Author Topic: Communism for Kids  (Read 8465 times)

Melkor

  • Posts: 859
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #125 on: April 18, 2017, 08:13:20 PM »
That's a grossly oversimplified and fundamentally flawed statement, but I refuse to boil the socialist ideology down to bulleted talking points.  Given the extent to which I think you misunderstand socialism and communism, I can't put together a truly informative response in a reasonable amount of space.

Can you name a single purely socialist or communist nation that has succeeded?

Hey, dont send bullet-points if you dont want to. Shoot me a PM with an essay. I would be happy to take the time to read and respond in kind.
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BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8257
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #126 on: April 18, 2017, 08:18:36 PM »
Can you name a purely capitalist (no welfare or government structure of any sort) nation that has succeeded?

They're both dumb questions. Even the USSR never claimed to be a "Communist nation" because a Communist society as laid in Marx is a utopian fantasy. Officially they were "working towards Communism".
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Feco

  • Posts: 1784
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #127 on: April 18, 2017, 08:19:26 PM »
No, but again, that has no bearing on the point.  Even if a "purely socialist socialist or communist nation" has existed, it hasn't existed in a vacuum.  Its failure would not necessarily reflect a problem with socialism or communism.

Furthermore, I'm not certain what you mean by "succeeded."  Do you mean "still existing?"  Do you mean something else?

I'm not a political philosopher, so I won't be writing an essay.  There's plenty of literature available online.
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Melkor

  • Posts: 859
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #128 on: April 18, 2017, 08:57:15 PM »
Though the US used to be pretty close, yeah, pure capitalism has never really existed, either. Nor would I advocate for 100% LF capitalism.

@feco... So you wont wouldnt respond because it would not do the subject justice to boil it down to the substance, but you also wont write it out. Okay.
All that is gold does not glitter,
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Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9429
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #129 on: April 18, 2017, 09:28:32 PM »
"moderate"

lol

ok

Please, tell us more about your moderate positions.


Liberal positions: Pro choice. Pro Gay Marriage. Pro Legalization of Marijuana. Pro decriminalization of all drugs, favoring medical treatment for addicts. Pro government transparency. Pro embryonic stem-cell research. pro alternative energy sources + less fossil fuels. Aware of anthropogenic global warming. pro legalized euthanasia. Pro separation of church and state. Pro Legal immigration. Pro Prison reform.

Conservative positions: Oppose long-term welfare. Staunch protectionist global stance,. Anti illegal immigration. Pro securing the border. Anti UN. Anti EU. Lower taxes. Shrink Govt. Cut entitlements and subsidies. Respect Private Property at  all costs. I favor a competitive, free-market healthcare system. Pro Second Amendment. Pro Capitalism, Pro Charter Schools, Pro Death Penalty. Anti Affirmative action.

Sooooo...libertarian, except for trade protectionism.

Using your stances (with a bit of guesstimating):
http://www.isidewith.com/elections/2016-presidential/3073072218

94% Gary Johnson.  Imagine that.

That doesn't make you a "moderate."  It makes you a pretty hardcore libertarian.  Saying you don't like the kooks who call themselves libertarians, so therefore you're not a libertarian is like me saying I don't like neo-nazis, so obviously I'm not a socialist.
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Feco

  • Posts: 1784
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #130 on: April 18, 2017, 09:47:02 PM »
Though the US used to be pretty close, yeah, pure capitalism has never really existed, either. Nor would I advocate for 100% LF capitalism.

@feco... So you wont wouldnt respond because it would not do the subject justice to boil it down to the substance, but you also wont write it out. Okay.

I don't really need to give a crash course on socialism to address your argument, because you have a bad argument.

Consider a store.  Let's say that store is being run with some particular set of business practices, practice X.  Imagine that vandals come to the store and burn it down, or that a meteor smashes into it, or that neighboring businesses go in with an organized crime group in order to force that store out of business.

Suppose it's the only store to ever use practice X.

Would asking "Has there ever been a successful business that has used practice X?" be a good argument against practice X?
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Melkor

  • Posts: 859
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #131 on: April 18, 2017, 09:58:50 PM »
Though the US used to be pretty close, yeah, pure capitalism has never really existed, either. Nor would I advocate for 100% LF capitalism.

