A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

Michael D. was the Home Owners Association President [HOA] for a senior’s condominium community somewhere in Palm Beach County, FL. He was a true servant leader unlike the stereotype HOA President that we all know in this state. Case in point, we might view the leadership of Jim V. in another senior’s community where I previously lived. This was an individual locally known for his bribery, extortion and breaking of rules when he pleased. Of course, we could not break the rules; for if we did, he’d pounce. Somehow, he got away with it. Formerly a union teamster leader from New Haven, Connecticut, his bullying dictatorship style dominated until he sold his home in a rush, fearful that state authorities were about to catch up with him.  

No, our beloved president Michael D. was on top of it all and totally attentive to resident needs. He made sure the budget was balanced, the cars were parked in their proper spaces, the gardens maintained, the pool was kept, as well as various other responsibilities to which he attended. He even was instrumental in lowering HOA fees one year. Now, who does that? Our well regarded leader was originally from Poland, moved to Philadelphia as an adult, and then retired to South Florida. His leadership style was based on his political philosophy which, though an atheist, was tempered by his Polish, Catholic background. The political philosophy dominating his approach was the Euro-Communism that he learned in Europe. A traditionalist, Michael did not adhere to the modernistic Marxists such as Gramsci or Marcuse, but more the idealist socialist governmental approach of authority and service toward all. The condo community was tiptop, nary a serious problem and, when there was a problem, he fixed it himself personally. For example, thanks to his engineering background, he repaired our elevator when the technicians couldn’t even do it themselves, thus saving us thousands of dollars. He opposed Trump of course, and identified with the Democrats, of course. But Michael disapproved of the immorality associated with the Dems such as supporting LGBTQ, supported women’s choice, but frowned upon the Democrat deceitful political style. Straight forward an honest was he.  

Which brings us to the tale of two cities: Bologna and San Francisco. Two cities not much different from the two HOA presidents described above. Both cities have in common great food, great architecture, great universities [Stanford and the University of Bologna] and finally 20th and 21st century leftist politics, perhaps admirable in Bologna, but not so much in San Francisco. Bologna is clearly a European and Italian cultural capital. It has been a European showcase for its adherence to leftist politics and ideals for decades. The motivation is to show Europe just what a communist party-run city can do for the people. The public transportation system is considered very efficient for a metropolitan area of over 1 million. It’s school system is highly regarded and the city has a crime rate much below that of other Italian cities. A preferred area for residency, the average age of its residents [51] is much higher than the remaining parts of Italy [42]. In all, communism does not have a negative connotation in Europe, Italy or especially Bologna. It is intended that a city being well run, economically viable with a  comfortable life style of  quality education, sports and performing arts offerings  would be a more desirable a choice for Europeans. Folllow by example.

I cannot say this for leftist San Francisco. For some reason, their brand of leftism breeds nothing but crime, social disorganization, immorality and financial ruin. Homelessness is rampant in San Francisco reaching into every neighborhood.  Drug use is rampant in San Francisco effecting every citizen. Crime is rampant in San Francisco and all businesses are at peril. And why should this be? Leftist policies, that is why. In America, the word communism is not used. The word has a bad connotation. So the words progressivism, leftism and liberalism replace it. Nevertheless, Marxism is the prevailing philosophy of San Francisco politicians. Their brand of Marxism is quite a marked difference than the Marxists of Bologna, Italy.  

A showcase for the west, it is not. Rather [San Francisco] it is a rallying cry for conservatives everywhere in America. We don’t want to be like the left coast. People are leaving in record numbers each year as the police force becomes more demoralized by non-enforcement policies allowing its streets to decay. Combined with a decriminalization approach to such social disorganization, the view of crime as merely juvenile behaviors or not a crime at all, only exacerbates the problem. Throwing government money at the problems of homelessness and crime just seems to breed more homelessness and crime. Prostitution and drug dealings are now considered victimless crimes and misdemeanors. Illegal immigrants contribute even more to the rise in social dysfunctions. Our concepts of morality and personal responsibility wane. Further combine this with the San Francisco housing crisis  brought on by high taxation and pricing, you have further motivation for exodus of the middle class. European Marxists are at a loss to explain the San Francisco approach themselves. It all just lacks logic or common sense. People actually want to live in Bologna, it is ideal; not Marxist San Francisco. Yes, contemporary Marxists like Antonio Gramsci and Herbert Marcuse did call for an attack on western culture. But their view of an egalitarian society in the west was hoped a model for others, not the focus of scorn and ridicule. You want to live in a communist state? Then show me a nice communist city in which to live.  

Still, let me be clear, Catholicism and socialism cannot co-exist. As much as apologists for socialism note the socialist and communal nature of the first Christians, they are wrong. As much as apologists for socialism cry out about the Christian nature of their ideology, and at the same time the socialist nature of Christianity, they are wrong. There is nothing wrong with sharing things in common in a community. Many small communities have experienced this throughout history. Translate that onto a centralized government for a nation of 200, 300 or 400 million, a nation of 1-1.5 billion, a world of 8 billion and it no longer resembles those Christian communities shortly after Jesus Christ walked this planet. The varied technological, industrial and political complexities, let alone cultural complexities preclude any such thing. Unless, of course, we have a centralized controlling power that imposes equity and equality upon all. It seems that communists always want to change the world, but nothing ever changes with them. A few good successes here and there. Bologna on a small scale. China propped up by western capital. But that’s it. It only gets worse. It starts from the individual and an individual’s personal relationship with Christ. That is Catholicism, where Jesus is God; not Marxist socialism, where the state is God. Two opposing systems of belief— and only Catholicism works.



Baglino, Michael J.  2023. From Gramsci to Freud: 7 Anti Christian Philosophers Who Ruined America. New York: LT Publishing.

Feinstein, Steven. Why are Liberal Cities Such a Mess? Feb. 1, 2020, American Thinker.

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Written by
Michael Baglino