Harvard University’s undergraduate newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, published an op-ed by a student warning against the perils of communism and her classmates’ habit of whitewashing the 20th Century.
Laura Nicolae railed against students on the Ivy League’s campus who sport “Ché Guevara on a few shirts and button pins,” and attempt to “alleviate the stigma around the concept of Leftism.”
To Nicolae, the young Bolsheviks who roam Harvard’s campus aren’t just going through a phase, but endorsing a deeply dangerous ideology. The deaths of the 100 million who died under the USSR “are not a joke,” yet Harvard “teaches [students] to reduce one of the most destructive ideologies in human history to a one-dimensional, sanitized narrative,” she wrote.
The university’s failure to properly educate its students on the failures of Marxism will create problems beyond annoying Thanksgiving dinner conversation. Nicolae wrote in the November post:
After spending four years on a campus saturated with Marxist memes and jokes about communist revolutions, my classmates will graduate with the impression that communism represents a light-hearted critique of the status quo, rather than an empirically violent philosophy that destroyed millions of lives.
Statistics show that young Americans are indeed oblivious to communism’s harrowing past. According to a YouGov poll, only half of millennials believe that communism was a problem, and about a third believe that President George W. Bush killed more people than Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who killed 20 million. If you ask millennials how many people communism killed, 75 percent will undershoot.
While some college students may daydream of their own October Revolution, Nicolae reminds Harvard denizens of “Stalin’s secret police” who tortured “traitors” in secret prisons by sticking needles under their fingernails or beating them “until their bones were broken.”
Despite these horrific facts, there remains a segment of the left that claims “real communism” was never actually tried, instead Lenin and Stalin butchered a tremendous opportunity for real equality. Nicholae has a few simple words for these people: “Communism cannot be separated from oppression; in fact, it depends upon it.”
“In the communist society, the collective is supreme. Personal autonomy is nonexistent. Human beings are simply cogs in a machine tasked with producing utopia; they have no value of their own.”
Nicolae’s passion stems from her own family’s history. In her column, she recounted how her father in 1988 “jumped off a train in the middle of Hungary with nothing but the clothes on his back,” in an effort to flee “an oppressive Romanian Communist regime that would kill him if they ever laid hands on him again.”
Nicolae’s father eventually made it to the United States and, along with his wife, raised two daughters who both attend Harvard. Others, as history tells us, were not so lucky.
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