Exile as Inadequacy
Constantin Eretescu

Political inadequacies are a different thing. I remember very well the way I received, about three decades ago, the news that a Jew who emigrated from Romania to Israel had joined the Communist Party from his new country. ?He?s out of his minds? I decided back then. ?If he wanted to do that he didn?t have to leave the country.? However, things are much more complicated and it took me many years to convince myself. Given the life conditions in Communist Romania, it was not even eccentric to be in a state of political inadequacy. That was the general state of the population. Eccentrics were the ones who shared the politics and the policies of the regime. However, the ones who had the guts to make known their opinions were very few. Looking from a different angle, this was precisely the reason for which, years in a row, the ones in power considered them alienated or, as the expression of the ultimate humiliation, even turned them into patients of psychiatric hospitals. But let?s go back to the one I was accusing of madness for joining the Communist Party. Analyzed from the point of view of my exile experience, the case doesn?t seem out of the ordinary. First of all, that happens because an opposition party forms its electorate on the basis of a democratic platform. Things change once they get to power and they are faced to the situation of turning their electoral promises into reality. Of course, our man could be reproached that had left a country where Communists were already in power, that he already knew what was going to happen and that was the precise reason for his leaving. But, the conclusion is not that the exiled unanimously and unconditionally choose the political regime of the country in which they emigrated. Most of them do. It is a normal reaction in part, if we take into consideration the fact that the majority left because they were in conflict with the political regime in their countries. Unexpectedly, paradoxically we could say, they adhere to restrictive regimes and they prefer the right-wing. In spite of their declarations in favor of democracy, they identify easier with a familiar system. Very few choose to swim against the current and resist the temptation of going with the flow. Just like in the Romania they had left, these ones get to the conclusion that they cannot adhere to the standard political behavior. Thus they get to live a feeling of inadequacy somewhat similar to the one they experienced in the country before they went into the wide world. Our co-national who became a communist after leaving the country must have experienced such a state.

The inadequacy of emigrants requires a thorough study. I wonder if there is anyone who will do it.

                                                   Translated by Cora Moţoc

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