Dimitri climbed into the cheap metal chair with reused padding. The outfit he wore was a thin pink metallic plastic that was not very modest. He sat inside of a large metal dome with no lights, only the heavy hum of the generators outside. He had to wait in here two hours with the doors sealed so they could get enough power out of the generators to try the experiment, leaving him only time to think about everything he was leaving behind.
He remembered standing in the bread line that morning so his mom might have something to eat. He remembered walking past all the cars no one could afford any more or had fuel to use. Even as part of the experiment, they had nowhere to put him nicer than the ghettos. He was an older gentleman, being nearly 45. He remembered the revolution as a boy. He remembered living outside the city as a son of a wool merchant. They had what they needed, but his father wanted more. He wanted more for his son.
Dimitri wondered if standing in a bread line for eight hours so his mom could have enough for five meager meals was what his father had in mind. Yuri died because the hospital turn him away. He was too old for care at the ragged age of 37. Not for the kind of care he would need.
The hum in the sphere around him began to change and his heartrate picked up. He stared into the black and tried remembering his task — find out how long it takes for Communism to take over the world and how they did it. Use dropbox for the past to retrieve the information. He grew excited and scared as a light began to grow inside the sphere. And in a blink, everything changed.
Dimitri woke, his body half-buried near a stream, his thin plastic garment gone as if never there, and his skin was blue with cold. The overcast sky drained the pallid sunlight of its warmth. All he remembered before passing out was screaming for help and two boys appearing at the top of the bank.
When he woke up again, he was on something large and moving. His eyes peeked open to see a woman in a green flight suit standing over him, checking his vitals. As his eyes shifted to the patch on her shoulder, he was shocked to see an American flag before passing out again.
When he woke up the last time, it was peaceful. His heavy eyes creaked open to see a small room with amber lighting. As he came to, he looked around to see a clean bed, advanced medical equipment, warm colors on the wall, a vase of flowers. The broad curtained window on his left stretched the length of the room and bled daylight.
He looked around and stared at his IV bag. He had forgotten about the American standing over him in his dreams. Now the IV was in bold English, something he knew a little of as part of his foreign studies in preparation for the jump. He held his tongue with a nurse came in, along with an armed officer who watched him without interest. They brought him breakfast, which was the most delicious he’d ever tasted in his life, and then watched three people file into his room after he finished.
Dimitri swallowed. “I am Dimitri Barsukov. What year is it?”
Sergey exchanged glances with the other two. “It is 2005.”
Dimitri looked at them, afraid to ask the next question. “Where am I?”
“You are in Washington D.C.,” said Irina.
“And … it is ours?” Dimitri frowned, afraid he knew the answer.
They watched him and frowned.
“It is still the United States, is it,” Dimitri sighed. “Then we have failed. Our hope for peace, land and bread have failed. When did the Americans strike?”
Mikhail shook his head. “There was no strike. There was no hot war. Communism failed.”
“But,” Dimitri swallowed, “we fought so hard for equality, comrades. How did it fail?”
Irina’s eyes held deep compassion as she shook her head. “There was never equality, Dimitri. There was us and the rich. It was worse after Lenin than before. The only equality he guaranteed was for everyone but those in power to be equally poor. You know that.”
“Stalin and his gulags,” said Sergey. “Kruschev and his isolation. You and our parents suffered so greatly because of the belief you could make man what he already was.”
“Already was?” Dimitri frowned.
“Man is born equal and free, if different,” said Irina. “We tried to force all men to one kind of equality, as if you could force the diversity of our motherland to behave as one person.”
“Absolutely,” said Sergey. “But every leader in our history who ever promised to offer us at the point of a gun what we can only offer ourselves through voluntary hard work has only delivered war, theft and hunger. What year did you come from?”
“1950,” said Dimitri. “War was over. We were happy to be home.” Dimitri shook his head. “My family moved into the city hoping to leave the wool merchant business behind. We heard rumors of the peasants losing their land and being forced to work on communal farms. We just chose to believe Stalin would know best. It would be best for everyone. I don’t know why they fought so hard. I think a few thousand died.” Dimitri frowned.
