Communism board game!

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Snert Snert's picture
Communism board game!

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/927720--players-buy-shoes-food... buy shoes, food in communism board game[/url]

 

Or try to, anyway.

 

Quote:

Poland's state-run National Remembrance Institute has created the new game - called "Kolejka," which means queue or line - to help young Poles understand the hardships of life under communism.

In the game, players are tasked with buying a number of goods, but a lack of deliveries, shortages and the connections competitors have to communist authorities turn the task into a string of frustrations.

Sineed

You'd think in a Communist board game, there'd be no winners; only losers.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Yet another "progressive" post, eh, Snert?

Sineed

...and if someone cheats, and you protest, you're either shot, or sent to a gulag.

Le T Le T's picture

Sineed, you have taken Snert's bait and have confused Communism for the dictatorships of USSR and Eastern Europe.

Sineed

Le T wrote:

Sineed, you have taken Snert's bait and have confused Communism for the dictatorships of USSR and Eastern Europe.

The "Atrocities of the former Eastern bloc don't count because it was state capitalism, not Communism" gambit - fair enough!  This could be printed on the back of one of the "Wild Cards" that you must draw every time you role snake eyes.

Le T Le T's picture

Ok. Join the idiot parade, whatever.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I think that this board game is a hilarious, cartoonish bit of state-sanctioned ideology enforcement. A board game to teach people the horrors of lining up.

So I'm going to let the thread continue, but the communist baiting stops now. So Snert, Sineed: pay heed.

Quote:
'Look now, today, people are persuaded that they are freer than ever before, yet they have brought their freedom to us and laid it humbly at our feet.'
-- Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (1881)

al-Qa'bong

Soviet-era Polish joke:

 

Q:  What's the difference between American dwarfs and Soviet dwarfs?

 

A: Soviet dwarfs are bigger.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
 So Snert, Sineed: pay heed.

 

Uh, for the record, I copy/pasted the headline from the news story without any editorializing.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Yes, I know. And I think it's funny. But you can't blame me for thinking that in your heart of hearts, there might be an inkling of a desire to mock communism and its adherents, can you? Call it pre-emptive modding. Sorry to offend.

Quote:
Comrade один: Come the revolution, comrade, every one will eat roast beef.
Comrade два: But comrade! I don't like roast beef!
Comrade один: Come the revolution, comrade, every one will like roast beef.

Sineed

But why a moratorium on mocking communism and its adherents?  We happily mocked the tea partiers, and communists are nothing if not the tea party of the left: well-meaning in their own way, but ultimately working against their own best interests.  To be fair, communists tend to be better educated than tea partiers, and they spell better, but their slogans are just as silly, their ideology just as unworkable, their politics just as incompatible with human nature.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Because rabble is a left-wing, progressive website and babble is its discussion board. We welcome communists and don't welcome tea partiers. But more to the point, baiting is prohibited by babble policy. So don't do it.

And I don't see what's silly about the slogan "Brother, you are being deceived. Our interests are the same. What I ask for, you wish it too. The affranchisement which I demand is yours....What Paris after all wants is the land for the peasant, the instrument for the workmen." But that's thread drift. This thread is about this ridiculous propoganda push by the Polish government, which stands against everything the European Union claims to stand for (except for free-market capitalism, of course).

Snert Snert's picture

I think we need more clarification, though.  It's been asserted that Poland and the USSR were not Communist at all, but rather were dictatorships.

When you say you "welcome communists" surely you supporters of communism in the abstract, and not supporters of those dictatorships? 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I think you both know exactly what I mean when I say no baiting communists. Mostly because you are both very successful at it. So no, I don't think you need more clarification. If you disagree, open another thread. But let's stop the thread drift. Back to the board game.

Quote:
Poland has the distinction of being the first Western country in which the anti-modernist backlash has won, effectively emerging as a hegemonic force. Calls for the total ban on abortion, the anti-Communist ‘lustration’, the exclusion of Darwinism from primary and secondary education, up to the bizarre idea to abolish the post of the President of the Republic and proclaim Jesus Christ the eternal King of Poland, are coming together into an allencompassing proposal to enact a clear break and constitute a new Polish Republic unambiguously based on anti-modernist Christian values. The lesson is thus clear: fundamentalist populism is filling in the void of the absence of a Leftist dream. Donald Rumsfeld’s infamous statement about the Old and the New Europe is acquiring a new unexpected actuality: the emerging contours of the ‘new’ Europe of the majority of post-Communist countries (Poland, Baltic countries, Rumania, Hungary etc), with their Christian populist fundamentalism, belated anti-Communism, xenophobia and homophobia, etc.

