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Author Topic: View on Communism  (Read 11403 times)

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Offline Xenophile

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #50 on: May 08, 2011, 03:23:28 PM »
Yeah, comparing the life of the US citizen today with that of the citizen of the USSR is ridiculous. But I am a history nerd and a political scientist, so I had to be a little wise-ass back there <3

Online Dashenka

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #51 on: May 08, 2011, 03:30:33 PM »
Gulags were only for 'criminals'. So in fact in was a sort of prison. Something America hasn't exactly got a good name at. Let alone some European countries. I think a lot of people here judge communism on what they have read in books or internet and not entirely on experiences.

Communism was/is just as good/bad as ANY democracy in the current world. Anybody claiming otherwise has either no idea what communism is like or has no idea how a democracy works.

Offline Xenophile

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #52 on: May 08, 2011, 03:42:01 PM »
The thing that we in the western world usually call "communism" is attributed to the Soviet Union, which was in effect a totalitarian state using the political doctrine "Communism" and "Socialism" as cover-ups and justifications for it's existence. It was created as an model for an idealistic utopia, but it was hi-jacked by dictators. Communism is one of those rather odd political systems that has never been "properly implemented", so that is why some cling to it as ideal, because no true form of communism has been achieved. China, Cuba and Russia's implementations where just phonies and tools to fool people into working for the state (and the dictator) and at the same time work for a new world order, which was what the citizens where lead to believe.

I can't say that Communism is comparable with Democracy. I can imagine a situation where a heavily socialized nation or state-capitalistic country can be governed by a democratic system. Communism is an idealized political system, while democracy is a method of producing political leaders. But if you mean that a Communistic nation is just as bad or good as any democratic nation, then I vehemently disagree. That would be like saying that the 1980's Soviet Union was as peace-loving as 1980's Norway. It simply isn't true.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 03:43:38 PM by Xenophile »

Offline Jude

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #53 on: May 08, 2011, 04:10:59 PM »
Gulags were only for 'criminals'.
Prisons aren't inhabited by criminals.  Their tenants are convicts.  To be a convict you don't necessarily need to have done anything wrong, you just need to be convicted of having done something wrong.  There are two sticking points here, wrong according to who and what's the process of conviction that determines if you have or not?  The Soviet Union was notoriously abusive through both of those caveats:  they imprisoned people using faulty, simplistic, and unfair judicial methods, and had really bad definitions of what wrong was to begin with.  The Gulags were full of people who were convicted by Troika and people who's only crime was being a political dissident, for instance.
So in fact in was a sort of prison. Something America hasn't exactly got a good name at. Let alone some European countries. I think a lot of people here judge communism on what they have read in books or internet and not entirely on experiences.
Experiences are an isolated snapshot of a much larger picture.  They aren't a very good method of determining whether something is good, bad, true, false, or anything else.  There are people who have received raises within the past 3 years, so to them the global economy might seem to be in a state of growth, but that doesn't change the fact that the average person is losing real wages.  Statistics greatly outweigh anecdotes as a tool for determining fact with any degree of impartiality and consistency.

Though I do agree with you about the internet; you can find some reliable information online, but you have to be careful of the source -- the same is true for books to a lesser degree.  However, accepted global history is where people really get a negative view of communism, not any isolated source of information.  I'm sure some of what we've come to accept as history is unfairly harsh, but it's hard to deny that the overriding sentiment of negativity towards it has basis in reality.  Then there's little thought experiments like these (which are admittedly again based on historical analysis):  name one stable communist state that has ever existed which wasn't guilty of massive human rights abuses.
Communism was/is just as good/bad as ANY democracy in the current world. Anybody claiming otherwise has either no idea what communism is like or has no idea how a democracy works.
That's a pretty bold claim that really flies in the face of a lot of strongly held opinions and the educated treatises of most historical/political experts.  It is widely held, and for good reason given how one can name countless failures to implement communism and how they led to horrific tragedies, that communism is a failed ideology.  However, I am more than willing to give you the benefit of the doubt if you can produce some interesting evidence to the contrary.  There could be bias clouding our global judgment of communism that emanates from cultural chauvinism.  If that's the case, I'd love to be exposed to a source of information that could lay out the truth for me, but as is I see no reason to believe anything but the opposite of that.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 04:17:58 PM by Jude »

Offline Newbie

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #54 on: May 08, 2011, 04:19:51 PM »
As many other people have said already, Communism is a beautiful idea, poorly implemented.

