Professor raised under communism explains academics’ love of socialism – and why they’re wrong

commie leftists

Tell us about growing up in communist Romania. What was the quality of life?

Curta: Stores were completely empty. There was no food. There was a black market where you could buy some things, but obviously at much higher prices. Besides the fact that there was no food, every now and then electricity would be cut off in the apartment, at a sudden moment in time. You would not know when and for how long. Sometimes there was no running water at all, and there was no warm water at all. We’re talking about life in an urban environment, we’re talking about an apartment, not one or two, but thousands in which people lived in such conditions. I was in college in that time, and I remember actually studying in the library with gloves on my hands because it was so cold. So not a happy place. 

Socialism appears to be a popularly embraced ideology in American academia. Why do you think this is? What is so tempting about this mindset?

Curta: I think that there’s an idealism that most people in academia, specifically in the humanities, share. We live in an era of ideological morass, especially with the collapse of communism that has left no room for those idealists in the academic world. No matter how you can prove that system doesn’t work, with an inclination to go that way perhaps because most people associate socialism with social justice, while the former is an ideology with concrete ideas and concrete historical experiences, while social justice is a very vague abstract notion.

You have to understand, the difference between ideas and facts is what is of major concern here. As my father used to say, it is so much easier to be a Marxist when you sip your coffee in Rive Gauche, left-bank Paris, than when living in an apartment under Ceaușescu, especially in the 1980s.

Why do you think socialist ideology has been gaining popularity with some Americans? Why do you think Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, whose platform is based-off of socialist ideas, gained such traction with the electorate, especially millennials?

Also the lack of historical knowledge. I would say the school system is responsible for that. You get courses at the university on the Holocaust, but you don’t get courses on the history of communism. Last time I checked, [it was estimated] 100 million people were killed under communism by various regimes in various parts of the world. That seems to have passed without a note in the academic world. I think that lack of prominence in the curriculum, in other words, not teaching what really happened, and the sheer ignorance about the disaster in terms of human cost, economic cost, in tragedy in general is responsible for this rosy picture of socialism.

Source: The College Fix


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