I love the US. Great country, fantastic people, fun politics, beautiful nature, amazing education, and delightful shopping opportunities. If only it could get rid of intersectionality, anti-abortionists, anti-gay freaks, apocalyptic tendencies, safe spaces, self-pity as a national pastime and put a bit more enthusiasm and joy of living in their place, it would be downright perfect.
And I know exactly what is needed to make that happen: a bit of Soviet experience. I don’t mean anything truly horrible like Stalinism, genocide, wars, or famine. What I wish Americans could experience is the gentlest form of stagnant socialism of, say, 1978 to 1983. Just 5 short years of being sent to sort rotting cabbage, getting up at 6 to queue for milk in the 10°F cold for 2 hours and have it run out in front of you, being #5987 in a line for a refrigerator, making do without contraception or hygienic products, having to do free physical labor on Saturdays, suffering persecution for growing your hair out or listening to rock music, having no access to anything you’d actually want to read, etc. In small doses, this is energizing like hell.
One year of this, and the use of anti-depressants will be halved. Five years, and people will go back to their super-harsh lives in the unforgiving capitalist hell bursting with enthusiasm and ready to move mountains. They’ll become resilient, resourceful and deeply non-apocayptic. Drug companies will collapse. Safe spaces will disappear. Trigger warnings will evoke nothing but horror. Of course, you shouldn’t overdo it. Subject people to 70 years of it, and you’ll get a bunch of mental invalids. Moderation is key, in this as in everything.