So, again, which Europe do we want? In his Notes Towards a Definition of Culture, the great conservative T.S. Eliot remarked that there are moments when the only choice is the one between sectarianism and non-belief, when the only way to keep a religion alive is to perform a sectarian split from its main corpse. This is our only chance today: only by means of a ‘sectarian split’ from the standard European legacy, by cutting ourselves off from the decaying corpse of the old Europe, can we keep the renewed European legacy alive. The task is difficult, it compels us to take a great risk in stepping into the unknown – yet its only alternative is slow decay, the gradual transformation of Europe into what Greece was for the mature Roman Empire, a destination for nostalgic cultural tourism with no effective relevance.

 

--Slavoj Zizek, "The Secret Clauses of Liberal Utopia"

Fidel

If capitalism is natural and able to stand on its own, then why is military spending higher now than during the cold war? Which militaries are doing the occupying today and under false pretenses of guarding against an invisible enemy which themselves created? I think a modern game of monopoly needs dictators, and some military pieces, and to use actual US dollars as phony money for a bit of realism.

Scientists are telling us that globalizing "this", what we are doing here in the west, is a lie. If the other 85% of humanity adopts this, we would strip earth's resources bare in nothing flat and choke on the pollution.

Joke: Eastern Europen Viktor moves to the west after being told the streets are paved with money. On his first day in Halifax, he spots a $20 dollar bill lying in the street and bends down to pick it up. On further assessment, Viktor leaves the $20 laying on the street. A passerby notices Viktor's fan on the play and scoops up the $20 dollar bill. Viktor says to the stranger, that's okay, the streets are paved with money here.

Fidel

Sineed wrote:
To be fair, communists tend to be better educated than tea partiers, and they spell better, but their slogans are just as silly, their ideology just as unworkable, their politics just as incompatible with human nature.

What was unworkable for the Sovs was a global capitalist embargo of the former USSR. When Latvians and Czechs can't buy oranges and chocolate because a handful of cocoa and citrus companies cornered the market, something's got to give. Add to that the CIA's Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty propaganda broadcasts into Eastern Europe, there will be discontent and longing for an economic system which climate scientists are telling us today is unworkable for the other 85% of humanity with about four or five billion still living far below standards for middle class capitalism based on consumerism and oil.

The Sovs didn't do anything wrong wrt the iron curtain policy. Their military expansion was not aggressive like some country's military expansion toward full spectrum dominance since 1991. The problem was that the Sovs lost 40 million human beings in WW II. The western fascist nations were using Eastern Europe as a highway to invade Russia. The Sovs blocked the highway is all.

I have an idea for the new chess game according to Z-Big and all the Mackinder imperialist wannabes. Instead of game over with capture of the king, there should be pieces representing insurgents and even false flag maneuvers in instances when your cold war enemy refuses to take the bait anymore. Make it real. lol

RosaL

Snert wrote:

I think we need more clarification, though.  It's been asserted that Poland and the USSR were not Communist at all, but rather were dictatorships.

When you say you "welcome communists" surely you supporters of communism in the abstract, and not supporters of those dictatorships? 

 

Actually, there is a spectrum of opinion as to what extent, if any, these countries were socialist. (Even their own governments never claimed they were communist.) This means that there are communists who (in a nuanced way) would defend certain aspects of these countries' histories.

But I fear I am taking your bait.

(Thank-you, catchfire.)

Fidel

I think most people born before 1980 probably won't have a clue as to what we are talking about. All they have to refer to is a bunch of cold war propaganda leftover from decades ago. It's funny how it gets recycled like this.

West Coast Greeny

Catchfire wrote:

I think that this board game is a hilarious, cartoonish bit of state-sanctioned ideology enforcement. A board game to teach people the horrors of lining up.

There's a difference between lining up to get lunch, and lining up to get 70% off jeans.

Fidel

Yeah we don't have thousands lining up for boxes of expired junk food in Canada and USA. [url=http://www.frac.org/html/hunger_in_the_us/hunger_index.html]49M food insecure Americans[/url]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Fidel wrote:

I think most people born before 1980 probably won't have a clue as to what we are talking about. All they have to refer to is a bunch of cold war propaganda leftover from decades ago. It's funny how it gets recycled like this.

