I’ve spent the first 30 years of my life under communist rule.
One of their many ‘mantras’ was: ‘Children are the future of mankind’.
Communist rule had brought about so much happiness in Romania that people had stopped making children.
Concerned about the future the communists had decreed that from then on abortion was to be considered a crime – after it was freely available until that time, October 1, 1966.
As a consequence more than 10 000 women died after botched abortion attempts – all other methods for birth control had been banned also.
Add to those deaths the individuals, mostly youngsters, killed while attempting to flee communism by sneaking across the borders.
But there was one good thing that communist rule had brought to the people. Not that much because the communists really cared about the fate of the individuals but because they needed skilled laborers in order to put their plans into practice.
Schooling was free.
You could learn as much as you wanted without having to pay a dime.
One had to pass some exams, positions were limited for higher education, but if you were smart enough and diligent enough you could go really high. Specially in the area that is currently known as ‘STEM’. ‘Humanities’ were somewhat off limits, because one could get ‘funny’ ideas when delving too deep in that area but STEM was OK.
Fast forward to our days.
Half of my University mates – I have a MSc in Mechanical Engineering – have emigrated right after Ceausescu was toppled while political power in Romania has fallen under the constant grip of a small coterie which doesn’t really care about what’s going on and/or has not enough intellectual flexibility to understand that we are currently running towards a dead end.
In the end the ‘good’ thing has proved to be a poisoned apple. By tuning the schooling system towards their own goals the communists had created many generations of superb engineers – who were welcomed by the ‘greedy capitalists’ – but also had completely discouraged independent thinking – the kind needed to breed honest politicians and effective public figures, if you can accept those concepts as anything more than empty words.
Gazing over the borders I became even more despondent.
Forget, for a minute, about child pornography, sweat-shops and so on. These are absolutely horrible but we might console ourselves with the thought that those who are involved in them are either mentally disturbed or blinded by greed.
But something like this?
Supposedly a feminist writer is followed by either like-minded people or opponents of her ideas only both categories belong to the wider category of ‘intellectuals’ – people concerned with ideas, human rights, philosophical thinking, etc., etc….
In this context to threat a mother that you are planning to rape her child is way above anything that was imaginable until this moment.
It’s as if being able of sophisticated thinking is no longer one of the venues towards becoming a better person – by simply being able to understand how much pain is produced by evil or careless behaviour.
Then I came across the meme at the top of my post.
I must confess that I don’t like her. For various reasons that do not fit here. Enough to say that while watching the DNC 2016 I had the distinct impression of being transported back in time to one of the congresses organized by the Romanian Communist Party.
Because of my dislike of her I had the tendency to believe that she had actually wrote that.
So I did that.
“While it’s true that Hillary Clinton published a book in 1996 called It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us, it does not include the above-displayed quote, and Clinton (a parent herself) has not said at any point that she believes that children should be raised by the state with parents taking a secondary role.
OK, some of you will tell me that Snopes is leaning towards the left and that you cannot always trust its findings.
I can agree with that. Sometimes you should not believe your own eyes, let alone what you read over the Internet.
But my argument still stands.
What has happened to us?
Why are we so willing to involve even our children in our political lies? It doesn’t matter here who lied – Snopes or those who ‘cooked’ this meme…
What are politics for if not for securing a future for our children?
What kind of future can be build on lies?
On this kind of lies and on this kind of threats…
When are we going to understand that the state which side-lines the parents is a fascist one – fascism and communism are close authoritarian cousins, that no one can survive for long outside a community and that the community, as a whole and each of its members, fare better if all its members have a real chance to develop their potential?
Education and health care should not be treated as ‘individual rights’.
It is obvious to the naked eye that societies who take good care of their members while simultaneously respect their freedom fare better than those who let their members fend for themselves without helping them train for today’s job market and without extending them any safety net.
We keep saying that we need better skilled individuals and do nothing about it. We keep saying that in a free market there are risks that have to be taken yet we step back when a risk taker who happened to have failed, honestly, asks for our help.
OK, I understand. The communists dissuaded their children from studying ‘humanities’. Simply because they might have started to ask the very same questions that I’m asking today.
But what happened to the rest of the world?
Who is thinking about the future, beyond planning for future cash-flows (extremely unreliable in the first place), anyway?