Pravda – April 19, 2013

by aem00

1. The political culture of the social environment was very tense and nerve racking. Writing while someone walks around and stares at your paper without saying anything is not fun. The editor and party official created a sense that you were always being watched which made it uncomfortable. The scenario was neat though and taught me a lot about how the situations makes one feel when writing for a state newspaper.

2. Trust is almost non-existant when working like this. You never know who might rat you out in the group as the party official is always looking for someone to be made an example of. Social capital is greatly reduced and the writers are forced to give up any sort of individuality. This scene would force a journalist to not use any of the skills they are accustomed to like critiquing. 

3. The party official should be tried and sent to a prison because he helped majorly to create the feeling of distrust among many people. The editor should be forced out of his job and to a minor writing job critiquing the policies of the former regime. The informants should be outed so people know who they are.

4. The prospects of building a democracy seems challenging after this type of political culture. The amount of distrust that exists would be hard to overcome. Many reforms would be needed, but slowly in my opinion. The new leaders would have to work very hard to gain the trust of the people. Elderly people would probably have a hard time adjusting after the regime ends, but I think young people would be better at accepting the new challenges. Free speech would have to be entrenched in the new culture to be built without anyone compromising that. 

5. One thing I had not known about the communist political system was the use of informants. They seem to be in a precocious position because they themselves and their families may be at stake if they don’t rat on someone. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The sheer number of informants amazed me in communist Russia and they definitely contributed to the sense of animosity and distrust that was very prevalent.

6. I think the most enlightening thing that happened was the fact that in my group of 5, only I made it out without some sort of reprimand. Everyone else got in trouble for either not being supportive of the regime or saying something bad about our great leader. Someone said I would make a good communist.