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    The Hallmarks of Communism

    By Sigrid Weidenweber

    The word hallmark stood for the impressed stamp on gold, silver or Platinum bars, or currency, guaranteeing the value of the commodity.  Time changed the meaning of the word to include deep, indelible characteristics or attributes of many things including governments and society.

    To state the hallmark of communism/socialism with brevity, it’s

    deepest imprint, one must speak, first, of its universally shared poverty and total loss of freedom.

    Once the changeover from a free society to communism occurs, the entire private ownership of anything, but the most personal items, is taken over by the state. Henceforth, all things belong to the government, or, as the new powers try to instill in the resisting minds of the populace, everything now belongs to you—the people. As your property is expropriated, you cannot complain or publicly mourn your loss, for your facility and the right to free speech has been terminated. As to the canard that everything now belongs to the people, just do not try to take anything from “your store” without paying the price and tax. Right then, you see that nothing belongs to the people but all is owned by the government.

     From the moment of takeover, the Communist party, heading the government, decides if you are politically worthy to have a job, and, what constitutes that job. The government also determines your earnings and how much in taxes, social and health obligations will be subtracted from your pay before you ever hold it in your hands. As a student, your teachers and the party decide if you are worthy to receive a place at university. If you are lucky to be allowed to study at university, the party often also decides what subjects you are to study. If teachers are needed, chances are that most students will be consigned to teacher’s colleges.

    Of course, this dictum does not hold true for all people. If you join the party and follow their rules and dictates, and of course, report

    the missteps of the unwilling to the enforcement apparatus, (KGB, SSD, or the Department of Truth,) life can be very good for you.

    The second imprint of the Communist hallmark, cutting deep, is the deprivation of free speech. Every communist country has a Department, Commission, or Committee of Truth, which is used for diverse purposes of shaping national discourse and solidifying all speech behind one meaning only. I assume that the newly instituted Disinformation Governance Board in America will be used to silence information that is not in line with the thinking of the Biden government. Stalin found such a department very helpful in disposing of an amazing amount if intellectuals that disagreed with the dictates of communist Stalinism.

    The following paragraph is a report about one day in a Communist state worker’s life.

    By law you are entitled to work eight hours a day, with a half hour

    lunch-brake and two fifteen minutes rest brakes. While you work and talk to co-workers, you carefully monitor the behavior of the other worker and frame your discourse according to party lines. You do not want to be in court and send to prison or reeducation.

    At five pm you promptly stop to work—no one gets overtime pay, and you want to go home to enjoy time with your family. Not so fast! You are corralled, by the party-secretary and his minions, into the meeting room, where you listen for one or two hours of speeches, enlightening you on the wonders the Communist government is holding in store for you.

    When you finally are allowed to leave the “education” session, you find that the government run store has a long line. You know, queuing in line like people did during the war or in other communist countries, that there are too few stores. Because everyone works all day and the stores are mostly empty, only to fill in the evening, the party decided to close all stores deemed unnecessary. Inside the store, people fume, but in subdued tones. If overheard by a party member, you can spend the next months, or two, in a re-education camp. People are upset, for there is no meat, no tomatoes and the last head of lettuce has just been sold.

    You ask yourself, “how can this happen? This store was full of produce in the morning?” A voice whispers into your ear, “two trucks broke down, and the repair shop closed at five promptly.”  You finally arrive at your home 7:30 pm and hope that your wife will make pasta, adding the cheese that you managed to buy. Surprise, your wife is not at home. Your daughter apprises you of the fact that mom is stuck in the re-education session at the hospital and will be late. You feed the kids with sandwiches and put them to bed. By now, simmering with deep-seated anger, you open a beer and decide to get drunk. Sitting in front of your old TV, you seek the channel of a free western country, and find that the channel has been blocked, for only gray dots dance on the screen. You go back for a second beer and the power goes out, for the whole grit had been running on solar energy and now that it is dark, the power station has not switched back to coal.

    Your wife arrives, promptly falling over your son’s tricycle in the dark hallway. She is badly hurt. You try to find her in the dark without stepping on her, cursing all the while because the flashlight that you refurbished with new batteries, does not work. They sold old batteries again. Somehow you find your wife, comforting her as much as you are able. You determine that her leg is broken. You call an ambulance, for you do not own a car. The nurse at the emergency station at the hospital apprises you of the fact that their emergency generator broke down only minutes ago and, therefore, they are unable to admit patients.

    The hour before midnight finds you sitting beside your wife on your couch, holding her tight as she cries herself to sleep.

    Welcome to the real world of socialism.

    The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal

     Sigrid Weidenweber grew up in communist East Berlin, escaping it using a French passport. Ms. Weidenweber holds a degree in medical technology as well as psychology and has course work in Anthropology.  She is co-founder of Aid for Afghans.  Weidenweber has traveled the world and lived with Pakistani Muslims, learning about the culture and religion. She is a published author and lecturer. You can find her books on

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