Living in a Communist Dungeon: Plato's Cave

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Living in a communist dungeon was like living in the Plato’s Cave

In Plato’s book, the Republic, in a story that the ancient Greek philosopher shows to his student Glaucon, by using an allegory of peoples that are condemned to live in a cave for all their lives, the philosopher shows how people can be deceived by many images that they see from the distance and when they have not enough information to judge them. The life of the people who lived in the communist Eastern Europe during the second half of the twentieth century resembled very much with Plato’s prisoners. Isolated from the rest of the world, often misinformed about what was going on behind the iron curtain, they were deprived from understanding what was going on with the rest of the world. This was the case with us, the people of Albania. The communist regime that was installed in our country after the Second World War had isolated us from the rest of the world. The regime used its social tools, such as the media, the schools, social organizations and every other tool that was under its possession, to blindfold the people into believing that life in communist Albania was like in a paradise. Part of regime’s propaganda was to make the people believe that life for the people of the western societies was difficult. They were depicted as suffering from economic and political depravations, while we were shown as being the happiest people on earth. The communist state’s propaganda was in many aspects successful. Many people, mostly the uneducated, the peasants, and the apparatchiks of the communist party believed with great sincerity that Albania was a proletarian paradise on earth. A factor that helped the communist regime to make people believe that the Stalinist regime that was ruling Albania was the best regime of the world was Albania’s total isolation from the rest of the world. Albania was turned into a communist dungeon, where people were not allowed to watch foreign TV stations, listen to foreign...
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