Back in 1962, Arthur Trace wrote a book entitled What Ivan Knows That Johnny Doesn’t. In that book Trace informed us that Ivan was being taught to read by phonics, and that was why Ivan was able to learn so much better than Johnny. In fact, throughout the communist world, children were taught to read by phonics so that they could read Marx and Lenin and become the engineers and scientists the state needed to enable it to create its socialist utopia and great military power.
What the communist leaders did not foresee is that the high literacy of their slaves would not lead them to Marx and Lenin but to the dissident writers in the underground and the anti-communist literature of the West. Of course, the communist masters hoped that they could prevent this by a regime of strict censorship. But in an age of computers, radios, and video and audio cassettes, as well as books, the flow of information, news, and ideas could not be stopped.
Today’s Russians can now read anything they want, provided the books are available. While high literacy alone is not sufficient to give the Russians the kind of society our Founding Fathers gave us, high literacy will enable them to make up for lost time. Well-educated Russian émigrés do very well in the United States where their technical skills are highly valued.
Meanwhile, in the United States, millions of Americans have been turned into functional illiterates by their schools, and thus are unable to use their God-given language learning endowment to better themselves.
Click here to read the entire article.
Sam Blumenfeld (photo)