or sometime now there have been many articles published online on various platforms presenting an anecdote as a true story that actually happened. Although the anecdote is a legend that had been created by the Soviet author Chingiz Aitmatov, it does show the reality of the Soviet Union under Stalinist communism. The anecdote is presented in a novel written by Aitmatov, entitled “The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years” which was published in 1988 and received quite a good readership in the west.
How to control people via Communism
The legend goes as follows. Staling gathered his closest comrades-in-arms as they were all wondering how does everyone within the Soviet Union follow as if he was some sort of God. He wanted to give them a lesson on the attitude you need to have towards people. He ordered a live chicken to be brought to him.
Stalin started to pluck the chicken’s feathers down to the red flesh and bloodstains until only the comb on its head was left (torture like no other for a chicken). Then he let the chicken go free where ever it wanted, but it went nowhere. It was too hot to go in the sun and too cold to stay in the shade, the poor chicken only pressed itself against Stalin’s boot for some sort of comfort.
After that Stalin tossed it a crumb of grain which the bird ate right away. The bird started to follow Stalin anywhere he would go despite how warm or cold it was because it knew it would receive just enough food in order to not die from hunger. He told his comrades, “That is how to govern people”.
Despite this story only being a legend created by Aitmatov, he described perfectly how the common Soviet citizen was being treated under Stalin’s rule. The concept of Stalinist communism is to control the power of the masses by offering as little as possible in exchange. Just like in the legend, it does not matter how much pain you inflict, as long as you throw a worthless treat once, in a while, the masses will follow.
In this context, we are looking at the masses as people how had pretty much nothing under their name. Everything to them was offered by the government and it could be as easily taken in exchange for a long life of labor where the government would only assure you the bare minimum, food, shelter, and clothes.
Don’t think of plucking the chicken as a context for being beaten or tortured by the government. This translated more to the demonstrations that would be portrayed during the Stalinist era of imposters being better to show the power that the government had over the people, assuring their rested minds that there was no way they could go above Stalin.
When it comes to communism, Stalin had truly created the darkest side that was only working towards creating a powerful empire despite the unworthy sacrifices made by the masses. It is not like the masses had any choice. If you tried to leave the country as an ordinary citizen without much of a valid reason they would shoot you and get a permit to leave the country you had to know people in high command.
Stalinist communism was truly one of the most efficient governments when it came to economical growth, but when it came to the life quality of its people there was mainly one standard of living that was similar to today’s lower-class citizens. Most of the people with power were popular aristocrats that had good relations with countries from the west.
Can this be seen in our society?
We cannot really compare our current society or any sort of government, nor any political system to be as atrocious as communism during the first half of the 20th century, but is this anecdote far from the living standards of some people within 3rd world countries?
It could be very much argued so by some people. We who are fortunate enough to not know these struggles personally should not be allowed to comment, but a question must be raised. How much longer until the masses gain control?