State Socialists in the Barrack Obama administration have ever read a biography of Josef Stalin. I mean the biographies beyond the fictions written and approved by the Soviet Secret Police.
I wonder how many Prager fans have ever read anything about Josef Stalin at all.
Commune organizing was popular government policy under Stalin. It was particularly effective in the Ukraine.
I could not understand Ukrainian when spoken to me. In 1966 Ukrainians studied Russian in school as their Soviet dictated “native” tongue. Ukrainian was spoken at home. Russian was spoken in the shops…at least in all the shops I visited.
As a rule I hate shopping. I am a focussed shopper. If I need or think I want something and I think I can afford it, I go and buy it. Then I return to normal life as quickly as possible. But in the good old USSR I enjoyed browsing around the shops. There was so little available. Twelve flavors of ice cream were advertised for sale, but only one flavor “today”…Same advertisement the next day, but still only one flavor “today”. The game could go on for a year. It allowed the Soviets to trump the West. Even then when the visiting American Lefties of the day would view the 12 flavors ad, they’d return home anxious to write in magazines and give speeches at colleges about how much further advanced the good old USSR was than the States. They had a better Constitution as well. Weren’t the ice cream flavors proof?
If you, dear reader, have been in regular attendance with these USSR blogs of mine, you’ll remember reading that a few weeks back I owned a very American chartreuse summer hat. What happened to that hat will be explained in future writing. On this particularly day, I decided I needed a Soviet hat. I remembered a chic (Soviet chic) cutely designed (Soviet cute) men’s hat shop (Soviet shop..state owned, remember) a couple miles from my “nolift” seventeen floor downtown Kiev newly built hotel.
I entered the sixty by twenty foot chic shop. A series of glass fixtures lined up the left side of a broad aisle. Across from the cases were boxes and boxes with handwritten labels stacked on shelves from a store long eight foot high shelf to the ceiling, about fifteen feet high above the aisle. It turned out that most of the boxes were empty. Soviets preferred image to production.
There were three young women “working” at this hat collective. One sat behind the glass cases protecting the hats. A second sat on a ladder perhaps to inventory the boxes at the 12 foot level, and the third, in the farthest corner from the entry door, a gal sat at the abacus, (the period piece beaded price calculator). Both I and my Russian clothes have a Soviet workers’ baggy look. I was the only shopper.
I had disturbed the gals in their conversation.. They were not pleased. Their looks were piercing. By now I knew my responsibilities as a shopper. I would point to the style of the hat in the glass case I wanted to purchase. I would submit my size in writing to the clerk sitting behind the showcases. The clerk would write down the price on something resembling toilet paper, and I would take the paper and present it to the abacus gal, pay the abacus gal, who in her turn would give me a receipt with her handwritten approval that I had bought the hat I had requested.
Now the details of reality. I handed the receipt to the clerk. She asked me my hat size. I forgot to learn Soviet hat sizes. They were in centimeters. I knew a meter was about a yard, so let’s say 36 inches, yes, 39.37 inches, I recalled. So, where do I go from here? My American hat size is 7 1/2…what does 7 1/2 mean? I had no idea. To this day I still have no understanding what the American hat size measurement is based on.
Soviet clerks did not approve of anyone trying on clothes which were not yet purchased. State policy.
Pozhalsta..mne stidno. Ya ne znayou cvoevo razmera. I said it sheepishly for I expected ridicule in return…”Please, I am embarrassed. I don’t know my own size,” praying she would let me try on the hat I actually had bought. She sized me all right…as some stupid glupe..and looked up at her Soviet sisters and exclaimed, “A grown man and doesn’t know his own hat size.” Then she turned toward me and spit out as if her saliva were acid, “You fool. You should be ashamed.”
Rudeness by Soviets to Soviets in public was universally standard in 1966. It was practiced everywhere including on me when I wore my incognito clothing. I had developed a response I relied on when I wanted to change the tune of this Soviet song. “I am sorry. I am not local here, I need a bit of help understanding.” The clerk ignored me. I said nothing more until I was asked where I was from alleging by tone there couldn’t be such a dumb place anywhere around, but never, never expected my answer. I used the term “not local” precisely because it did not particularly refer to foreigners, only to folks not from the surroundings. “What do you mean, not local?”
“I’m an American. I’m from the United States.”
Shock and awe and silence. My stardom had been again resurrected. The most cordial politeness returned to Soviet saleswomanship. The four of us chatted for about an hour…almost as would old time friends.”
Comment: There are many Marxists who come and go in the Obama adminstration. President Obama, himself, studied Marxist, Saul Alinsky. As we know, this president is a constant critic of things American, especially the way we do business.
Mr. Obama strongly supports BIGGER GOVERNMENT. His ideal may not be the good old USSR, but Bigger Government usually arrives at Soviet life, sooner or later.
Who is there to oppose a Soviet system when all of the power is in the hands of the government?