But all evolution--be it political, social or genetic--is a long process, and we are simply bearing witness to a small fraction of time in human history where Democracy is the way of the land.

Offline Xenophile

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #55 on: May 08, 2011, 04:23:02 PM »
As many other people have said already, Communism is a beautiful idea, poorly implemented.

But all evolution--be it political, social or genetic--is a long process, and we are simply bearing witness to a small fraction of time in human history where Democracy is the way of the land.

And all of our history, wherever communism was used as a slogan by a state, that state became corrupt. At least democracy gives us some variation.

Online Dashenka

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #56 on: May 08, 2011, 04:29:26 PM »
Well what is happening to that soldier who 'leaked' to wikileaks? Reports are that whatever is happening to him isn't all that good. And then I haven't even started about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. So as for prison camps or whatever you want to call it, Communism and America aren't that far off.


Secondly... they are both as bad but in different ways. Sure communism in Russia wasn't perfect but if you were an ordinary person, you'd have a good life. You had food, you had a house, you had your free time etc. Sure the western world was 'free' but, I know this sounds so corny, they were a slave to the money. If you have/had money, you could do anything you want but unfortunately that system had a problem, being poverty.

With all due respect to most 'western' countries, by the time of the Cold War, the Soviet Union did not have a lot of debt to other countries wereas America was and still is consumed by debts. Everybody in Russia had a basic education and again, with all due respect, I don't believe that everybody in America or other western countries have had basic education. So where 'free world' economies were better for a select few of rich people who could afford to live 'free' and in luxury but to the majority, it was bad because they lived in poverty.

Now communism wasn't perfect as I agree. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and I very much believe in this. Stalin is responsible for the biggest human induced famine and holocaust in the world ever, not Hitler, simply because he had all the power, which is the biggest problem of the Soviet Union. By the time it opened up, it had such a terrible image that the good things about communism are totally forgotten and that is what seriously bothers me with the view of some people. Don't judge the Soviet Union or China's communism on the bad things because when you do that, do compare them to the bad things caused by the western world and if you want examples of what I see as bad things caused by 'capitalism' I will PM that to you if you ask because I feel that it's not really appropriate to discuss that here on this topic.

Offline Newbie

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #57 on: May 08, 2011, 04:31:50 PM »
And all of our history, wherever communism was used as a slogan by a state, that state became corrupt. At least democracy gives us some variation.
Yep!

And I imagine Democracy will continue to be the government of choice for most people in the world for a long, long time to come.  But I also believe communism is sound in that, in the same way that nations and oppressed states overthrew aristocratic monarchies and oppressive tyrants, people will eventually grow tired of a need to be governed at all.

But communism as a government, in the sense of a ruling party or individual governing a larger group of people, is simply absurd and contradictory to itself.  It's, more or less, choosing a government to not govern!  It doesn't make sense!

Offline Xenophile

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #58 on: May 08, 2011, 04:46:24 PM »
So as for prison camps or whatever you want to call it, Communism and America aren't that far off.

The USA is HARDLY a fair representation of the democracy in all of the world. Besides, you are confusing Communism, a political doctrine, with a nation that will have fluctuating political doctrines from time to time.


Sure the western world was 'free' but, I know this sounds so corny, they were a slave to the money. If you have/had money, you could do anything you want but unfortunately that system had a problem, being poverty.

The USSR had rich people and poor people too. The thing was that the ratio was very, very different. The wages for the majority was just enough so that they could feed and clothe themselves. With most democratic nations, there is some disposable income that gives them the kind of freedom that people with minimum wage simply cannot enjoy.

With all due respect to most 'western' countries, by the time of the Cold War, the Soviet Union did not have a lot of debt to other countries wereas America was and still is consumed by debts.

The USSR was destroyed by a failed economy. And by the time of the Cold War? That was a time period of more than 40 years! Debts and surplus fluctuated as time passed for all nations during that time!

