Life Before and After the Fall of Communism in the Czech Republic

Life Before and After the Fall of Communism in the Czech Republic

Do 1 Life Before and After the Fall of Communism in the Czech Republic Recently the senate and county elections in the Czech Republic confirmed that the preference of Czech voters is shifting to the left, what’s more the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia got the second highest number of votes. The results are disturbing, because the last time Communists won the polls, the Czechs ended up being oppressed for over 40 years until they managed to overthrow the government. Now it seems that the same people have suffered from a collective memory loss.

Have they forgotten how life was before 1989 and what crimes the communists committed during their reign? Voting for the communists is a mistake, which should never be made, because it is considerably better not to have them interfere in our lives. One of the biggest differences between now and then is the atmosphere of the time. Back then people described the atmosphere as “shades of grey”. They were not encouraged to be different, on contrary individualism was oppressed and frowned upon. As a result most of the people were afraid to do or say anything that would make them stand out of the crowd.

This resulted also in an atmosphere of fear. Nowadays individualism is supported in almost any area possible. From a young age people are pushed to be creative and this creativity distinguishes us from others. We have freedom of speech, which means that we can complain about anything even our current government, whereas back then if you said anything negative about the communists they would put you in prison. The concept of freedom was also very different. There wasn’t a real democracy with the communists in power. The communistic regime in Czechoslovakia was characterized by the absence of free elections.

Many basic human rights were limited such as freedom in political or religious beliefs, freedom of speech, the right to assemble or the right to education. This affected the Do 2 lives of people immensely and many of them were unsatisfied and angry, however the majority of the society was afraid to do anything. The reason was that the communists got rid of inconvenient people. They fired people, they made sure their children couldn’t get on the desired universities; they blackmailed, tortured and killed people through staged trials.

For the majority of society it was simpler to act as if they were okay with the regime. In this day and age human rights are secured through countless declarations, laws and treaties. International organizations oversee observance and countries that breach these contracts have to face sanctions and they have to answer to the International Court of Justice. There are also major differences in the everyday life of normal people back then and now. During the reign of Communists it was forbidden to travel out of Czechoslovakia.

Only those, who had special permission, could travel abroad and even then, most of these people were monitored by the secret service. Communism is strictly against capitalism hence the Communists tried to convince the public that the capitalistic countries were bad and that economically and socially communistic countries were better off than most of the western capitalistic world. Thus they couldn’t let people travel abroad, because it would be clear right away that they were knowingly deceiving them. People had also a hard time when they went to shop.

There were no products from capitalistic countries and everywhere the selection was very poor. Things as clothes, modern technology or even meat were scarce products. This may sound almost unbelievable to a person, who didn’t experience this era or who was born after the fall of communism. We live in a global world today. People travel to the furthest corners of the world. It takes a few clicks to order anything from anywhere in the world through the Internet. People are surrounded by shopping malls with a huge selection. In other words we have everything that we need at the reach of our hands. Do 3

As we can see life during the communistic regime was much harder than life today and it was full of fear, uncertainty, and injustice. People lost many of their basic human rights, they had to suppress their individuality and succumb to the regime. If we compare it to the life that we have now, we have really nothing to complain about and it is obvious that we are better off without the Communists in the government. It is then very hard to comprehend why the Czechs are forgetting so quickly, what the communists have done in this country only a few decades ago and why so many of them have voted in their favor.

I would suggest more informational campaigns about this period of history in order for the Czechs to learn properly about their history, because as George Santayana once wrote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (1). Do Thuy Linh (Linda) Paula Solon Composition I Comparison and Contrast Essay – Life Before and After the Fall of Communism in the Czech Republic November 8, 2012 Essay Outline Thesis: Voting for the communists is a mistake, which should never be made, because it is considerably better not to have them interfere in our lives.

Introduction: The results of recent elections in the Czech Republic show a shift of voters’ preference to the left. The most disturbing outcome is that the second highest number of votes belongs to the Communists. The atmosphere back then and now. “Shades of grey” and atmosphere of fear People feel safe and free Concept of freedom back then and now/ There was no real democracy and basic human rights were violated Human rights are nowadays secured through countless international contracts Everyday life of normal people back then and now.

Things as travelling and shopping were hindered or denied Today in this global world we can go anywhere and buy almost anything Conclusion: Comparing life back then and now it is clear that we have nothing to complain about. It is then hard to believe how the Communists got so many votes. Maybe the Czechs need more informational campaigns in order to learn properly about their history. Works Cited 1. Santayana, George. The Life of Reason. London: Prometheus Books, 1998. Print.