Sunday, September 30, 2012

I was a Child Communist

     By definition, communism is a social organization in which all property is held in common by the entire community and all activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single party.  
     I get it.  I always have.  Growing up with a little brother and plenty of cousins and neighborhood kids to play with, I had to share.  That was okay.  So did they.  It was kind of cool.  I mean we had more toys to play with when we shared.  Back in the 1960s, parents didn't indulge their children with every new gadget that came out.  Some of the kids in the neighborhood had sports equipment.  Some had geeky science stuff.  Some had board games.  We got to play with everything.
     Specifically, Becky had a Snoopy snow cone machine.  Dave and Tommy had army men.  Lynn had girlie-crafty stuff.  John had Boy Scout stuff.  My brother had Wiffle balls and bats and Matchbox cars, and I had Battle Ship and Barrel o' Monkeys. 
     Our totalitarian state was mom and dad.  They told us when to put things away, what we could take outside and what we could lend or borrow with another parent's permission. 
     I was a child communist and it worked. 
     As I grew up, I remember studying about the Cold War.  Considering my family is of Russian descent, these lessons held my attention.  But I wondered how a whole big country full of people who wanted to share everything, somehow looked very poor on the t.v. news.  Shouldn't they have looked like they had more than they needed if they were sharing their toys?
     And the Russian parents always seemed to be standing in line for food.  I felt sorry for them and I wondered why someone wasn't sharing with them.  Communism didn't seem to be making Russia a better country.
     As a teenager in the early 70s, communism took on a hippie connotation.  Young adults were living in communes, growing their own food and sharing.  Or at least that's what they said they were doing.  It wasn't until much later that I realized some were also growing pot, dropping acid and enjoying "free love."  Oh well, they looked happy.  Communism at work.
     Then I grew up.  I always worked hard, but I noticed that some other people did not.  In fact, some people took pride in what they could get away with while appearing to work.  I didn't want to share with them.  I didn't want them on my team.  I developed the attitude that if I wanted something done right, I had to do it myself.
     However, I still bought into the ideas of the Democratic Party.  In fact, I remain a registered Democrat.  But I no longer want to share because I have first-hand knowledge of too many people who are cheating the system.  There are more cheaters than workers and the system cannot survive, not that it ever was so great anyway.  It became overloaded too quickly to find a solution to the chaos.
     I'm a capitalist now, neither Republican nor Democrat, but definitely leaning toward the right.  I appreciate workers, especially workers who could turn a profit.
     I keep thinking about that Kevin Kline movie "Dave."  He played the President's look-a-like and actually ran the show for a bit.  He used the common sense of a small business owner (which is what his character was) and got his friend the accountant to fix the budget.  I want to see that in the White House and I hope I will, soon.
     But no matter who wins, my patriotism trumps my capitalistic and communistic tendencies and I hope for the best and will always respect the office of the President.