Snitching is essential to totalitarian regimes. Both Stalin’s and Castro’s Gulags were filled primarily by acting on tips from snitches. This snitching has a snowball effect. The very fact that you’re snitching gives some people a (usually false) sense of protection from regime police because they’re assisting them. Then as more and more people get rounded up, more and more people feel threatened, so more and more of them snitch–more fear, more arrests; neighbor snitches against neighbor, cousin against cousin, even sons and daughters against parents.
Recall the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers. “Is he a pod, too?…Can we trust him?..should we hush-up? Run? Hide?!” Some say the 1956 movie was an allegorical treatment of a Communist takeover. Please excuse the apparent flippancy, but this writer is not the only eye-witness to such a takeover who has noted the chilling parallels with the movie.
With a little imagination almost everyone can visualize the Communist snitch-and-survive or snitch-and-reward process. At work, we’ve all seen that insufferable brownnoser who hopes to mitigate or camouflage his incompetence or laziness by sucking up to the boss. We’ve all seen that gossipy little backstabber, that sniveling little a** kisser, that busybody shrew get promoted over their betters. Somehow after every flush of “downsizing” many of these Eddie Haskells and Mrs Kravitzes keep bobbing back to the surface.
To some extent this is human/corporate nature. All organizations favor “team players.” In the private sector these kinks are eventually straightened and the brownnosing incompetents axed. Either that, or the company goes under. There are stockholders and customers to keep happy.
But under Communism this swinishness is the very essence of the system. There is only a Maximum Leader to keep happy.