Goals of Dialectics for Kids/ About the Author/Acknowledgements
The physicist Ernest Rutherford once remarked that if you can't explain something
in simple, non-technical terms, then you really don't understand it. It's also
been truthfully said that language is so complex that only children can learn it.
Finally, Frederick Engels noted that when people finally understand
the transformation of quantity into quality, they are likely to declare that "it
is indeed something quite self-evident, trivial, and commonplace. . . But to
have formulated for the first time in its universally valid form a general law
of development of nature, society, and thought will always remain an act of
historic importance." (Dialectics of Nature, International Publishers,
1940, page 34)
So the goal of Dialectics for Kids is to explain how things change--i.e.
dialectics--in common, everyday
language. I also hope readers have some fun with the examples, songs, and
essays. And I hope that this site will help readers understand who we are in
the universe, how we got here, and how we can live an active life making
changes in our personal lives and in the world that will benefit our beautiful
little planet and all of its inhabitants.
About the Author
I was raised as a conservative Methodist in Peoria, Illinois. In high school
in the early 1960s I came to accept a scientific, non-supernatural explanation
for the way things are as a result of working with a group of
free thinkers at the local planetarium. We explored cosmology, evolution,
and philosophy, all subjects explored in "Dialectics for Kids." I
became politicized by the civil rights and the
anti-Vietnam war movements, and I was drawn to Marxism with its scientific
world view and its vision of economic and social justice. I also
became an active supporter of the women's movement, gay/lesbian/transgender
movement, and the environmental movement.
When the socialist bloc began collapsing in the late 1980s I concluded that
Marxist economics was flawed (see
What Does Dialectics have to do with Communism?, an essay on this site).
However, I continue to feel that dialectics is valid. I believe that placing
dialectics on a material basis is Marx's greatest achievement.
Based on this
I worked with a children's writers group in the 1990s to write the children's
stories/articles found on this site. I launched Dialectics for Kids
in 1999 to popularize dialectics. I live in the San Francisco
Bay Area and make my living as a transportation engineer.
I want to thank Eduardo Zavala for his artwork, Fred Ewing for his musical
assistance, Steve Linsley for being my scientific resource, Ayda Lucero
for being a sounding board for my constant chatter about dialectics, dozens
of readers who have sent in comments and suggestions, my writers group, Ira
Gollobin for his book, Dialectical Materialism,and
all of those who have been part of this effort. And, more recently, Ryan
Fleck for coming up with a new way to teach dialectics in his and Anna Boden's
film "Half Nelson"
--by making fun of it! Below is photo of Ryan, Ira Gollobin, and myself
taken on March 22,2006 prior to the New York premier of Half Nelson.
Click here for the Half Nelson website. Also, Ira Gollobin
passed away April 4, 2008; for more about Ira,
click here for the Ira Gollobin website. .
--Jack Lucero Fleck
Photo by Anna Boden
Note: The content of Dialectics for Kids is copyright 2001 by Jack Lucero Fleck.
You are welcomed to use any of this material for non-profit educational purposes.