Communism in CA

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abjennings
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Postby abjennings » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:52 am

Lily and Decrease,
I think you both make very valid, informative points. When the time arrives I will probably teach DS three forms of governing; capitalism, socialism, and communism. Then simply research to see how these forms of government have affected various countries. I try to be unbiased in my teaching, prefering my child to develop his own opinions which will grow and change as he gets older.

Theodore,
I do think calling Ca. "the land of fruits and nuts" is insulting, even to a lliberal-minded North Carolinian. And, if I had a mentally handicapped child, I would not want him refered to as either a retard or a moron, regardless of what the dictionary says.

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Postby Decrease » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:55 am

I think you can teach a kid "how to think" and not "what to think". Yet, education, by her mere definition, is an instilling a worldview. Teach logic but I do not think it is ever possible... in fact I will contend it is impossible, to teach from a neutral point of view. To teach neutrality is to actually teach against something. As I once told a history professor, "Tell them the worldview you come from instead of trying the charade that you are neutral. For you are not neutral or else you would not be teaching history."

Derick

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Postby abjennings » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:13 am

Decrease wrote:I think you can teach a kid "how to think" and not "what to think". Yet, education, by her mere definition, is an instilling a worldview. Teach logic but I do not think it is ever possible... in fact I will contend it is impossible, to teach from a neutral point of view. To teach neutrality is to actually teach against something. As I once told a history professor, "Tell them the worldview you come from instead of trying the charade that you are neutral. For you are not neutral or else you would not be teaching history."

Derick


Would that mean that a news reporter cannot remain neutral because he is, after all, teaching, telling history as it happens?

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Postby Decrease » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:20 am

AbJennings,

Yes, the news media is not neutral. We used to take newspaper clippings and attempted to list all the worldview ideas that was being portrayed in the news. You have to start with the presuppositional level, in which we all come to the table. Even the idea of being neutral is not a neutral worldview.

Let me illustrate this in another way as well. Should we approach the Holocaust from a completely neutral worldview? First, I contend you cannot but even if we could it would be foolish to do so. Should we approach slavery in the same vein? Of course not?

The goal should be first to define your worldview and be honest with that worldview rather than pretend you had no biasness.

When I taught on a College Campus, I began the semester telling people my worldview on issues saying, "The fact is, not matter how neutral will may try to appear, I am not neutral. You may think that I am just delivering facts but I am bias. I would rather you know that from the start rather than we all pretend that I am neutral." Yes, most in my class thought I was "neutral", but that is because of our shared worldview which made them believe I was neutral. Yet, to some of the topics in another culture or another diametrically opposed worldview, it would have been seen as not neutral at all.

The myth of neutrality is a myth. The philosophy of neutrality is based on a worldview which is not neutral to even the idea of neutrality.

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Postby Lily » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:09 am

Decrease wrote:Lily,

You seem to hold to the idea that I call the "Myth of neutrality", in other words you can teach a topic in relation to a neutral worldview. This, by its very nature, is a myth and impossible for the theory itself is not neutral. I call this the "Myth of Neutrality".

Secondly, you are right the idea of communism did not kill people but people killed people. Yet, the philosophy of communism does have a philosophical structure whereas killing people is not only allowable but necessary.

For instance, communism's philosophical root is that government is the highest authority of all. This one philosophical belief alone, I believe, leads to tyranny. If government is man's highest authority then man is a servant to government and a person has no worth except in what that person gives to government. This has been the view from "The Communist Manifesto" to China to Stalin. Thus, man becomes a slave of the state and and man's value is far less than the entity itself.

That is why people in every communist country have been tortured, killed, and the like... for to oppose the government is to oppose the highest entity possible.


I don't think I subscribe to the myth of neutrality. On the contrary. My job is to prepare my children for adulthood, right? There are countries that still use communism or have it in their very near history. In order for my children (as adults) to understand the point of view of, say, a Chinese business they are working with, it's important that they understand the background of the other parties' countries and not dismiss their government or former government as simply "invalid". To do so would be foolhardy and would create more barriers than it might take down.
My job is to present the information and help them find their own point of view. I commend a public school system that does the same.
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Postby Decrease » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:46 am

Lily,

The problem with your argument is that you deny the holding to the myth of neutrality then you make statements seeming to hold to the myth of neutrality in education. You stated:

"My job is to present the information and help them find their own point of view."

My point is that education is not about delivering facts. Education is delivering a worldview. Thus, while we can encourage and should encourage people on how to think, it is impossible to think without a formulated worldview. A formulated worldview that is instilled in education is impossible to have a neutral worldview and to be neutral on systems like communism unless, of course, you formulate a worldview that embraces such. Then, that worldview ceases to be neutral by definition.

In other words, you just want them to memorize facts about communism and not really be educated by a worldview then you may do so. Yet, there is no honor in memorizing facts without a worldview attached.

