Be careful who you call a Communist

Be careful who you call a Communist February 8, 2008

Tito from Custos Fidei has made it a custom to call this blog and its contributors anywhere from “Marxists” to “heterodox.” This is not new, since these attacks, which became vicious at times, started in our former blog, Evangelical Catholicism, while discussing illegal immigration. I was called many times by Tito a “communist” who was in favor of “social engineering” and so forth. I do not value Tito’s misinterpretation of my views too much, because this comes from the same person who accused Hans Urs von Balthasar of being a universalist and who supposedly did not deserve to be considered to become a Cardinal of the Catholic Church. Having never read this theologian’s works, Tito still felt compelled to launch the attack on Balthasar, so of course, why would it surprise me that he can misrepresent anyone else’s views including mine or any of the other contributors of this blog? Normally, I try not to pay attention to these kinds of accusations that happen in the blogosphere, because they come from people who do not know each other personally, but this time around I decided to set the record straight, because he picked the wrong person to call a Marxist or a communist. Enough is enough.

I do not take Tito’s remarks as personal, because as I have mentioned above, he does not know me or my boyfriend, Policraticus, personally or any of the contributors of this blog, for that matter. Even though I do not take them personally, I thought it would be worth sharing a few personal details about my life and my family, which do not apply to me alone in order to warn against using such strong labels.

My grandfather, a Yugoslavian, was stripped of all his properties in the late 1940s by the Communists and was imprisoned for quite some time. He turned out to be one of the lucky ones, because eleven of his twelve siblings were killed at the hands of the same communists. Later, he was able to escape Yugoslavia with nothing but the clothes he was wearing and some money that he kept in his underwear all that time. Finally, he reached New York City with nothing and had to start all over again. He moved to Venezuela and worked for the oil industry there where he met my grandmother and had to start a family with nothing to offer them. Only my grandmother knows how my grandfather was affected and haunted until his last days by those terrible months he spent in captivity and of the shock of being stripped of his family and everything he worked so hard for. He could only speak in deep sorrow about what the communists had done to his life, his family, his country, and his people. He never recovered his properties, which are in Serbia unclaimed until this day.

 

One his cousins who survived the communist regime was able to move to Chicago and lived there many years until he passed away a couple of months ago. He was an engineer who also had to start from scratch, but his life after communism was never the same. Throughout his life, he saved all his money to the point that he lived in precarious conditions for fear that the communists will come and seize his properties. He would refuse to have a phone or internet for fear that the communists would find him. It is hard for us to imagine what deep mark Communism had on him and many other people, to the point that many years after the Cold War had ended, he still thought that communists were looking after him.

 

I, too, live day after day the consequences of communism, which is masked by Hugo Chavez as socialism, but it is simply not. I do not live in Venezuela anymore, but my dear friends and family do and it is through them and with them that I suffer the consequences of the actions and words of this lunatic. My direct family and I moved to this country nine years ago, simply because my dad could not afford housing, education, or perhaps even food for us. We never owned a house, so we always had to rent. However, rent was starting to be charged all around the country in dollars instead of the local currency and due to the dramatic devaluation of the Bolívar, my dad could simply not afford to support us. This was nine years ago, now the inflation brought about by Chavez’s “regime” due to his domestic and foreign policy and the uncertainty he brings to the nation is almost immeasurable. Along with the rampant inflation is the even worse decline in value of the Bolívar, which has made food unaffordable. On top of that, the problem is not only being unable to afford food prices, but to actually find them in supermarkets. Basic foods are nowhere to be found in Venezuela: milk, eggs, sugar, beans, rice, corn flour to name only a few. Private properties are being invaded and seized. Crime is worse than it has ever been in history. Political prisoners and random arrests of prominent opposition and media leaders abound all throughout the country. I cannot but tell you how hard it is to hear friends and family telling me that they cannot afford food or medication. We help out our family financially so they can afford the basics and perhaps little luxuries like eating out, but the real tragedy is the severe depression that my loved ones are going through. In their minds, they see that they worked hard towards a degree, work hard in their jobs and see that they cannot afford the basics necessities if it would not be for their relatives. It seems that they are in a hole that is only being dug deeper and there is nothing they can do about it.