*ahem*  Laughing

Fidel
RosaL

Fidel wrote:

I think most people born before 1980 probably won't have a clue as to what we are talking about. All they have to refer to is a bunch of cold war propaganda leftover from decades ago. It's funny how it gets recycled like this.

I don't know if that's true: In Europe there's a concerted effort to equate 'communism' and fascism. Anti-communist laws have been passed. Symbols have been outlawed. I have noticed a steady spate of anti-communist books in the last few years. You have to wonder why. I have my own ideas.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

West Coast Greeny wrote:
There's a difference between lining up to get lunch, and lining up to get 70% off jeans.

Hee. I suppose there is a difference between your caricature of communism and what Americans "freely choose" to do with their time.

RosaL

West Coast Greeny wrote:

There's a difference between lining up to get lunch, and lining up to get 70% off jeans.

Yes, it's human to want bread. Consumerist phenomena like lining up for jeans or tvs and walmart tramplings are symptomatic of some kind of structural/propaganda-induced corruption and impoverishment. 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

West Coast Greeny wrote:

There's a difference between lining up to get lunch, and lining up to get 70% off jeans.

I almost posted the food bank line-up photo you seem to be asking for, but then I thought better of it....

Fidel

RosaL wrote:

Fidel wrote:

I think most people born *AFTER* 1980 probably won't have a clue as to what we are talking about. All they have to refer to is a bunch of cold war propaganda leftover from decades ago. It's funny how it gets recycled like this.

I don't know if that's true: In Europe there's a concerted effort to equate 'communism' and fascism. Anti-communist laws have been passed. Symbols have been outlawed. I have noticed a steady spate of anti-communist books in the last few years. You have to wonder why. I have my own ideas.

I think that's true in countries like Latvia etc and where there was strong anti-Soviet sentiment, and at the same time, pro-Nazism/anti-semitism.  It's true the Sovs were especially hard on collaborationists etc, and there were even some in Russia and for different reasons. Various places like Silesia, the Sovs told them they couldn't speak German anymore and banned the teaching of German language in schools.

The left in Russia itself wanted peace with the Germans for very different reasons in that they didn't believe in war, and that war in general leads to no good. I don't think they were thinking what Hitler was thinking then. They didn't realize it would be a war of annihilation against the Sovs either way.

Today we have strong pro-communist views in various places like what was Eastern Germany. Not all of the Soviet Republics were very agreeable to Soviet state socialism and were even more ticked off when the tanks rolled into Budapest. Czechoslovakia was more left leaning and still is today, and many don't understand why the Sovs came down so hard there. The truth was that the Sovs tried to negotiate for neutrality among the former Nazi-occupied countries. The West didn't want neutrality for any country occupied by the Sovs and kept pressing the issue in a number of ways. The tanks stayed put as a result.

George Victor

Drawing a sharper line of contrast, a popular song of the decade:
"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime," lyrics by Yip Harburg, music by Jay Gorney (1931)

 

They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob,
When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job.
They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

 

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

 

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!

 

Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don't you remember, I'm your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

 

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!

 

Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Say, don't you remember, I'm your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

West Coast Greeny wrote:

There's a difference between lining up to get lunch, and lining up to get 70% off jeans.

I almost posted the food bank line-up photo you seem to be asking for, but then I thought better of it....

 

I guess the advantage in Poland for the poor people is they got to line up in one line for both jeans and food they could afford.  The people of Poland thought they would get  government like Sweden's instead they got one like Puerto Rico.  The people got sucked into one brutal empire as they were trying to escape from the Russian empire.

Here is a good film from the eastern part of Germany.  Good comedy always has an underlying cutting edge. 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0301357/

RosaL

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The people of Poland thought they would get  government like Sweden's instead they got one like Puerto Rico.  

It's a mistake to think you're going to have a government like Sweden's in the absence of a 'socialist threat'. (I know sweden is still social democratic, but all that is steadily being eroded all over Europe.)

RosaL

Fidel wrote:

The right has announced the death of socialism in Scandinavia and Europe for a long time.

I'm not getting that analysis from the right Wink But let's not argue. 

Fidel

RosaL wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The people of Poland thought they would get  government like Sweden's instead they got one like Puerto Rico.

It's a mistake to think you're going to have a government like Sweden's in the absence of a 'socialist threat'. (I know sweden is still social democratic, but all that is steadily being eroded all over Europe.)

Sweden still makes Canada look like a conservative nanny state by comparison.

