[Updated 2021. It is very common for true stories of communism to be censored on the web. I try to keep this page updated with links that work. I apologize if it changes faster than I can keep up with.]
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you are probably aware that a great majority of the younger generation believes that socialism is a good idea. They vote for it and march for it and convince your kids of it through entertainment and social media. Unfortunately, they learned this in the very progressive public school system.
I’m presenting a lot of information here, and I hope you will take the time to read it all. Click the links, watch the videos, and prepare to arm yourself and your children with the truth. Don’t just skim. Take the time.
Chris Talgo, in his report, “Witness to Public Schools Brainwashing,” says:
“According to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s (VOC) fourth Annual Report on US Attitudes Toward Socialism, Communism, and Collectivism, today’s youth is quite fond of political-economic systems that have resulted in more than 100 million deaths over the past century. At the same time, these misguided youths are increasingly hostile toward the political-economic system that has lifted countless millions more out of abject poverty over the same period.”
Here are a few other “key takeaways” from VOC’s report:
- “70 percent of Millennials say they are likely to vote socialist.”
- “15 percent of Millennials think the world would be better off if the Soviet Union still existed.” (Maybe they should know about the Holodomor and why it is soberly remembered today.)
- “About one-in-five Millennials (22 percent) believe that ‘society would be better if all private property was abolished,’ compared to 1 percent of the Silent Generation.” (Karl Marx would agree.)
- “45 percent of Generation Z and Millennials believe that ‘all higher education should be free.’”
- “Only 57 percent of Millennials believe the Declaration of Independence better ‘guarantees freedom and equality’ over the Communist Manifesto.” (Clearly, they have read neither document.)
You may be thinking: How is this possible?
I think I have an answer for you. The U.S. education system is brainwashing today’s youth to believe that capitalism is evil while also indoctrinating students with utopian, false, and fairy-tale notions about socialism and communism.” (Read Columbia professor who fled communism resigns, says university is becoming communist.)
“The greatest abuse is the sins of omission.” (Why have we failed to teach America’s kids about the horrors of communism? By Paul Kengor). It’s painfully clear that students don’t even know much history. Not world history, not American history. It’s so commonly known now that late-night talk shows feature “man on the street” interviews to expose how little college students even know. But it’s not funny. It’s incredibly sad.
How else could Communist clubs exist in American high schools?
A recent study conducted by YouGov found only 33 percent of millennials are familiar with Lenin. (Source) Not even familiar?!?
“The real question isn’t whether these socialist tendencies exist, but rather why they exist. How is it that the same generation that has benefited more from capitalism than any other in human history is also the generation most willing to destroy it?
One of the most commonly expressed answers to these questions is that America’s higher education system has turned into a bastion for leftist thought. A 2018 study of more than 8,600 tenure-track professors by Brooklyn College professor Mitchell Langbert found registered Democrats outnumber Republicans at 51 of America’s leading liberal arts colleges by a ratio of 10.4 to one.
As important as bias on college campuses is, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Much of the problem goes back much further, to K–12 schools, where only 27 percent of teachers identify as Republicans, according to a national survey by the Education Week Research Center. Not only are K–12 teachers more likely to vote for Democrats and favor left-wing causes, socialist ideas permeate nearly every aspect of government-run schools.” (Source)
(Fun fact: public schools are socialist by their very nature: government institutions funded by forced taxation.)
It’s no secret that the college campus is a bastion of liberal, socialist thought. Communism is openly embraced and applauded. These are the very institutions training teachers for K-12 government schools. It’s a vicious cycle. Couple that with the heavy emphasis on testing, and the picture is complete.
“History teachers now teach their students “history skills,” which involve everything except remembering actual history and synthesizing information. Consequently, both literary and historical content is drained of relevance or meaning. While students learn to process data, they do not think about anything in particular.” (Source)
There’s more. Even math gets a social history spin:
Teachers who wish to put a Marxist spin on math lessons can utilize prepackaged lesson plans available on the Internet from RadicalMath (http://www.radicalmath.org/index2.php), “a resource for educators interested in integrating issues of social and economic justice into math classes and curriculum.” The site boasts “over 700 lesson plans, and charts, graphs, data sets, maps, books, and websites to help you bring these issues into your classroom.” (Source) The article goes on: ‘How many teachers are using this resource? According to the website, “RadicalMath.org has had 1,100,422 page visits since May 2006!!!”’
The ideas behind socialism and communism, at their very core, are fairness and equality. At the heart of these is greed and selfishness, or being jealous of what another owns or has accomplished. This leads to wanting the state to “do something” about the unfairness, like taking from the rich, raising the minimum wage, controlling the economy, giving handouts, and making things “free.”