 

Venezuela is now basically bankrupt, especially with ExxonMobil (rightly) freezing the worldwide assets of PDVSA (Venezuela’s oil company) due to a 35-year old contract that PDVSA broke with them on 2006 breaking any kind of laws imaginable. This happened because Chavez wanted to nationalize the assets that ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips had built in Venezuela despite of all the investments these companies, among others, had made since 1995. These lawsuits may in fact be an embargo on Venezuela in the long term, because the country may not be able to pay back the debt they have with the oil giants, since Chavez is giving oil to other countries for free. In other words, since Venezuela’s economic support is based solely on oil, 90% of the country’s income may suddenly be shut down and we know who the ones that pay the price are: the Venezuelan people, especially the poor. This is not socialism, folks, this is communism: plain and simple.

I can tell you a thing or two about communism. So, next time, be careful who you call a communist, because you may soon realize you were wrong.

"If I am only now scaring you, I need to bring my A game. :-)"

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  • Blackadder

    It really drives me up the wall when I read about what’s going on in places like Venezuela or Zimbabwe. So much pointless and needless suffering. Knowing people who are actually there must be maddening sometimes.

  • Blackadder

    It really drives me up the wall when I read about what’s going on in places like Venezuela or Zimbabwe. So much pointless and needless suffering. Knowing people who are actually there must be maddening sometimes.

  • If Tito admits that he is not a well read fellow, I’m puzzled why he keeps jabbing folks here for what they read, throwing around words like “Chomskyism” when he probably hasn’t read a word of Chomsky.

  • If Tito admits that he is not a well read fellow, I’m puzzled why he keeps jabbing folks here for what they read, throwing around words like “Chomskyism” when he probably hasn’t read a word of Chomsky.

  • RCM

    Wow, Katerina, thank you for sharing your story. You definitely have a perspective most of us have no clue about it. We can only speak, but you have lived it via your family and your own life.

    Sadly, 80% of Americans do not own a passport. And overall education in this country is, well, you know. So most people only can rely on their limited education and lack of life experience. I have no idea about Tito, but after perusing his blog I was left with more questions and doubts about him than anything else. He probably thinks anyone who travels outside the US is a Communist, unless of course, they are US soldiers.

  • RCM

    Wow, Katerina, thank you for sharing your story. You definitely have a perspective most of us have no clue about it. We can only speak, but you have lived it via your family and your own life.

    Sadly, 80% of Americans do not own a passport. And overall education in this country is, well, you know. So most people only can rely on their limited education and lack of life experience. I have no idea about Tito, but after perusing his blog I was left with more questions and doubts about him than anything else. He probably thinks anyone who travels outside the US is a Communist, unless of course, they are US soldiers.

  • BA,

    It’s indeed horrible 🙁 I read the news and hear what my family tells me and it sounds so foreign… it doesn’t sound like the country I grew up in at all :'(

  • BA,

    It’s indeed horrible 🙁 I read the news and hear what my family tells me and it sounds so foreign… it doesn’t sound like the country I grew up in at all :'(

  • Katerina,

    I see that you don’t take my “attacks” personally by mentioning this about seven times. You go out of your way to say this yet it’s clear that you have taken my “attacks” personally.

    As far as your boyfriend, let him fight his own battles. But it seems that he has to resort to using his girlfriend as a proxy.

    It’s nice that you mention how “vicious” my attacks were when it is your boyfriend mostly that has been vicious in his name-calling and immature behavior.

    I have no animosity towards you or your boyfriend, but it’s quite interesting that when your boyfriend gets offended when I point out the hypocrisy of some of the bloggers on Vox Nova, he begins to lump you in it as well and brings you along to fight his battles.

    If you can call it fighting at all.

    I call it a disagreement, he calls it a fight, you call it an attack.

    That is typical of liberals who have a difficult time defending their positions. Instead of admitting you’re wrong or defending yourself with proper evidence, you and your boyfriend (again it’s mostly your boyfriend) get all hot and bothered and start throwing around invectives at me and my readers.

    It is quite clear that there are good posters on Vox Nova, but it is in sharp contrast to the uncharitable and unCatholic views that is spouted around in this blog.

    It’s unfortunate that after mending our fences that you have to bring up Balthasar. Unlike you and your boyfriend I admit when I’m wrong and have always treated both of you charitably.

