Monday, 06 February 2012

High-school Shocker: Lesson Sheet Elevates Communism over “Capitalism”

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When parent Jeff Travis saw a lesson sheet his son received in social studies class, he was shocked. Using propaganda that could have been disgorged by the KGB, the flier seemed to elevate communism over “capitalism.”

Distributed in Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, the lesson sheet includes a cartoon (portion shown below) that purports to illustrate the differences between the two systems. In the left panel are two unhappy-looking workers with balls and chains tied to their ankles who toil away on one side of a machine while all the profit spills out the other side into a bag held by a smiling, stogie-smoking, portly business owner in a hat. It is labeled “Capitalism — In theory.” In the right panel, communism is presented “in theory” with two smiling workers standing relaxed at the same machine while all the profit comes back their way.

Moreover, the poorly written, error-riddled worksheet relates the following (mis)information to the students:

Communism stands for equal sharing of the work according to the benefits and the ability, but in capitalism an individual is responsible for his works and if he wants to raise the ladder, he has to work hard…. While the profit of any enterprise is equally shared by all in Communism, the profit in the capitalist structure belongs to the owner only. … Moreover, communism stands for a class less [sic] society, which doesn’t see any difference between the rich and the poor.  On the other hand, capitalism divides the society into rich and poor.  Capitalism can be said to be the exploitation of the individual.  While every one [sic] is equal in communism, there is a great divide of the class in capitalism.

(With the lack of literacy displayed above, it’s no wonder that the school dislikes merit-based systems.)

Not surprisingly, this didn’t sit well with Jeff Travis. Writes Fox News:

“I’m a businessman,” Travis told Fox News. “I took great offense. I don’t smoke big stogies. I don’t have a big gut. My employees are not shackled. If this was a fair representation, where is the fence around the workers on the communist side? Where is the guy holding a gun to their heads saying either comply or die? Where are the bodies that Stalin and Mao put in the graves. [sic]”

 …“I couldn’t believe how slanted it was,” he said. “It wasn’t given as an example of propaganda. It was given as an example of capitalism and communism. I can’t believe they would hand out something like that.”

Travis asked school principal Kathie Danielson for an explanation, but she and her staff have thus far refused to respond to inquiries. Instead, they have posted a statement on their website placing the onus on WHO radio host Simon Conway, who broke the story; the school claims that he “misled listeners about a class lesson about the Cold War.”

In its defense, the school provides the complete handout (found here) on their website. I’ve read it, and what is truly damning — a testimonial as to how irredeemably biased these educators are — is that they actually think it provides context. While there is the negative portrayal of economic freedom (“capitalism” is a communist term) in the aforementioned cartoon, there is no corresponding negative portrayal of communism. And, of course, presenting workers with balls and chains is not economic freedom “In theory,” as the worksheet states — unless it’s a North Korean theory.    

At the end of the sheet, the students are asked to list two or three pros and cons of communism and economic freedom and then are asked which system they believe is best and why. Some would cite this in defense of the school, saying that the educators are just providing information about both systems and are teaching the kids how to think. But if these apologists knew how to think — outside the box — they’d have a little more perspective.

Question: Where is the lesson “objectively” contrasting Nazism with the American system? It could start with a little cartoon showing a mass of humanity that, having been denied the benefits of eugenics, is teeming with defectives. This would be labeled “The Melting Pot — In theory.” On the other side there would be some happy Adonis-like lads in snazzy uniforms, and pulchritudinous lasses doing synchronized exercises around a pagan ruin. Then we could ask the students to list a few pros and cons of each system and tell us which one they think is best. Hey, why not? In the left-wing, relativistic universe we can’t make judgments, right? The Nazis had a perspective, too, right? Shouldn’t the kids learn about it? After all, we wouldn’t want to impose our values on them or teach them just what to think.

These pseudo-intellectual educator lunkheads wouldn’t do this because — just like everybody else — they have dogmas and standards; they draw their lines. They wouldn’t present a KKK-like espousal of hatred for minorities or an antebellum belief in slavery as an option, as if it’s, “Hey, kids, what flavor, vanilla or strawberry?!” But then these educators turn around and play pretend like kindergarteners — except with open-mindedness — with damnable things such as communism that they don’t really mind, anyway. It’s a bit like saying, “God says the Devil is evil. The Devil says God is evil. We report, you decide, kids.” It’s a phony even-handedness because it’s a selective even-handedness.

But you don’t present belief in evil as a legitimate option. You don’t portray a system that stained the Earth red with the blood of 100 million innocents as just another theory, let alone present it in a positive light.

If you’re wondering why recent polls show great sympathy for socialism in America, you need look no further than our educational system. Because while the sexual abuse in government schools has gotten a lot of press of late, the worst kind of teacher molestation is that of minds. These so-called educators don’t belong anywhere near children.  

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