If you think these ideas have not permeated our society, just ask your own kids a few questions, such as, “Do you think college should be free?” or “Is it right that business owners should make more money than their employees?” My teenage son told me about a friend of his who watched a YouTube video of a guy promising to give everyone $1,000 if they voted for him. His friend said, “Of course I’d vote for that guy!”
“Bottom line is that if Marxism isn’t on your radar, it should be.” (Hillary Morgan Ferrer, Mama Bear Apologetics)
Maybe you’re shocked at these statistics, but you don’t know what to do? Where do you start? Maybe you don’t remember your history or government or economics lessons that talked about these things. Maybe you want to brush up and prepare to instruct your children. You’re not alone!
There have been VOLUMES dedicated to communism, its history, its meaning, and its results, and I cannot possibly cover all there is to know about it in one blog post. My goal here is to equip the average parent with the tools needed to teach their children how to think critically about this very important issue, and to re-educate themselves if necessary.
Defining the terms
There are three terms to be familiar with, and how they relate. They are communism, socialism, and fascism. The best way to learn about them is in historic context, but they are all alive and well today, too, so let’s take the short route.
Communism: a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs. (Oxford dictionary)
Merriam-Webster further defines communism this way:
The Enemy of Communism is Capitalism
To understand communism, you must understand capitalism, because every communist sees capitalism as the enemy. In order for communism to work, capitalism must be destroyed. Karl Marx said, “…the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.”
Communism entered history as a ferocious yet idealistic condemnation of capitalism, promising a better world. Its adherents, like others on the left, blamed capitalism for the miserable conditions that afflicted peasants and workers alike and for the prevalence of indentured and child labor. Communists saw the slaughter of World War I as a direct result of the rapacious competition among the great powers for overseas markets.
But a century of communism in power—with holdouts even now in Cuba, North Korea and China—has made clear the human cost of a political program bent on overthrowing capitalism. Again and again, the effort to eliminate markets and private property has brought about the deaths of an astounding number of people. Since 1917—in the Soviet Union, China, Mongolia, Eastern Europe, Indochina, Africa, Afghanistan and parts of Latin America—communism has claimed at least 65 million lives, according to the painstaking research of demographers. (Communism’s Bloody History, Wall Street Journal 2017)
An easy way to teach these concepts, even to your youngest children, is with chores in the home. Listen to this excellent podcast by Courageous Parenting on Chores, Teamwork, and Why we don’t give allowances.
Start at the Beginning
The history of communism begins with Karl Marx. He published the Communist Manifesto in 1848; ‘the political pamphlet – arguably the most influential in history–proclaimed that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” and that the inevitable victory of the proletariat, or working class, would put an end to class society forever.’ (History.com) It boils down to greed and envy; we must all be equal and everything must be fair. This is why socialism, and even communism, are so popular even today.
In a nutshell, the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto are these:
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
While a few of these sound fair and right (abolition of child labor), you can see that the means to “fairness and equality” equal a gradual loss of freedom.
Another very important fact about communism is that it must exist apart from God. Marx, Engles, Lenin, Nietzsche, Stalin, Mao— all the well-known cheerleaders of communism insisted that God (and religion in general) was dead, or at least irrelevant; the State must become everything to the people.
Though Marx and Engles theorized about the utopia of Communism, it didn’t get put into practice until 1918, when Vladimir Lenin spearheaded the Bolshevik Revolution. This was simultaneous with the creation of the U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republic), which was ultimately responsible for over 61 million deaths.
Though never successful (as far as the citizenry have been concerned), communism has continue to spread to countries over the past 100 years, including China, North Korea, Cuba, Viet Nam, and others. The stories of those who lived under it are horrific. (See my list of teaching resources below.)
When the Berlin Wall was torn down on November 9, 1989, it symbolized the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the liberation of more than 300 million people from the tyrannical grip of communism. We in the west celebrated the start of a new era of democracy and freedom, one we were told was possibly endless. Yet a mere 30 years later, communist parties are gaining ground, and the free world is literally shrinking — in size and spirit. (USA Today)
The Effects of Communism
“The injustices of communism were not limited to mass murder alone. Even those fortunate enough to survive still were subjected to severe repression, including violations of freedom, of speech, freedom of religion, loss of property rights, and the criminalization of ordinary economic activity. No previous tyranny sought such complete control over nearly every aspect of people’s lives.” (Lessons From a Century of Communism)
Communism always-always-always ends in the suffering and death of the people under its rule. Citizens are not allowed to be free; free to think, create, worship, or disagree. If they do so, they are subjected to cruel punishments, both psychological and physical.
The Contemporary Homeschooler shares these facts in her excellent post on teaching communism:
- Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward killed 45 million people. This makes Mao Zedong the greatest mass murderer in history. Some were tortured and executed. Millions died of starvation due to his incompetent and reckless policies.
- Joseph Stalin murdered at least 20 million people with some accounts putting the number at 40 or 50 million.
