Earlier this month, the Dalai Lama told a group of Chinese students at the University of Minnesota, "I consider myself a Marxist . . . but not a Leninist."
The Dalai Lama explained his youthful enthusiasm in a 1999 essay for Time, mentioning that he even considered joining the Communist Party: "Tibet at that time was very, very backward. The ruling class did not seem to care, and there was much inequality. Marxism talked about an equal and just distribution of wealth. I was very much in favor of this. Then there was the concept of self-creation. Marxism talked about self-reliance, without depending on a creator or a God. That was very attractive. . . . I still think that if a genuine communist movement had come to Tibet, there would have been much benefit to the people."
This Romano, apparently a professor of philosophy and humanities at Ursinus College, simply reveals his own ignorance with such comments as "The problem is that Marx wasn't just a Marxist—he was a Communist—and many of Mao's most destructive moves came right out of Marx's playbook for destroying self-reliance, among other things."