When parent Jeff Travis saw a lesson sheet his son received in social studies class, he was shocked. Using propaganda that could have been disgorged by the KGB, the flier seemed to elevate communism over “capitalism.”
Distributed in Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, the lesson sheet includes a cartoon that purports to illustrate the differences between the two systems. In the left panel are two unhappy-looking workers with balls and chains tied to their ankles who toil away on one side of a machine while all the profit spills out the other side into a bag held by a smiling, stogie-smoking, portly business owner in a hat. It is labeled “Capitalism — In theory.” In the right panel, communism is presented “in theory” with two smiling workers standing relaxed at the same machine while all the profit comes back their way.
Moreover, the poorly written, error-riddled worksheet relates the following (mis)information to the students:
Communism stands for equal sharing of the work according to the benefits and the ability, but in capitalism an individual is responsible for his works and if he wants to raise the ladder, he has to work hard…. While the profit of any enterprise is equally shared by all in Communism, the profit in the capitalist structure belongs to the owner only. … Moreover, communism stands for a class less [sic] society, which doesn’t see any difference between the rich and the poor. On the other hand, capitalism divides the society into rich and poor. Capitalism can be said to be the exploitation of the individual. While every one [sic] is equal in communism, there is a great divide of the class in capitalism.
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Selwyn Duke (photo)