- The Communist Khmer Rouge was responsible for the killing of almost 25% of the Cambodian population–up to 2 million people. Entire families died from execution, starvation, overwork, and disease.
- Forced labor, executions, and concentration camps were responsible for over one million deaths in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from 1948 to 1987; others have estimated 400,000 deaths in concentration camps alone. More than one million people have died due to starvation and famine.
In DEATH BY GOVERNMENT, R. J. Rummel states “…the results here clearly and decisively show that democracies commit less democide than other regimes. These results also well illustrate the principle underlying all my findings on war, collective violence, and democide, which is that the less freedom people have the more violence, the more freedom the less violence. I put this here as the Power Principle: power kills, absolute power kills absolutely.” He has presented a vast calculation of all the deaths of humans instigated by their own governments from 1900-1987. It’s a staggering look at the worst regimes, the victims, and the government systems they were under.
He says, “After eight-years and almost daily reading and recording of men, women, and children by the tens of millions being tortured or beaten to death, hung, shot, and buried alive, burned or starved to death, stabbed or chopped into pieces, and murdered in all the other ways creative and imaginative human beings can devise, I have never been so happy to conclude a project. I have not found it easy to read time and time again about the horrors innocent people have been forced to suffer. What has kept me at this was the belief, as preliminary research seemed to suggest, that there was a positive solution to all this killing and a clear course of political action and policy to end it. And the results verify this. The problem is Power. The solution is democracy. The course of action is to foster freedom.”
Read one story of persecution in Tortured For Christ: Richard Wurmbrand suffered 14 years in underground prison cells, months in solitary confinement, and years of physical torture. His only crimes were his fervent belief in Jesus Christ and his public witness for that faith. Richard Wurmbrand exposed the persecution of Christians by atheistic Communist governments—his testimony shocked the Western world.
Communism Must Begin With Socialism
What is the connection between socialism and communism? One leads to the other, as clearly stated by its supporters: “The goal of socialism is communism.” (Vladamir Lenin)
“Socialism destroyed my life in Venezuela.” Watch this 6-minute video Venezuelan Who Escaped Socialism Warns Us: Never let America become a socialist country. [YouTube has since removed this video.] Here are just a few truths shared by this young man:
- “I know they have good intentions, but this ideology and its policies will lead to disaster, like they always have.”
- “The government raised the minimum wage hundreds of times over the years.”
- “vice-ministry for supreme social happiness”
- “Socialism did produce equality, but it made everyone equally poor.”
“Socialism, from an economic point of view, is about concentrating all power on the state: money is controlled, as is the exchange rate and most production. This is complemented by the harassment of political movements with opposing ideologies. It has been this way since Lenin and Stalin in the Soviet Union, since Mao Zedong in China, Ceaucescu in Romania and Pol Pot in Cambodia. Leaders of Latin American are following a similar path, only adding the socialist component: they want absolute power, for indefinite time, but they also want to control the economy and hate private enterprise. They know that political power, when combined with economic power, is practically unstoppable.” (Why Socialism Always Leads to Dictatorship)
Communism is anti-Christian
Everything about communism is against the individual, and every communist and socialist leader insists that their perfect vision of communism must exist without God.
Atheism is a natural and inseparable part of Marxism, of the theory and practice of scientific socialism. – Vladimir Lenin (Religion)
What must the provisional government do? It must organise peasant committees which will settle the land question in the countryside. It must also disestablish the church and secularise education. . . . – Joseph Stalin (The Provisional Revolutionary Government and Social-Democracy)
Communism (and socialism) exist because of greed, envy, and a grab for power. These are completely opposite what the Bible teaches about coveting and stealing.
Cold atheism wrapped in the garments of materialism, Communism provides no place for God or Christ. -Martin Luther King, Jr. (How Should A Christian View Communism?)
As Christians, we must let the Bible be our guide, and the Bible is full of wisdom on this subject:
- Our faith should be in God, instead of a reliance on the state to provide for our needs (1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 6:25-34)
- We are not to covet (Exodus 20:17)
- We are not to steal (Exodus 20:15)
- God created us as individuals (Psalm 139:13-17)
- We were created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10)
- God created us with a plan and a purpose (Jeremiah 29:11)
- We should give out of the blessings God has bestowed on us (Proverbs 19:17)
- We should care for the orphans and widows (James 1:27)
Charity is not socialism. Giving to the poor, feeding the hungry, caring for orphans — these are not to be government programs; they are to be gifts from one individual to another (or to an organization).
You will hear many arguments for the “socialist model of the early church.” The early church chose to collect voluntary donations and distribute them among the believers. This entire process was voluntary. Socialism is not; it is the forced collection of tax dollars and redistribution according to the desires of a gargantuan government.
