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Old 17 April 2017, 09:43 PM
Coughdrops Coughdrops is offline
 
 
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Default MIT Publishes Uplifting ‘Communism for Kids’ Book

https://heatst.com/culture-wars/mit-...for-kids-book/

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The prestigious MIT Press has published a book aimed at children titled Communism for Kids that portrays communism in a positive way that brings happiness to everyone.

The publishing house, MIT Press — which is affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — normally publishes books in the fields of scientific thought, arts and architecture, philosophy, computer science and other “hard science”, The Washington Times reported. Communism for Kids, however, has become one of its first attempts at children’s publishing.

The book description on Amazon reads, “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.”
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Old 17 April 2017, 10:12 PM
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Why does your source have a link to another article entitled how the ‘world’s oldest porn star’ keeps it up for so long?
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  #3  
Old 17 April 2017, 10:26 PM
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As news sources go, the NY Post really isn't credible.
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Old 17 April 2017, 10:42 PM
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The book is a real book and is published by The MIT Press, which does appear to be affiliated with MIT.

https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/communism-kids

It is almost like MIT is being open about what ideas they give a public forum to.
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Old 17 April 2017, 11:52 PM
St. Alia St. Alia is offline
 
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Looking at the info in the link GenYus234 gave...

Now I want to buy it.

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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. Happy ending? Only the future will tell.
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Old 18 April 2017, 02:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
The book is a real book and is published by The MIT Press, which does appear to be affiliated with MIT.

https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/communism-kids

It is almost like MIT is being open about what ideas they give a public forum to.
Yeah, next you'll be telling me that the history of labor and the fight for workers' rights, is legitimate history that kids would benefit from knowing, just as they might need to know about a political philosophy that has shaped major historical events. But I suppose horrific consequences would ensue if we told them about a political philosophy and why so many people were attracted to it.
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Old 18 April 2017, 08:37 AM
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Having seen its results firsthand in many countries, I'm no fan. Also, I think the idea that it can be done "right" is an illusion.

Still, I think kids should be exposed to a variety of ideas. No need to panic. I mean, when I was a kid we had books on magic - I mean the supernatural kind - in the kids section. Not to mention books promoting all kinds of other nonsense. I don't think it's that big a deal. I would draw the line at racist propaganda and so forth. That's just me. In this case it's hard to say without actually reading the book but the description alone sounds rather innocuous. We read this kind of thing when we were kids. We turned out OK. Right? Now, everyone step inside this pentagram while I say the magic words ...
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Old 18 April 2017, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
I think the idea that it can be done "right" is an illusion.
I think it could be done right on small scales. After all, every healthily functioning family works on the principle 'from each according to abilities, to each according to needs', doesn't it?

Problem is, there are too many of us to get it to work on a societal level.

The other problem, unfortunately, is that there isn't anything that works very well on a societal level; I suspect we've evolved to function in groups of maybe twenty to a couple of hundred people, with links to other such groups. But, like it or not, we now have to function in societies of hundreds of millions, with links to other groups of that size; and we're not very good at it. I hope we'll manage to stagger along until we figure it out. I don't think the best way to figure it out, however, is to pretend that we already have and that we should quit discussing the matter.
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Old 18 April 2017, 03:14 PM
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I think the reason it can work on small scales is that there is a larger society to expel/banish non-participants to. The trouble is when it becomes nationwide and there is no good solution (other than, say, imprisonment or other harsh punishment) for freeloaders. Or, if not freelaoders per se, people who aren't willing to sacrifice quite as much personally as they might otherwise if their ability to live comfortably depended on their personal effort.

Means of compulsion and methods of dealing with dissent are where most "perfect worlds" fall apart. Being able to have a good answer to "what about when someone disagrees to the point of being a nuisance and attracting followers who support their alternative ideology?" or "what about when there is a misunderstanding that results in horrible consequences, like someone is accidentally killed?" and so forth. It's quite a problem in dealing with sectarian violence as well.
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Old 18 April 2017, 03:19 PM
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I think we evolved to do it to some extent on small scales for our families and others nearby. The systems that work to sustain larger populations that depend on agriculture and now industry also evolved, not biologically but just as dependently. Nothing we engineer is likely to survive without undergoing that lengthy process. Then again, without experimentation (i.e. mutation) there is no evolution. So it's good to keep trying. As in those biological systems, the larger the change, the more likely it is to fail.
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Old 18 April 2017, 03:28 PM
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Who knows. Perhaps one day we'll be able to transform ourselves into eternal beings of pure light and energy... :chin scratch:
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  #12  
Old 19 April 2017, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ASL View Post
I think the reason it can work on small scales is that there is a larger society to expel/banish non-participants to.
I think actually it may be the other way around: the reason it doesn't work on large scales is that non-cooperative people can keep moving on to other groups who don't know about them yet. When the scale is small enough, personal reputation matters a great deal, because one can't easily move away from it; and social expectations of good behavior may well be enough to enforce them. (There are of course downsides to this, such as getting stuck forever with the reputation that results from having screwed something up at age 14; or such as being stuck in a specific group whose expectations of behavior are damaging to some of the members.)

We are going to have to figure something out; or else we aren't going to be around all that much longer, at least unless we knock ourselves back to low population levels again -- which would be a highly unpleasant process.
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Old 19 April 2017, 03:30 PM
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I'm closer to ASL's thought. I think it may not work in large scale because a non-cooperative person faces very little in the way of personal consequence even before it would get to expulsion from the group. If someone does a poor job of foraging/hunting in a group of 10 food gatherers, they themselves will face significant loss of food. If someone produces few goods in a population of 10,000, they themselves face very little loss.
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Old 20 April 2017, 01:23 AM
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I see communism working more on the tribal band-level of government than with a massive over-arching state. Tribal-band living is kind of what humans were wired for anyway.

Though as I said before, given the effect and influence the philosophy of communism has had on the world, even if you don't agree with it, the kids could benefit from learning about it and understanding why people were attracted to its ideals.
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Old 20 April 2017, 01:37 AM
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Capitalism also evolved over a similarly long period of time, also from tribal lifestyles.
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Old 03 May 2017, 05:44 AM
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I think it's a mistake to see the failures of communism as purely an internal matter of problems with the theory and not the relentless efforts by other states to bring down Communist-led, -influenced or -aligned governments (eg pretty much the entire 20th century history of the CIA).

Of course, you could argue that their inability to withstand outside sabotage of that sort represents a failure of communism in itself. And perhaps the USSR and it's progeny would have gone the way they did regardless. But I don't think you can really understand the Soviet obsession with military spending without context of the arms race with the US, nor their opposition to dissent without the context of US and other states' efforts to destabilise not just a particular government but their entire economic and political model.
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