Everybody in Russia had a basic education and again, with all due respect, I don't believe that everybody in America or other western countries have had basic education.

Illiteracy does not exist in some democratic countries, like Sweden, due to a long tradition of mandatory basic education. That is not a unique communist event.

By the time it opened up, it had such a terrible image that the good things about communism are totally forgotten and that is what seriously bothers me with the view of some people. Don't judge the Soviet Union or China's communism on the bad things because when you do that, do compare them to the bad things caused by the western world and if you want examples of what I see as bad things caused by 'capitalism' I will PM that to you if you ask because I feel that it's not really appropriate to discuss that here on this topic.

The bad press that the USSR and the PRC suffer is rightfully due. Whatever good things they have created is overshadowed by the bad things they have done. Whatever good that totalitarian communistic states have brought to the world could have been done with, say, socialistic democratic nations. It didn't need the whole package.

Offline Zakharra

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #59 on: May 08, 2011, 04:47:56 PM »
Well what is happening to that soldier who 'leaked' to wikileaks? Reports are that whatever is happening to him isn't all that good. And then I haven't even started about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. So as for prison camps or whatever you want to call it, Communism and America aren't that far off.


Secondly... they are both as bad but in different ways. Sure communism in Russia wasn't perfect but if you were an ordinary person, you'd have a good life. You had food, you had a house, you had your free time etc. Sure the western world was 'free' but, I know this sounds so corny, they were a slave to the money. If you have/had money, you could do anything you want but unfortunately that system had a problem, being poverty.

With all due respect to most 'western' countries, by the time of the Cold War, the Soviet Union did not have a lot of debt to other countries wereas America was and still is consumed by debts. Everybody in Russia had a basic education and again, with all due respect, I don't believe that everybody in America or other western countries have had basic education. So where 'free world' economies were better for a select few of rich people who could afford to live 'free' and in luxury but to the majority, it was bad because they lived in poverty.

Now communism wasn't perfect as I agree. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and I very much believe in this. Stalin is responsible for the biggest human induced famine and holocaust in the world ever, not Hitler, simply because he had all the power, which is the biggest problem of the Soviet Union. By the time it opened up, it had such a terrible image that the good things about communism are totally forgotten and that is what seriously bothers me with the view of some people. Don't judge the Soviet Union or China's communism on the bad things because when you do that, do compare them to the bad things caused by the western world and if you want examples of what I see as bad things caused by 'capitalism' I will PM that to you if you ask because I feel that it's not really appropriate to discuss that here on this topic.

 Name one First World nation that regularly shoots, imprisons or actively 'disuades' it's citizens then they disagree with the government. Except for the last few years, the USSR did that for it's entire existance. The First world nations also let it's citizens free to move around. You couldn't do that in the USSR. Here you can do what you want, move if you want,change jobs, shout at the government and politicians. There that would get you shot.

 The USSR actively crushed any dissidents and controlled their economy with an iron fist. Sure the citizens had food in their bellies a roof over their head and state funded education,m but what you seem to be missing is it was ALL under the control of the state. You did what the government said, when it said and how it was said, or you suffered for it. The citizens of the USSR were far more slaves than any citizen of a First World nation.

 Here we have the option and ablity to change our government. That was lacking there.

Offline Xenophile

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #60 on: May 08, 2011, 04:50:49 PM »
And I imagine Democracy will continue to be the government of choice for most people in the world for a long, long time to come.  But I also believe communism is sound in that, in the same way that nations and oppressed states overthrew aristocratic monarchies and oppressive tyrants, people will eventually grow tired of a need to be governed at all.

Most communist rebellions have been made in countries with little or no democratic experience, so the people had a skewed idea of their alternatives. If you had no idea what democracy was, what would be most appealing?

#1 We all spend lots of time and money to pick one of us to lead all of us. Kinda like a king for a few years!

#2 We all rule this land together and forever as equals!

And it is for that "charismatic bonus" that makes communism so easy to exploit the masses with.

Online Dashenka

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #61 on: May 08, 2011, 04:57:29 PM »
I can name a few and for the sake of it I will.