The right has announced the death of socialism in Scandinavia and Europe for a long time. It's capitalism that was on the wane decades ago. It was laissez-faire capitalism that died in 1929, R.I.P.,  after 30 year-long experiment. That record of 30 years has never been broken since. Capitalism has failed in various world experiments since 14th century Italy. It's not a natural economy for man by any means. Invisible hand baloney has always requires lots of military and heavy hand of state interventionism to maintain its popularity.

Fidel

I think David Ricardo was among the first, and he's dead a long time.

RosaL

Fidel wrote:

I think David Ricardo was among the first, and he's dead a long time.

I'm not saying the right hasn't said it. I'm saying there's a left-wing analysis that says it. 

Fidel

RosaL wrote:

Fidel wrote:

I think David Ricardo was among the first, and he's dead a long time.

I'm not saying the right hasn't said it. I'm saying there's a left-wing analysis that says it.

Well I guess I should clarify.  I can see economic decline happening in Europe and North America but not because of socialist policies. Ricardo and other classical liberal economists declared socialism dead because they thought it is not feasible or not doable in the long run. And that's where the difference is.

Socialism is in decline today not because socialist policies are unworkable or not feasible as the theorists have said about it. Socialism is on the wane today because of a rise in neofascism, neoliberal voodoo or whatever backed up by everything from an obsolete electoral system and fascist militarism here in the west, to economic policies in Europe which are even more unworkable and undemocratic than we have here in the hemisphere where neoliberal ideology was hatched.

But socialism is not waning because it is unworkable in theory. IOW's, the decline of social democracy is not a result of natural causes, like the demise of laissez-faire capitalism in the 1930s and under optimal laboratory conditions. That economic ideology was rejected by American voters in 1932 elections and here in Canada by 1935.

We still don't have real deal laissez-faire even under the new liberal financial regime. At least not here in North America. In Europe they have the most undemocratic neoliberal financial setup ever conceived of, and that's why European social democracy and democracy in general is in decline there but not due to any "unworkable socialist policies." The Nordic social democracies are kind of paddling through the crap as best they can and not doing too badly with their social safety nets having been taxed to new limits since meltdown of what are non-socialist financial policies began around the western world in 2008.

They've had the full monty neoliberalism in countries where it has already collapsed over the last 30 years. And as they try it on for size here in the more robust countries where social democracy still exists to large extents by comparison, the more it fails, and the more their phony majority political capital tend to stay home on election day for a lack of support of the ideology. But again, neoliberal ideology is proven to be unnatural and very undemocratic.

Capitalism is the least natural system. It does make room for the fact that people have throughout history desired protections from harsh market forces. The problem with capitalism is that it insulates only a select few people from harsh market forces, or has a tendency to insulate rich people more than everyone else from harsh market forces. Socialism does this better and more equally and is therefore more natural than invisible hand worship at the altar of false capitalist gods of prosperity.

RosaL

Surely you don't think I'm claiming that socialism is unworkable in principle? No, I'm sure you don't. I'm out of time today - I'll have to come back tomorrow.

Fidel

Sorry, Rosa. I misread you and thought you were saying analysis from the left was declaring socialism dead or something. The right thinks  they can kill an idea. They can't. They've proven it to themselves time and time again. It's their own ideology that is proving unworkable and undemocratic. Egyptians don't want it. They can't get a phony majority of Canadians to endorse even a lighter weight version of it. And theyre having to lie to Americans about change in order to maintain it.

George Victor

In making the case against privatization, the late Tony Judt, Ill Fares the Land (2010) tells us how social democracy has been made to lose ground in specific instances - for instance in Sweden and Britain under Conservative regimes: "In Sweden, following a banking crisis that left the state severely short of revenue, the (conservative) government of the early 90s re-allocated 13 per cent of the country's htherto state-monopolized pension contributions from the public system to private retirement accounts. Predictably, the chief beneficiary of this shift was the country's insurance companies. In the same way, the terms under which British utilities were sold to the highest bidder included the 'pre-pensioning' of tens of thousands of workers. The workers lost their jobs, the state was saddled with un-funded pension burden - but the shareholders of the new private utility companies were relieved of all responsibility."

Judt explains in such detail the retreat of social democracy in Europe while even managing, dictating from his deathbed, to maintain a positive view of the future, of "The Shape of Things to Come." He lets Karl Popper introduce that chapter under the heading "The Politics of Fear".  "The alleged clash between freedom and security...turns out to be a chimera. For there is no freedom if it is not secured by the state;  and conversely, only a state which is controlled by the free citizens can offer them any reasonable security."