    Next time your boyfriend comes crying to your shoulder and starts doing immature actions such as “deleting me as a friend” on facebook (now that is pretty childish) just hand him a box of tissue and pray and be calm about things rather than slander me on your blog.

    My goodness this is Lent and you of all people would start a misguided diatribe towards me when this dispute has nothing to do with you. I frankly don’t have anything wrong with any of your postings. It is your boyfriend, not I that has issues with my labeling certain bloggers on Vox Nova as Cafeteria Catholics.

    Unfortunately you’ve already posted your diatribe and decided to jump into this discussion between Poli & I.

    I offer my sincere condolensces if you were offended in any way by the accusations that Poli has thrown against me.

    Tito

  • Katerina,

    I see that you don’t take my “attacks” personally by mentioning this about seven times. You go out of your way to say this yet it’s clear that you have taken my “attacks” personally.

    As far as your boyfriend, let him fight his own battles. But it seems that he has to resort to using his girlfriend as a proxy.

    It’s nice that you mention how “vicious” my attacks were when it is your boyfriend mostly that has been vicious in his name-calling and immature behavior.

    I have no animosity towards you or your boyfriend, but it’s quite interesting that when your boyfriend gets offended when I point out the hypocrisy of some of the bloggers on Vox Nova, he begins to lump you in it as well and brings you along to fight his battles.

    If you can call it fighting at all.

    I call it a disagreement, he calls it a fight, you call it an attack.

    That is typical of liberals who have a difficult time defending their positions. Instead of admitting you’re wrong or defending yourself with proper evidence, you and your boyfriend (again it’s mostly your boyfriend) get all hot and bothered and start throwing around invectives at me and my readers.

    It is quite clear that there are good posters on Vox Nova, but it is in sharp contrast to the uncharitable and unCatholic views that is spouted around in this blog.

    It’s unfortunate that after mending our fences that you have to bring up Balthasar. Unlike you and your boyfriend I admit when I’m wrong and have always treated both of you charitably.

    Next time your boyfriend comes crying to your shoulder and starts doing immature actions such as “deleting me as a friend” on facebook (now that is pretty childish) just hand him a box of tissue and pray and be calm about things rather than slander me on your blog.

    My goodness this is Lent and you of all people would start a misguided diatribe towards me when this dispute has nothing to do with you. I frankly don’t have anything wrong with any of your postings. It is your boyfriend, not I that has issues with my labeling certain bloggers on Vox Nova as Cafeteria Catholics.

    Unfortunately you’ve already posted your diatribe and decided to jump into this discussion between Poli & I.

    I offer my sincere condolensces if you were offended in any way by the accusations that Poli has thrown against me.

    Tito

  • Mark D.

    Tito,

    You are no longer in junior high school, I assume. I would better mind this fact, if I were you.

  • Mark D.

    Tito,

    You are no longer in junior high school, I assume. I would better mind this fact, if I were you.

  • Mark D.,

    And that is indicative of the some of the posters and commenters on this blog. Resorting to playground antics and ghetto smack talk.

    You’re doing a fine job reaffirming my opinion of certain bloggers and commenters on this blog.

  • Mark D.,

    And that is indicative of the some of the posters and commenters on this blog. Resorting to playground antics and ghetto smack talk.

    You’re doing a fine job reaffirming my opinion of certain bloggers and commenters on this blog.

  • Tito can you be more specific.

  • Tito can you be more specific.

  • Tito,

    I have no animosity towards you or your boyfriend,

    I would say that when you said at Jay’s blog that Poli and I were the most heterodoxical and egotistical couple you had ever met (even though you haven’t met us) among other insults, you were including ME in your attacks, but hey that’s just me. Sorry if I felt the need to defend myself.

    My goodness this is Lent and you of all people would start a misguided diatribe towards me when this dispute has nothing to do with you.

    I would say calling us “Cafeteria Catholics” in your blog during Lent is not very nice, isn’t it?

  • Tito,

    I have no animosity towards you or your boyfriend,

    I would say that when you said at Jay’s blog that Poli and I were the most heterodoxical and egotistical couple you had ever met (even though you haven’t met us) among other insults, you were including ME in your attacks, but hey that’s just me. Sorry if I felt the need to defend myself.