1.) America. For obvious reasons and the whole wikileaks story.
2.) The whole Middle East. For obvious reasons as well.
3.) Most European countries as well. Mostly Eastern European countries, but also Germany, the Netherlands and France. If yo do exactly as the government wants you to do, you are fine but if you are slightly different, you end up ignored or behind bars.

What was the general idea of Emo's, Skaters, Hippies? Were they accepted or be looked on as a bit weird? I'm sorry I don't call that free.


Secondly, maybe the people weren't free but what's the point in being free of the government and then end up having no money, no food or no house?


I'm not sure which country you are from Zakharra but name one country that actually changed after a change of government? They are still bothered with their own well being and don't give a crap about the normal people. If you fit the system but if you fall out of the system.. bang.. tough luck. It's happening in America, it's happening in Europe and sadly it's happening in Russia in high speed now as well. Communism wouldn't have that.

Offline Xenophile

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2011, 05:03:53 PM »
Emo's and skaters? You're talking about outsider social groups that don't mesh with the mainstream, we're discussing about persecution of individuals by the state. Just as the skaters are free to muck about in their skate parks, others are free to deny them jobs because they look and behave like slackers, or avoid them socially.

Dashenka, I can name one nation that changed after a change of government. 1930's Sweden. The country changed for all time after a dominance by the Social Democratic Party that lasted 40 years, and it started with one election.

Offline Newbie

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #63 on: May 08, 2011, 05:04:09 PM »
Most communist rebellions have been made in countries with little or no democratic experience, so the people had a skewed idea of their alternatives. If you had no idea what democracy was, what would be most appealing?

#1 We all spend lots of time and money to pick one of us to lead all of us. Kinda like a king for a few years!

#2 We all rule this land together and forever as equals!

And it is for that "charismatic bonus" that makes communism so easy to exploit the masses with.

And that's exactly why people aren't ready for Communism!  I agree, Communism, as an idea, is infinitely more appealing to a nation that has never experienced a tyrant.  To a nation that has experienced "communism", as we've seen it, Democracy becomes preferred.  And once a people have grown tired of having one person, or one group, make decisions, even for a short while, what next?  There is always another step, and I think it would be vain of us to think that Democracy is the be-all-end-all of governments.  There has to be something else, and it seems like communism is the direction we are headed to.  There may be variants between the two, but I think it is inevitable that something resembling communist theory becomes the norm for countries who have become socially and culturally mature enough to have it as the norm.  And eventually, we'll find something "better", or at least more appropriate, than communism.

I believe communism, as envisioned by Marx (and not Trotsky, Lenin et al.), is inevitable, but there is no way any living society on this earth could function under communism at this point in our history.

Offline Oniya

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Re: View on Communism
« Reply #64 on: May 08, 2011, 05:10:44 PM »
What was the general idea of Emo's, Skaters, Hippies? Were they accepted or be looked on as a bit weird? I'm sorry I don't call that free.

There's more than a slight difference between being 'looked on as a bit weird', and 'not being free to express oneself', whether that's by wearing one's hair long, dressing in black with black eye-liner, or building a half-pipe in the back yard.  There were no laws put into effect mandating haircuts, anyone who wants to can still buy black clothes and makeup, and Tony Hawk still makes tons of money on that whole skateboarding thing.

Check out a movie called 'Swing Kids' for a situation where that freedom of expression was actively dissuaded.

Offline Xenophile

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2011, 05:12:01 PM »
And that's exactly why people aren't ready for Communism!  I agree, Communism, as an idea, is infinitely more appealing to a nation that has never experienced a tyrant.  To a nation that has experienced "communism", as we've seen it, Democracy becomes preferred.  And once a people have grown tired of having one person, or one group, make decisions, even for a short while, what next?  There is always another step, and I think it would be vain of us to think that Democracy is the be-all-end-all of governments.  There has to be something else, and it seems like communism is the direction we are headed to.  There may be variants between the two, but I think it is inevitable that something resembling communist theory becomes the norm for countries who have become socially and culturally mature enough to have it as the norm.  And eventually, we'll find something "better", or at least more appropriate, than communism.

I believe communism, as envisioned by Marx (and not Trotsky, Lenin et al.), is inevitable, but there is no way any living society on this earth could function under communism at this point in our history.

