The following is an excerpt from a video commentary submitted to by Victoria Smith, a student and survivor of socialism.

To call myself a survivor of anything feels strange, but it's both my truth and my reality. And if I were to choose a word to describe the fifteen years I spent living under a socialist regime it would be: Terrifying.

It was truly terrifying to live in constant disappointment, to live in constant anger, and constant fear.

What a lot of people don't realize is that socialism creates such an unstable environment that it destroys society from within, running people's lives. But it doesn't all happen overnight. It takes it's time destabilizing from the root.

At first, you start to notice prices have gone up and the government starts to monopolize industries. Raw materials to make products become scarce and they begin to ration them. Then, it's all the simple things you never thought you'd have to worry about. It's having to visit five stores and spending the entire day in lines to get things as simple and necessary as toilet paper, milk, and medicine. Everything stops working. There are constant power and water outages, and even homicide rates go up.

It became so dangerous to live in the city, that I couldn't walk the four blocks it took for me to get to school. And walking around the mall unsupervised? Forget it! That was something I never experienced until I moved to the United States at 15 years old.

Once your country is in that position, it seems impossible to change it when criticism of the government warrants serious life consequences.  Families are destroyed and separated just because of the political platform. People are unjustly imprisoned, torn away from their families indefinitely just for having a different opinion. 

When my father, a successful engineer, signed a referendum to revoke the president around 2004, he lost his job, he lost his company that he had been working in for over 20 years, and all for signing a piece of paper.

Thankfully, because of all this we were granted the opportunity to move to the U.S. on a working visa, but 99% of people are not as lucky.

I moved to the United States four years ago and it might not be perfect. But it is great to live in a country where you actually have freedom of speech and where you can go to the grocery store and the only thing you have to worry about is which of the hundred brands of a certain product you have to buy. We often take for granted being able to do little things like cross the street without being kidnapped or robbed and killed for your phone.

It is an amazing thing to live in a country with a political platform and economical system like capitalism that encourages self-reliance, innovation, progress, efficiency, and growth. Where you are free to choose.

So yes, it might not be perfect system, but after what I've lived, I'd say it's pretty amazing.