Recently the Democratic party has just taken a more extreme step leftwards by espousing democratic socialism, a brand of politics espoused by certain Western European countries, such as France and Germany. Many young people are also calling for a Marxist revolution in this country, for a full-scale socialization of American society.
As a dual citizen who has lived in a former Communist country for eighteen years, and who knows about the devastation and destruction that Communism has caused in the nation of Hungary, I cannot idly stand by and watch as these young people actively promote a destructive and failed ideology. One thing is that these young people do not have a life history of their own to look back on. Another thing is that they have never ever lived in a socialist country themselves, so therefore they are oblivious to the destruction that they want to unleash upon their own country. It would be wise of them to stop and listen to someone who has had some experience in living under real socialism.
My name is Dr. Matthew Cserhati. I am 39 years old, and spent 18 years of my life in Hungary, from 1993 to 2011.
Let me characterize what Hungary was like after the fall of Communism in 1990. The buildings were old and dilapidated. The paint on the inside and the outside of some of the buildings were falling off. I remember attending a church service one time, and the paint started falling off of the walls on the inside of the church as though it was snow. It was a bit embarrassing. Elevators were decades old and some of them were pretty creaky. Half of the populace didn’t have a car, so people either had to take the tram or bus or commute by train. The tram could get really bumpy at times; sometimes people got rid of their kidney stones by riding these trams, they were so bumpy. During Communism they made poor quality Trabants, according to one anecdote one such car hit a post at low speed and fell apart. Train cars were covered in graffiti and grime. Some of the seats were ripped up so that the stuffing came out. Sometimes the heating didn’t work, which was a pain in the winter. Sometimes the doors were jammed open. The bathrooms in these train cars reeked from urine. Sometimes there was no soap or flowing water to wash your hands with. Hungary wasn’t even able to afford construction of its own subway cars. They had to be imported from the Soviet Union, with Cyrillic letters on them. Highway and metro infrastructure were sparser than in well-to-do Western countries. Comparing a highway map of Germany to that of Hungary shows that German cities were much, much better connected than the four (incomplete) highways connecting Budapest to four other major cities. Compared to other Eastern European countries Hungary was one of the mot well-to-do countries, but still lagged behind Western European countries, such as Austria by several decades. Highway infrastructure was even worse in Romania. In some Romanian villages houses didn’t even have toilets, you had to go to the outhouse in the back to do your business. In Communism the philosophy was to do away with private property and make everything common. In theory this may sound nice. However, this led to a large number of thefts at the workplace. People reasoned that, if everything belongs to everybody, then obviously I can take anything, since it also belongs to me. This is in reality a form of tyranny where the government puts to use your hard-earned money that you yourself earned. According to Abraham Lincoln, the man who grew the corn ought also to eat the corn.
After Communism, Hungary had a Socialist government for 12 years, from 1994 to 1998, and from 2002 to 2010. What happened during this time is that while it is true that the Socialists raised wages, people had to take the double whammy of higher taxes and also higher prices. To use a Hungarian figure of speech, what you gain at the port, you loose at the customs. Double-time. Not many commodities were available in the country. Many elderly people were even starting to starve, at times they didn’t even have enough money to purchase their daily bread. Health care was abysmal. Even though it was covered by insurance, there were months long waiting lines for even standard treatments. In order to get a more complicated procedure done, you had to go either to Bratislava or Vienna (a Western, non-Communist country) to get it done. Hungarian science and technology was also lagging in development. Hungary wasn’t able to do any leading science, but was relegated to “follow-up” science. For example, Hungary wasn’t even able to implement Next Generation Sequencing for a decade after this technology was first used in Western, capitalist countries. Socialism was so disastrous that by 2010, the Hungarian treasury had less money in it than at the end of Communism. Hungary went from having a leading Eastern European economy to one of the worst economies after eight years. Germany, a leading nation in the European Union was constantly upset with Hungary for constantly having to bail us out. This led to the landslide parliamentary election where the Civic party (FIDESZ) and the Christian Democrats won a landslide victory and a two-thirds majority in the Parliament.
Socialism is not the answer.
Vote Trump in 2020 and make America great again.