When Karl Marx insisted on providing “free education for all children in public schools” and the “combination of education with industrial production” (The Communist Manifesto, p. 244, Penguin Classics edition), he did so insisting that it was necessary for the influence of Communistic ideas to permeate a society. This, of course, would work for any ideology, but he was arguing specifically, of course, for Communism.
When America was involved in the long stalemate known as the Cold War, we were focusing on missiles and spies but, I would argue, we ignored the weapons Marx told us his followers should use – like public education. So, when Communist governments began to fall, we rejoiced and declared “Mission Accomplished,” once again, too early.
The missiles were pointed away, but the really effective weapons were just getting charged up. During the Cold War era, American universities began to be influenced by professors sympathetic to and in agreement with the ideas of Communism. No surprise, Marxism only works on paper and that is where university professors spend their time. Of course, during that time, the language was downplayed and words were redefined – “redistribution of wealth” not “Communism”; “leveling the playing field” not “Marxism.” Americans were taught to hate Communism, but they weren’t taught what it meant.
So, university professors taught young students and wrote textbooks. The students believed them and still more students (not to mention, other professors) read their books. Those students became public school teachers, who trained still more students and, when you fast forward a few decades, you have a generation of people raised in Marxist ideology. The tree was planted and now we see the fruit. People don’t even know they’re Marxists and, if it’s pointed out, they recoil because they know it’s a bad word – they still just don’t know why.
Now, some may point out that our nation doesn’t suffer from Communistic tendencies, but rather Socialistic tendencies. I would likely agree, but with this qualification – Socialism logically leads to Communism. It is simply a Flying J truck stop on the way to Communism.
Socialism, in broad sweeping terms, argues for government control of the economy, while Communism argues for government control of nearly every aspect of a culture. But, controlling the economy doesn’t just affect the economy; it eventually spills over into nearly every aspect of a nation’s life. The idea that “the economy” can be separated from all else is naïve at best – economics affect men, families, etc.
America is entrenched in Marxist ideas, while still openly rejecting it in her own rhetoric. Put it another way, we know socialism is an enemy, but we have no idea what he looks like. The end result is that we are standing neck-deep in socialism while telling politicians to keep it away.
Nowhere is this irony seen more clearly than in President Obama’s recent speech to public school children. His speech was met with loud protests from parents who did not want their children hearing the speech; claiming it was moving our educational system toward Socialism. “Don’t bring your Socialism into our public schools!” But, those schools are socialistic inventions. As one writer put it, this is like complaining that someone is pouring water into a lake. And, to go with this metaphor, we must “admit that the waters around us have grown” if we are to ever swim out of the lake.