communist romania

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Yes, Romania is beautiful, but we can’t post images of our great castles or our breathtaking nature at this moment. Everything is in danger right now. The government of the PSD (the neo-communists) made corruption legal. It’s true, it’s great, would Trump say. But we’ve had our share of corruption. We’re done. We want transparency. We want to be a modern country. But now, those politicians want to legalize corruption and of course they are the ones who won’t end up in jail because of this new law. They steal our money and our lives. 

We, the people, can’t do anything about it, except this: protest and share our message with the world. We only want to live in this beautiful country with breathtaking nature and great cultural places, but without those corrupt and arrogant politicians. 

Please help us, and share. And Romanians: protest!

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It was 1989.

It was late December and the previous night I came back from a ski trip with friends. Up in the mountains, no radio, no mobile phones, no nothing, this was communist Romania so we only found out in the train back that our world started to move. That Romanians had enough of that so called “communist dream” and started to fill up the streets, marching and demanding to overthrow that monument of corruption called the Romanian Communist Party, starting with its dreaded leader Ceausescu…

After a few hours of worried sleep I woke up in the late morning in the sound of chants coming form the main street. My mother was looking stunned out the window. “Look at them, they are coming from the Bargaie. They must have gathered at the factories there to march into town. They must be crazy, poor blokes… Securitatea are shooting at people on the streets you know? And the army… There are already victims everywhere, in Cluj, in Timisoara…” I looked out the window and felt like hardening every second “…and what are we doing now, mom?” “We? We… just wait here…” “But we cannot wait, mom! We cannot wait here… we must go and see what’s going on! Waiting here is, is, is just wrong!” said defiantly the teenager I was at the time. My mother started to weep “But, but your father? He’s out to get the daily bread ratio, he will be worried as hell seeing we’re missing?” “He will know where we are. Let’s go.” And off we went, scared but with no regrets, because we had to go. We met dad in the main square by sheer chance later, chanting with the others, and the rest is already known.

27 years later, the followers of that communist party had time to slowly morph into a proper mafia. They abandoned any illusion of ideology and thus, freed by the burden of maintaining principles, finally managed to attain full political control of the country. This week they started to modify the laws to fit their corrupt ways, to pardon their already jailed mafiosi, to make abuse and malpractice legal and to restrict whistleblowing. I’m thousands of kilometers away from that country now, but I know I must get out on the streets again - with the same deep hatred but more prowess. We are hundreds of thousands on the streets, again.

And I’m going now with my kid.

(not my photos, I still have to find the authors)
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For those of you who are interested in how the total ban on abortion and contraceptives in Communist Romania worked out, here is a great documentary on it. I linked to it in my last post. It tends to be glossed over in English language sources but this is the first real in-depth piece I’ve seen on the Decree of 1966.

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“I do not recognize the America that welcomed my family so many years ago”

Many immigrants to America don’t recognize the country they call home right now. One of them is Rukmini Callimachi, a reporter who covers al-Qaeda and ISIS for the New York Times.

After President Trump signed an executive order Friday that, among other things, bans refugee admissions for 120 days and Syrian refugees indefinitely, Callimachi found herself in tears.

She took to Twitter on Saturday to tell her story about coming here as a child from Communist Romania, and finding a home dramatically more welcoming than Switzerland, where she had to hide the truth about her origin.

Callimachi’s story is just one being told in this shocking moment of crisis for immigrants and refuges. Many are using the hashtag #IAmARefugee on Twitter to share them.

Above is her story.

So, Romania is a relatively young state. Before the founding of Romania the Romanians lived approximately in three official principalities: Moldavia, Transylvania and Wallachia. But as throughout Europe borders were constantly changing. Just look at this fascinating gif-map.

ROMANIA. Bucharest. 1989. In an example of acute historical irony, this anticommunist civilian uses an AK-47 to hunt down secret police during the overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania’s oppressive communist dictator.

The Romanian Revolution was a period of violent civil unrest in December 1989 and part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several countries. The Romanian Revolution started in the city of Timișoara and soon spread throughout the country, ultimately culminating in the show trial and execution of longtime Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu, and the end of 42 years of Communist rule in Romania. It was also the last removal of a Communist regime in a Warsaw Pact country during the events of 1989, and the only one that violently overthrew a country’s government and executed its leader.

Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty

ROMANIA. Bucharest. 1989. Demonstrators and TAB-71 APCs on the street. Part of the photobook 1989 Libertate Roumanie by Denoel Paris and other photographers.

The Romanian Revolution was a period of violent civil unrest in December 1989 and part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several countries. The Romanian Revolution started in the city of Timișoara and soon spread throughout the country, ultimately culminating in the show trial and execution of longtime Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu, and the end of 42 years of Communist rule in Romania. It was also the last removal of a Communist regime in a Warsaw Pact country during the events of 1989, and the only one that violently overthrew a country’s government and executed its leader.

Photograph: Denoel Paris

How many of you know people who think that socialism is just about being nice…?

In the 20th century there have been numerous political systems, but in the latter half of the century there were only two survivors, Socialism and Capitalism. So we have at this time in the Western world, which for all practical purposes controls the world, two opposing political systems. (I have already previously stated that there is no basic difference between socialists and communists. There are, however, some very important factors relating to socialism of which you should be aware. Socialism will not work in a free market economy and, as a consequence it invariably deteriorates into a totalitarian state. Anyone wishing to argue that point is asked to point to one single instance where this was not the result).

