Ensuring Students Learn the Truth About Communism

Published June 13, 2024

For decades, the public education system in the United States has failed to accurately teach generations of American students about communism. Even worse, a new movement is afoot in middle schools and high schools in which vulnerable children are being indoctrinated with pro-socialist propaganda and neo-Marxist rhetoric.

The infiltration of academia by socialist sympathizers goes back a long way. As has been well documented, the origins of this dates back to the early 20th century, when a group of Western European Marxists founded the Institute for Social Research at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany in 1923. After Nazi officials closed what had become colloquially known as “The Frankfurt School” in 1933, the budding neo-Marxist movement found a new home at Columbia University in New York City, and rapidly gained influence in other top universities across the United States.

Prominent Frankfurt School ideologues such as Herbert Marcuse, Max Horkheimer, and Erich Fromm quickly gained national attention for their development of “critical theory.” Unlike classic Marxism, which focused primarily on economics (proletariat vs. bourgeoise), critical theory applies the Marxist lens of victim and oppressor to practically all elements of society, especially cultural institutions such as the public-school system. Eventually, critical theory spawned a litany of new movements, some of the most notorious of which include “critical race theory” and, more recently, “critical queer theory.” While Marxist ideology was undergoing a renaissance on college campuses in the mid-20th century under the banner of critical theory, it also began to seep into high schools and middle schools by the late 20th century.

In 1980, socialist historian Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States was published, which sought to rewrite American history from a Marxist perspective. In short time, Zinn’s book became a popular resource among social studies teachers, who used it as a classroom textbook. Not long after, Zinn wrote A Young People’s History of the United States, which was specifically geared towards middle schoolers. Eventually, the Zinn Education Project was launched, with the express goal of promoting and supporting “the teaching of people’s history in middle and high school classrooms across the country.” As of today, Zinn’s books have become so prevalent in public schools that the College Board includes them in its Advanced Placement (AP) teacher-training seminars.

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