German Book Communism for Kids Translated into English by MIT Press

by Paul Crookston

In 2004, German political theorist and “queer politics” expert Bini Adamczak wrote Communism for Kids, and, for some reason, MIT Press has decided that it needed to be translated and published in English this year. At last, American families will have the opportunity to take Adamczak’s ideas from the fever swamps of the Occupy movement to their children’s bedrooms.

Don’t expect this scholar of social theory to deal with communism’s long history of failure, however. Communism for Kids is a fantasy — complete with princesses and talking chairs — and thus affords the author free rein to lambast capitalism and construct her own imaginary, happier vision of communism. Claiming to be new, the book promotes the same tired theory that communism’s problems lie in implementation, not in ideology.

MIT Press’s website has an overview which touts how this communism is different: “This little book proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism.” Ah, communism that is “free from authoritarianism.” That old chestnut.

In keeping with the usual propagandistic style, the aesthetic of Communism for Kids is predictably creepy:

Left-wing propaganda has proliferated in children’s books recently. In another work, A Is for Activist, children are taught the alphabet via charming limericks such as: “T is for Trans. / For Trains, Tiaras / Tulips, Tractors, / and Tigers Too! / Trust in The True / The he she They That is you!” Books such as these promise to cleanse children of “wrongthink” before they can even spell — and before they have learned any history. Usually, they are topical. But if you come down on the partisan or establishment side of things, you can also find cute stories featuring Hillary Clinton or Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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