Sunday, May 13, 2018

'Teen Vogue' On What Students Are Being Taught About Marx

Yes, this is what kids are being taught.

From the current edition of Teen Vogue:
You may have come across communist memes on social media. The man, the meme, the legend behind this trend is Karl Marx, who developed the theory of communism, which advocates for workers’ control over their labor (instead of their bosses). The political philosopher turned 200-years-old on May 5, but his ideas can still teach us about the past and present...

 His writings have inspired social movements in Soviet Russia, China, Cuba, Argentina, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and more...

So how can teens learn the legacy of Marx’s ideas and how they’re relevant to the current political climate? Teen Vogue chatted with two educators about how they apply these concepts to current events in the classroom...

Public high school teacher Mark Brunt teaches excerpts from The Communist Manifesto alongside curriculum about the industrial revolution in his English class...

“I do a little role-playing with [my class],” Brunt tells Teen Vogue. “[I tell them,] I’m the boss, you’re my workers, and you want to try to take me down. I have the money. I own the factory. I control the police. I control the military. I control the government. What do you guys have?”
His students usually blink at him, he says, totally clueless. He insists they actually have something huge, that he, as the boss, will never have: “It’s always just one student, whose hand shoots up and goes, ‘We outnumber you!’” Brunt says.

He then introduces Marx’s distinction between the proletariat — the working class as a whole — and bourgeoisie — the ruling class who controls the workers and profits from their labor. The tension between the proletariat and bourgeoisie make up the class conflict, or class struggle, he explains.

Although ongoing teacher strikes aren’t necessarily Marxist movements, today we can see still see these tensions between classes at play in the Untied States, between state governments and striking teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona, demanding higher pay and more public school funding.

However, in a Marxist revolution, the proletariat will come together to overthrow the bourgeoisie and ultimately, win the class conflict by taking control over their work, or striking. And if such a revolution occured in Brunt’s classroom, his students would overthrow him as a teacher — and the principal, the superintendent, and so on.
In his advanced class, Brunt also introduces the idea of false consciousness, which is defined as the many ways the working class is mislead to believe certain ideologies — like the belief that the boss should always be in charge, no matter what...

Former Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher uses Marx to teach history through an emotional, fluid, and ever-changing lens. He challenges his students to envision a society without capitalism, reminding them that different — though still imperfect and flawed — economic systems existed before, such as feudalism. 
“When I teach Marx, it’s got a lot to do with questions of how to think critically about history. Marx says we live under capitalism [but] capitalism has not always existed,” Ciccariello-Maher tells Teen Vogue. “It’s something that came into being and something that, as a result, just on a logical level, could disappear, could be overthrown, could be abolished, could be irrelevant. There’s this myth of the free market, but Marx shows very clearly that capitalism emerged through a state of violence.”...

We’re oftentimes taught that history moves slowly, but many Marxists disagree with that notion, and believe that that the current socioeconomic system is precarious and can be overthrown at any time.


  1. Teen Vogue also has caught flak for publishing a guide to anal sex and stories about marijuana and transgenders. It sounds like this rag is turning into a mouthpiece for the lolbertarian party.

  2. Communism is great if you are in the tiny ruling class. Sucks for everyone else. I guess the teen SJWs think they are going to be the ones calling the shots. Just before they're shipped off to the gulag.

  3. I guess the teachers are smelly ass and stupid leftist and don't realize that if workers or producers want to control their labor or production they could form a co-op.

    Even The Onion gets everything right about what's wrong with Communism:

  4. I am scared and appalled, and yet not surprised. Libertarians need to continue the intellectual battle no matter what.

  5. "“[I tell them,] I’m the boss, you’re my workers, and you want to try to take me down. I have the money. I own the factory. I control the police. I control the military. I control the government. What do you guys have?”

    Even in today's not-free market, this completely mis-characterizes things. First, which individual entrepreneurs control the police, military and government? Second, it ignores the fact that the workers have their labor, which presumably the entrepreneur needs to run his factories. Third, it ignores the existence of trade unions. Fourth, it ignores the fact that many entrepreneurs compete with each other for labor (there is neither one blob of labor nor one blob of entrepreneurs).

    And I love the examples they give, those bastions of prosperity: Soviet Russia, China, Cuba, Argentina, Ghana, Burkina Faso ...