I think it is inevitable for groups to attempt to create a communist utopia, but it would be difficult to have a communist system without a either a strictly centralized government, or a very decentralized government. Both lead to their own negative consequences.

But I do not agree that the type of communism that was envisioned by Marx will inevitably become reality. He was a man of his time, who rebelled against the conditions of his time and painted up a hypothetical scenario as HE said would become inevitable. He was a national economist at heart, but he was not a historian, a political scientist or a sociologist. I would not think that he is the prophet of some inevitable utopia of the future.

Online Dashenka

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #66 on: May 08, 2011, 05:12:58 PM »
Funny how all of you seem to ignore how the US treats it's citizens when they are suspected to be 'enemy of the state' and the whole Guantanamo Bay issue.

Offline Sure

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #67 on: May 08, 2011, 05:21:08 PM »
Funny how all of you seem to ignore how the US treats it's citizens when they are suspected to be 'enemy of the state' and the whole Guantanamo Bay issue.

Guantanamo Bay does not hold US citizens, full stop.

Further, such laws which are used for unlawful enemy combatants have only been used on three American citizens, one of whom renounced his citizenship and the other two were given trials eventually.

And while I'm at it, I should probably mention that all three citizens were captured by US forces in Afghanistan, not arrested while in the US.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 05:24:49 PM by Sure »

Online Dashenka

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #68 on: May 08, 2011, 05:24:17 PM »
But it was run by America, which makes it even worse. But it wasn't about prisons I was trying to make a point that both Communism and any form of Democracy are equally bad... they both have their strong points and both have their weaknesses and I believe that they equal eachother out pretty nicely.

Offline Xenophile

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2011, 05:26:01 PM »
Funny how all of you seem to ignore how the US treats it's citizens when they are suspected to be 'enemy of the state' and the whole Guantanamo Bay issue.

But nobody claimed that the USA should represent the entire western world. It is a superpower, and superpowers have super-sized worries. And often bloated fears, but never a shortage of enemies. I can only speak for myself, but Gitmo is one of those "secret businesses" that every western nation has been involved in, but for some reason is common knowledge. Yes, it breaks all kinds of international laws, but some of it can be justified. Detaining suspected terrorists? Alright. Detaining them indefinitely and sometimes without evidence? That's awful.

But that is nothing compared to the Soviet gulags, or the treatment of the client nations like Poland and the Ukraine. or political activists that only wanted some measure of freedom. A constitutional democracy has laws that protect citizens and grants them liberties, especially if they want to criticize their government and it's politicians, but there is no such safety-net in a communist nation. There you either are with the revolution, or against the revolution.
Guantanamo Bay was intentionally a dump for terrorists that couldn't immediately be processed by the legal system, and it evolved to a holding ground of suspects and detainees that would have embarrassed the USA if they got out. The Gulags where made to force criminals and political dissidents into slave labours or at best re-education, hoping that they would just whittle down and die either bodily or in spirit. It stayed pretty much the same for the entire time of the camp's existence, as all contra-revolutionaries where criminals and they needed to be either re-educated or sent away as an example for all other would-be criminals to the state and the people.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 05:32:20 PM by Xenophile »

Online Dashenka

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #70 on: May 08, 2011, 05:30:32 PM »

But that is nothing compared to the Soviet gulags, or the treatment of the client nations like Poland and the Ukraine. or political activists that only wanted some measure of freedom. A constitutional democracy has laws that protect citizens and grants them liberties, especially if they want to criticize their government and it's politicians, but there is no such safety-net in a communist nation. There you either are with the revolution, or against the revolution.



So you rather be 'free' and homeless and starving, than 'not free' but with a house and food and everything taken care off? That's basically the question from what I understand about all of you. If it is, it's fine but my grandparents and my parents never felt 'a prisoner' in the Soviet Union. In fact my grandparents like it better when it was all taken care off, because you didn't have to worry about money as they have now. I rather live in the Soviet Union with a roof over my head and food on the table, than in any other country on the street living off other people's left overs.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #71 on: May 08, 2011, 05:31:21 PM »
And since the Wikileaks soldier was brought up briefly, I did some poking around. Bradley Manning is his name, and he's currently being held in medium security at Fort Levenworth, with access to entertainment, visitors, and other prisoners.

