Posted 02/02/2010 07:24 PM ET
IBD Exclusive Series:
Perspectives of a Russian Immigrant
There was an old Soviet saying: If you need to find food to fill your refrigerator, plug it into the microphone of a party leader giving a speech.
Today in America, if we plug a refrigerator into our leader's teleprompter, I suspect the refrigerator will stop working.
Democratic party leaders speak incessantly of limiting profits and regulating salaries.
It brings back to memory another Soviet line: You pretend you are paying us salaries, and we pretend we are working. If bureaucrats predetermine the value of your work, there is no incentive to be productive. This is the quickest way to kill a dynamic economy.
I never expected to hear this kind of rhetoric in the USA. Today, the American educational machine teaches exactly the same points the Soviets taught.
It idealizes Socialist societies and denigrates America, especially its economic system.
American students are brainwashed to despise economic freedom and to yearn for a big government state.
Freed from their parents' control, but intimidated by the relentlessly negative portrayal of America, young Americans look for politicians to show them the way.
As someone who experienced real government-approved anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, I am amazed by the obliviousness of American Jews, the most fervent supporters of left-wing politics.
They support a party that is obsessed with pitting one group against another, and that incessantly plays on envy and hatred for bankers, rich people, big business and doctors.
They fail to notice that the success of Jews, as well as other minorities, in the sciences, business and arts is directly correlated to their freedom from oppressive, centralized control. American Jews who support big government do not understand what their ancestors escaped from.
Persecutions of Jews throughout history all have one thing in common: a centralized power that manipulates and directs people's anger away from themselves onto an easy target.
No matter how much Jews align themselves with the power structure and work for noble causes, they will remain an easy target.
As they said in the Soviet Union pertaining to Soviet Jews: They don't beat your record; they beat your face — meaning that no matter how much you try to assimilate, no matter how many good deeds you do, the centralized power can direct populist anger toward you and crush you when it suits them.
When the Bolsheviks took power after the 1917 proletarian revolution, their first steps were to take control of the banks and the media.
Of course, it is not fair to compare our current American democratic leaders with the Bolsheviks.
Yes, they both use the same slogans in their speeches.
Yes, they both stir up envy and class warfare to distract from their failures.
Yes, both political movements sought control of the banks as the foundation for their new egalitarian vision.
And yes, they are both opposed to free speech, as was made clear by the reaction of American leftists to the recent Supreme Court decision.
But you would never find a Czar anywhere in the Soviet government.
• Kunin lived in the Soviet Union until 1980, working as a civil engineer. She is now a retired software developer living in Connecticut.