Taxpayer-funded leftists pine for the Berlin Wall

Picture: Peter Fechter tried to escape East Germany in 1962. He was shot and left to bleed to death for the next 40 minutes. The good old days, apparently.

Not long ago, a young friend of mine was trumpeting the virtues of socialism on Facebook. This is someone who is well into a Master?s degree that includes a great deal of studying of ?Marxist perspectives?.

I responded to her enthusiasm by mentioning the staggering crimes of Stalin and Mao. ?Who?s Mao?? she responded. ?I think I?ve heard of him.?

The shocking ignorance of the young regarding socialism is well established. Polls have shown that the young are far more likely to advocate socialism, even as they are the least likely to understand what it is. Ed West notes that much of the blame can be sheeted home to an education system that endlessly dwells on the crimes of the Nazis, but almost never mentions the crimes of Communism, except to hand-wave them away.

Thomas Sowell has written of the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children, so that, today we have to worry about the ignorance of people with college degrees.

So, it?s not surprising to find the highly-qualified ignoramuses at the taxpayer-funded ABC pining for the good old days of the Berlin Wall. Quote:

There was a uniqueness to East German society that didn’t exist in the West.

“There was something we had which I can only describe as solidarity,” says Christian Wolter, a carpenter who grew up in East Berlin.

“The policeman and the plumber were having to deal with the same problems as you?? End of quote.

Those problems included the dreaded Stasi, the secret police who were omnipresent and omniscient, the force that must always be considered and feared, the hidden hand in almost every aspect of life. Rather than ?help each other,? as the rosy-eyed socialists assert, no-one could trust anyone. Not even their own families. Everyone, but everyone, knew that anyone could be a Stasi member and reporting back on their activities to their hierarchy. It?s estimated that a staggering one in six East Germans was a spy or informer for the secret police.

Taxpayer-funded broadcasters also had an abiding horror of losing state-guaranteed sinecures. Quote:

Around 8,000 East German state-run enterprises were sold off and replaced by privatised West German ones.

Many East Germans lost their jobs or houses.

And when their government’s subsidies on rent and food disappeared, the cost of living rose dramatically.

Within five years it had risen to Western levels, more than five times what it had been before reunification. End of quote.

What is being omitted is that the percentage of people living in poverty in East Germany plunged following unification. Consumer spending soared. Quote:

“You never had the experience of fear for other people,” [Sussan] says. End of quote.

Except for the trifling fear that they were all-too-likely to be a Stasi informer. The effect was a pervading dread of the Stasi, a mistrust of other individuals and general feeling that the subject themselves was going mad. Eventually, it became futile to resist.

Others who remember those days well are not so sanguine. Quote:

Twenty years on, [Hartmut Richter] worries about what is called Ostalgie – nostalgia for the old East Germany?he fears that a new generation is growing up that does not understand how oppressive it was to live under communism.

It was a country where everyone felt spied on, and most of them had reason to fear it. For Mr Richter, there is nothing to be nostalgic about.

“I think it’s disgusting how East Germany is sometimes portrayed. Can you imagine if the history of Nazi Germany was glossed over like that? It would be an outrage,” he said. End of quote.