Truth About Soviet Union
In view of many false accusations and lies that capitalist media is
trying to instill in the modern society about Soviet Union, I feel
my responsibility as a citizen to refute them and to restore the truth
about the country of my birth, USSR, which ceased to exist, but will
always live in the hearts of the people who experienced life in the
Empire of Good.
First of all I want to mention that we did not have homeless people,
like we see in the streets and parks of all US cities. For all my 25 years of
life in the Soviet Union, I saw only one homeless person. Unlike the United States,
where there are 842 000 homeless and 18.4 million empty homes with 22
homes for each homeless person, the Soviet Union took care of their people. There was no
foodstamps, as there was no need for them. Everybody was working, and
if someone lost his or her job, there was Bureau for Employment, where
they always find you some job to do full time, even though it may not
match your training.
Second, I want to mention the care about working people and in particular
about women. Every mother had a full
year of paid vacation for the birth of each child. All medical expenses
were paid, because the medical care was free for everybody. A patient was
not rushed out of hospital, like in US, but is taken care of if the care
is needed as long as it is needed. It is worth to note, that the Soviet
Union was first country in a world to legalize abotrion in 1922, something
that activists in US are still struggling for.
The 8-hour work day was established in the USSR 4 days after the October
Revolution 1917. Comparing to USA, where it was not won until the Fair Labor
Standards Act of 1938.
Each major factory had it's own dining facility, where people had full
square meal with first - some kind of soup or borsch, second - main course,
and a compote (fruit drink). All of that costed close to equivalent of
one dollar in US money. Workers had an hour for lunch. The whole institutes
were working on the standard recipies in order to give the members of
the society the most healthy, most nutritious, most tasty food. Today many of
the people, living in Russia and Ukraine, regret that they cannot buy
such delicious food in the stores anymore in this profit-based capitalist
Education was free in the Soviet Union. From kindergarten to the University,
all doors were open to all who want to study. For higher education, there
were entry tests. There were entry tests also in the music and art schools.
The public libraries were full of books, reading was one of the most popular
activity. Results of the international study, made in 1950s, shows that
the citizens of USSR spend reading approximately 11 hours per week, which
was twice more than the americans, british or french. Many decades in a
row Soviet Union was the country with the most printed books in a world.
Here is an interesting fact: In the severe winter of 1942 when Leningrad was
under blocade, in the time of severe shortage of food and firewood,
by the initiative of the city members is being reprinted the book by
Nikolay Ostrovsky "How The Steel Was Tempered". The text was typeset in
a half-destroyed building, the press is moved by spinning wheels by hand,
for the absence of electricity. And the whole edition of 10 thousand copies
was sold in two hours.
It is notable, that the moral of this new society, build on collaboration
and brotherhood, was in general significantly higher than the moral of the
modern capitalism, based on greed. In words of writer Sergei Kremlev,
"In order to understand this correctly, let's start with a question:
Have there ever been such a period and such a society in world history,
when all people lived as human beings, lived humanely, compassionately?
That is, they lived according to the principles of Freedom, Equality and
Fraternity, according to the laws of Kindness, Justice, Reason…
Lived without using or humiliating each other but instead becoming better
and better, smarter, more friendly to each other, more selfless…
Straight and honest answer for this question - no! There have never been
such a society in world history.
Now here is a different question:
Have there ever been such a period in world history, when a lot of people - a whole
society, lived not in dreams, but in a political reality, more like humans
than any other society before or after that? Has there ever been in the
world history such a society which would become more kind and more generous
to its members and took care of them, so that its members are more
developed, educated and happy?
There is also only one straight and honest answer - yes, there was such
a period and there was such a society. This society -
the Soviet Union from about the beginning of the 30s to the mid-50s…
Even the times of Khrushchev, even the Soviet Union of late Brezhnev
were humane and promising examples of social structure and social practice!…
…Capitalism cannot be moral, because the ethics of capitalism is greed,
and greed is immoral, so even the most shameless advocate of capitalism
has nothing to object.
The moral of socialism is solidarity and cooperation, and cooperation is
always moral, and against this also even the most shameless advocate of
capitalism has nothing to say."
And just to prove that the socialist economy can be more efficient than the
capitalist one, Soviet Union rose up from the poor agrarian country to the
level of one of the world's super powers, country that sent the first man into the
space - Yuri Gagarin, first woman in space - Valentina Tereshkova,
fought and won the war against fascist Germany, helped development of many
third-world countries. The whole truth about the Soviet Union cannot be
made fit into the space of a single web page, but it must be heard, for the
sake of the future generations, which will learn from the lessons of the
past and build a new society where there will be no exploitation,
no discrimination, but rather collaboration. Society, where democracy
both economic and political, freedom and fraternity will blossom in full.