In a recent editorial for Fox News, Paul Kengor laments the lack of emphasis being placed by American teachers on the facts about communism throughout history. He claims that public educators have “failed to teach the horrors of the Bolshevik Revolution specifically and of communism generally.” While this is certainly true, it must also be understood that this “failure” is deliberate. Kengor seems to be truly mystified by the lack of truth being taught to students about communism, but as an educator and lecturer himself, he must also be aware of the “planned ignorance” of many teachers to attempt to portray Marxism better than its historical record allows.
In fact, Kengor even alludes to this “education conspiracy” when he writes:
I lecture around the country, sponsored by groups like the Young America’s Foundation and Intercollegiate Studies Institute. I’m often requested to give a talk titled, “Why Communism is Bad.” When I read passages directly from the “Communist Manifesto,” or when I cite authoritative sources on the maimed and dead, the students are aghast, eyes wide open. Rarely are their professors in attendance. Those same professors, incidentally, write the textbooks used by high schools.
Note well that last sentence. This is precisely the problem. It is not a “failure” of the academic industry to teach the true history of Marxism and Communism, it is an intentional lack of teaching the “whole story.” For many years, Marxism has been presented as a “wonderful theory” that has been poorly implemented by deluded dictators. However, in recent years, the “deluded dictator” aspect has been discarded and Marxism has been taught as the unquestioned ideal, while capitalism has been routinely demonized as the scourge of western civilization. Kengor briefly hits on the point why this is so: Students who were propagandized by their professors in the sixties and seventies are now the ones writing the textbooks used to teach undergrads. The education revolution has come full circle; propaganda has become “fact.”
Kengor is certainly smart enough to realize that this “failure” has been intentional all along. Like the rest of those in his profession though, he can’t quite bring himself to call “a spade a spade.” He ends his editorial this way:
In short, we now have an entire generation of Americans born after the collapse of the Berlin Wall and USSR. They didn’t live through the mass repression and carnage that was Soviet communism. They need to learn about it, just as my generation learned the evils of Nazism. Unfortunately, they are not. And so, we shouldn’t be surprised when they merrily march to the triumphal sounds of the Bolshevik Revolution.
Indeed we shouldn’t be surprised. Jesus taught his own disciples this very fact, nearly 2000 years ago. “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:39-40).
It cannot be denied that students “need to learn” the truth about the blood-stained hands of historical communism, but the public school classroom will most assuredly not be the place where this truth will be learned. The vast majority of public educators (and private educators for that matter) have learned their lessons from what Kengor elsewhere calls “the perverse professor who somehow admires communism.” History will continue to perpetuate itself until, and only until, students begin to receive different lessons. This requires parents to get involved and take charge of what their children are being taught. This may mean leaving the public school system and it most definitely means not paying some Marxist professor thousands of dollars each year to indoctrinate your children with communist untruths. Cursing the problem is the easy part; taking the steps necessary to solve it is the much harder part. Kengor has helped identify the problem, now what are we going to do about it?