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From Stalin to Sequestration

Scînteia went bankrupt, and Newsweek was sold for one dollar. But a member of the Democratic nomenklatura representing the economically ruined state of  California in the U.S. Congress — who is incidentally a stout admirer of and visitor to Fidel Castro’s Cuba — is preaching that the future of the U.S. oil industry is “all about socializing,” all about “the government taking over and running all our oil companies.”

In 1948, when the Romanian nomenklatura nationalized the oil industry, that country was the second greatest oil exporter in Europe. Thirty years later, when I broke with Marxism, Romania was a heavy importer of oil, gasoline was rationed, the temperature in public places had to be kept under 63 degrees Fahrenheit, and all shops had to close no later than 5:30 pm to save energy.

I have used these examples before, but I believe we should use them over and over, and over, because they contain our current drama in a nutshell. The sequestration imposed on the United States a couple of days ago shows that the Democratic Party's socialist attitude toward money and its addiction to the illusory socialist recipe of “to each according to his need” can generate economic havoc even in a country as wealthy as the United States.

The fact that the Democratic Party's nomenklatura believes it can solve our economic difficulties by again raising taxes reminds me of my old days in communist Romania. I used to repeatedly warn Ceausescu that Romania could not afford to keep losing $1 on every thousand eggs it was exporting to the West. My former boss always assured me, "We'll make it up in quantity."

American essayist George Santayana, an immigrant like me, used to say that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.


[i] Stéphane Courtois, Le Livre Noir du communisme: Crimes, terreur, répression (Ėdition Robert Laffont, Paris, 1997), pp. 258-264.

[ii] Doug Mainwaring, "We are all Tea Partiers now," The Washington Times,, September 30, 2010, p.1.