By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 25, 2007
“Just look at Vietnam and China. Booming economies. Everybody getting richer. What is your problem with communism?”
–From a Liberal Friend
My liberal friend is educated, well read and articulate. But somehow, someplace, a few brain cells or something did not get proper nourishment or attention.
From living in China; living in the Vietnamese-American community; speaking to refugees, immigrants, dissidents or the disaffected; here is what Peace and Freedom knows:
–From birth until school years start, your child and the child of young parents in Beijing or Ha Noi may be similar. After the school years start, the child living under the communist system is indoctrinated into the communist “system,” slowly at first and then at an accelerated pace until and during the years we associate with High School.
–During this process, American teens may be surprised to hear that students living in communist nations are indoctrinated to minimize the self in favor of the group. In fact, we have been told recently (and we saw for ouselves in the past) that the words “me” and “I” are totally forbidden in most places. Individuality is not just suppressed, it is eliminated, unless the young person demonstrates some spectacular asset for the state: a wonderful athlete or scientist or musician seems to be emerging, for example. But the fruits of this labor, though there are individual rewards (travel, nicer home, nicer clothes), are always said to be for “The State.”
–As the young man or woman living under the communist system enters what we consider the college years, he or she must make some choices. These choices are real, tangible and making the wrong choice can ruin a person’s life. For the man or woman leaning toward communism, and just about everyone is because all have gone through school bombarded by an ideology that keeps them all together (individuality is frowned upon, no “me” as we said), this phase is a snap. Three key pledges or oaths must be taken:
a) The student must disavow all religion forever. This has to be done by oath or written statement or both.
b) The student must disavow loyalty to the family. Here he or she is meant to leave the parents and serve “The State.” Again, an oath is required.
c) The final oath requires one to be free of property. This is the problem that long-time farmers and other “land owners” face. Usually, there is a kind of custodial agreement between the farmer and “The State,” but of course “The State” can break the deal at any time and deprive a family of its land or property. Compensation at the market rate is promised but here the “system” seems to always break down. This is why you saw protests in Vietnam last week and this is also the cause of most of China’s riots in the last few years.
–As far as individual rights go, there really are none. No freedom of speech, religion or assembly. No free and honest elections or media. No expectation or right to privacy. In fact, most people in Vietnam and China assume their email, cell phone traffic and other forms of communications receive at least a routine cursory check now and again.
Oh, and no free internet. You get on the internet what “The State” allows. I am told this means you can forget about The Washington Times and Peace and Freedom.
Other than those small sacrifices, the guy in China and Vietnam has a life JUST LIKE YOURS!