The communist freedom of speech was just a fairy tale
I have been asked about the freedom of speech in my country where I was born and raised and how it compared with the freedom of speech we have in America. Is it just an illusion on paper under constant attack from the Marxist left which controls the country?
When Americans exercise their freedom of speech guaranteed in the Constitution, social media bans them under the rubric of “violation of their community standards.” Those standards must be very curious as Taliban jihadis are allowed on social platforms while conservatives and a former president are not.
The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights
The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted in 1948, states in article 19 that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
The actual paragraphs of art. 19 are as follows:
- Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
- Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
- The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary: (a) for respect of the rights or reputation of others; (b) for the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals.
Paragraph 3 places limitations on the freedom of speech.
George Orwell stated, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
Adolph Hitler allegedly said, “We’ve eliminated that conception of political freedom which holds that everybody has the right to say whatever comes into his head.”
Freedom of speech was just a line-item joke in the constitution
The communist tyrant Ceausescu employed an army of security personnel and apparatchiks loyal to him who went to any length to squash the voices of those who tried to exercise their freedom of speech as outlined in the constitution. Those who dared speak against socialism and its ruling communist party were tortured, forced to say, or write down incriminating statements, and jailed where they were eliminated by means that appeared as natural death.
If disinformation against them did not work, the tyrant silenced dissenters by having them beaten within an inch of their lives, “living corpses” as Pacepa wrote. Freedom of speech was just a line-item joke in the constitution.
Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa wrote in his book, Red Horizons, that Ceausescu added radiation to his deadly arsenal against those he deemed “inconvenient” who needed their freedom of speech curtailed permanently. He gave the order “Radu” for those slated to be irradiated. “The radiation dosage was said to generate lethal forms of cancer.” (p. 146)
The constitution guaranteed freedom of speech but people were terrified to exercise it even around their immediate or extended family. They never knew who would turn them in for extra rations of food.
How much freedom of speech did citizens have?
None, when one considers the fact that every citizen had to submit a handwriting sample to the authorities and had to register and turn in on demand any typewriters they owned if the authorities deemed necessary that such machines should be confiscated.
None, if one considers that those who were lucky enough to have telephones, the speakers were bugged.
Unlike today, when technology does the spying on the population, back then the centralized socialist/communist government had to engage an entire army of spies and informers to curtail the peoples’ freedom of speech and assembly.
Article 30 in the Romanian constitution today guarantees the following:
- Freedom to express thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and the freedom to create anything via speech, images, sounds, or other means of communication in public.
- Censorship of any kind is forbidden.
- Freedom of the press and freedom to establish publications.
- No publication can be suppressed.
- The means of communication in mass must disclose the source of finance.
- Freedom of expression cannot prejudice the dignity, honor, private life of a person, or their right to their own image.
- It is forbidden to defame the country and the nation; to urge war of aggression; nation hate, racist hate, class hate, religious hate, incitement to discriminate, incitement to territorial separatism, public violence; obscene manifestations against good morals.
- Civil responsibility for public information falls on the editor, the creator, the author, the organizer of the artistic manifestation, the owner of the means of production of such information, the radio station, the tv station, etc.
According to article 30 it appears that freedom of speech, although guaranteed in words, is not that free at all, it does contain many “caveats,” specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations.
Professor Marius Visovan, a priest, wrote about the anti-communist commemorative plaque displayed at the “Dragos-Voda” high school; because of current political correctness, the leftist way to squash freedom of speech, the commemorative plaque had been removed. It was a painful realization that those who were jailed, suffered, and died during the communist regime “were once again slapped in the face.”
Visovan bemoaned the fact that there is freedom of speech to contest the decisions of current politicians, but nobody seems to listen or is willing to redress the grievances of the population. What good is the stated freedom of speech if people are shouting in the wind?
Memorial of the Victims of Communism
Through the Memorial of the Victims of Communism from Sighet, Maramures, Romanians are learning slowly what happened to their nation during the communist rule of the tyrant Ceausescu. Why slowly? After 1990, according to Prof. Visovan, with one television station at that time, strongly dominated by neo-communists, with very few independent press outlets, Romanian citizens were clamoring for uncensored information.
The former political prisoners alive then asked for their rights to express publicly the truth about communism. But the official narrative was still the communist propaganda of four decades prior. Slowly, since the 1989’s revolution and the “fall” of communism, information and freedom of speech are dominated and controlled by the globalist-funded mass media, using the same talking points that America is using today.
I remember my high school history teacher, a Jewish lady, who was eventually allowed to flee to Israel under Ceausescu’s agreement that Jews could buy their freedom in dollars out of the oppressive communism we lived under.
She did not allow us to ask many questions when we studied certain “inconvenient” historical facts that the communist party tried very hard to erase from reality or conceal and misrepresent. She would give us a verbal warning which we learned to heed under the guise of, you are treading in dangerous territory for you. The verbal warning was, “democracy has gone to your heads.”
Her meaning was, that we should not dare try to express orally and in writing the “rights” we had under the constitution which the communist party changed at will, or else we and our parents would be disappeared in the many prisons and gulags the commies had spread around the country. The communist freedom of speech was just a fairy tale.