FOREIGN POLICYrnfocusing on the value of retirement an- 1rnLest We Forgetrnthe Evil Empirernby Charles Maurice andrnSvetozar PejovichrnAs long as the Soviet Union existed,rnvoices were heard in the UnitedrnStates favoring peaceful co-existencernwith the socialist bloc, pushing for unilateralrnreduction in the country’s defensernexpenditures, and protesting the developmentrnof nuclear weapons. Some ofrnthose voices were well-meaning andrnnaive, while others were serving a “higher”rnpurpose. Seeking to replace individualrnliberty with collective action, all ofrnthem were blind to the gulags, murder,rnplunder, absence of liberty, and economicrndeprivations that defined the socialistrnlandscape for most of this century.rnIn the early 1980’s, a television showrnabout a nuclear holocaust, The Day After,rncaptured the essence of this movementrnwhich believed in the good intentionsrnof socialist leaders, legislatedrnoutcomes, and unilateral disarmament.rnIn response to that show, we publishedrnthe following short story in 1984 inrnPathfinder, a bimonthly magazine publishedrnby the Center for Free Enterprisernat Texas A&M University. It was republishedrnin dozens of newspapers,rnstudent publications, bulletins, pamphlets,rnand newsletters. The story caughtrnfire because it made the difference betweenrnthe freedom of choice and thernsanctity of law on the one hand and socialrnengineering and totalitarian rule onrnthe other understandable (and observable)rnto an American audience—especiallyrnan audience of young people.rnToday, the consequences of the socialistrnexperiment, perhaps the costliestrnexperiment in human history, are fadingrnfrom our memories. For university studentsrnin the West, the socialist rule in thernSoviet Union and Eastern Europe is fastrnbecoming ancient history, somethingrnthat could not possibly happen again.rnYoung men and women are busy withrntheir careers in competitive markets.rnBaby-boomers in the United States arernunities.rnMemories are in short supply in thernEast as well. In Serbia and Bosnia, peoplernare talking about the good old daysrnunder Tito. They forget that the leadersrnof Bosnia and Serbia today, whatever wernmight think of them, have been electedrnby the population at large, while Tito imposedrnhis rule by force. They forget thatrnTito’s “war of liberation” (1944-1945),rnwhich was very costly in terms of thernnumber of people killed and property destroyed,rnfreed Yugoslavia from the Germanrnoccupation not a day sooner thanrnwould have happened anyhow. To sealrnhis victory over the opponents of communismrnin 1945, Tito murdered overrn30,000 Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes. Inrnthe early 1950’s, Tito organized concentrationrncamps which were probablyrnworse than Stalin’s gulags. As late as thern1970’s, Tito conducted a major purgernthat condemned thousands of people tornunemployment and jail sentences.rnBut appearances are often deceptive.rnThe ugly head of socialism is in hidingrnbut not dead. Some people are clearlyrnunhappy with the fact that the privateproperty,rnfree-market economy hasrnproved its superiority over socialism.rnConsumer advocates, labor unions, pressurerngroups, and all sorts of public interestrndefenders are pushing for more publicrnspending and more governmentalrncontrols. Apologists for socialism arguernthat by pursuing their own ends, the politicalrnleaders in Eastern Europe, the SovietrnUnion, China, North Korea, Cuba,rnand elsewhere ruined the chance for socialismrnto prove itself as a viable alternativernto capitalism. We think they have arnpoint. In order to explain the performancernof socialist economies, analysisrnhas to assume that the leaders did indeedrnpursue their own private ends; of course,rnthey pursued their private ends withinrnthe system of incentives embedded in socialistrninstitutions.rnCollectivism and welfarism are veryrnmuch alive in the world today. PresidentrnClinton almost succeeded in socializingrnhealth care in the United States, and herncontinues to develop and push new publicrnprograms. A huge bureaucracy is beingrncreated in Brussels, which will slowlyrnbut surely replace national sovereigntyrnand the freedom of choice in WesternrnEurope with continentally legislated outcomes.rnEven the recent trip of PopernJohn Paul II to Cuba gave a helpingrnhand to one of the greatest opponents ofrniberty.rnThat is why the story we wrote in 1984rnis worth reprinting at this time. It remindsrnus that what was indeed happeningrnin Eastern Europe and the SovietrnUnion before 1990, and is still happeningrnin China, North Korea, Cuba, andrnother socialist states today, must be rememberedrnso that it does not happenrnagain. “The Day After ‘The Day After'”rnis based in fact. Anyone who lived in anrnEastern European country during thernsocialist rule, as one of us did, can tellrnmany stories about the consequences ofrnthe institutions of socialism. Here is ourrnstory.rnThe Day After “The Day After”rnIt was a strange day in Lawrence, Kansas.rnThere was a stillness in the crisp fall air.rnPeople felt something was about to happen,rnbut they didn’t know what. Radiornstations played only music and TV stationsrnshowed old movies, and both madernfrequent announcements that the Presidentrnof the United States would make anrnimportant speech that night at seven. Allrnaround the nation was the same. Peoplernspeculated, worried, and waited.rnThe mayor of Lawrence was home forrnlunch, playing with his new baby. Hisrnwife asked him if he knew what wasrnwrong, and he said he didn’t. So theyrntalked about the baby during lunch.rnAt 7 P.M., TV sets across the entire nationrnwere tuned in when the Presidentrncame on. He was followed by the secretaryrnof the Communist Party of the UnitedrnStates and the widely recognized Sovietrnambassador. The President spokerngrimly:rnMy dear fellow Americans, I amrndeeply sorry to have to inform yournthat the Soviet Union has requestedrna change in the government ofrnthe United States. The electedrngovernment has resigned. Yourrnnew President will be the secretaryrnof the Communist Party of thernUnited States. We had no choice.rnThe alternative would have beenrnthe nuclear destruction of ourrnbeloved country. We had neitherrnthe weapons to resist nor the retaliatoryrncapacity to offset the threat.rnAs two soldiers pulled him from thernchair, he kept saying, “We had nornchoice. We had no choice. We had nornchoice. . .” The party secretary sat downrn46/CHRONiaESrnrnrn