    My goodness this is Lent and you of all people would start a misguided diatribe towards me when this dispute has nothing to do with you.

    I would say calling us “Cafeteria Catholics” in your blog during Lent is not very nice, isn’t it?

  • Blackadder

    Tito,

    Stop digging.

  • Blackadder

    Tito,

    Stop digging.

  • Katerina,

    …”heterodoxical and egotistical couple”…

    After reading the comments that you and your boyfriend have said about me and my readers (and others in the Catholic blogosphere) in the past, I would say that is quite accurate. With the caveat that the vast majority of it can be squarely laid at your boyfriends feet. But I don’t blame you for falling into the trap of insulting me and the others, you’re just being a good girlfriend to your boyfriend.

    As for the “cafeteria Catholic” comment you actually have a valid point. Though I was doing this in jest and wanting to rib some of the posters and commenters here on this blog.

    For all intents and purposes I frankly have no issue with you Katerina. Maybe in the past I shouldn’t have thrown words around like “communist”, but I find and read no issues with any of your postings.

    I deeply feel for you and your family of having to go through all of the mess that was Yugoslavia. I can relate since my family was on the losing side of the Cristero-Blanco Civil War in Mexico (Blessed Miguel Pro was a Cristero and a martyf for the Church during this battle).

    Shoot me an email.

    You, Poli and I really need to talk and not communicate like this for the world to see.

    Tito

  • Katerina,

    …”heterodoxical and egotistical couple”…

    After reading the comments that you and your boyfriend have said about me and my readers (and others in the Catholic blogosphere) in the past, I would say that is quite accurate. With the caveat that the vast majority of it can be squarely laid at your boyfriends feet. But I don’t blame you for falling into the trap of insulting me and the others, you’re just being a good girlfriend to your boyfriend.

    As for the “cafeteria Catholic” comment you actually have a valid point. Though I was doing this in jest and wanting to rib some of the posters and commenters here on this blog.

    For all intents and purposes I frankly have no issue with you Katerina. Maybe in the past I shouldn’t have thrown words around like “communist”, but I find and read no issues with any of your postings.

    I deeply feel for you and your family of having to go through all of the mess that was Yugoslavia. I can relate since my family was on the losing side of the Cristero-Blanco Civil War in Mexico (Blessed Miguel Pro was a Cristero and a martyf for the Church during this battle).

    Shoot me an email.

    You, Poli and I really need to talk and not communicate like this for the world to see.

    Tito

  • The term Cafeteria Catholics is meaningless when you consider where it usually comes from.

  • The term Cafeteria Catholics is meaningless when you consider where it usually comes from.

  • As for the “cafeteria Catholic” comment you actually have a valid point. Though I was doing this in jest and wanting to rib some of the posters and commenters here on this blog.

    Who? Point a finger at someone. Who here at Vox Nova is a “Cafeteria Catholic” and please explain why and please be specific.

  • As for the “cafeteria Catholic” comment you actually have a valid point. Though I was doing this in jest and wanting to rib some of the posters and commenters here on this blog.

    Who? Point a finger at someone. Who here at Vox Nova is a “Cafeteria Catholic” and please explain why and please be specific.

  • Michael,

    I would suggest you pick up Fr. Francis Fernandez book “In Conversation with God” volume 2, page 15, section 3.2 and read it.

    Tito

  • Michael,

    I would suggest you pick up Fr. Francis Fernandez book “In Conversation with God” volume 2, page 15, section 3.2 and read it.

    Tito

  • You, Poli and I really need to talk and not communicate like this for the world to see.

    Your comments about us have been made public, so I don’t see any problem posting this. Also, I’m not attacking you on this post: I’m only setting the record straight in public given the public character of “statements” you have made about us.

    In all honesty, I wish it were only you who throws the “communist” (and similar) labels around, but that’s just not reality and the post is intended to make people more conscious of someone else’s realities before throwing attacks like that. It is far too easy to do that on the internet and we are all guilty of that to some extent or other.

  • You, Poli and I really need to talk and not communicate like this for the world to see.

    Your comments about us have been made public, so I don’t see any problem posting this. Also, I’m not attacking you on this post: I’m only setting the record straight in public given the public character of “statements” you have made about us.

