My Soviet Awakening

In late 1989, a kindergarten teacher, who seemed to aspire to be a political commissar, scolded me for decorating my pencil box with drawings of cartoon tanks. “You must not deface property,” she admonished.

When I protested that the box was indeed mine, she countered by asserting that personal ownership was not permissible and that children could not own anything.

At that moment, I realized that my views were fundamentally at odds with those of the Soviet regime.