As a child, I spent every summer with my grandmother in the village. She lived alone (grandfather was killed in the war), and I kind of helped her.
I remember one case.
Once in the middle of the night my grandmother harnessed the cart and we went somewhere in the field. “For hay,” she explained to me. We arrived in the field to the huge stacks, took hayforks and together took ourselves a huge pile that is of the height of a single-story house. Somehow perched on it and drove home. On the way we met neighbors. They rode to meet, and most likely, to the same haystack. Grandmother cheerfully greeted them and we went home.
Only much later I understood why we went to the field at night. We stole collective-farm hay. And it was an ordinary thing to do. Stealing from the collective farm was considered to be a norm. The neighbors met at the collective farms during the theft and helped each other. They did it in a friendly and businesslike manner as an ordinary job of collecting the same hay during the day which was inherently a crime. None of them had any idea of standing up for common property. They stole everything.
And then the collective farms have collapsed, like the entire Soviet Union.
I wonder why?
Is it because of the Americans?
Or maybe the whole thing is in that haystack? What if it is projected into millions of haystacks all over the country? And not just hay? And most importantly, if the thinking of my grandmother (person with the kindest soul) is multiplied by the number of all the collective farmers in the Soviet Union who considered “collective farm’s is nobody’s”, then it can lead to such a power that can ruin any country from the inside. You don’t even need any enemies.
And don’t we sometimes act like those collective farmers when stealing paper from the office, when calling from the office phone to relatives in another city, when draining petrol from the service car, etc.?