Don’t Talk About It

People who never boiled their underwear on a kitchen stove shouldn’t talk about socialism.

23 thoughts on “Don’t Talk About It”

  1. Well the typical modern millenial socialist would say that the real reason for scarcity in the USSR was the US (and the dastardly ways that capitalists did not cooperate with those that wanted to eliminate them). That’s actually an argument I’ve heard.
    Oh! Oh! The same person said that it’s impossible to industrialize peasants without causing famines! Oh, and capitalism killed way more people (no real support beyond the assertion) and… colonialism….! So… there!

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  2. Some of us rural Americans born at the end of WWII remember quite well when undergarments were boiled on the stove in a galvanized-iron wash bucket, and then cleaned by a thorough scrubbing over a wood-and-glass washboard whose grooved, wavy glass pattern removed the remaining dirt. They were then dried on an outdoors clothes line where the sun’s heat (and unappreciated ultraviolet rays) finished the cleaning process.

    In the 1950’s, commercial laundromats appeared in small-town grocery malls (10 cents for a single-use box of detergent, 25 cents to run a washing machine, 50 cents for a dryer). By the 1960’s, affordable consumer-level washer-drier combinations were on sale for home use.

    This progression had nothing to do with socialism or communism, but was simply home-grown American capitalism on the march.

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    1. I would really like to see the idiot chatterboxes on Twitter experience it every time they chirp how cute socialism is. In the USSR, we didn’t only do it in rural areas in the 1940s. We did it everywhere and all the way up to the 1990s.

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    2. My grandparents did this in US, and we did it in Spain in the 60s, and that wasn’t under socialism to say the least; it was also still a thing in parts of rural and unmodernized urban Scandinavia in the 70s, although many now had hot water and things like that; it’s in much of South America still

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      1. It wasn’t the generation of grandparents and it wasn’t in rural areas.

        Did you know there was only one bra size in the Soviet Union? Just one. And it didn’t help to know it was worse in the Middle Ages or that most women a thousand years ago died before needing a bra.

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        1. As I say, I’ve done it in Madrid, Aarhus (urban, but not modernised), Lima, São Paulo, and another large Brazilian city called Salvador, and it was not caused by the USSR, and I am talking about current and recent times. Yes, I know, USSR, there was a lot of stuff not there. My tendency still isn’t to compare to the opulent US of the time because obviously this is a sharp contrast. Brazil as comparison is somewhat more interesting, for the 20th century, another big, 3d world, varied country with combined and uneven development.

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          1. A meat store in socialist Poland… note the crowd and the lack of actual meat products (which would normally hang from the hooks on the back wall)

            Meat store on the ‘first day of capitalism’ in Poland…

            Under socialism most of the meat in the store would have been diffused through covert networks (stolen on the way from slaughter to store) and sold or bartered on the black market. Alternately it might be kept under the counter so that the sales staff could sell it covertly to cultivated customers.

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          2. I don’t think anybody who hasn’t experienced can even remotely know. Which Brazilian academics were forced to interrupt their work and go sort rotting potatoes for three weeks? Which hospital in Madrid operated on children without anaesthesia because children are supposedly incapable of feeling pain? Who in Lima experienced forced separation of sick children from parents that lasted months?

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            1. Oh, the Soviet-type or Soviet-tinged authoritarianism. The potatoes, that’s very Communist world. The no anaesthesia, we did it in the US on African Americans — there are actually a lot of standard procedures that were developed that way, via experimentation. They did it in jails in the 50s, too, to certain populations. The separation of children from parents, for health reasons, I’ve got some examples of that from non-Soviet places too. It seems to me that it’s not the particular privations, it’s their dehumanizing combination in a context of authoritarianism and absurd(ist?) Stalinist-type discourse that makes up the oppressive Soviet atmosphere — ¿no?

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      1. I’ve known, dealt with, and in a few cases, kissed people from Oklahoma and their descendants. You have no idea who you’re talking about when you opine about Elizabeth Warren. I’ve grown up around Okies, as they became known in Central California. You, of course, have nothing but ignorance and invectives on your side of the argument.

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    1. My family members are planning to travel to Ukraine next year, and I’m very curious to hear if this has changed Luke it has in Poland. The last time they went was in 2006, and it was still pretty bad. Even in the extremely expensive stores and restaurants, the attendants and servers very extremely rude and openly dishonest.

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      1. “I’m very curious to hear if this has changed”

        I’d be interested too (and am hoping for a series of posts on their observations an experiences). But, I wouldn’t expect that things are much better in Ukraine yet. The two necessary ingredients are time (and Ukraine has been at the social transformation project for a shorter period of time) and improved/improving standards of living (and/or generalized optimism about the direction of the country).
        At ground level it’s the kind of change you don’t notice happening until long after a shift has taken place and something happens that makes you think… “Oh, that’s new….”.

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