@feco... So you wont wouldnt respond because it would not do the subject justice to boil it down to the substance, but you also wont write it out. Okay.

I don't really need to give a crash course on socialism to address your argument, because you have a bad argument.

Consider a store.  Let's say that store is being run with some particular set of business practices, practice X.  Imagine that vandals come to the store and burn it down, or that a meteor smashes into it, or that neighboring businesses go in with an organized crime group in order to force that store out of business.

Suppose it's the only store to ever use practice X.

Would asking "Has there ever been a successful business that has used practice X?" be a good argument against practice X?

I understand the difference between causation and correlation.

That being said, using your example, if every single store that used Practice X fails, despite other differences in location, services, time, etc. it is REASONABLE to say that Practice X might not be a great idea.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Feco

  • Posts: 1784
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #132 on: April 18, 2017, 10:19:34 PM »
The issue isn't correlation/causation.

I can lay this out more formally.  Your argument is something like this:

[1] If socialism is a good system, socialist states would be successful.
[2] Socialist states have existed.
[3] No socialist states were successful.
[4] Therefore, socialism is not a good system.

Premises [1], [2], and [3] are problematic.

[1] -- The political and economic theories which underlie a state's government are not the only things that determine whether or not that government/state will succeed.

[2] -- Many would argue that their understanding of socialism has not been implemented.

[1] and [3] -- It isn't clear what is meant by "successful."  That's very vague.  Does it mean continues to exist?  Something else?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 10:22:11 PM by Feco »
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stark

  • Posts: 371
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #133 on: April 19, 2017, 12:36:12 AM »
"Lol offended? Not everything a person expresses distaste for is offensive. As I stated many times, I am 100% fine that the book exists. Where my problem lies in the probability that it will end up being taught in schools.
I almost bought the book on Amazon. I read the "Look Inside" preview and changed my mind. It is pure propaganda, period."-Melkor

An offense is just a perception. We can diddle about the difference between distaste and offense, but they are both perceptions that are taken personally by the individual experiencing them. The point is, it's a perception. And as such, it's a matter of who you are, where you are, (and all of the other stuff that goes into making an individual) that determine whether or not you perceive a book review/summary as offensive enough to chase your tail in circles for six pages of trying to engage people in a discussion.  I don't think you are 100% fine that the book exists, but I do think that you can't do shit about it and that's why you attack the idea of someone else reading it. You don't have to like communism. You don't even have to like labels that people have given to ideas (like communism, socialism, feudalism, etc). You don't have to dislike them either. If your argument is against propaganda, you must suffer every day of your entire life, because our society actively propagandizes us, uses social engineering on us, brainwashes us, lies to us, and then makes you feel like a puppy getting a treat when you do what it wants you to do.

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Life isn't that ugly Melkor. Sure ugly and unfair things happen. Great and beautiful things happen. Perspective is only helpful if you can use it from every angle, it's when you get stuck on only one way of seeing things that you begin to separate yourself from other people.

"I dont think you read my posts." -Melkor

I did read them.

"I am the one that says life is full of near limitless opportunities! People have argued non-stop that the system is corrupt, unfair, cruel, and I maintain that anything can be achieved with hard work!"-Melkor

I don't think you have to work at anything to achieve something. I think you can be born into money and have it all. I think you can lazily pull up to a bank and take out a few weapons, kill everyone, and take the money. I think you can murder a drug dealer and take his stash and sell it yourself. I think you can pretend to be very sick and find a doctor that will help put you on disability so that you have an income and don't have to work. I think you can be swimming in a lake and find a huge diamond ring worth a few hundred thousand dollars and then sell it and live happily ever after. Life IS full of limitless opportunities, that is true. But you don't have to actually work to win at life. I know a guy who wrote a book, and he just did it in his free time, posting his story on Wattpad as he went along, and people helped him do the corrects and even gave him ideas, and in the end, he published it on his own and made enough money he was able to quit his job and buy a little place and he's not even forty yet. No, I think the ONLY thing you can say with any kind of absolute surety, is that for YOU, life has a lot of opportunities that you can experience and you can only experience it by working hard. Other people don't have to. It doesn't make them any less valuable to society, it doesn't make them better or lesser than you. I think it would be helpful if you stop comparing yourself to other people. You are trying to create a reality whereby the ONLY way to happiness and financial security is through hard work. You are absolutely not the first person to believe or to do this. It's not a novel idea. In fact, people generally graduate from that point of view, to the point of view that "there must be an easier way". It's called evolution.

