Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Blasts 'Communism for Kids' Book

New fairy tale book 'whitewashes' history of brutal dictatorships

Karl Marx
Karl Marx / Getty Images
April 18, 2017

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is blasting MIT Press for its new book Communism for Kids, arguing the book "whitewashes" a deadly ideology that has led to the deaths of 100 million people.

MIT Press recently published the book, written by German author Bini Adamczak, which uses cartoon drawings of "lovable little revolutionaries" arguing capitalism is evil and communism is "not that hard."

In a letter sent to Amy Brand, the director of MIT Press, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation said the university would be better served exposing the dangers of communist ideologies.

"While I can imagine a book so titled that would make a valuable contribution to a reader's understanding of the truth about communism, the book MIT Press published is not it," wrote Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, in a letter last week. "Communism for Kids whitewashes and infantilizes ideas that, when put into action, have cost more than 100 million lives."

Smith noted that 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, the start of the first communist regime. "It is a fitting time to teach people about an ideology that so dramatically shaped the 20th century and continues to shape the 21st," he said.

Communism for Kids claims to offer a "different kind of communism" that is "free from authoritarianism" using fairy tales with "jealous princesses, fancy swords, displaced peasants, mean bosses, and tired workers."

The book makes no mention of brutal dictators such as Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union, Mao Tse Tung’s "Great Leap Forward" in China, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in Cuba, all who are responsible for the deaths of millions.

"That collectivism ends in dictatorship is overwhelmingly evident," Smith said. "Take Venezuela, whose experiment in democratic socialism began in 1999. With each passing year, what was once one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America becomes poorer; what was once a free country becomes more and more repressive. Whether in Lenin's Soviet Union or Maduro's Venezuela 100 years later, collectivist policies must be coercively implemented and enforced."

"Marxists, such as the book's author, often say 'true' communism has never been tried," Smith continued. "This assertion is on par with denying the violence inherent in the ideas of Nazism. Communism has been tried in more than 40 countries, and each time results in the worst and widest scale of human rights abuses known to man."

"There is no 'different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism,'" Smith said, quoting from the description of the book by MIT Press. "We will not tolerate denying the history of Nazism. Nor will we tolerate obfuscating the crimes of communist regimes."

Communism for Kids, which sells for $12.95, claims to present communist political theory in "the simple terms of a children's story," by using "illustrations of lovable little revolutionaries experiencing their political awakening."

Smith says the book only enables Marxists to rewrite history by hiding the brutal realities under communist regimes.

"Far from providing a 'political awakening,' by publishing Communism for Kids, a book utterly devoid of any awareness of politics and history, MIT Press has furthered the efforts of communist ideologues to spin a tale of false hope and to deny the reality that communism leads not to a better world, but to a dreadful one," he said.