Bring back The USSR Now!

Is he serious?  Well, yes and no.  The governmental structure of communist USSR was a terrible thing, for the citizens of the nation and for the threat it posed to the free world.  People were victims of political oppression; those seen as potential enemies of the government were murdered or exiled.  You were basically slaves of the state, they owned you, your income, and your freedom.  Every citizen was treated as a “suspect”, no one was trusted.  How could any of this be a good thing?  Why would anyone advocate the return of the Soviet Union? 

Why…simple, they served as the world’s bad example.  You could always point to the Soviet government and say, “at least we aren’t doing that”.  But now that the USSR has fallen, we have no bad example to keep our own governments on the straight and narrow.  The federal, state, and local governments have taken it upon themselves to redefine freedom, which has been aided by the no longer present shining Red bad example.

To clarify, I am not anti-government, anti-law, or an advocate for anarchy in any form.  Unfortunately the American government has taken umbrage with the idea of freedom for its citizens with respect to a growing number of areas.  Not long ago, New York City pushed to ban salt in the preparation of foods in restaurants.  The text of the bill, A. 10129, would be making illegal one of the most common, if not the most common ingredient in any preparation of food.  Those found to be using salt to prepare food faced a $1,000 fine for each violation.  The government feels it their responsibility to regulate your diet, a luxury I enjoy regulating myself.

If deciding on the ingredients for your food were not enough, the San Francisco board of supervisors has passed by a veto-proof margin that restaurants such as McDonald’s may not include toys in their Happy Meals© due to the nutritional content of their food.  There was a time when you could look at someone and understand the physical condition of the individual was a result of the decisions he made.  It is now the mantra of the morbidly obese that it is the restaurant who is responsible for their physical condition, and not their own dietary and exercise (or lack of) decisions*.  So of course rather than explain to the indulgent individual who does not use adequate self-control, the government is now taking the reigns and making your dietary decisions for you.

Most recently in the news is the FDA’s proposed ban on alcoholic energy drink beverages due to “evidence that the combinations of caffeine and alcohol in these products pose a public health concern”.  The problem with this line of reasoning, judging by the proposed new warning labels, cigarettes should also be on the chopping block as well.  One label goes so far as to say “Cigarettes cause cancer” and another warning: “Cigarettes can kill you”.  It is apparent the ban on the alcoholic energy drinks is nothing more than lip service and busy work.  Just because the ills of cigarettes develop over the course of a lifetime, and the effects of the alcohol drinks are immediate ought not shelter cigarette manufacturers from the same ban proposals.  I am not for banning cigarettes, or alcoholic energy drinks.  The dangers should be made known, which they are.  I do not know anyone over the age of 10 years old who does not know cigarettes and alcohol can be a danger to your health.

One freedom we used to enjoy was the ability to move about your town, state, and country without having to produce your “papers”.  Now police departments around the country have instituted DUI checkpoints, which has its pros and cons.  But becoming more common is driver’s licence checkpoints.  I have been through such license checkpoints, in addition to a simple check of the validity of your driving status, the officers may ask questions inquiring from where you are coming and where you are going.  Frankly, the correct answer of “none of your business” will only cause you further delay.  I am not anti-police.  I am anti-random interrogation, anti-explain-my-whereabouts without being the suspect in a crime.  This show-me-your-papers before you may proceed is a Soviet idea, one that never should have made the journey across the ocean.

Lastly, the recent uproar the TSA is causing with their new security procedures which include the same technique on children as for adults.  The scanners are invasive enough, but if you dare object to having nude pictures of yourself taken by the government, you are then subjected to a pat-down procedure not dissimilar ones performed in the police department when a suspect has been arrested and is being checked for contraband.  One passenger recounted that “a female screener ran her hands around her breasts, over her stomach, buttocks and her inner thighs, and briefly touched her crotch”.  Of recent protest fame was potential traveler John Tyner who informed a TSA screener that “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested“.  It has become apparent the government is treating its citizens as potential criminals, rather than potential voters, a quality reminiscent of the former Soviet Union.

My point is not to decry authority, or measures intended to keep we-the-people safe, but rather that the methods and venues chosen by the government has become increasingly intrusive.  When the world had the Soviet Union to look to for setting the bad example, we had a perspective.  We knew what freedom was, it was being able to travel without on the spot ID checks.  It was eating what and how much you wanted without pointing your greasy finger at someone else for your weight problems demanding the government intervene.  It’s not that I wish to see a regime such as the Soviet Union rise to power again, but we, America, is becoming the bad example.  And it is we-the-people who are allowing it, and dare I say, demanding it.  We are demanding our government seize control over our lives.  With every bit of freedom we relinquish we set a dangerous prescident.  The restrictions are eased in, under the cover of safety.  Before we know it we will be  “telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free”.

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* I myself am overweight.  My diet is nutritionally atrocious, I regularly indulge in foods high in fat.  I refuse to place blame the restaurant for my eating and exercise habits.  I am overweight because I decide to eat cheeseburgers rather than salads, not because of the nefarious nutritional practices of the fast food industry.

Comments

  1. rautakyy says:

    You are absolutely right, that our western governments had to compete with the Soviet Union, in giving rights and commodities to their citizens. Everything had to be better in the west so the working masses would not revolt. As that competition has vanished, our rights and the standard of living for the common man has started to decrease.

    Did you ever visit Soviet Union? I did. It was not the “Evil Empire” you would believe. It was not the “workers paradise either”. An old soviet joke says that when a man had visited so many shops with only empty shelves, he was astonished to find a shop without even the shelves, wich the salesperson explained by that it was a shop for buying shelves. Yes, they had a lot of problems and corruption, some such as you describe. No, they had no grand scale starvation after WWII, and the liberty of people was ever increasing after Stalins rule. Making laws about what food incridients are healthy or what kind of toys are permissable in restaurants has nothing to do with the Soviet Union. Russian people wanted and deserved more liberty, the other nations inhereted by the Soviet Union from the Russian Empire wanted indipencence, but what people in the Soviet Union also wanted was more consumer products, and that was something their economy could not produce at same rate as the western countries. It remains to be seen how good thing the massive amounts of consumer products are going to be for the world…

    We have to remember from what did the Soviet Union emerge from. The Russia of the tzars was basicly a rural and feudal empire, with no other assets than the massive manpower. A very small minority owned everything and the secret police was sending people to camps in Siberia allready then. The checkpoints for credentials was not a Soviet invention.

    The revolution changed a lot, but not all. After the initial reforms Stalin assumed the position of a tsar. They actually had civil rights in Soviet Union. They had free healthcare, free public school and even university studies were for free. They also had this government guaranteed certainty of a job. Better education guaranteed better pay and a bigger car. They had citizenship, regardles of colour or creed and even women got the right to vote long before their sisters in the US. They were no more slaves to their government than you are to yours. They only had one party, within wich was the liberal and conservative wings. Much like you in the US still only have two parties one for the liberal and other for the conservatives. This is much what they have in modern Russia also.

    The Soviet Union in turn learned both good and bad things from the US like the need for nuclear weapons race, wich exhausted their economy.

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