I don't want to tip your boat Melkor, but why can't you take a photo that is so amazing, that you are offered a ton of coins for it. Don't list all the reasons. Just think about it. Why can't that happen to you? Is it because your belief system is so narrow and tight that the ONLY way you can have a fulfilled life or a acceptable standard of living is to just smile and work? I think once you actually accept that there are OTHER possibilities (that you claim exist) that can lead to the same ending you want, which is standard of living, that do NOT include either smiling or hard work, I think you will begin to grow upwards and not just outwards.
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ExtraPlanar

  • Posts: 117
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #134 on: April 19, 2017, 09:37:41 AM »
as a person doing a master's degree in international political economy id just like to say this

Melkor

  • Posts: 859
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #135 on: April 19, 2017, 10:01:32 AM »
@ feco

Your points are solid. I can see the issues with that line of my criticism.

However, regarding external influences, wouldn't how the world reacts to one nation's policies be an important factor when considering a certain policy?
To ignore that would kinda be like saying "I am not wrong.... The WORLD is wrong." Yeah?


An offense is just a perception. We can diddle about the difference between distaste and offense, but they are both perceptions that are taken personally by the individual experiencing them. The point is, it's a perception. And as such, it's a matter of who you are, where you are, (and all of the other stuff that goes into making an individual) that determine whether or not you perceive a book review/summary as offensive enough to chase your tail in circles for six pages of trying to engage people in a discussion.  I don't think you are 100% fine that the book exists, but I do think that you can't do shit about it and that's why you attack the idea of someone else reading it. You don't have to like communism. You don't even have to like labels that people have given to ideas (like communism, socialism, feudalism, etc). You don't have to dislike them either. If your argument is against propaganda, you must suffer every day of your entire life, because our society actively propagandizes us, uses social engineering on us, brainwashes us, lies to us, and then makes you feel like a puppy getting a treat when you do what it wants you to do.
I suppose the semantics do not matter, really, except for the light in which they portray a person's ideas.
I would not say that I suffer. I am opposed to state propaganda efforts, though. The people should tell our representatives how to feel in our stead, not the other way around.


Quote
I don't think you have to work at anything to achieve something. I think you can be born into money and have it all. I think you can lazily pull up to a bank and take out a few weapons, kill everyone, and take the money. I think you can murder a drug dealer and take his stash and sell it yourself. I think you can pretend to be very sick and find a doctor that will help put you on disability so that you have an income and don't have to work. I think you can be swimming in a lake and find a huge diamond ring worth a few hundred thousand dollars and then sell it and live happily ever after. Life IS full of limitless opportunities, that is true. But you don't have to actually work to win at life. I know a guy who wrote a book, and he just did it in his free time, posting his story on Wattpad as he went along, and people helped him do the corrects and even gave him ideas, and in the end, he published it on his own and made enough money he was able to quit his job and buy a little place and he's not even forty yet. No, I think the ONLY thing you can say with any kind of absolute surety, is that for YOU, life has a lot of opportunities that you can experience and you can only experience it by working hard. Other people don't have to. It doesn't make them any less valuable to society, it doesn't make them better or lesser than you. I think it would be helpful if you stop comparing yourself to other people. You are trying to create a reality whereby the ONLY way to happiness and financial security is through hard work. You are absolutely not the first person to believe or to do this. It's not a novel idea. In fact, people generally graduate from that point of view, to the point of view that "there must be an easier way". It's called evolution.
Being called unevolved is not appreciated, bud, though I have been called worse.
I would not consider being born into money an accomplishment. Leaving money for your children is, but simply inheriting money is not. Lol, but I WOULD consider a successful bank-heist in the 21st century to be an accomplishment. Immoral? Yes. But definitely an accomplishment, especially if the person was able to get away with it.

As far as your writer friend.. That is DEFINITELY an accomplishment. That is awesome he was able to do that! He is an inspiration.

