A cousin forwarded this fascinating extract from a 1960 copy of the Czechoslovak youth magazine ABC, which was supposed to be mainly an educational mag with focus on science. The article addresses itself to that glorious future hope of socialist society, the Red Pioneer.
Here’s the translation:
When you, Pioneer who are reading this, will be 30 or 35 years old, you will awaken in a world that will in many ways bear no resemblance to today. The builders of communism in the Soviet Union and in our own country will have at their disposal modern automated factories; they will conquer agricultural work through industrial-style production; they will work six hours a day. During that time, they will delve deeply into the secrets of the universe. All that will be reflected in everyday life: 250 million tons of steel each year, plenty of all consumer goods, city transportation for free, free meals in school and factory canteens, rent-free living in spacious apartments, very inexpensive or free recreational centers, etc.
This is not the beginning of some fantasy story in our magazine: this is the real twenty-year program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union about which the whole world is writing, talking and thinking. The glory of capitalist technology and production is fading. Why, in ten years, the USSR will have gotten two-and-a-half times farther than the USA and in 1980, its advantage will be sevenfold. How beautiful it is to live in such a world!
We all must apply ourselves diligently, we must all study and work. And that means even after school: in Pioneer units, circles and special collectives. Communism needs people who are courageous and honest; men and women who can live in the collective and for the collective.
I guess I missed it all, since we escaped in 1965… In any case, we today live under a regime that also has trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy; and when one compares this prediction of a glorious future with the stark reality of utter economic and societal collapse of Eastern European socialist states, there is a definite cautionary tale there somewhere.