The three exchanged glances.
“Dimitri,” said Irina, “Stalin killed twelve million while forcing peasants onto communal farms.”
Dimitri cried out, covering his mouth. “Twelve MILLION? That is impossible! The state could never waste so much life! That is impossible!”
Sergey shook his head. “I’m afraid it’s much worse. You see, they have calculated how many people died during the Soviet Union’s reign of forcing people to be free.” He hesitated. “More than 80 million Russians died between the Bolshevik revolution and the fall of communism in 1989.”
Dimitri stared, his eyes tearing up. “But … But they said it was best for everyone. How could killing 80,000,000 people be best for everyone? They promised central planning would improve our lives! Give us peace! Prosperity! We just thought it would take more time!”
“We were fools,” said Mikhail. “Those who promised us that a powerful state could solve our problems just kept saying ‘We only need more time and money.’ But it’s not true. They printed all the money they wanted, and it only helped the rich who spent it first. They had seventy years of complete control over our lives, and it didn’t work.”
“How,” tears fell from Dimitri’s eyes. “How did we fail?”
“The Soviet Union went bankrupt, my friend,” said Sergey. “There is not enough money to fulfill the promises of socialism, and one man was brave enough to end what was now know was little more than a power-hungry charade of wealthy politicians and mobsters. They never wanted to help us. They only wanted power for themselves.”
“What about capitalism of the United States? Why are we here? Surely it is bad here, too! We know capitalism is evil, and favors only the rich above the poor.”
Irina shook her head. “No. America never suffered like we did. It is true they have rich and poor, but because of their freedom, the rich were free to fail and the poor were free to climb from their poverty, two things that never happened under a planned state. We know that central planning abhors change, and does not allow people truly to change. Here, they experienced riots and fighting and lots of change, but because of freedom, they continued to shine! They never had bread lines or lost their homes because of politicians who promised that the poor could have what they did not earn.”
“But isn’t this unfair?”
“What is fair?” Mikhail asked. “Is it fair to take from one who has earned to give to one who has not? Is it fair to make a successful man pay for the failures of another? Is it fair to deny a man the ability to use himself to his own benefit so that another may do nothing and reap the same reward? It is fair, Dimitri, because freedom allows every man to do his very best against the disparate circumstances of life, at no one else’s cost and beholden to no one else’s mistakes.”
“But life is not fair to the poor!”
“But the state is unfair to everyone,” said Irina, catching his anger and holding his attention. “The state can only choose one winner and one loser. Freedom allows people to rise and fall as their individual circumstances dictate. In central planning, the rich never fall and the poor never rise until the entire system breaks. Is that truly fair? Is that right?”
“We were deceived, Dimitri,” said Mikhail.
“Is life better now, in Russia?”
“Life is a little better,” said Sergey. “But the mob bosses still control much.”
“But wouldn’t our government stop them?”
“Not if they controlled the government,” said Sergey. “And such men always control government when government can guarantee them the people’s money. What we need most is to end big government and teach people about freedom, so that there is more flux in the market and more competition.”
“And America? With all the evils we saw in the movies? With what they told us about them? Tell me about America.”
Sergey stood and walked to the window and smiled. “Want to see what freedom looks like? Take a look.” With that, he drew the curtain.
Our own political parties are promising the benefits of central planning, but never has central planning proved the best option for sentient human beings. With our own great disparity of maturities — physically, emotionally, spiritually, and economically — no one can be promised absolute equality, because we are organically unequal, whether in circumstance or in innate quality. Freedom has always allowed human beings the true flexibility to adjust to circumstances, grow with prosperity and take loss in stride, so long as a central force does not interfere. UCLA recently showed through a study that the Great Depression lasted seven years longer than it should have specifically because of Hoover’s and FDR’s attempt at central planning. It doesn’t work in the long-term. It never has.
Look at our political parties and whomever promises you the government can provide best should be distrusted. Read the article below by the highest ranking Soviet defector in history and see what he has to say about our political parties and how they are more and more Marxist, every day.