From the video, we see the following startling figures taken from recent surveys:
Slovakia, 2003 (Public Relation Institute, Bratislava): 66% said that they lived better under Communism than they do now. Only 8% said they live better now than they did then.
Russia, 2005 (New Russia Barometer Survey): 48% and 85% of those age 73 said that things were better before 1985 than they are today. 49% said they were better off economically before 1990, 28% said they are better off now, and 23% said it is the same.
East Germany, Nov. 2007 (Forsa Institute): 73% supported socialism as a concept but believed it had been poorly implemented. 90%+ said they had better social protection under the GDR.
Bulgaria, Dec. 2007 (Mediana): 33% said they wanted to return to Communism, up from 29% in 2004. 50%+ believed that public property acquired at fire sale prices under privatization since 1990 should be renationalized.
Romania, May 2007 (BERD): 50%+ said the economy was better under Communism than it is now.
Romania, Nov. 2007 (Soros Foundation): 48% said that they lived better under Communism than they do now. 45% still believe in Communism.
Romania, Feb. 2008 (World Bank): Only 20% thought that the economy is better now than it was under Communism.
Hungary, June 2008 (Gfk Piackutato): 62% said thing were better under János Kádár in the period before 1990 than they are now. 14% said that the period since 1990 had been the happiest time of their lives, while 60% said it had been the most miserable time of their lives.
There are a lot of commenters on this site who oppose socialism and Communism for a variety of reasons. I am wondering how these folks can reconcile these figures with their views.
I imagine that most of these folks feel that Communism and socialism are failed ideologies that simply don’t work in practice, however noble they may be conceived. If it’s really true that they fail so miserably and obviously, why do so many of those who have lived in the same nation under both Communism and capitalism feel that Communism was better and capitalism was worse?
Are these people simply so insane that they can’t figure out that things are obviously so much better now than they were back then? If their views are not insane, how do you reconcile their opinions with your view that Communism has been a miserable failure?
A common line among anti-Communists is that Communism inevitably starves people and enslaves them. If this is true, and I say it’s not, then are these people simply masochists who enjoy being starved and enslaved? How can we account for their behavior?
Most of you feel that capitalism is obviously superior to Communism. If it is, then why do so few of those who lived in the same nation under both systems agree with you?
Is there any way for you folks to account for the opinions of these folks. Are they simply lazy people who don’t want to take risks and enjoy being coddled and taken care of by a cradle to grave welfare state?
Keep in mind that by 1989, the socialist systems of most of these states were highly heterodox, with lots of collective and even limited private enterprise alongside public property. Censorship laws had been relaxed in most states and there was considerable freedom of speech. In places like Hungary, Goulash Communism or market socialism had created a quite high standard of living.*
*However, in Romania, a terrible Secret Police had instituted a terror state, and this in addition to a ferocious austerity program was the main reason for the violent overthrow of Nicolae Ceauşescu. In the few years before the Revolution of 1989, Ceauşescu had instituted brutal austerity measures in order to try to pay off the nation’s foreign debt.
While this made him very unpopular, I don’t see why anti-Communists, deficit hawks all of them who never been an austerity program too savage for a capitalist state, should object to Ceauşescu putting Romanians on a diet, as Thomas Friedman and his globalist buddies like to quip. Ceauşescu had also created a ridiculous personality cult and blown huge amounts of money on lavish construction projects dedicated to himself.