They say that the victors write the history. But who writes the fiction?
The Cold Warriors of yesteryear may be asking themselves this very question today.News recently broke that a reputable publishing house released a book titled “Communism for Kids.” Its author appears to be the archetype of an Obama administration education czar: “Bini Adamczak is a Berlin-based social theorist and artist. She writes on political theory, queer politics, and the past future of revolutions.”
What better literature to which to expose young minds than communist propaganda packaged as a parable, and who better to write it than Ms. Adamczak?
The book’s overview reads in part:
Once upon a time, people yearned to be free of the misery of capitalism. How could their dreams come true? This little book proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism. Offering relief for many who have been numbed by Marxist exegesis and given headaches by the earnest pompousness of socialist politics, it presents political theory in the simple terms of a children’s story, accompanied by illustrations of lovable little revolutionaries experiencing their political awakening.
If you thought the old saw about communism leading to soul-crushing and violent collectivism, economic failure, and human misery only because it had never been implemented properly was dead, think again.
Never mind that communism is antithetical to human nature; that it is inherently authoritarian in its squelching of liberty; or that it is Adamczak’s “lovable little revolutionaries” who are always the first ones to lose their heads after the revolution “triumphs.”
This time things will be different, comrades!
The overview continues:
It all unfolds like a story, with 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.” Before they know it, readers are learning about the economic history of feudalism, class struggles in capitalism, different ideas of communism, and more. Finally, competition between two factories leads to a crisis that the workers attempt to solve in six different ways (most of them borrowed from historic models of communist or socialist change). Each attempt fails, since true communism is not so easy after all. But it’s also not that hard. At last, the people take everything into their own hands and decide for themselves how to continue. [Author’s note: When the people — as opposed to the state — “take[s] everything into their own hands,” is not that more classical liberalism than communism?] Happy ending? Only the future will tell. With an epilogue that goes deeper into the theoretical issues behind the story, this book is perfect for all ages and all who desire a better world.
What are we to make of this nightmare cast as a fairytale?
First, the Left never stops in its attempt to win the war of ideas. While Venezuela burns and the modern-day gulag of North Korea persists, in the minds of leftist true believers communism is ripe for rebranding. Just as these adherents cling to the idea that there can never be enough government spending to paper over problems, or power to be usurped and wielded to achieve the Left’s infinite flavors of “justice,” so too do they believe that communism remains the road to utopia if executed properly by the right actors.
Have you ever seen “The Black Book of Communism” mentioned in a movie or incorporated into your children’s curriculum?
Second, the Left believes it imperative to take all measures to convert people to their anti-religion as early as possible. Propagandizing our youth is not only fair game, but the right thing to do from their perspective. While there is something sinister about seeking to influence young minds with political messages with which they may not be ready to grapple — and without presenting counter-arguments to boot — this has been the hallmark of such leftist movements for decades. As progressive education luminary John Dewey wrote in one section of his “Democracy and Education” titled “Education as a Social Function:”
We have seen that a community or social group sustains itself through continuous self-renewal, and that this renewal takes place by means of the educational growth of the immature members of the group. By various agencies, unintentional and designed, a society transforms uninitiated and seemingly alien beings into robust trustees of its own resources and ideals. Education is thus a fostering, a nurturing, a cultivating, process. All of these words mean that it implies attention to the conditions of growth. We also speak of rearing, raising, bringing up—words which express the difference of level which education aims to cover. Etymologically, the word education means just a process of leading or bringing up. When we have the outcome of the process in mind, we speak of education as shaping, forming, molding activity—that is, a shaping into the standard form of social activity. [Emphasis mine]
Third, as always, the Left is laser-focused on competing in culture, of which children’s books are just one small piece. This is a space conservatives have ceded for far too long with devastating effect because if you lose the culture you lose the politics. And while we conservatives believe we have superior ideas, the Left understands that the packaging and distribution of such ideas is essential if its worldview is to prevail.
At the beginning of this piece I invoked the adage that the victors write the history. To that end, I would challenge readers to present a “conservative” history book that has been comparably successful to Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” in terms of its impact on our culture. Have you ever seen “The Black Book of Communism” mentioned in a movie or incorporated into your children’s curriculum?
Can we really claim that we are the victors in this ideological battle?