Communism under Ceausescu

Communism can generally be defined as a regime enforced by conquerors. However, it was not characterized only by terror and oppression, as such an establishment would not be possible to function. Some form of commanding or to the least a number of social categories were also necessary.

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Communism implied the birth of a world turned upside down (Boia, page 111) and attracted those who sustained higher hierarchy and believed to profit due to their own advancements on the scale as those on the less fortunate end would decrease even less than the little they had; in other words the process of some moving up while others were moving down. (Boia, page 111) As equality and liberty were considered to be the target of a democracy, Communism highlighted equality at the expense of liberty. Communism claimed to create this so-called world in which equality prevailed by taking out of existence factor such as exploiters and social discrepancies. The ironic factor is that, in fact, it established the opposite. The most prevalent problem with Communism is that society could not function without several crucial factors such as competition and individual motivation.

Romania was taken by surprise by this new form of regime. Communism was a foreign idea to this country as it was mostly rural, which went against Marxist economical and historical values which considered that this form of establishment was more appropriate to happen in the industrialized West, such as Great Britain, rather than the agrarian and pre-Capitalist East like Russia and Romania. What happened with the Communist initialization in Romania was rather sudden and forced. Such forced industrialization absorbed a large number or the agricultural population and redistributed it into so-called town. These people became known as town-dwellers as they were a rather median division between rural and urban civilization.

In terms of democracy, Romanians had limited understanding of what it meant. Their generalized reaction to authority was that of a mixture of both respect and fear. Thus, it was easy or Communism to take full advantage of mentality and came down on Romanians in a sudden and brutal manner. The process was forcefully introduced in order to make Romania integrate and adapt to the Communist ideal. The purpose was to rapidly turn an agrarian country into an industrialized one and to promptly idealize Communist values and attitudes in a country that had barely previously even heard of the concept of Communism. But as Stoia puts it, this was the drama of Romania; and already fragile social body was struck harder than in other countries.: (page 120)

In order to insure the rise of Communism in a rapid manner several factors were introduced, such as women’s voting rights. Now that everyone was able vote, the Communists and their allies won an astounding victory following the voting of November 1946. However, this victory was actually achieved through propaganda, intimidation, and falsification of votes. In the following years, particularly in the year of 1948, a merging with the Socialists led to the creation of the Romanian Workers Party, which was in fact just another name for the Communist Party.

Communism achieved in its pursuit of power by fusing democratic discourse with totalitarian practice. The alleged purpose of this establishment was to create a new kind of word devoid of inequality, hardship, and prejudice. It proclaimed freedomfree man living in a free world. Communism in fact replaced normal reality with a parallel reality which became almost impossible to escape.

Even though the Communist regime had established itself throughout Easter Europe and even the rest of the world, Romania was one of the countries that had suffered one of the most terrorized version of it. The first part of the Communist regime was sustained during Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, who expressed his power in a direct manner: through terror, This dictatorship not only affected the civilization as a whole but all aspects of social and economic categories, as well as ethnic and religious groups. When Nicolae Ceausescu took over the regime, all this terror became in a way more clandestine from the eyes of the world. The Romanian people were still under censorship, yet they had freedom to be nationalists, but certainly no freedom to express themselves in any form or circumstance otherwise permitted by the Communist tyrants. In other words, the best solution to ensure one’s safety was to keep your mouth shut. (Boia, 131)

An important and intriguing problem with Communism is the rapid economic development. Compared to the West and even the other Communist countries in the East, Romania’s development and growth was rather fascinating. It has become known as the Romanian miracle, however, the true fact of the matter is that after half a century of impulsive growth, Romania was still one of the poorest countries in Europe. Sadly, this rapid growth was once again based on the exploitation of the peoples. One such example was the elimination of villages, which were to be replaced with centers composed of flats such poor quality that some even lacked running water. Another example is the fact that Ceausescu despised churches. He took advantage of the systematization of towns in order to justify his decisions to demolish many of the churches, including historical monuments. His vision was to create an urban setting in which churches did not fit. This included all types of churches, not only the ones pertaining to the Orthodox religion. As a matter of fact, the other religious groups were considered traitors and even hunted and tortured in attempts to force them to to renounce their beliefs, obvious and brutal religious oppression.

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