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There’s a Book about Communism for Kids Coming Soon (Hopefully)

If you’re anything like me – you probably stay up at night figuring out new ways to corrupt America’s youth.

How do I get teenagers to stop buying iPads and start fomenting class revolution, and more importantly, how do I make my friend’s toddler throw off the ideological shackles thrown upon them by Dora the Explorer everyday from 11:30 AM to noon?

So when I read about the forthcoming English edition of the book “Communism for Children” on The New Inquiry, I was pretty ecstatic. So I reached out to the author and illustrator, Bini Adamczak, who was kind enough to chat with me online.

“The book uses a children’s book language in order to tell the story of capitalism and six different trials of its overcoming,” Adamczak tells us. Though it should be noted, Adamczak claims the book is for people of all ages.

“Communism for Children” was originally published in German in 2004 by the leftie independent publisher Unrast. Adamczak got the idea for the book after a conference called “Indeterminate! Kommunismus” (English: “Indeterminate! Communism”) in Frankfurt. That conference, she notes

“was the first attempt after 1990 to really promote the term communism after the fall of the Soviet Union. It attempted to free it from its Stalinist heritage and reuse it as an assemblage for different currents and movements on the left. It was highly anti-dogmatic, very open. Not party-based, but an association of anti-racist, queer feminist, and anti-capitalist movements.”

The book takes a “queer communist” approach to telling the story of capital. Everybody in the book is somehow female,” Adamczak tells us, “but there are as many different shades of femininity as there are people.

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Adamczak was approached by Jacob Blumendfeld and Sophie Lewis to do an English translation last year . “They started a collaboration that one could really qualify as communist,” Adamczak notes.

The book has already been translated into a handful of languages – French, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Greek. Most of that happened, according to Adamczak, in the last year on the 10th anniversary of the book’s German publication.

They are currently speaking to publishers, but she wouldn’t specify with whom.

Adamczak wanted to break with the tendency to “personalize” the capitalist economy that was prevalent in children’s literature in the Soviet Union and East Germany.  “Capital is represented in those instances,” explains Adamczak, “by an evil capitalist with a cigar and a big belly who is very greedy.”


“In my book there is no evil character,” she tells us. “However, the process of reification is represented in the coming to life of things: chairs, for example, or factories. Even though they are made by people they become independent and act on their own. But even the factories are not simply evil but act under conditions (of the market) that they can not chose. Sometimes they even feel sad and have to cry.”


  • Mike

    Communism might as well be a child’s story. For it works only in fantasy .

    • Zackasaur

      oh u

    • Ceci Pipe

      As opposed to capitalism, the economic system built on the concept that there’s an automatic, cosmic, karmic, reaction of a reward of success; because that totally doesn’t presuppose the existence of a god or anything.

      Works in practice though, which is why competition flourishes in Western countries and wealthy corporations totally don’t buy out the market. Starbucks for instance, they would never deliberately operate at a loss in order to undercut and drive out smaller competition.

      Good thing we’re smart enough to know better hey. It would really suck if supposedly smart people were actually preaching a flawed system tantamount to modern day feudalism with inheritable wealth, a disposable lower class, and a sacrifice of human progress for merit based wealth; which didn’t even deliver merit based wealth.

      • KantaloupeIsland

        Thanks for enlightening me Ceci. Here I was thinking that “market forces” (for lack of a better word) were driven by the interactions of individual people, each trying to satisfy their own preferences; rather than the mystical money god that flows through the corrupt capitalist sewers.

        And isn’t it horrible that sometimes, a particular organization can completely undercut their opponents and deliver a product that millions of customers love? Or exploit them by selling them inexpensive goods? What assholes, amiright? Wow, I just wish we had a central authority with no threat of competition to do that to all industries simultaneously.

        Doesn’t owning your own labor suck? You’re totally right: it’s basically like being an effective slave to someone else. Who isn’t allowed to initiate violence against you. You’re basically totally reliant upon interacting with other people who have saved a ton of shit up to get more of that shit. We should just create a system where that doesn’t happen like…uh… let me get back to you on that. At the least we should be reliant upon either a) mobs or b) the state. one of the two.

        And speaking of which, have you seen the moral degredation of capitalist societies? Think of all the disgusting behavior that has been developed and accepted almost exclusively in said societies: homosexuality (and basically anything other than heterosexuality), feminism, free speech, and even critical theory. Man, this shit needs to go.

        And don’t even get me started on the poor. I mean, under capitalism, the poor have it so much worse than under communism. I mean, poor people don’t even know what to do with reliable access to food, clothing, electricity, water, or a tv, or a car, or a cell phone. Better off switching to communism where they can just sit in their unheated tiny huts, shivering their asses off and deeply pondering life to keep their mind off their hunger.

        Seriously. If we get rid of private property, everyone will just be nice to each other, and sacrifice their own goals for people they have never met and quit wanting to achieve their own ends in favor of the greater social equality. They’ll all participate willingly, I swear. Either that or we’ll put together a big-ass state to motivate them. Either way, beats this shithole.

      • DrGreatCham

        “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the
        distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every
        time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists
        conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state
        education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any
        education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that
        we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then
        they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as
        if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat
        because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

        Frédéric Bastiat,

        The Law

  • Zackasaur

    This is fantastic. I would definitely buy copies to donate around.