1.3 Suspicion Towards Democracy
Communist propaganda has always demonised western democracy, and this penetrated deep into the social psyche. It is true that some of the communist critique of capitalism was justified, but this partial truth was always blended with so many lies and distortions that it became impossible to distinguish the truth from the falsehood. Things went so far that in many of the former communist countries people can hardly bring themselves to utter the word ‘capitalism’, while many openly admit that they hold socialist views (or social-democratic ones, which are basically quite similar; or much of a muchness, as the saying goes).
Because of this constant propaganda bombardment, people who have lived for many years under communism develop a sort of ‘ideological allergy’ towards everything that comes from the west. This ‘allergy’ may become dormant in the initial phase of transition towards democracy, but is reactivated as soon as the cost of living under freedom becomes apparent.
Things are quite different for younger people who did not live under communism for long enough to be so effectively brainwashed by its propaganda. This is why the real hope for building a truly democratic society rests with the youngest generations, while those under 35 could also be of help, but only to the extent that they become aware of their handicaps. Traveling outside their countries could help these people become aware of the extent to which their thinking and their reflexes have been conditioned by the communist ethos, even if they were never part of the system from an ideological point of view.