What Communism really does to people

To my fellow “right wing extremists”: when someone of a liberal persuasion, or from some semi-socialist Western European country, or someone like that, asks you in studied perplexity why we hate the very idea of anything that so much as gives off a whiff of socialism, tell them it’s because we don’t want things like this to happen here:

“Communism changed our mentality,” said Daniel Apostol, editor in chief of Romania’s Money Channel. “We are still fighting now to come back to what we were. We lost the culture of private property. We lost this sense of privacy and respecting each other’s time and respecting people as individuals, as human beings. That was the worst thing that happened to us. This is why we are struggling so much now to get back to the capitalist society, to the free market, which can run only if there is respect for private property.”


Or this:

“At the macro level,” she said, “it was known that in Romania people were killed, but there are personal stories which were completely unknown. When we move to the micro level, the human level, we help the families find the bodies and learn what happened to each person.”


“What was the main thing that could get a person killed during the communist era?” I said.


“Most of them were killed because they opposed the collectivization process,” she said.

Remember, none of the former communist countries thought things would go so bad. We’re no more human than the Romanians; it can happen here.

Read the whole thing.

8 thoughts on “What Communism really does to people

  1. John F. MacMichael

    Just how bad was it in Romania under Communism? Allow me to share an illuminating little story. It comes from a magazine article I read back in the ’80s (forget the source, The Atlantic, Harpers, The New Republic??).

    A woman who worked at the US Embassy in Bucharest made friends with an old man who used to sit in the park where she walked regularly. One day she dared to ask him what he thought of how things stood in his country. He looked around very carefully to make sure they could not be overheard and said: “It is bad, very bad. So cold because of the power shortages, so little food to be had, the secret police everywhere.” He paused and then added: “You know, if there was just a little more food available it would be just like the War again.”

  2. John F. MacMichael

    By the way, I really like the new layout; clean, stylish and easy to read.

  3. Andrea Harris Post author

    Thanks, I’m trying to keep this site as simple as possible. (FYI, I didn’t create the theme, just got it from this website. He has a lot of good plain WordPress themes.)

    Getting back to Communism… I think a lot of people at least in the West have had it easy for so long that they’ve forgotten just how shitty human beings can be if you give them half a chance. Which is funny because so many people these days seem to be neurotic if not outright mentally ill and to have nothing but dysfunctional relationships — you’d think they’d realize that if this is how people in a prosperous, free society can treat each other, how would they act if they were living in a brutally oppressive society? But of course, neurotic people can’t think straight. I have a theory which I will expound on further some day when I don’t have laundry to do and have gotten enough sleep.

  4. The Sanity Inspector

    Hello again! I stumbled across an old post at my place that you linked to a few years ago. I followed the link back, through your successive blog-hopping, and finally caught up with you here. Nice to see you still posting! Bookmarked.

  5. Susan B.

    I’ve also noticed how obviously deeply flawed people think utopias are possible. Like the peacenik types who can’t even get along with their neighbors or families, but yet expect there to be a world without war.

    Lately it seems that expressing even the slightest disapproval of socialism causes lefties to accuse you of McCarthyism at best or being a dangerous extremist at worst. It’s a good way (for them, anyway) to shut down any debate about the direction the country is taking.

  6. John F. MacMichael

    The trouble with the Utopians (of whatever color or flavor) is that they never seems to notice that the track record for the human race creating Heaven on earth is one of myriad attempts and zero successes. Duplicating the seventh circle of Hell, on the other hand, oh, yes, THAT we can do and have done many times.

  7. JeffS

    Are there any semi-socialist Western European countries? I haven’t seen one in quite a while.

    And spot on about what Communism (or any other form of despotism) does to people. It brings the worst out.

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