Goals of Dialectics for Kids/
About the Author/Acknowledgements


Goals

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.

Acknowledgements

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.
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--Jack Lucero Fleck

Photo of Jack Lucero Fleck, Ryan Fleck, Ira Gollogin 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.

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