I would be scared if someone approached the holocaust, slavery, the crusades or any number of other major events from a "neutral" perspective. Rather, I hope that we instill a solid worldview so that a child can be more prepared to think and understand their own worldview... something lacking in most kids today.

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Postby Decrease » Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:10 pm

I think I needed to be a little more explanatory in the last post. Let me explain something. Education is into a worldview... or how and why we think the way we do. In other words, most kids today do not know why they think the way they do. They think based on a variety of issues... some emotional and some logical and some a mixture of many other factors. Education, though, is teaching a child the basis for our thought process (worldview). We do not start with a blank slate and begin building.

How could a kid think rationally about communism if he/she does not understand why they think the way they do and why that is important? If they are too young to understand those concepts, they are too young to understand what they should think about communism. If they can begin to think through the "worldview" issues then they probably could see why communism has her appeal depending on how people think then be able to rightly understand what it is according to their worldview.

That is why worldview education is vital to education. Communism only works intellectually in certain worldviews. Yet, a student who is unaware of how people think will get confused over communism itself and will be unable to properly evaluate the system.

Teach worldview ideas and they will come out with the right understanding. Yet, if you don't teach worldview ideas then they have not basis for understanding things like communism fully.

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Postby Lily » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:23 pm

Decrease wrote:Lily,

The problem with your argument is that you deny the holding to the myth of neutrality then you make statements seeming to hold to the myth of neutrality in education. You stated:

"My job is to present the information and help them find their own point of view."

My point is that education is not about delivering facts. Education is delivering a worldview. Thus, while we can encourage and should encourage people on how to think, it is impossible to think without a formulated worldview. A formulated worldview that is instilled in education is impossible to have a neutral worldview and to be neutral on systems like communism unless, of course, you formulate a worldview that embraces such. Then, that worldview ceases to be neutral by definition.

In other words, you just want them to memorize facts about communism and not really be educated by a worldview then you may do so. Yet, there is no honor in memorizing facts without a worldview attached.

I would be scared if someone approached the holocaust, slavery, the crusades or any number of other major events from a "neutral" perspective. Rather, I hope that we instill a solid worldview so that a child can be more prepared to think and understand their own worldview... something lacking in most kids today.


Decrease, I think we have a vast difference in our idea of education and the presentation of materials. We come into it with the understanding of a personal bias and use that to our advantage by getting as many different sources from as many different areas as we can. Not surprisingly, something my Californian upbringing and education modeled for me.
Again, I do not subscribe to the myth of neutrality. What I do believe is that the presentation of information (or the withholding of) creates our personal view.
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Postby Theodore » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:18 pm

Lily wrote:It's important to explore all the possibilities. Communism, as a theory, is not responsible for killing people. Communism, as a bastardized measure put into place, is. You cannot take a capitalist mind and force communism on it and expect a good outcome. Communism is a utopian idea. However, just like with democracies and republics, it should be taught and examined so that a child can think for him/herself and come to a conclusion.

It should be tought, but with the understanding that it never has and never will work. Humanity is not perfect, therefore no utopian ideal is ever going to succeed. Communism always ultimately leads to mass famine and death, just look at what happened in China and Russia.

Are you saying there are no worldviews you'd teach from a negative viewpoint? Spanish Inquisition? Hard-line Islam? Abortionist killings? You're going to have a hard time being "neutral" with each and every possible worldview, and historically speaking, communism has caused more death than all of those put together.

And how exactly do you expect communism to work without forcing it on people? If capitalists didn't have most of the money, there wouldn't be any point to communism in the first place, therefore communism is just theft and redistribution of wealth to non-contributors. Given, capitalism isn't perfect either and can be abused too, but it's a simple fact that if more people are motivated to work, more goods and services are produced, and the standard of living is better across the board. But good luck explaining to children that starving the people who don't work will help more than handing out money. You can't even convince all adults of that, as communism sounds nice as long as it's someone else's money.

Theodore, you have insulted me, as a liberal native Californian, and used vulgar language. If you can debate a point successfully without resulting to insults, please do. If you cannot, I think you would do best moderating the threads and not taking part. You certainly are not swaying anyone or sounding knowledgable when you attempt such attacks.

I have a brother who lives in California, but I haven't been able to visit him there because housing costs so much. California is massively taxed and restricted, and the state economy is on the edge of failure. I'm not necessarily insulting you, just people who are helping run the state into the ground. Bankruptcy in the name of good is still bankruptcy.

I won't post further here, it will just be futile. We have no common frame of reference through which to communicate.

Edit: I said I wouldn't post again.
Last edited by Theodore on Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Decrease » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:05 am

Lily,

I think you missed the entire point of my posts. I am and have been an advocate of reading primary sources of other thought. My favorite atheists to read, for instance, is Hume and Flew. Yet, the issue is worldview and the base by which we think and how we educate, not the limitation all the points of an argument or things like that. The two are radically different ideas.