I feel like you assume I have no other aspirations other than to work and live. I actually have a few separate endeavors in the works, that I work towards in my free time. They vary, but each has the main goal of working for myself, so I do think it is pretty unfair that you tell me the only way that I can achieve happiness and financial security is by working for someone else forever. That is selling me a little short, don't you think? Maybe you dont think so, but I am happy with what I have been able to achieve in my circumstances through all of that hard work, and I am continuing to press forward to bigger and better things. HOWEVER, none of those better things include being sedentary and leeching off of tax dollars.

Quote
I don't want to tip your boat Melkor, but why can't you take a photo that is so amazing, that you are offered a ton of coins for it. Don't list all the reasons. Just think about it. Why can't that happen to you? Is it because your belief system is so narrow and tight that the ONLY way you can have a fulfilled life or a acceptable standard of living is to just smile and work? I think once you actually accept that there are OTHER possibilities (that you claim exist) that can lead to the same ending you want, which is standard of living, that do NOT include either smiling or hard work, I think you will begin to grow upwards and not just outwards.

How is being a photographer not work? This is not rhetorical. Answer this question. If you say it IS work, then the last paragraph makes no sense. I would consider taking a photo and being paid for it to be work, work which should be done with satisfaction and fulfillment.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Melkor

  • Posts: 859
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #136 on: April 19, 2017, 10:02:43 AM »
as a person doing a master's degree in international political economy id just like to say this

"I have a degree so you guys should not talk."

Pretty lame, dude.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

ExtraPlanar

  • Posts: 117
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #137 on: April 19, 2017, 11:51:35 AM »
as a person doing a master's degree in international political economy id just like to say this

"I have a degree so you guys should not talk."

Pretty lame, dude.
it was a joke cus I didnt say anything

sorry

Melkor

  • Posts: 859
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #138 on: April 19, 2017, 12:10:21 PM »
Ahh my fault, man. Hard to discern sarcasm through text.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Feco

  • Posts: 1784
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #139 on: April 19, 2017, 12:21:43 PM »
@ feco

Your points are solid. I can see the issues with that line of my criticism.

However, regarding external influences, wouldn't how the world reacts to one nation's policies be an important factor when considering a certain policy?
To ignore that would kinda be like saying "I am not wrong.... The WORLD is wrong." Yeah?


Well, I think that's a large part of the issue.  The global political environment has made it incredibly difficult for any socialist states to develop.  As a consequence, states which would have ideally become socialist have been forced to take on specific policies that have been ultimately damaging to those states and to their socialist ideals.  "Forced" is a strong word -- there have been some intentional and misguided bad policy decisions too -- but I think it gets the point across.

If capitalists have been successful in stomping out socialists, that doesn't necessarily mean that socialism is bad.  It may just mean that the capitalists have been more powerful.

If you think global political power is indicative of the success of a system, or that it's indicative of that system's quality, or its status as "right," I guess liberal democratic capitalism is kicking ass.  I'm not certain that's the right way to go about choosing a political ideology to support, though.

Furthermore, it's worth noting that socialists don't necessarily agree with one another with regards to military and foreign policy.  You can't say "socialist state" and immediately infer every policy that state may have -- you can only infer that such a state would ideally advance worker control over the means of production.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 12:25:13 PM by Feco »
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Melkor

  • Posts: 859
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #140 on: April 19, 2017, 01:14:11 PM »
Furthermore, it's worth noting that socialists don't necessarily agree with one another with regards to military and foreign policy.  You can't say "socialist state" and immediately infer every policy that state may have -- you can only infer that such a state would ideally advance worker control over the means of production.

I agree that there is very little agreement on ideology that is not tried, true, and set in stone.

It is also hard to criticize a shapeshifting target. Its like trying to nail jell-o to the wall.

Hrmmm. I cant say I agree with saying "the government controls the means of production" equates to "The people control the means of production." I know the government supposedly IS the people.... But its really not, imo, except in homogeneous civilizations. This is one good argument for American Nationalism in general, is that it values American lives, values, and traditions before all else. Doesnt matter what color you are; you're American, so you are my brother. Doesnt matter what Religion you are; you're American, so you're my sister. If we were all American before all else, maybe our government would be more in-touch with the people. Buuuut that can be taken too far, as we have seen in history.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Feco

  • Posts: 1784
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #141 on: April 19, 2017, 01:17:53 PM »

It is also hard to criticize a shapeshifting target. Its like trying to nail jell-o to the wall.

