Looong day at work. My body hurts, and I am irritable. Excuse me if I come off as rude in my reply.
You should probably actually read the ideas behind it before just spewing things out. In communist -principle-, your labor is directed, not stolen. You maintain professions and have it retooled to benefit the whole of society. Supply and demand still exists, it's just monitored and tweaked by the state to maintain the highest standard of living for the maximum amount of people. This has never been carried out successfully (though mormons in early Utah actually did a pretty damn good job of it). The purpose is more to eliminate social castes/classes than equalize pay (edit: To clarify, wealth redistribution shouldn't exist, because the purpose of wealth is supposed to be obsolete in a well-functioning system where everyone benefits from all production and trade). Likewise, the idea is for the arts to flourish, since there's no such thing as 'the struggling artist'.
I call bullshit. Marx's Communist Manifesto advocated the abolition of all personal property and land for the good of the collective. THIS IS THEFT. THIS IS THE FRUIT OF MY LABOR. The fruit of my labor does not belong to anyone but me. I own my body and anything my body produces.
Yes, Mormons did it right. Communism works in homogeneous tribes, this is already established.
The United States of America is not a homogeneous nation. We have many different religions and cultures among us. They all think and behave differently. We are not all equal.
Regarding "the struggling artist" being a thing of the past.... NO. If you are a shit artist, you should struggle. If you produce art that other people are willing to pay for, you succeed, and do not struggle. This is capitalism.
Capitalism itself has inherent flaws and proneness to corruption/manipulation. If you believe we have a well-functioning capitalism in the United States, you should actually read The Wealth of Nations. Ya know. The book by Adam Smith that describes it. We've actually deviated pretty far from it, and it's not due to regulation, it's due to incentives for resisting the open flow of currency. A true capitalism depends on the same drive we have to push into the life of luxury, but makes the general assumption that most will fall short but not devastatingly so. Our current state has shifted away from production and into services that have to provide for a lot of people, allowing for amenities but also allowing for vast exploitation of the working class. We've enjoyed a lot of success due to government spending, i.e. the government directing production and research via grants and contracts. That's not a capitalist behavior, but it's working to our benefit.
Yes, our nation has shifted FAAR from the capitalist drive for success and happiness which pushes production and innovation forward. THIS IS A BAD THING. You wonder why college tuition is so expensive? The government started subsidizing it, so the colleges raised the price because they knew they could. Rinse, repeat. If the cost of tuition was NATURALLY too high, not enough people would pay for college, and the price would lower. Socialist policies have inflated college tuition. Despite this blatant progression, people are now begging the government to step in AGAIN, but this time, just make tuition free. Free shit for everyone. Free college. Free food. Free housing. Nobody wants to earn their way, they just want to suckle at the government's tit like a helpless babe. THIS is the reason why I am so opposed to the book being directed at impressionable children. If our whole country turns into these "Gimme gimme gimme" bernie-bros and career welfare households, we are fucked.
I think capitalism is probably the greatest innovation that humanity has come up with, to date, because it rewards incentives towards individual gain which resonates with people -as they were-. If the majority of the populace becomes more in tune with thinking of the whole, then it becomes more and more dysfunctional, as there are less people engaging in the motivations it depends on. Really, it comes down to whether or not you trust the private sector's (and common citizen's) desire for personal gain to be more trustworthy than the state's responsibility to provide for people, and those will vary drastically with people's experiences and perceptions. (edit here: I should note that I don't support 'pushes' for socialism/communism, but I do recognize that there will be a slide in that direction as more and more people inevitably 'fall off the bottom rung' of a dysfunctional capitalism; at some point or another, there will be a change in thought as efficiency becomes the determining factor of profit. Automation makes sense. So does cutting down the fat on the workforce. Entrepreneurship, the arts, and cultural endeavors all spring out of this, as long as they are taken care of during that time, which falls on either the state, the populace, or wealthy patrons. People need to realize that historically speaking, some of the biggest leaps in our capabilities were not born from monetary incentive, but idle hands that were allowed to pursue their interests rather than someone else's.)
You contend that Americans are no longer driven by self-interest? Again, I call bullshit. Quite the opposite. Those fighting for socialism and communism are doing so ONLY for self-interest. They want free shit for less work. They have learned, from a lifetime of getting hand-outs, that if they scream hard enough, they get what they want. They know the government will feed them if they are hungry, so why not push for more? Why not free housing? Why not free college? Why not free everything?
This is not for the good of the collective. This is all about people being both lazy AND greedy. This cannot survive in a pure capitalist society.
So really, I'm kinda meh on your distaste for the book. People being more aware of alternatives really ain't bothering me none. I'm pro-education in all forms, so long as you can filter through the propoganda on both sides and learn how to investigate.
"SO LONG AS YOU CAN FILTER THROUGH THE PROPAGANDA ON BOTH SIDES AND LEARN HOW TO INVESTIGATE."
Children.... the people at which this book is directed... Can not filter propaganda from legitimate information.
Side note: You brought up Stalin, because he was an absolute travesty. I'm not sure you're aware of how distasteful he was to the proponents of socialism/communism at the time, and how hard Lenin actually worked in his final years to try to prevent him from coming to power. Using him as the poster child actually equivocates to using Mussolini as a poster child for capitalism, because you again seem to be mixed up: Fascist states are capitalist dictatorships.
Yeah. Stalin was not a true
communist. This is a fallacy, because he was a communist. The no true scotsman fallacy is the last refuge of those refusing to admit faults in their argument. I am not referring to you; I am referring to the proponents of socialism/communism who condemn "Stalin's version" of communism.
"fascist states are capitalist dictatorships"
This is bonkers, because Mussolini himself said his solution for "supercapitalism" was to fuse socialism and nationalism. Learned these ideals from a french marxist, iirc.
edited to add: Didn't Mussolini also take control of all production in Italy?