SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Socialism to classroom analogy
By Evan Bolling


November 21, 2009
Saturday PM

Al Johnson's socialism to classroom analogy is absolutely genius. Of course, however, if you think about it for even a second more it becomes totally ill conceived.

Mr. Johnson is under the impression that his analogy reveals a flaw in the concept of socialism. If Al was a contestant on a game show, and drew that conclusion from such a scenario, the annoyingly effective "ERR! ERR!" would rattle his inner ear like an air hockey puck being slammed against the of edge of its table. "I am sorry Al, but that is entirely incorrect" the host would respond.

Here is why: Let's call the college class Al Johnson refers to, "Class X". Being the dirty little college Commies that they are, Class X believes in the idea that if everyone works for the common good the world will continue spinning round just as easily as it did under capitalism, perhaps a little better even. The professor, an apparent allagiphobiac (the fear of change) will not stand for such blasphemy, thus he conducts his experiment. The fear of altering the status quo, a dominating characteristic within the conservative platform as well.

For an easy follow along I have compiled a translation list.

Grades= Material gain in a society

Students= Members of any society (in this case America)

Teacher= "Tyrannical Red Regime" (government)

Level of Studying=Level of effort in a given environment

Students who study and ace the exam represent those who "produce the most effort", i.e. doctors, lawyers, teachers, the money making class of any hierarchy. And students who choose not to study are analogous of those at the lower end of the caste, i.e. janitors, gas station attendants, supermarket courtesies etc. Here lies a poor comparison.

A failing grade means a failing in contribution to the overall effort, "the common good" in Johnson's story. But being a janitor, a gas station attendant or a supermarket courtesy IS contributing to the common good. This fantasy comparison is no bueno. It shows a HUGE lack of respect perhaps even prejudice for vitals members of our economy. Both sides are equally important. One could argue, however, that a doctor's duty to protect life is a greater good to humankind than a worker who sweeps the streets, and from one angle this is defendable.

The New York Yankees 1920 line up, featured Babe Ruth, the most recognized player in sports history. Now Babe had hit 60 home runs and was without a doubt the giant on the team. Wally Pipp played first base for the pinstripes in '20. He existed barely visible in the shadow that was the Bambino, so one could say Ruth's effort was of higher value to the success of the team. But what if the manager took Wally Pipp out of the game, every throw to first base would have no greeting of leather, the team would be broken. And a broken team, is a broken team, is a broken team.

"A Day Without a Mexican" directed by Sergio Arau best illustrates the consequence of such harefooted thinking, One morning California wakes up to find 1/3 of its population has vanished. Garbage piles up and everything is falling apart. The social, environmental and political implications threaten the state's survival. As the day goes on we discover the characteristic that links the missing people together is their Hispanic dissent. The realization is that what has disappeared is the very thing that keeps the American Dream running: cooks, gardeners, nannies, farm and construction works, athletes and entertainers, and without them what's left is a broken system. Just as a broken team is a broken team, a broken society is a broken society. In that sense, the most important sense all people's roles "A-F" as Mr. Johnson would say are of equal value to maintain a working economy.

In true Marxist fashion there is no social hierarchy, all are equal. "From each according to their ability and to each according to their need." What's so evil about that?

Evan Bolling
Ketchikan, AK

About: "Resident of Ketchikan 20 years."

Received November 15, 2009 - Published November 21, 2009


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