    In all honesty, I wish it were only you who throws the “communist” (and similar) labels around, but that’s just not reality and the post is intended to make people more conscious of someone else’s realities before throwing attacks like that. It is far too easy to do that on the internet and we are all guilty of that to some extent or other.

  • Katerina,

    So be it.

    Your character is shining through.

    Tito

  • Katerina,

    So be it.

    Your character is shining through.

    Tito

  • Wow….just, wow…..

  • Wow….just, wow…..

  • Blackadder

    “I would suggest you pick up Fr. Francis Fernandez book “In Conversation with God” volume 2, page 15, section 3.2 and read it.”

    You mean some of the Vox-Nova bloggers are mentioned on that page of the book? Wow. That’s impressive.

  • Blackadder

    “I would suggest you pick up Fr. Francis Fernandez book “In Conversation with God” volume 2, page 15, section 3.2 and read it.”

    You mean some of the Vox-Nova bloggers are mentioned on that page of the book? Wow. That’s impressive.

  • Policraticus

    First, thank you Katerina for fighting for me by proxy. What would I do without a girlfriend who battles for me?

    Second, I find it fascinating how Tito demeans and depersonalizes Katerina, portraying her as this poor, impressionable and drone-like girlfriend who out of her loyalty to her boyfriend continuously does whatever he says and wants her to do. Apparently, Tito doesn’t believe that Katerina thinks for herself.

    Third, I think Tito’s comments are as self-condemning as it gets. No need to respond to them.

    Third,

  • Policraticus

    First, thank you Katerina for fighting for me by proxy. What would I do without a girlfriend who battles for me?

    Second, I find it fascinating how Tito demeans and depersonalizes Katerina, portraying her as this poor, impressionable and drone-like girlfriend who out of her loyalty to her boyfriend continuously does whatever he says and wants her to do. Apparently, Tito doesn’t believe that Katerina thinks for herself.

    Third, I think Tito’s comments are as self-condemning as it gets. No need to respond to them.

    Third,

  • Morning’s Minion

    I’ve never heard of this Tito character. BUt I tuned out after he used the term *liberal* in a way that shows he has no understanding of the term whatsoever.

  • Morning’s Minion

    I’ve never heard of this Tito character. BUt I tuned out after he used the term *liberal* in a way that shows he has no understanding of the term whatsoever.

  • It’s unfortunate this has had to be this way.

    Forgive me for offending anyone here, intentionaly or not.

    I hold no malice towards anyone here, especially the poster and her boyfriend.

    Tito

  • It’s unfortunate this has had to be this way.

    Forgive me for offending anyone here, intentionaly or not.

    I hold no malice towards anyone here, especially the poster and her boyfriend.

    Tito

  • One of my tests of an honest refutation is the accurate and contextual presentation of the opposing argument. None of which I found in Katerina’s appeal to emotion, although it is certainly a moving story. Her premise, because my family and I suffered from communism, I can’t be accused of communist tendancies.

    It’s also customary to oppose an argument in the place it was made. Obviously Katerina felt more comfortable bringing the argment back to safe territory so it would be easier to demonize and mischaracterize her interlocuter. This is not making an argument, it is slander at worst, calumny at best.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • One of my tests of an honest refutation is the accurate and contextual presentation of the opposing argument. None of which I found in Katerina’s appeal to emotion, although it is certainly a moving story. Her premise, because my family and I suffered from communism, I can’t be accused of communist tendancies.

    It’s also customary to oppose an argument in the place it was made. Obviously Katerina felt more comfortable bringing the argment back to safe territory so it would be easier to demonize and mischaracterize her interlocuter. This is not making an argument, it is slander at worst, calumny at best.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • MarK D.

    Now this is completely ridiculous.

    “It is slander at worst, calumny at best.”

    Matt,

    Tito’s “argument”is that Marx’s picture is at the top of this blogsite. Do you know the definition of slander and calumny? An example would be the following:

    You’re not Tito’s boyfiend, are you? Is this why you are uncritically defending him?

    This method befits Tito more than Katerina here.

  • MarK D.

    Now this is completely ridiculous.

    “It is slander at worst, calumny at best.”

    Matt,

    Tito’s “argument”is that Marx’s picture is at the top of this blogsite. Do you know the definition of slander and calumny? An example would be the following:

    You’re not Tito’s boyfiend, are you? Is this why you are uncritically defending him?