In her excellent article 5 Reasons Socialism is not Christian, Julie Roys lays out the case for wisdom in this area:
- Socialism is Based on a Materialistic Worldview
- Socialism Punishes Virtue
- Socialism Endorses Stealing
- Socialism Encourages Envy and Class Warfare
- Socialism Seeks to Destroy Marriage & Family
She writes: ‘Friedrich Engels, co-author with Marx of the “The Communist Manifesto,” once wrote that the society he envisioned would be one where “the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society. Private housekeeping is transformed into a social industry. The care and education of the children becomes a public affair.“‘
Go read the entire article!
Read this book:
Resources for Teaching About Communism
Parents, it’s up to YOU to make sure your kids understand socialism, communism, and capitalism. Your kids are capable of understanding much more than you think. The basic ideas can be taught in upper elementary or middle school. The entire truth of it all is a must for high school. Do not let your kids vote or go to college until they have been thoroughly educated in the truth about all these movements.
I’ll say again: My goal here is to equip the average parent with the tools needed to teach their children how to think critically about this very important issue, and to re-educate themselves if necessary.
–> Start with this article: Seven ‘Great’ Marxist Leaders Young Socialists Need to Know. Follow the links in the article and watch the videos (they’re all short).
–> Next, settle in for a few videos (teens love video). Prager University provides free (short) video lessons, complete with study guides, quizzes, and additional reading (sources, etc.)
- Who is Karl Marx?
- If You Hate Poverty, You Should Love Capitalism
- Socialism Makes People Selfish
- Income Inequality is Good
- Capitalism vs. Socialism
- Was Jesus a Socialist?
- Socialism Ruined My Country
- How’s Socialism Doing in Venezuela?
- Democratic Socialism is Still Socialism
- What’s Wrong with Socialism? Firsthand Account by Filmmaker Ami Horowitz
–> Next, adults and high schoolers should read the Communist Manifesto online (for free). It’s short, so there’s no excuse for anyone to not know exactly what’s in it. I also recommend the LitChart study guide here. This is a must.
–> Now, print this out: Victims of Communism has an excellent and easy-to-use curriculum entitled Communism: Its Ideology, Its History, and Its Legacy. It has a great overview of each of the major players, beginning with Karl Marx, followed by the dictators who put his ideas into practice in the 20th century. The curriculum includes readings, activities, and assessments. In addition, their website includes true stories of survivors of communist regimes.
–> Print out this free curriculum on the Gulags of the Soviet Union from GulagHistory.org. It’s an excellent addition to all of the above for high school. The details of the Soviet gulags have only recently began to come to light.
–> Look into documentaries about real life in communist countries. You can start with this link with the 10 Best Documentaries about North Korea. (I saw State of Mind; it’s excellent.) Read about communism in Cuba, Yugoslavia, Vietnam, and Russia.
–> Let your middle-school and high-school kids read Animal Farm. Maybe you remember reading it? It is the classic allegory by George Orwell that tells the story of communism in light of the Bolshevik Revolution. I highly recommend that everyone read this book. It’s short and easy, and very effective, and suitable for middle school students and up. Read it after learning about Lenin and the creation of the U.S.S.R. This LitChart is very helpful, too.
–> Consider reading Anthem by Ayn Rand, with or to your high school students. It is another short and powerful illustration of life under communism. Read the free online book here and get the LitChart guide here. Read it alongside this article from the Foundation for Economic Education.
–> To help young kids understand basic economic theory, check out the Under the Staircase books for kids! “The first book in the series introduces a variety of Milton Friedman’s concepts – the Power of the Market, the Tyranny of Controls, What’s Wrong with Our Schools?, and other topics – using examples from kids’ day-to-day lives in school, with friends, and in familiar situations.”
–> Read good books together. Story is the most powerful way to learn and remember anything. And the stories of those under Communism are the best testimony to its brutality and utter failure to produce the promised freedom. Read real stories of people who lived under and escaped communism at Victims of Communism. More book resources can be found at The Contemporary Homeschooler, who has a great list in her post Communism Study Through Literature. She groups the books by communist country. I recommend choosing one (or more) from each country and reading them as you study the Victims of Communism curriculum above.
This is just a start. There is so much more information available. There are many arguments to be made for the imperfect beauty of capitalism.
Parents, don’t rely on the school system to adequately educate your children about history. Don’t shrug your shoulders and assume it’s no big deal. It’s a very big deal. It could be life and death for your children or grandchildren. It may affect a time you do not see, but it’s still your responsibility to have an impact.
So if you’ve been taught that your victimhood group has rights superior to your own… If you’ve been told your whole life that economic progress is killing the planet… If you believe in your heart that needs and wants trump economic reality……well, then what’s wrong with a little communism? Hell, a lot of communism? They’ve been taught this; no wonder they believe it. Or as Lenin also said, “Give me your four-year-olds, and in a generation I will build a socialist state.” (PJ Media)