Parents, government, civics and economics teachers: This request is for you. I received the following message this past week in my YouTube inbox, doubtless as a result of my delayed moderation of this user’s comment on my 9 year old daughter’s YouTube response video to President Obama’s speech to students in September. The short message points out how clear our need is today for better learning opportunities about forms of government and economic systems both inside and outside of schools.
Political science was one of my undergraduate majors, so I likely studied governmental systems more than many folks in college, but even a basic introduction to both governmental and economic systems should provide enough knowledge to distinguish between a governmental leader advocating communist policies versus one advocating socialist or regulated capitalist policies. It appears the author of this YouTube message needs a primer on communism 101. I’m not naively thinking I or anyone else could easily change this person’s clearly antagonistic and negative perceptions of President Obama, but hopefully any good teacher could help a learner like this one understand some basic facts about communism.
When I visited Shanghai in September of 2007, I was amazed to experience firsthand how the communism I studied in college was clearly NOT the communism of modern China.
We still call China a “communist” country, but it could be more helpful to refer to the nation as a totalitarian regime which continues to hybridize a centrally controlled society with capitalism. As I noted in my September 2007 post, “Typhoons do include a lot of rain,” a powerful spirit of entrepreneurial creativity and energy pervades parts of eastern China, and this is NOT something you’d expect in a “communist” country according to the model of communism we learned in school in the late 20th century. It’s also surprising, of course, to witness our U.S. President using billions of tax dollars to bail out a motley assortment of financial lending institutions, automotive manufacturers, and others. I’m definitely not saying I’ve agreed with all the actions our President has taken to address our economic crisis, but I definitely am not under any delusions that he is striving to impose a communist agenda on the United States.
When someone says or writes something like, “Obama is a communist,” they may be justifiably upset and angry, but they are almost certainly poorly informed about the basics of political and economic systems. No, President Obama is NOT “a communist.” Check out the WikiPedia articles on communism, Marx, Lenin, and Mao to begin an investigation of why this is not the case. Refer to the “Variations of Communism” on the English WikiPedia site, “Portal: Communism” to explore further. You’ll see President Obama is not listed there as an adherent. This is not a left or right wing conspiracy: He is not listed there because his actions and statements do not represent or reflect the goals of communism in any of its forms.
Parents, can you help us remedy this cognitive “missing piece” for many in our future electorate? Government, civics and economics teachers, do you want to help tackle this one? How about debate teachers and coaches?
Signs like these, just like the email I received on YouTube, can clearly get attention– but what they really say is, “Don’t regard my opinion as serious or valid. I don’t have a clue about what communism was historically or is currently.”
If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, consider subscribing to Wes' free, weekly newsletter. Generally Wes shares a new edition on Monday mornings, and it includes a TIP, a TOOL, a TEXT (article to read) and a TUTORIAL video. You can also check out past editions of Wes' newsletter online free!
Did you know Wes has published several eBooks and "eBook singles?" 1 of them is available free! Check them out! Also visit Wes' subscription-based tutorial VIDEO library supporting technology integrating teachers worldwide! MORE WAYS TO LEARN WITH WES: Do you use a smartphone or tablet? Subscribe to Wes' free magazine "iReading" on Flipboard! Follow Dr. Wesley Fryer on Twitter (@wfryer), Facebook and Google+. Also "like" Wes' Facebook page for "Speed of Creativity Learning". Don't miss Wesley's latest technology integration project, "Show With Media: What Do You Want to CREATE Today?"
On this day..
- Thankful for Brave First Responders in Las Vegas - 2017
- AirDrop Video Sharing, 5 Photo Stories and Narrated Slideshows - 2013
- Devastated at the Forced Closure of the OKC Coworking Collaborative by US Fleet Tracking - 2012
- Reflections on Unlimited Petroleum Wealth from the Persian Gulf - 2011
- Flying Home From Doha [Narrated Slideshow] - 2011
- Platform agnostic developers will help redefine print and literacy - 2010
- Read Free Online Books at the International Children's Digital Library - 2010
- Dean Shareski at ITSC 2010 - 2009
- Evidence Bing is Lame - and Google Search Rocks (a NY caller asking for AOL Press) - 2009
- In Praise of Outdoor School, Ed Holzberger, Classen SAS and Oklahoma City Public Schools - 2009