A new book aimed at kids paints communism as the cure for all the sundry evils created by capitalism. Rather bluntly, the German social theorist and artist Bini Adamczak’s opening sentence in her book Communism for Kids declares, “Communism names the society that gets rid of all the evils people suffer today in our society under capitalism.” Just because that opening sentence is blatantly false on several levels doesn’t make the book less genius. And that’s what’s so scary about Communism for Kids.
The world in which we live is flawed—obviously so. Some people kill other people. Some people go to bed hungry—so hungry, in fact, that some of them do not wake up. Some people take advantage of the weak and vulnerable. Children are aware of all that and more. No book needs to convince kids that there is great evil in this world. Bini Adamczak leverages that evil and the awareness of children into a thesis statement about the cause of “all the evils people suffer today” and the solution to all that evil.
Right off the bat, Adamczak poisons the ideological well. That should deeply concern all of us. It doesn’t matter that the rest of the book is an incoherent mess that offers no real solutions and constantly doubles back in order to demolish parts of itself. It doesn’t matter that the children who do read Communism for Kids will put the book down without having furthered their understanding of communism, world history, or economics, in general. It doesn’t matter, because that’s Adamczak’s point, her objective.
All that she, and by extension the left, has to do for the book to be successful is to sow the seeds of anger and distrust against capitalism in the minds of children.
Providing the antidote to Adamczak’s dishonest poison, and going back to my statement that the world in which we live is flawed, it needs to be shouted from the rooftops that the world we live in is far less flawed than it was in the past because of capitalism. Advances in medicine and technology are listed among capitalism’s gifts to society. Industries like the publishing company hawking Adamczak’s anti-capitalist book (a book that costs money, by the way) have flourished, providing jobs for many and revenue for authors like Bini Adamczak. The stunning economic growth in Asia over the last decade should be all the case study anyone needs, though.
As China loosened its restrictions on the market and turned to capitalism, their middle class grew and continues to grow. According to a recent report, “The rise of the Asian consumer will be a dominant economic theme for the next several decades. By 2030, it is forecast that two-thirds of the global middle class will be living in Asia.”
Throughout the world, wherever capitalism has reigned, the standard of living has seen a marked increase, mortality rates have decreased, and personal freedom has been a hallmark. Of course, according to Communism for Kids, prosperity is bad because it “leads to things ruling people.”
Once again, Adamczak’s short book never explains the evils that communism supposedly corrects, much less provides specifics. And, outside of using words meant to scare, it never really defends its claim that things rule people under capitalism (she does anthropomorphize factories and has factories forcing people to make and buy things that they don’t want). However, in one instance of getting into specifics, the book does paint work as one of the evils that people under capitalism have to struggle with. To be fair, Communism for Kids does acknowledge that allowing people to do whatever they want might not be such a good idea after all. But only after holding out to kids the sweet treat of no work and not doing anything that you don’t want to do as an antidote for the evils of capitalism. The way the book is written, most children are going to miss the mumbling, half-hearted confession that only admits to not having ironed out all the wrinkles; instead, children will most likely focus on the “you shouldn’t have to work if you don’t want” part, an assertion that the book never lets go of as the ideal, by the way.
The book’s epilogue, which wasn’t written for kids, explains a little more about Adamczak’s objective to prompt people to seek ways to end capitalism and move forward into a progressive utopia. Adult readers who haven’t swallowed the leftist Kool-Aid will roll their eyes in annoyance at the straw men and unsupported assertions sprinkled throughout the epilogue. The problem is that the kids who read the book are going to have neither the history nor economics acumen needed to refute and mentally discard the dishonest polemics of Communism for Kids. Adamczak’s poisoning of the ideological well combined with a lack of concise answers will help ensure that kids digest her book and take it to heart. As a closing Pied Piper call, the book’s final chapter, which, unlike the epilogue, was written for kids, is nothing more than “rah-rah” cheerleading for burgeoning young leftists to put their heads together and figure out a way to rid the world of capitalism.
When the leftist teachers, librarians, and family members pass out Communism for Kids, are they also going to offer a corrective to Adamczak’s opening sentence and her lack of substance throughout? Of course not. It’s important that we begin counteracting the false narrative(s) pushed by the left. Using narratives that include actual history and solid economics is a good way to inoculate our children against the deceit of the left. Another good way is to sit down with your child and point out all the fallacies and flat-out lies found throughout Communism for Kids.