Hrmmm. I cant say I agree with saying "the government controls the means of production" equates to "The people control the means of production." I know the government supposedly IS the people.... But its really not, imo, except in homogeneous civilizations. This is one good argument for American Nationalism in general, is that it values American lives, values, and traditions before all else. Doesnt matter what color you are; you're American, so you are my brother. Doesnt matter what Religion you are; you're American, so you're my sister. If we were all American before all else, maybe our government would be more in-touch with the people. Buuuut that can be taken too far, as we have seen in history.

If you want to criticize socialism, you don't have to criticize a shapeshifting target.  You can criticize worker control over the means of production, or how a specific flavor of socialism interprets that.

But this would require that one has a working understanding of socialism.  (this is a general statement, and not specifically targeted at you)

Hrmmm. I cant say I agree with saying "the government controls the means of production" equates to "The people control the means of production." I know the government supposedly IS the people.... But its really not, imo, except in homogeneous civilizations.

To be clear, I didn't say those two statement were necessarily equivalent.

This would be an important place to say that not all states that call themselves "socialist" were or are in much of any sense.  Think of all the states that call themselves "democratic" and are nothing of the sort.
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Melkor

  • Posts: 859
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #142 on: April 19, 2017, 01:27:06 PM »
All fair. For those reasons, I tend to criticize an aspect inseparable from any variation of Marxist ideology:

I am breathing, therefore I deserve things.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Feco

  • Posts: 1784
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #143 on: April 19, 2017, 04:01:05 PM »
That's oversimplification to the point that it's incorrect.

I can easily envision a socialist state that withholds supplies from, or punishes, people who don't work.  I think this would be unnecessary, horrible, and against the general spirit of socialism, but it has and could happen.

I can also imagine a capitalist state that provides a good many things to everyone, without regard to their capacity or willingness to work.  Some take on welfare capitalist states.  These would be some version of states envisioned by social democrats like Bernie Sanders.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 04:03:09 PM by Feco »
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Synthesis

  • Posts: 9429
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #144 on: April 19, 2017, 04:50:38 PM »
All fair. For those reasons, I tend to criticize an aspect inseparable from any variation of Marxist ideology:

I am breathing, therefore I deserve things.

Pretty much the entire civilized world has declared that people do deserve certain things just because they are breathing.

http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/


Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people
Article 23.
 

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.
 

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.
 

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.
 

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 29.
 

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

P.S. The United States was a signatory to this, so I guess that makes you unamerican

« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 04:54:05 PM by Synthesis »
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Melkor

  • Posts: 859
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #145 on: April 19, 2017, 05:27:21 PM »

P.S. The United States was a signatory to this, so I guess that makes you unamerican


Lol trollin to the bitter end.

Disagreeing with decisions people made during my grandfather's lifetime hardly qualifies me as "UnAmerican."

As far as FDR goes (His wife was the chairwoman of the UN board who wrote those articles), He did good things, and he did things I disagree with; for instance, power-feeding the government tax-dollars and increasing entitlements.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9429
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #146 on: April 19, 2017, 05:44:00 PM »
rrrrrrriiiiiiiiight

You're not going to get away with pretending your radical views are mainstream American, dude.

You can protest otherwise all you want, but we're just going to keep calling shenanigans.
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Synthesis, you scare me a little bit.

Melkor

  • Posts: 859
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #147 on: April 19, 2017, 06:05:00 PM »
If you call marxists in black masks who silence their political opponents with physical violence and destruction of property "mainstream American," then nope. Not me.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Synthesis

  • Posts: 9429
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #148 on: April 19, 2017, 06:51:59 PM »
Deflection.  Sad.  Low energy.
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Yam

  • Posts: 7580
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #149 on: April 19, 2017, 09:30:15 PM »
Melkor is a pretty good case for the need to teach critical thinking skills to kids while they're young, before the stupid solidifies.