The greatest challenge in terms of material so far in my online Marxian economics course this winter has been the preconceived notions of communism held by many students.
I don't blame my students at all, and yet find it hard not to get frustrated reading discussion post after discussion post along the lines of "the workers getting equal shares of the surplus" when defining communism.
The concept of apprpriation prior to distibtuion of surplus can be complex, yet...
I cannot help feeling that ideas of a homogenous, drab, poor, "equal" society haunt the consciousness of many of us in this society still. I guess that is why so many fear Obama being a "socialist"?
Fighting ideology with ideology remains the mission, the battle remains uphill.
(As an aside, I am amazed at the sophistication of thought of many of the students in this course. Teaching introductory level economics is great, but this course has been incredibly invigorating for me so far).