the daily struggle to find food items and medicine, particularly in times of intense scarcity and hyperinflation, leaves very little time to organize anti-government mass protests and other activities.
Shortages of basic food staples and of consumer goods in socialist countries are not a bug but a feature. People who don’t understand how the whole system works keep asking naively why it’s so impossible to make enough food for everybody when it’s the whole point that people should be occupied by scavenging for something to eat and too busy to think about changing their situation.
The funny thing is that it always starts with the best of intentions. Always, every single time. And within a couple of years, it all degenerates into devising ways to keep people hungry so that they are too cowed and weak to protest.
This is why it annoys me to have to discuss socialism with people who have never experienced any shortage of anything and have no idea what it feels like to scavenge for toilet paper or deal with menstruation when absolutely no hygienic products are available. The dumb little Twitteroids who love to chirp about socialism wouldn’t last a week in the conditions those of us with actual experience in socialism had to face.
On the positive side, last week I had a very productive discussion with students about all this. In spite of all the media noise about the supposed beauty of socialism, it’s possible to reach people and talk to them about it, especially if they are very young.