Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Socialism: A Children's Guide

At a dinner party recently (oh, how very Islington), we were relating our former school experiences. There, a friend told us the following true story.

At pre-school one day, the class were given some plasticine and, this being one of those hippy let-the-kids-do-whatever type of schools, let them get on with it. Our friend decided to sit and carefully rolled and moulded his plasticine into a near perfect uniform ring. Very proud of it he was too. Most of his classmates, on the other hand, had spent most of the time messing around, testing the ballistic qualities of the substance, being generally “expressive” and losing most of it.

Eventually one of the timewasters piped up to the teacher. “Miss, he’s got more plasticine than us”, addressing our young friend.

“Well, of course”, thought our hero, “I’ve been working on it and making something, not wasting it.”

Yet, far from the teacher explaining the value of this diligent behaviour, took our friend’s plasticine and divided a load of it up to distribute evenly – “fairly” no doubt – among the rest of the class. Our friend was gutted, such that the experience has stuck in his mind for the rest of his (so far) quarter-odd century of life.

Now some on the Right have had a sneaking suspicion that the teaching profession might be, on average, leaning to the left of the political spectrum. Just a teensy bit. It’s not that we all think that socialist indoctrination is a core module in the national curriculum, but that a statist ethos might run through much of the educational establishment.

Yet this story isn’t about right-on lefty teachers. As it happens, the teachers I do know personally fall pretty evenly into either the Lib Dem or (closet) Conservative camps. Not too many Labour ones showing their colours right now though. Funny that.

No, the story is a near perfect allegory of socialist thinking, from the unwarranted redistribution of carefully husbanded resources, through the failure of authority to protect the deserving, to the rewarding of sloth, imprudence and irresponsibility.

Here endeth the lesson.

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One response to “Socialism: A Children's Guide

  1. Dean March 22, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Spot on! I think we may share the same brain. Were you a Siamese twin?

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