    This method befits Tito more than Katerina here.

  • Policraticus

    Obviously Katerina felt more comfortable bringing the argment back to safe territory so it would be easier to demonize and mischaracterize her interlocuter.

    What a ridiculous and groundless statement. Katerina did nothing more than to note what she has been accused of by Tito. If by repeating what Tito said is demonizing, then it follows that Tito has demonized himself. Simple, really.

    One of my tests of an honest refutation is the accurate and contextual presentation of the opposing argument. None of which I found in Katerina’s appeal to emotion, although it is certainly a moving story. Her premise, because my family and I suffered from communism, I can’t be accused of communist tendancies.

    How does one provide an “honest refutation” to being dubbed a “Communist” other than stating that one is not a Communist? Katerina stated this in her post and included her experiences with Communism to drive home how repugnant the implemented system is to her. If you really understood argumentation as much as you try to imply here, then you would have noticed that Katerina’s personal testimony was not given as a premise for her not being Communist. Rather, her experience of Communism was proffered to demonstrate the conclusion that she knows what Communism is. L-O-G-I-C

  • Policraticus

    Obviously Katerina felt more comfortable bringing the argment back to safe territory so it would be easier to demonize and mischaracterize her interlocuter.

    What a ridiculous and groundless statement. Katerina did nothing more than to note what she has been accused of by Tito. If by repeating what Tito said is demonizing, then it follows that Tito has demonized himself. Simple, really.

    One of my tests of an honest refutation is the accurate and contextual presentation of the opposing argument. None of which I found in Katerina’s appeal to emotion, although it is certainly a moving story. Her premise, because my family and I suffered from communism, I can’t be accused of communist tendancies.

    How does one provide an “honest refutation” to being dubbed a “Communist” other than stating that one is not a Communist? Katerina stated this in her post and included her experiences with Communism to drive home how repugnant the implemented system is to her. If you really understood argumentation as much as you try to imply here, then you would have noticed that Katerina’s personal testimony was not given as a premise for her not being Communist. Rather, her experience of Communism was proffered to demonstrate the conclusion that she knows what Communism is. L-O-G-I-C

  • Mark D. I’ll ignore your infantile gibberish, and only pray for your conversion.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Mark D. I’ll ignore your infantile gibberish, and only pray for your conversion.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • First, thank you Katerina for fighting for me by proxy. What would I do without a girlfriend who battles for me?

    You’re welcome. See? You need to be with me 😛

  • First, thank you Katerina for fighting for me by proxy. What would I do without a girlfriend who battles for me?

    You’re welcome. See? You need to be with me 😛

  • Tito – No time to investigate that particular book. Why don’t you summarize the section that you think is relevant, for me, and for everyone else here.

    While you’re at it, can you summarize Chomsky for us?

  • Tito – No time to investigate that particular book. Why don’t you summarize the section that you think is relevant, for me, and for everyone else here.

    While you’re at it, can you summarize Chomsky for us?

  • Policraticus

    Mark D. I’ll ignore your infantile gibberish, and only pray for your conversion.

    Mark D.,

    Apparently Matt has peered into your soul and found you in need of conversion. He’s got Holy Spirit-like abilities!

  • Policraticus

    Mark D. I’ll ignore your infantile gibberish, and only pray for your conversion.

    Mark D.,

    Apparently Matt has peered into your soul and found you in need of conversion. He’s got Holy Spirit-like abilities!

  • Tito and Matt,

    Come on…Really? Seriously?…This isn’t just a big joke?

    Pax Christi,

  • Tito and Matt,

    Come on…Really? Seriously?…This isn’t just a big joke?

    Pax Christi,

  • Policraticus,

    Apparently Matt has peered into your soul and found you in need of conversion. He’s got Holy Spirit-like abilities

    ummm… no, I read his infantile gibberish. Apparently you are unable to recognize it for some unknown reason. I’ll pray for you too.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Policraticus,

    Apparently Matt has peered into your soul and found you in need of conversion. He’s got Holy Spirit-like abilities

    ummm… no, I read his infantile gibberish. Apparently you are unable to recognize it for some unknown reason. I’ll pray for you too.

    God Bless,

    Matt