Across the millennia, nations have built walls to protect themselves from outsiders, from China (you can see the Great Wall from space!) to the 112-mile barrier in Cyprus.
Only one one nation ever built a wall to keep their people in — that was East Germany, on orders from their communist masters in the Soviet Union. The rest of the captive nations of Eastern Europe were trapped behind borders bristling with barbed wire, watch towers and military.
On Nov. 9, the Germans — East and West — along with the rest of the free world, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the wall’s destruction and the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union. Pay attention to what will be written about this, kids.
I pause here to salute Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachov who smelled the coffee and permitted the disintegration of what Ronald Reagan correctly termed the Evil Empire. Gorbachov earned a Pulitzer Peace prize for his inspired actions and joins FDR and Winston Churchill on my list of the most significant leaders — for good — in the 20th Century. I have a separate list of bad leaders.
In a recent poll, 70% of millennials said they favored socialism, which is not so crazy — following the thinking of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, whose patriotism I do not question. Sanity is another matter.
But what about that one-third who are open to communism? Where does that come from?
Ignorance, of course and that may be the fault of their parents and their schools. California (of course) is working on implementing a course in “ethnic studies.” It turns out the “ethnic” grievance buffet is both vague and not inclusive. It did not include anti-Semitism, as an example. With anti-Semitism on the rise and the Pittsburgh synagogue slaughter, it was kind of an odd oversight, don’t you think?
The idea of including minority studies is not an issue for me — ethnic meaning racial and nationalist and religious (or nonreligious) and gender and peanut allergies, I guess — but how about civics and history? Are they on the school lunch menu?
The previous passage was under the heading of ignorance. How do you cure ignorance? With information. That works — with some exceptions. Since the schools failed, you might want to share this with younger friends.
Capitalism has bad elements that promote profit (i.e., greed) as an end in itself, but it is a strong horse and it needs strong reins. It has raised the standard of living in the entire world.
With the exception of China — which adopted free market policies because its central economic planning did not work — there is not one thriving communist economy. Hello, Venezuela.
The “best” success story might be Cuba, which provides education and health care for all, but also provides a jail cell for opponents and a minimal standard of living for all. And even Cuba in recent years has been allowing some private enterprise. Why?
Because the profit motive, financial incentives, work.
Kids, I don’t want to burden you with, like words, rather than abbreviations and emoticons.
Nothing could be more clear than a side by side comparison of the two systems and we had that.
East Germany was a grim, poor, gray society — a Third World nation located in the First World — in which no one but Communist Party members thrived.
Next door in West Germany, the BMWs and Mercedes were flying out of factories, there was braust and beer and bras for everyone and consumer goods out the wazoo.
Communism claimed it presents equality, but that is a lie. Party members live well, while everyone else has the equality of misery.
Communism is atheist because it wants you to worship the state as the provider of everything. It rewrites history to destroy your heroes so you will accept current leaders as heroes. It brooks no opposition, kids.
If you go to a state school and don’t like the curriculum, you have a choice: do not attend. If you complain, you will be sent to a new school, in the Gulag.
We no longer have the contrast between East (slave) and West (free) Germany, but we can look at North (slave) and South (free) Korea.
Kids, here is an aerial view of North and South Korea (by the way, you won’t have digital gimmicks in the North.)
Scary, huh? A dark void, an empty hole. The North Koreans are on the verge of starvation, while South Korea is an economic power.
You think you want communism?
You think Hitler was bad, kids. At least I hope you do.
Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin and Chinese dictator Mao Zedong killed an estimated 70-100 million people under their control. Getting accurate figures in a closed society is problematic, but there is no question communism killed more people than the Nazis, estimated 20-40 million.
Do you still find it appealing, kids?