The term "Romano-Valachus", used by the people of the region to describe themselves, emphasized the Latin tradition of Romania, but had no traces of chauvinism or hostilities. It is interesting, in fact, that in Romania such emphasis was being placed upon rediscovering the nation's past, when some modern thinkers in the West at that time regarded the past as backward and inferior. The crushing defeat of Romania's military fascist regime by Russian Communism was viewed by many as "the nadir of Romanian nationalism", according to Stephen Fischer-Galati. They gradually discovered that patriotism was only a technique of social control and personal dictatorship. The sudden power cuts that led to baby-incubator shutdowns, the incessant cold, hunger, and terror-enforced by an extremely efficient Securitate -that defined life in Romania in the last decade were serious contributing factors in a general atmosphere of subhuman existence.