Thursday, November 13, 2008

Communist Car Wash

You know, it's clear to me that Marx and Engels didn't spend a lot of time with their children. If they had, they would have given up on communism before it started. Why? Let me give you an example. Have you ever given your children buckets, soap, rags and water and told them to wash the car? And, of course, it goes without saying that they aren't getting paid--they get a place to live, food to eat, a good education, etc. So, you smile at your dear offspring and then go inside the house to iron their Sunday clothes or chop vegetables for their dinner. Forty-five minutes later, your offspring, who are now wet and filthy, trudge back into the house. You assume that given their current condition, they have done a good job.
Of course, since you've been a parent for many years now, you know that "it's what's inspected not expected that gets done" and, thus, you go look at the family vehicle.
The car isn't clean--it's in a state of semi-wash. There are various factors that contribute to this. First, since collectivism wasn't working, i.e. most of the kids played with soap or squirted each other with the hose, the oldest child assigned various jobs to unpaid subordinates who chafed at this usurpation of authority and felt they got the hardest job. For example, the hubcaps are notoriously nasty and so look horrible even after their cleaning. You find the laborer given this task and ask what happened. He (n. b.: not a sister, she got out of this job by invoking feminine privilege--Euw, that's gross!) explains that he tried, but it just won't come clean. You pick up a brush and scrub the hubcap and discover there is clean metal underneath. The child assumes a posture of "shock and awe" and suggests under his breath that you ought to be doing this job, it's too hard for them.
The second problem is that the children have no stake in the vehicle--they don't care how clean the car is. They view it merely as a conveyance of their parents that allows them to schlep their stuff (fencing foils, musical instruments, and robot club goodies) from one place to another. So, it's irrelevant that most of the hood is clean except for the big blotch of dirt in the middle.
The final problem is that since they aren't getting paid, they actually hope they get fired. After all, the "management" will still provide everything they need--including dinner and freshly ironed clothes for Sunday. So, getting fired is what they're hoping for. (Though no computer time seems to be an excellent "reward" for work poorly done--but now I'm abandoning the communist analogy.)
At any rate, the communistic approach to labor is an utter failure. If Marx and Engels had spent more time with their children, we could have saved the world a lot of grief. Which brings to mind Piaget, whose theories of mind and personality could have been greatly enhanced if he'd watched his children instead of making his wife do it...but that's for another blog.


  1. Uh!! I am offended! I never said "Oooh, gross!!" in reference to the hubcaps, and if I had, I would never have gotten out of anything!... BTW, you're right: we would have loved to be "fired." ;)


  2. Nice blog Mom although I do a good job doing the car wash

  3. Ah!! it is all true! It is all true! I say this, being one of the many grunt workers who go on strike after glaring at the lawn mower.