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I weep for the future

In a school, a bunch of eight year olds build a town of Lego’s. The town, as is the natural order of things, becomes capitalist with the kids trading Lego pieces and various kids owning various property and Lego’s and such. The teachers then freak out what with all this free market idealism and stuff. The teachers, as it always happens in these cases use the threat of authority to turn the kids into communists. I shit you not. The whole thing can be read here. Some themes they re-educated the kids about:

Collectivity is a good thing

Shared power is a valued goal

Moderation and equal access to resources are things to strive for

And that is how we create kids that will grow up and vote for Obama.

32 Responses to “I weep for the future”

  1. tgirsch Says:

    Collectivity is a good thing

    Err, it’s not? I can understand not wanting to become like the Borg, but I don’t see you running off and isolating yourself in a Montana compound somewhere…

    Shared power is a valued goal

    Err, it’s not? I guess we should finish the job and do away with the rest of those pesky checks and balances in the Constitution. We don’t need a president, we need a Supreme Emperor!

    Moderation and equal access to resources are things to strive for

    Err, they’re not? Maybe not exactly equal access in all cases, but doesn’t libertarianism fall flat on its face if there exist groups of people without access?

    I know you guys are huge fans of the law of the jungle and all that, but sheesh!

  2. # 9 Says:

    tgirsch, you do that a lot you know. You pick a few words and go all literal over them, and completely ignore the post.

    Denial isn’t pretty.

    We met as a teaching staff later that day. We saw the decimation of Lego-town as an opportunity to launch a critical evaluation of Legotown and the inequities of private ownership and hierarchical authority on which it was founded. Our intention was to promote a contrasting set of values: collectivity, collaboration, resource-sharing, and full democratic participation. We knew that the examination would have the most impact if it was based in engaged exploration and reflection rather than in lots of talking. We didn’t want simply to step in as teachers with a new set of rules about how the children could use Legos, exchanging one set of authoritarian rules with another. Ann suggested removing the Legos from the classroom. This bold decision would demonstrate our discomfort with the issues we saw at play in Legotown. And it posed a challenge to the children: How might we create a “community of fairness” about Legos?

    What the teachers did was bullshit. There is a difference between teaching and indoctrinating. It is almost a little like child abuse.

    What next, the required drum circle?

  3. tgirsch Says:

    Yes, because the last thing we want to do is imbue our children with a sense of fairness. Heaven forbid!

    I’m surprised you don’t go burn down CTW headquarters for spreading their communist “sharing is good” messages on Sesame Street.

  4. # 9 Says:

    Yes, because the last thing we want to do is imbue our children with a sense of fairness. Heaven forbid!

    Teaching socialism is not “imbuing our children with a sense of fairness”.

    They are eight years old. Another case for school vouchers.

  5. # 9 Says:

    Boy you are right Uncle, this doesn’t look good.

    More crap from these left coast hippies:

    The free trade, “neo-liberal” emphasis of recent trade agreements like NAFTA, and now the World Trade Organization, that encourage poor countries to export their way to economic health and to specialize in the “commodity” of cheap labor.

    There will be a lot of confused kids because of these idiots. This kind of crap should wait until college. Liberal indoctrination is a serious issue when the kids are minors. I would be pissed if this crap happen to my kid.

    This isn’t the role of the school. The school sure as hell isn’t teaching “neo-conservative” ideas.

  6. tgirsch Says:

    Wait, I missed the part where the teachers told the kids that the government should own and control the means of industrial production. Perhaps you can help me out with that? If thinking “collectivity, collaboration, resource-sharing, and full democratic participation” are good things makes one a “socialist,” then I guess I’m proud to be a socialist. Of course, if you want to bring up your kids to be individualist, isolationist, hoarding fascists, you’re certainly welcome to home school them to that end…

    What should the teachers have done if the kids were building ultrasonic deterrence devices out of the legos?