It therefore behooves us to remember who the worst despotic governments of this century were: Nazis in Germany, Fascists in Italy, Communists in the USSR, [Romania, East Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Cuba, North Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc.] and China - each and every one of them a paragon of socialist endeavor. Their leaders; Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin [Ceausescu, Tito, Pol Pot, etc.] and Mao Tse Tung. The outstanding legacy of these individuals is that they each tried to out-do the others in the total number of their own citizens which they murdered. It is a fact that each of these men killed more of their own civilian citizens than they lost in military conflict.

The reason for this is inherent to socialism. It promises things that it cannot possibly deliver. When socialist politicians in power come to the realization that it is impossible to deliver on their promises and political unrest develops, they have two options if they plan to stay in power. First, they must locate a scapegoat on whom they can blame their inability to deliver. Any Jew can tell you who that was for the Germans and the Russians. The second is to develop, and rapidly so, a state security apparatus to keep them in office - the SS, the KGB, [Securitate, Stasi] etc.

The basic tenets of socialism are:
1. Seduce the populace into accepting the government as the arbitrator of all problems; government from cradle-to-grave
2. Begin delivering on those services to make the citizens dependent
3. Take away the citizens’ guns
4. Increase taxes on all services while destroying any free market alternative services
5. Blame the chosen scapegoat for the inability to meet demand for services
6. Have the centralized national police force round up any dissidents

Socialism cannot work because the cost of services must be collected in the form of taxes, and this is not a sustainable possibility. The reason is that since government pays for all services, neither the producer nor the consumer cares about the cost, and hence there is an uncontrolled spiral of inflation (today’s medical costs are a case in point and healthcare is not yet totally socialized). Furthermore, the government has no funds or assets. It only has the funds it confiscated from its citizens. The total inefficiency of a centralized bureaucracy does not help either.
Once citizens are weaned on this cradle-to-grave concept and are no longer self-reliant, they become wards of the state and will not accept any reduction of services. The government subsequently has no option but to reduce services, and as popular resistance develops State repression begins. This is the socialist cycle. It has been found to occur in every socialist state in existence to date.

The current most outrageous examples of this are North Korea and Cuba. These two societies share much in common - both are socialist, both are totalitarian, both have more political prisoners then any nation close to their size, both have non-working universal health care, in both the citizens suffer malnutrition, and both have food and fuel rationing. Their leaders and party members, in the meantime, eat caviar and drink champagne.

Socialism can never work in any environment.  It violates human nature and logic.

The capitalist economic system differs greatly from its socialist adversary in numerous ways. While the socialist system is a top down centralized arrangement, the capitalist system, which can only exist in a free market economy that recognizes the right of private property, is totally controlled by the market itself. Interestingly, personal freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can also only thrive in free market economies. Capitalism is a sort of volatile and confusing situation where the capital markets dictate demand, price, and methods of distribution. The reason that the left is so very successful in criticizing capitalism is because it is not regulated and therefore difficult to explain. The reason capitalism works so well is that demand dictates production as well as price, thus avoiding market inequities and shortages.

Socialism’s principal theorem is centralization of markets under government control. This has never worked and there is not one single instance in world history where centralized governmental market manipulation has been successful. This, however, does not deter the Robert Reichs (America’s socialist Secretary of Labor who said, “Greedy corporations are screwing their employees, squeezing down wages while increasing profits.” This statement, from an economic illiterate who has never in his entire life worked for, or in, a business that made a profit. He appears to me to be a little man with a Napoleon complex, who, while having no clue about anything to do with economics, presents himself as a great expert. Corporate downsizing, mergers, and staff reductions has a great deal to do with international trade policies, NAFTA, EC, WTO, etc. and very little to do with greed.) of this world, who continuously make every effort to centralize economic as well as social and political power for themselves and their Satori masters (the ruling elite).

George Washington said it best: “Government, like fire, is a good servant, but a fearful master.” All capitalist functions are directed at free market concepts. A free market is one that serves society with little government interference. This concept is unpopular with the Satori because in order to attain more and more power they require centralization of all economic, social, and political functions. Because of their poor performance in the political frame they have altered their modus operandi and are now implementing their schemes through judicial activism. These judicial incursions, which by the way, in the United States are in violation of constitutional law, have been sold to the public based on the false misnomer that greedy capitalists don’t care about the people, their welfare, safety, or health, but that politicians do.

This, without doubt, is a ludicrous statement. The capitalist must perform to market standards. Competition will put him out of business if he provides an inferior product or service. He is furthermore constrained by his customers, stockholders, board of directors, lending institutions, as well as numerous laws, and, if all else fails, product liability statutes. In addition there is a veritable alphabet soup of governmental agencies which oversee his product, conduct with employees, public safety, product safety, environmental compliance, and financial performance.

In fact capitalists are over-regulated, which causes a considerable burden to be put on the public in the form of increased prices. A noteworthy fact is: the most egregious acts against the consumer, the environment, and the public in general, have all been made by socialist states.

Elena Ceaușescu was the wife of Romania’s Communist leader, Nicolae Ceaușescu. She was held responsible for the elimination of birth control during the 1970s and 1980s, which as a result, led to an abundance of unwanted babies and children that were housed in state operated orphanages throughout the country. She also headed the state health commision which denied the existence of AIDS in Romania, which led to one of the largest outbreaks in the western world. She was also responsible for the food rationing which took place in the 1980s. She was eventually executed for her crimes against humanity by firing squad in 1989.