Assigned Reading: The Wall Fell, and Freedom Sang
(FROM: Human Events)
Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa was a former head of espionage service. Here’s an excerpt from a very interesting piece over at Human Events in which he describes his feelings about what happened then, and what is happening now:
Twenty years after the Berlin Wall was torn down by people hungering for freedom, the world looks entirely different. Life on the opposite sides of the Wall, which had meant the difference between day and night, is almost equal. The freedoms of religion, expression and assembly have been restored. The barriers the Communists spent over 70 years erecting between themselves and the rest of the world, as well as between individual people, have been removed. The culture is reviving, and a new generation of intellectuals is developing new national identities for their countries.
All former Soviet satellites—including my native Romania, once the epitome of tyranny—abandoned their ruinous experiment with Marxism. So did Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Greece. All are today strengthening their free market economies, and all are now pursuing various national versions of social and cultural conservatism. Even Russia has begun sailing through the uncharted waters of capitalism.
Alas, the specter of Marx’s populist socialism has now started haunting the United States. According to an April 2009 Rasmussen poll, only 53% of Americans said they preferred capitalism to socialism; 27% were unsure, and 20% preferred socialism.
One of the most popular nightclubs in New York City’s East Village is the KGB Bar. The place is jammed by writers who read from their works praising the meritocracy of Marx’s socialism, under the club’s symbol, the Hammer and Sickle.