  7. # 9 Says:

    What should the teachers have done if the kids were building ultrasonic deterrence devices out of the legos?

    Apply for a patent.

  8. CTD Says:

    Prepare for the Great Leap Forward, young Pioneers!

    Our intention was to promote a contrasting set of values: collectivity, collaboration, resource-sharing, and full democratic participation.

    We have formulated the next Five Year Plan, comrades!

  9. tgirsch Says:

    By the way, since when are African-American school teachers from Milwaukee classified as “left coast hippies?” I’ve heard Midwestern blacks called a lot of things, but I gotta say, that’s a first…

  10. # 9 Says:

    I was referring to the hyperlink. Which you might click to learn more.

    This interconnectedness of issues was brought home powerfully in late 1999 with the mass demonstrations against the World Trade Organization in Seattle, summed up by the celebrated placard, “Turtles and Teamsters: Together at Last.” What was so remarkable about the events in Seattle was that for the first time massive protests targeted not simply one single issue, but an entire constellation of grievances. The presence of U.S. steelworkers, Korean farmers, South African miners, French environmentalists, and Canadian teachers marching side by side underscored this new political awareness.

    Milwaukee hippies are a little different from Seattle hippies.

  11. Dan Says:

    The handful of kids who developed the town, owned it-in that they owned the game, not the leggos. It involved an imagined use of scarce resources, prioritized by property rights, and clearly sparked debate among the kids over the advantages of having some “areas” for public use BEFORE the teachers intervened. Sadly the kids had no copyright protection for their game.

    The good socialist teachers stepped in and did what socialism does-by “nationalizing”, then ending the game they destroyed something those kids created. Much like socialism, ending it didn’t make the rest of the class wealthier, it just made a few kids playing together poorer. Under the pretense of teaching about power, the instructors abused it. Hopefully they generated some resentment in those kids, who will always eye collectivists with suspicion.

  12. # 9 Says:

    Hopefully they generated some resentment in those kids, who will always eye collectivists with suspicion.

    Amen.

  13. Yosemite Sam Says:

    I suspect these teachers are the same kind of people that went on for years about making kids paint or draw within the lines, claiming that by doing this, the teacher would be stifling the child’s creativity.

    Now, kids spontaneously organize a way to play their game of Legos and these teachers can’t act quickly enough to stifle creativity and inventiveness. I guess the desire to encourage creativity has it limits.

  14. Mark Says:

    In fairness, these Seattle Socialists should also teach the by-products of the ‘large scale’ version of their favored philosophy. Walls, minefields and snipers to keep all the happy people from escaping “lego-land”, for example. Crippled economies. Mass graves. You know, the little things that made it so ‘special’.

  15. Dan Says:

    …everybody in the class gets one leggo, and no more than two kids can play with them together. The remaining leggos stay in a pile guarded by the Collectivist Facilitator, who’s the teacher’s nephew.

    Oh, and no milk and cookies until 20% of the class starves off.

  16. rightwingprof Says:

    Old news, Uncle. Where’ve you been?

  17. Metulj Says:

    Wheeeeeeeee! That was fun! Remember # 9, any Tennesseean who calls someone else a socialist has to look up from TVA’s warm tit to do so.

  18. DirtCrashr Says:

    # Lego people can be saved only by a “team” of kids, not by individuals.

    So, many Lego People will die waiting for a team of kids to gather together, read the by-laws and Rules of Teams, elect a Representative… because an individual has no merit or power in their tiny, ugly, little Socialist world….

    Also: “All structures are public structures.”…. “Hey, lets build a WALL – East Germany here we come!”

  19. straightarrow Says:

    So tgirsch, if someone exerts enough power to force you into sharing you wife, that’s a good thing? Cooperation is always good? Always? Really?

    Access is good thing, I’ll give you that. But when rules are enforced to make them all outcomes equal, someone was just robbed of his talent, or harder work, or greater investment. That’s a good thing?

