“Real socialists,” for the sake of this article, means those who have lived under socialism and know what it really is. That is different from ‘wanna-be’ socialists who have some untested, idealized, utopic dream of what socialism can do for them, yet who have no idea what it means in real life.
Victoria Spatz was born in 1978 in Nosivka, a city in the then Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Ms. Spatz is now the Congresswoman-elect from Indiana’s Fifth District. A December 28, 2020, article in the “New York Post” reports several quotes Ms. Spatz gave in a recent television interview. “It’s just strange to me,” she says “how quickly these ideas can [take hold] especially for young people…. A lot of those kids [say], ‘I’m Marxist.’ I’m like, “Are you kidding me? Do you even know what it means?”
Ms. Spatz knows what it means. She lived in a Soviet puppet state until the Soviet Union collapsed when she was 13 years old. Ukraine remains socialistic, so the former Victoria Kul’heyko continued to live under socialism until she married a U.S. citizen in 2000 and left Ukraine with only one suitcase of possessions. Ms. Spatz says, “It’s unbelievable for me. Of all of the countries in the world, our country fought so much against this utopic socialistic idea that it’s crazy for me to see how quickly we made the turn to the left.”
When I visited Kiev, Ukraine, in 1996, no one had hot water heaters in their homes. The city piped hot water to each home from a central boiler. Because the economy was so bad – government workers had not been paid in three months – no one paid their water bills. The government tried to force people to pay by shutting off the hot water. I know from experience that a cold water bath in Kiev (which has a more northern latitude than Montreal) is no fun. But this is and example of just one of many inconveniences and hardships that come with socialism.
Matthew Truong, who ran for Congress in Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District, fled to the U.S. at age 12 with “two pairs of clothes and two words of English.” Because of the opportunity of the American economic system, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and is now the director of business development for a multi-billion dollar tech company. Matt, who lived under communist socialism in Vietnam, deplores the very idea of America becoming socialistic. “People don’t run to socialistic countries to get away from capitalism. They run to capitalistic countries to get away from socialism.”
Socialism is basically “Communism-light.” My friend Emanuel escaped from Communist Romania in 1982, when it was still an Iron Curtain country. He wrote “45 Years in Darkness,” an as yet unpublished book. He was successful compared to the average worker in Romania, but he gave it all up when he ran from socialism to reach the freedom and opportunity of capitalist America. He agonizes over “these socialists who want to take over America. How can the people vote for this?”
Emanuel knows what socialism becomes. He lived under its rule for over 40 years before he escaped. He writes in his manuscript, “It is unnatural to be a Communist. Even a dog wishes to have his own bone.” Immediately following that statement is this one: “The main target of the Communist system was the abolition of private property…. Through countless series of injustices and abuse that started in 1949, estates, forests, farms, hotels, hospitals, pharmacies, medical offices, cinemas, private enterprises (industrial, mining, banking, insurance and transportation, representing 90% of the country’s production), etc., were nationalized one by one.”
He adds, “The population no longer had a say in politics and the natural function of the State to protect its citizens changed into the system’s battle against its own population.” And then, “Under Communism, education was entirely centralized, free and mandatory. The Government founded many schools, as they would be the ideal place for indoctrinating the new generations.”
He also observed that “The restrictions of rights continued with the prohibition of group forming on the streets, banning kissing in public, or carrying a Bible anywhere outdoors.” That sounds amazingly similar to King Ralph Northam’s executive orders.
I, too, am amazed at how anyone can think that type of life is better than what America has had for the first 240 years of our existence. Those who think that apparently are not real socialists.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.