Online Dashenka

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #72 on: May 08, 2011, 05:35:04 PM »
And since the Wikileaks soldier was brought up briefly, I did some poking around. Bradley Manning is his name, and he's currently being held in medium security at Fort Levenworth, with access to entertainment, visitors, and other prisoners.

For somebody who told the truth, that's a bit harsh isn't it?? Again it's not the point of this conversation, but how is his treatment any better than what happened in gulags? Detaining 'innocent' people because somebody said something bad about a country? In my opinion that's even worse than a gulag and it proof that the US government is just as dirty as the Soviet government was. Except in the US people actually voted to install them and in the Soviet Union they had no choice. Now you pick.. which is worse?

Offline Sure

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #73 on: May 08, 2011, 05:39:21 PM »
But it was run by America, which makes it even worse. But it wasn't about prisons I was trying to make a point that both Communism and any form of Democracy are equally bad... they both have their strong points and both have their weaknesses and I believe that they equal eachother out pretty nicely.

I fail to see how that is. You are not a US Citizen, you do not have the same rights as a US citizen.

Sheer numbers make up the difference. There have never been more than six hundred detainees as Guantanamo Bay. In 1931, more than 200,000 Soviet Citizens were in the gulags. Their numbers got bigger from there. On top of that, the survival rate at Guantanamo Bay is much higher than that of a Gulag.

You have failed to prove your point so far, other than basically pointing out that Democracy is not perfect. It isn't. We are claiming it is better than Soviet-style Communism.

Quote
So you rather be 'free' and homeless and starving, than 'not free' but with a house and food and everything taken care off? That's basically the question from what I understand about all of you. If it is, it's fine but my grandparents and my parents never felt 'a prisoner' in the Soviet Union. In fact my grandparents like it better when it was all taken care off, because you didn't have to worry about money as they have now. I rather live in the Soviet Union with a roof over my head and food on the table, than in any other country on the street living off other people's left overs.

The fault presumption underlying this is that you would be better off economically under Communism. With the exception of Hungary, the norm of the Soviet Communism was long queues and a shortage of all sorts of goods, plus basics like food. It was a common practice in urban areas to apply for housing at a child's birth, knowing it would take long enough he would get the house in his twenties.

Further, there were a good deal of strikes triggered by working conditions, generally suppressed by force. I'd say ask the Polish Udarniks how good their economic life was, but they were shot for striking.

There was definitely homelessness and starvation in the Soviet Union, by the way.

Quote
For somebody who told the truth, that's a bit harsh isn't it?? Again it's not the point of this conversation, but how is his treatment any better than what happened in gulags? Detaining 'innocent' people because somebody said something bad about a country? In my opinion that's even worse than a gulag and it proof that the US government is just as dirty as the Soviet government was. Except in the US people actually voted to install them and in the Soviet Union they had no choice. Now you pick.. which is worse?

He didn't criticize the US, he leaked US files. He is, if nothing else, guilty of theft. Also, Kansas is not comparable to Siberia. As for criticism, you do realize that the KGB would arrest people for embarrassing the Soviet Union? Not criticizing it, just embarrassing it.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 05:42:19 PM by Sure »

Offline Xenophile

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #74 on: May 08, 2011, 05:40:02 PM »

So you rather be 'free' and homeless and starving, than 'not free' but with a house and food and everything taken care off? That's basically the question from what I understand about all of you. If it is, it's fine but my grandparents and my parents never felt 'a prisoner' in the Soviet Union. In fact my grandparents like it better when it was all taken care off, because you didn't have to worry about money as they have now. I rather live in the Soviet Union with a roof over my head and food on the table, than in any other country on the street living off other people's left overs.

And the reason why you can say that you would rather live in a nation with a different government is because you are not currently living in a Soviet dictatorship.
Are you really defending the USSR? it murdered millions, and the leaders enforced a vicious campaign to root out dissidents, or even people that only wanted a choice of politicians. They lived in a prison. A prison with a comfy bed and nice food is a comfy prison, but it is still a prison. Many, many tried to flee the oppression. Are you going to ignore the fact that a great number of people where willing to risk their lives to flee, what you describe as a pretty nice place?