1000: Those who have, and those who have not.

It reminds me of a little boy of about seven whom I met in Bucharest. My taxi had stopped at some traffic lights. He ran up to me and said: “Speak English?” When I nodded, he stretched his hand through the open car window. “Give money!” he said.

“Why?” I asked him, not really expecting him to understand me.

To my astonishment, he looked at me as if surprised by my stupidity. “You have, I not have,” he explained seriously in his rudimentary English.

There was nothing wrong with the boy’s logic. It was obvious that he had no money, otherwise he would not have been asking me for it. It was obvious that I had money, otherwise I would not have been driving around in a taxi. Even at his age he knew that there are basically two categories of people in a society: those who have, and those who have not.

But accordingly to the egalitarian principles of any communist society, those “haves” should share with the “have nots”. And because there is not much to share anyway, in the end that egalitarianism boils down to the equal distribution of poverty. At least it would in theory – in practice in did not quite work.

Slavenka Drakulic, Café Europa – Life after Communism

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