    Send me your bank account numbers and passwords and we’ll sit down and determine how to collectively share equal access to the moderation of distribution of resources in a display of imbued fair play.

    No need to thank me. I believe you deserve a chance to show you mean what you say and are true to your stated principles. I am just glad I’ll be able to help you.

  20. Chas Says:

    Collectivity is a good thing

    Shared power is a valued goal

    Moderation and equal access to resources are things to strive for

    Does that mean that the government is going to sell us its used M-16’s and 1911’s? Oh, I forgot, principles are only meaningful when they are applied to Marxist goals. Sorry, Comrade. I was shamefully trying to empower myself.

  21. # 9 Says:

    Remember # 9, any Tennesseean who calls someone else a socialist has to look up from TVA’s warm tit to do so.

    I see, we are all closet socialists. How foolish of me.

  22. Metulj Says:

    “I see, we are all closet socialists. How foolish of me.”

    You aren’t in the closet. Every time you flip on the Steely Dan and pop open a beer, you right there, out in the open.

    Not me though. I buy my energy needs on the open market. If gas is cheaper with SuezEnergy I get it from them else I get it from the local gas concern. If electricity is a penny cheaper a kilowatt from a third party, rather than PSE&G, I get it from them. I do miss all of that subsidization that you get down there. Makes life easy.

  23. Xrlq Says:

    By the way, since when are African-American school teachers from Milwaukee classified as “left coast hippies?”

    I dunno. Maybe about the same time as a hippie’s profession or the color of his skin became relevant to whether he is a hippie or not? I will grant you that Milwaukee is a long way from the left coast, though, and for a liberal, one out of three ain’t bad.

  24. tgirsch Says:

    Two out of three. School teachers are “the establishment, maaaan!”

  25. Xrlq Says:

    Nah, hippies are the establishment now, as they have been ever since “trust no one over 30” became “trust no one under 50.”

  26. cargosquid Says:

    THAT was horrible. It made my skin crawl. “..which distilled months of social justice exploration into a few simple tenets..” “Children absorb political, social, and economic worldviews from an early age.” This statement was especially illustrative of the “teachers'” blindness:”When the teaching staff met to reflect on the Lego trading game, we were struck by the ways the children had come face-to-face with the frustration, anger, and hopelessness that come with being on the outside of power and privilege” The indoctrinators could not tell that this frustration came because of the ARBITRARY AND UNFAIR rules of the TEACHER. When the kids worked on the LEGOS before, ithe rules were done by the kids. God forbid one kid did better than another.
    Their “teaching” technique was straight out of communist re-education.
    As someone that hopes to go into teaching, this will be my BAD EXAMPLE.

  27. # 9 Says:

    Teachers warping little minds is an old story. The teachers were wrong and the little kids were right. It is a shame the teachers didn’t learn anything.

  28. R. Neal Says:

    Sounds like any other corporate “team building” workshop I’ve ever been forced to attend. Legos would have been a bonus.

    Anyway, I’d rather live in a future populated by kids raised to share and be fair than a bunch of separatist killers or tyrants.

  29. # 9 Says:

    Anyway, I’d rather live in a future populated by kids raised to share and be fair than a bunch of separatist killers or tyrants.

    That is confusing, do you mean you support what the teachers did?

  30. SayUncle Says:

    Sounds like any other corporate “team building” workshop I’ve ever been forced to attend.

    I laughed outloud at that. So true. Say, have you seen my cheese?

  31. straightarrow Says:

    Anyway, I’d rather live in a future populated by kids raised to share and be fair than a bunch of separatist killers or tyrants.

    R. Neal, are you really silly enough to believe that is an either/or?

    Yours must really be an empty existence.

  32. Xrlq Says:

    Anyway, I’d rather live in a future populated by kids raised to share and be fair than a bunch of separatist killers or tyrants.

    And I’d rather live in either than be personally butt-raped by Mike Tyson, have both limbs ripped off slowly and painfully, and then be burned beyond recognition. Your point?