With due respect to Santayana, perhaps we can say that those who love the mistakes of the past will condemn others to repeat them. A case in point is a new book published by MIT Press that’s actually titled Communism for Kids — I kid you not.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that the book, “written by a German author who specializes in political theory and ‘queer politics,’ was released last month. The thesis of the children's book is that communism is ‘not that hard,’ but has not been implemented in the right way.”
Wow, I’ve never heard that one before. You mean, if I try touching the hot stove just one more time, it may not burn my hand?
The Washington Times’ Cheryl K. Chumley provides more detail, with a comic spirit:
[T]he Amazon description reads thusly: “Once upon a time, people yearned to be free of the misery of capitalism.”
You had me at “free” — lost me at “misery of capitalism.”
But this book isn’t your regular red-minded, communist-loving, theory-driven drivel. Perish the thought. It’s a story book, filled with — again, hat tip Amazon — “jealous princesses, fancy swords, displaced peasants, mean bosses and tired workers — not to mention a Ouija board, a talking chair and a big pot called ‘the state.’”
Speaking of capitalists, is MIT Press a for-profit operation? Just wondering.
This is likely, since the book isn’t offered for less than its usual $12.95 to those with modest abilities and greater needs. What the book is offering, writes MIT Press, is “relief for many who have been numbed by Marxist exegesis and given headaches by the earnest pompousness of socialist politics,” as “it presents political theory in the simple terms of a children’s story, accompanied by illustrations of lovable little revolutionaries experiencing their political awakening.”
MIT Press later assures, “Before they know it, readers are learning about the economic history of feudalism, class struggles in capitalism, different ideas of communism, and more.”
Just in case you’re not yet enticed enough to stuff this work in a Christmas stocking, Chumley provides a synopsis of its plot, which “focuses on workers at two factories who must fight through a myriad of problems to save the business day. And their struggles are played out along the lines of the various economic systems.”
“I don’t want to be the spoiler here,” Chumley then states, “but guess which system, in the end, saves the worker day?”
Of course, it never works out that way in real life — the “implementation” always fails — because Marxist doctrine thoroughly ignores the realities of man’s nature.
First a little history. “Socialism” and “communism” were popularized via Karl Marx’ and Friedrich Engels’ 1848 pamphlet The Communist Manifesto; it is the definitive work on the matter.
Now, under the Marxist doctrine explained therein, socialism is what most people think communism is: government control of the means of production, the abolition of private property, etc. This “socialist revolution” is meant to usher in “communism,” which is the final phase of the program, in which the government has melted away and people live harmoniously in a state of economic equality and bliss. (That’s the theory, anyway.)
This is why the USSR wasn’t guilty of false advertising when calling itself the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: “Communist government” is an oxymoron.
It’s also an impossibility. Marx believed that all human suffering and woes were caused by economic inequality; thus, eliminate that inequality and there’s no crime or evil of any kind and hence no need for government.
This shallow theory fails because it views man as merely an economic being — ergo the supposition, “Take care of the economics, and everything else takes care of itself.”
(This infects all modern thinking, mind you. Example: “Crime is due to poverty.” Seldom realized is that crime rates dropped markedly during the Great Depression.)
But man does not live on bread alone. He has moral and spiritual dimensions as well. Besides, the proverbs “Busy hands are happy hands,” “Work ennobles man,” and “An idle mind is the Devil’s playground” all warn of the perils that can attend wealth. It’s no cure-all.
Then there are the perils of not allowing wealth. The “socialist revolution” fails because, absent the profit motive, people generally become slothful. Moreover, there can’t be the level of top-down control socialism entails without authoritarianism. And while leaders are typically worse than their people to begin with, moral individuals don’t rise to power’s pinnacle under such systems.
The result? Despots such as Kim Jong Un, who clearly has greater “needs” than any other North Korean and luxuriates while his people languish.
How could Marx believe something so ridiculous, that “economic equality” could not only be achieved but render government unnecessary? He likely was mentally ill. Note that he was infamous for not washing (common among the mentally ill) and exhibited that dangerous genius-insanity combination: impressive talents couple with dislocation from reality.
So that’s Marx’ excuse. What’s MIT’s?
Of course, it’s doubtful MIT’s little communism book instructs in that which Marxists have actually excelled (“Kill like a communist, kids! Stalin, Mao et al. have handed you the baton, and you get to start with 94 million bodies already on the register!). But just in case the publisher decides to reissue the work, there’s that and then this idea: “Easy recipes for budding communists (needed for preparation: utensils, unsanitary conditions, and a Pol Pot):
• How to make an omelet after you’ve broken some eggs
• Cooking cats and dogs (with special emphasis on Venezuelan cuisine)
• Cereal with low-fat cockroach protein.”
Lastly, since Communism for Kids is one of MIT’s first forays into the children’s market, here are some ideas for follow-ups:
• Nazism for Kids
• Genocide Made Easy, for Ages 9 to 12
• Ten Steps to Running a Really Cool Gulag
Oh, I almost forgot. One more would be Communism for Dummies — because that’s what you’d have to be to, after a century of socialist failure, still believe the Marxist hype and tripe.