It’s written by Laura Nicolae, who’s an Applied Mathematics major and the daughter of Romanian immigrants. Her father escaped the evil clutches of communism – a government that, as she describes it, “beat, tortured, and brainwashed its citizens.” Her father had friends and neighbors who disappeared at the hands of the dictatorship, and who starved to death because of the paltry food rations. Those people were among the 100 million people who have died as a direct result of the communist ideology.
Laura writes, about the victims of communism, “They cannot tell their story. We owe it to them to recognize that this ideology is not a fad, and their deaths are not a joke.”
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what many of her fellow students are making of those deaths. Everywhere she turns, she sees “depictions of communism on campus” that “paint the ideology as revolutionary or idealistic, overlooking its authoritarian violence. Instead of deepening our understanding of the world, the college experience teaches us to reduce one of the most destructive ideologies in human history to a one-dimensional, sanitized narrative.”
If you’ve read my parents’ story, you know why reading stuff like that makes my blood boil. Laura continued:
Walk around campus, and you’re likely to spot Ché Guevara on a few shirts and button pins. A sophomore jokes that he’s declared a secondary in “communist ideology and implementation.” The new Leftist Club on campus seeks “a modern perspective” on Marx and Lenin to “alleviate the stigma around the concept of Leftism.” An author laments in these pages that it’s too difficult to meet communists here. For many students, casually endorsing communism is a cool, edgy way to gripe about the world.
After spending four years on a campus saturated with Marxist memes and jokes about communist revolutions, my classmates will graduate with the impression that communism represents a light-hearted critique of the status quo, rather than an empirically violent philosophy that destroyed millions of lives.
And it gets worse.
Statistics show that young Americans are indeed oblivious to communism’s harrowing past. According to a YouGov poll, only half of millennials believe that communism was a problem, and about a third believe that President George W. Bush killed more people than Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who killed 20 million. If you ask millennials how many people communism killed, 75 percent will undershoot.
Laura explains the crux of the problem of communism perfectly:
Communism cannot be separated from oppression; in fact, it depends upon it. In the communist society, the collective is supreme. Personal autonomy is nonexistent. Human beings are simply cogs in a machine tasked with producing utopia; they have no value of their own.
Like my own family, Laura’s connection to the evil of communism is personal. She hasn’t just read about it in textbooks. She’s lived it through the stories that have been part of her family history. And so just like Laura, I am constantly dumbfounded by the glamorization of communism by people today.
So I’m sharing her story the way I shared mine, because as she writes, we must “desperately try to ensure the world never repeats their mistakes. To that end, we must tell the accounts of survivors and fight the trivialization of communism’s bloody past.”
If you know some idiot who owns a Che Guevara shirt, please forward this post to them. Tell Laura’s story.