So, would you teach communism as being good or evil? How would you portray it in teaching?

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Postby Lily » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:17 am

Theodore wrote:It should be tought, but with the understanding that it never has and never will work. Humanity is not perfect, therefore no utopian ideal is ever going to succeed. Communism always ultimately leads to mass famine and death, just look at what happened in China and Russia.

Well, since I am not God, and neither are you, I think making predictions and presenting them as fact is a faulty education style. Humanity is not perfect, and Russia and China show what happens when the majority of the public does not a)conform to the ideals and b)may not have interest conforming to the ideals that their government holds. However to say that it would never happen is outside the realm of credible teaching.

Are you saying there are no worldviews you'd teach from a negative viewpoint? Spanish Inquisition? Hard-line Islam? Abortionist killings? You're going to have a hard time being "neutral" with each and every possible worldview, and historically speaking, communism has caused more death than all of those put together.

You have to understand that when it comes to subjects like this, we take more of a Socratic approach. We try to get into both sides, while acknowledging that history is written by the victors, and find out the motives for each side. Hard line Islam is a great social studies lesson right now. We just finished the initial exploration of regular Islam last month, first starting with our (unfortunately) Christian biased history book, then using local Muslim resources and his dad's Arabic skills to read the Koran, compare verses to the bible, and help him figure out the basic tenants or lessons of Islam and trying to interpret Muhammed's actions. According to today's law, was he wrong to steal from Mecca? Yes. According to Muhammed, was he wrong? No.
It's all about putting ourselves in others' shoes to understand their actions. The knights taking part in the crusades did things very comparible to hard line Islamic radicals. Did they further their cause? Yes. Were there other ways to reach others and teach them about Christianity? Yes. Let's explore the different routes and try to figure out why they thought this was the best one.
I cannot denounce them as wrong without having been there myself. Since I wasn't, the most we can do is learn about it from all angles.

And how exactly do you expect communism to work without forcing it on people? If capitalists didn't have most of the money, there wouldn't be any point to communism in the first place, therefore communism is just theft and redistribution of wealth to non-contributors. Given, capitalism isn't perfect either and can be abused too, but it's a simple fact that if more people are motivated to work, more goods and services are produced, and the standard of living is better across the board. But good luck explaining to children that starving the people who don't work will help more than handing out money. You can't even convince all adults of that, as communism sounds nice as long as it's someone else's money.

Communism works when it is chosen with a knowing heart and mind, or born into it and taught the ways of society. A good, though fictional account of it happening well is the Oz books. An even better look is the communes and kibbutzes (kibbutzi?) that were so popular in the 70's and finding the 2-3 that still exist in the states. The native American tribes practiced forms of communism and socialism.
Is it possible? Yes. Is it easily corrupted? Yes. Is it possible with a capitalist point of view in mind? No.

Now, on to the insults:
I have a brother who lives in California, but I haven't been able to visit him there because housing costs so much. California is massively taxed and restricted, and the state economy is on the edge of failure. I'm not necessarily insulting you, just people who are helping run the state into the ground. Bankruptcy in the name of good is still bankruptcy.

I won't post further here, it will just be futile. We have no common frame of reference through which to communicate.


I am not interested in your family. Theodore, you seem unable to even see your insults:

California - the land of fruits and nuts
teaching communism as a valid worldview is totally retarded.

And even your "apology" for the above lacked sincerity and included more insults:
It was not my intention to insult the mentally challenged by comparing them to liberals or communists

It certainly goes against your job description:
Generally moderators are there to prevent people going off-topic or posting abusive or offensive material.
http://www.home-school.com/forums/faq.php#29
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Postby marinewife929 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:12 pm

Theodore wrote:California - the land of the fruits and nuts.
:lol: :lol: :roll:

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Postby Emerging Dad » Sat May 10, 2008 7:32 pm

Theodore wrote:Doesn't matter whether you agree with the site or not, do you support the teaching of communism as a valid worldview in public schools?

The way the article was written implied that the bill would mandate communism be taught favorably in the classroom, when what it really says is that communist organizations would not be barred from access to public facilities and that teachers couldn't be fired just for being communists.

In principle, I don't object to that.
I'm a nice enough guy, and if I say something hurtful I probably didn't mean it that way.

Semper Reformanda!

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Postby blackhorse » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:27 pm

Theodore wrote:California - the land of the fruits and nuts.


Thanks, sweety. Love you too. You know you'll love CA when you get here. ;] *MWWAAH!*

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Postby fallenstar » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:13 pm

As a native to the bay area I agree on the whole fruits and nuts. I understand teaching the theory of communism, but I am against promoting it. If you take a look at our colleges that is what they are teaching. Their are many teachers and students who believe that communism is they way to go. As a conservative born again Christian it is my duty to stand up to my state and proclaim the truth. Granted my state most likely will not listen, but I can still try.


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