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This is a strictly hypothetical question. I do not have any children, however I do plan on having them in the future. I hope to get them into reading (Ayn Rand, of course) and I often wondered what I should do if the very specific circumstance should occur if he approaches me and asks me to buy Karl Marx's book so he can read it. What should I do? Get him the book? Or do I say no and explain why? If I explain what I think of Karl Marx, should I still get it for him? The same question applies to anyone with children.

asked Aug 22 '13 at 01:20

Collin1's gravatar image


edited Aug 22 '13 at 13:17

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

You may find this related question of interest: Do you encourage children to explore religion?

(Aug 22 '13 at 13:17) Greg Perkins ♦♦ Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

The link suggested by Greg is a good one. I also hope the Dad in this question listens to his child to find out where the child is coming from, i.e., why so much interest in collectivism and Marx? Is it for a school assignment, perhaps (probably college level)? As for buying Marx's book, any child old enough to know how to use Facebook would also be able to use Google and would discover that the book is already available online for free downloading in PDF form. The student would probably know this before the parents discover it. No need to spend any money on Marx's book.

There is also a subtle suggestion in this question (and in the similarity to the older question about religion) that there may be certain "taboo" topics in life that a child should be shielded from. After all, religion has its fundamental idea of Original Sin as consisting in eating forbidden fruit from a "tree of knowledge." Objectivism upholds no such idea. If something is a fact of reality, such as the existence of collectivist ideas and their widespread influence and destructiveness, a child will eventually need to know about it and know how to oppose it. The child will need to know why the collectivist "fruit" may seem tantalizing to some but is actually anti-life poison. The child will need to know where worldly prosperity and happiness come from, what makes them possible, and why they are good -- the essence of what makes worldly life worth living.

It is also worth noting -- and explaining to children when they are old enough to understand -- that religions find it necessary to suppress man's worldly knowledge and happiness (treating "forbidden knowledge" and pride as sinful) so that man can focus more fully on an allegedly "true" non-worldly "faith." Kant, too, found it necessary "to remove knowledge, in order to make room for belief." (Quoted from Critique of Pure Reason, Preface to the Second Edition.) For more on Kant's basic approach and Leonard Peikoff's translation of Kant's remark, refer to The Ominous Parallels, Chap. 2, p. 25 in the hardback edition. In terms of DIM categories, religions express the M1 or M2 mode of integration, while Kant's ideas express D2 (destruction of reason and its achievements), with D2 paving the way for the resurgence of M2. It was Kant who paved the way for Marx and is poised to do it again for some future M2 (probably supernatural) that avoids Marxism's error of promising paradise on earth.

answered Aug 25 '13 at 14:10

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦

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Asked: Aug 22 '13 at 01:20

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Last updated: Aug 25 '13 at 14:10