"Different shades of sadness"
I have a passion for Stand-Up comedy. I guess I have tread in the footsteps of my mother and her uncanny ability to make fun of everything and everyone in the wittiest of ways. Besides my own set of jokes I also look to others for inspiration. One such new comic Muse is Dragos Comedy (Click ME!) who tenderly baptises the former Eastern European block as "Different shades of sadness".
As I scroll though various profiles, embark on various conversations and consume various podcasts I come across more and more younger and much younger people defining their political orientation as LEFT. So far I've come across more women than men who lean heavily towards the left and I shudder at the implications. Do they even know? I ask myself.
One afternoon at the office I remarked that whenever I saw the word left, it made me think of communism.
"Left isn't only communism." Commented a much younger colleague.
"Really?" I asked sheepishly. "What else does it mean?"
He couldn't give a clear answer. And this is the crux of today's LEFT: No clear answer to absolutely anything.
An ex-lover once criticised me for looking at today's world through the lens of an ex-communist, 8-year old. According to him, I should not judge today through the experiences of the past. And yet...experience is what every workplace asks from a future employee. Experience is what divides the competent from the mediocre. Experience is what prevents the repetition of past mistakes. He was LEFT. Did he even know?
There is no way a kid who grew up in the free world (as we used to call it from the other side of the curtain) could possibly ever understand the implications of applying such a corrupt and flawed system. What that free kid sees, amidst the disconnect heralded by technology and secularism, is a solution to their own, individual problem. They don't in fact think of the collective at all. Left is what defined communism on its last stretches of road back in the 80s. Left, today, is another shade of communism and woke is just another shade of left. However it isn't just the working classes rising up against the aristocrats: it's a variety of individuals and groups as well as the intellectual elites who brought us these academically sound yet practically flawed models of society in the first place.
There's an anger that arises in me every time I'm called upon to compromise on lived experience.
Yes, Dagos, we, the last Romanian generation to have tasted communism, are all different shades of sadness...and lost.
Older generations still yearn after the advantages and protection of communism. Everyone had a job (which today we would like to call universal income) whether they actually did something or not. There was a booming industry (which today would be torn down by Green politics).
"Geneva!" Said an old family friend who'd escaped to Switzerland when the commies seized their assets. "It's Watermelon politics" He smirked.
"How come?" I asked.
"Green on the outside and red on the inside." His tone dropped.
Do they even know? I ask myself again.
Do they know how cold it was those winter nights without heating? Do they know how long it took to get rations? Do they know the fear of imprisonment or death for disagreeing? Maybe they will soon! We're heading back that way, but through a different path.
I think back to those short but potent years lived under communism. That serious face which took me years and an African continent to turn into the smile that enamours today. I remember singing the communist anthem in kindergarten while our beloved, illiterate, peasant dictator stared down at us from between the emblem and the hammer and sickle on the wall.
Do they even know? I ask myself in disbelief. "Do they even know the corruption and subjugation they support from their comfortable childhood and pampered adulthood lives?"
I can forgive those who've grown up in poverty and crime, yearning for order and prosperity. Yes, communism, in that sense is far better than chaos.
I look to South Africa, my former Fatherland, and through the hushed whispers of the expats scattered all over the world I hear the cries of a land plundered by leaders educated in the vision of an ex-Soviet Union. A far cry from the dream of a free and fair Nelson Mandela.
I look to the worldwide supporters of the current Middle Eastern massacres in the name of freedom, religion and property and I remember the communist mantra I was taught as a child of he who is not with us, is against us. A far cry from the pacifist, biblical message of he who is not against us, is with us!
Do they even know?
If I had to pass one message to the younger generations supporting a system that wishes people to behave like bees in a hive, it would be this:
Read! Read everything! Evolve!