Two hours ago, "Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation" posted a 20-minute interview with the Czech ex-president Václav Klaus.
He offers his memories about communism and his life in that era. His parents were grateful to the Soviet Union for the liberation. At the end of his high school studies, he began to understand the political aspects of the real world. And in the 1960s, he was literally supposed to become a scholarly expert in the non-Marxist systems.
After the Warsaw Pact occupation in 1968, he could still spend a semester at Cornell – his wife was in Amsterdam at the same time. Only after another year, the non-reformed communists were able to consolidate the power, more vigorously punish the reform communists (who were renegades and therefore worse than the full-fledged outsides i.e. non-partisans like Klaus) and he was fired and worked in a local branch of a bank. But he was still immensely interested in the right systems to organize the society which is why Czechoslovakia had ready-to-use people from his group who could become ministers after the fall of communism. His experience with the real life in Czechoslovakia was necessary for him to make things right.
He also thinks that his sons got a better education in Czechoslovakia – even during communism – than the 3+3 kids of his sister and his wife's sister who emigrated to Switzerland and Australia around 1968.
Interviews like that should be helpful for those Westerners who still have naive and romantic ideas about communism and hypothetical brutal punishments for the smallest sins. That wasn't what communism looked like in the 1970s or 1980s. It was already an old ideology, boasting no real excitement, and unwilling to fight. We learn that Klaus could teach his son to understand all the important things about capitalism, communism, and what was wrong with the latter (Klaus Jr would arrange his personal theater adaptation of Orwell's 1984).
And Klaus again tells us his favorite quote that UC Berkeley had (and still has) more true believers in Marxism than all of Czechoslovakia. ;-) He also talks about the 2014 seminar of his institute where most of the participants concluded that the indoctrination at contemporary schools is more intense than it was during communism – indoctrination by Europeism, genderism, feminism, environmentalism, global warming doctrine, political correctness, multiculturalism, transnationalism, and similar junk.
Also, they figured out that during communism, families were the main protective shields that were able to protect the children from the indoctrination; by these days, families ceased to play this role. At least Klaus is convinced that the current Czech and Californian parents fail in educating their children e.g. about the reasons why the global warming doctrine they may be intoxicated by at schools is poisonous.
Communism has made his life less wonderful than it could have been otherwise and we should never forget about it, Klaus says, but let's not play the games of the past all the time. Let's not overlook that the world history hasn't ended and there are new -isms today (perhaps new reincarnations of communism, communisms in disguise) that pose a threat. We are not attentive enough when it comes to these dangers.