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A member registered Dec 16, 2017

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I'm not going to write a detailed point by point response, because of course that first post took long enough and I don't want a competition of who can produce the biggest wall of text. I'm sure we both have better things to do during weekdays.

My post was part taking the piss and part serious, you say it's just a simple browser game, but it's a simple game pushing an ideology that killed one hundred million people and counting. People make a big deal about Hitler, Hitler had nothing on Stalin and Mao in terms of death count and crimes against humanity. Kind of puts the whole thing under a malicious light. We wouldn't exactly give a National Socialist simulator the benefit of a doubt, especially when miraculously everything turns out so rosy... according to it.

Here we are in the 21st century and we still don't have a single sample of Socialism in the wild that hasn't turned horrible, yet for whatever reason this is an ideology that refuses to die. No matter how self evidently wealthy and successful the Western world becomes, no matter how many dictators suddenly insert themselves into what was once considered good examples of Socialism, it doesn't stop the people in these comments down rating anything that doesn't speak highly of it.

I think part of the problem is people want perfection, despite that being a fiction. 2017 Capitalism is superior to 1917 Capitalism for the vast majority of people,  so a process of continuous improvement is taking place. Yet, people demand perfection and their on paper fantasy land utopia is going to beat anything in the real world hands down. Just ignore all the failed Socialist states in the real world, because that wasn't "real" Socialism anyway...

People see Capitalism isn't perfect, but rather than try to improve a system that has consistently demonstrated itself to work; they want to scrap it and give Socialism another go... a system that has consistently never worked.

So I'm not going to give a token pat on the head to a non-game, promoting an abhorrent ideology. It's not cute, it's not innocent, this is how propaganda works. It's subtle and retrains people to think differently about the world. People are sat in their safe cosy societies, enabled by market forces, humouring a system that would see most of them turned into slaves. All because most of them don't understand why things are the way they are, think it's unfair, and become vulnerable to the snake oil salesmen promising them utopia.

Socialists don't get to complain about injustices, they have way too much blood on their hands to gain any moral high ground. People today don't know how good they have it.

Hi, I’m nobody, and I’ll be doing a running commentary of my experience with the game.

Ok so we start looking at this society, which we are told is terrible because apparently we all know Capitalism is self evidently terrible. We can tell Capitalism is terrible because we’re sat in our comfortable centrally heated homes, using our consumerism perfected technology, during our free time were we are well off enough to not be working, to look at this game telling us Capitalism is terrible.

So what do we have here, the tutorial is telling me what’s wrong.

So the environment in this place is being destroyed by Capitalism, because as we know; socialist societies operate using only the cleanest of energy. They’re totally not driving around in 1950s vehicles running off pre-global warming discovery combustion engines, due to the lack of any driving force for technological advancement in their society. While in Western Capitalist countries they have wind turbines, solar panels, electric cars are gradually getting better…

In the name of environmentalism, I’ll be performing this review using a mini-PC that consumes less than 10 watts of power. Thanks consumerism for compacting a whole computer down into this neat little efficient package, but of course most people these days have even smaller computers consuming just 5 watts of power, sat in their pocket. So nothing special about my little box these days.

Moving on.

Extraction... because Socialism gets its resources from somewhere else? I’m curious how Socialism is going to create great abundance, without taxing our environmental resources. Capitalism’s solution is the pricing mechanism, rarer and harder to get materials are higher priced; which encourages markets to seek and invent alternative materials to keep prices low. But of course Socialism doesn’t have a pricing mechanism.

Ecological harm is externalised? I agree that polluting elsewhere isn’t a solution, but again what is Socialism’s green alternative that apparently Capitalism is unable to grasp? It’s easy to criticise a situation, but offering a functioning better alternative is a different matter.

Work is the leading cause of physical and mental illness? Well working conditions have advanced considerably since the 1920s, we’re not living under the same Capitalism that spawned the movements that led to the Soviet Union. While it’s not uncommon for people to become depressed due to a lack of meaning in their lives, seeking meaning is pretty high on the hierarchy of needs. You can only worry about meaning when all your other needs are being satisfied.

That said, what’s with the attack on people working? Do people not have to work under Socialism? That’s certainly news to everyone who has even the briefest understanding of history. If people don’t have to work under Socialism, who is producing all the goods and services needed to maintain human civilisation? Who is engaging in the creative thinking to improve said goods and services, and where is their motivation to do so; given apparently this society is going to transcend work? Guess I’ll have to wait and see.

Unemployment? Well apparently you’re going to transcend the need to work, so now not working is a problem? Unemployment is an inevitable consequence of progress, old jobs are made redundant; which make way for more modernised jobs. Which of course leads to…

Precariousness, but thus far human civilization has always produced enough jobs to keep unemployment levels to a minimum. You’re never going to fully eliminated unemployment, but most developed western countries have some form of welfare to keep those people alive between jobs. I’ve made use of it myself, and while it’s not a comfortable life it’s better than starving in the street. I’m curious how Socialism is going to eliminate unemployment, while also eliminating the need to work.

Workplace discipline is an odd one, should we not be disciplined and aim to be efficient? It means we are able to do more, in less time, with less resources. Should employees be able to slack off and check their Facebook feed during paid office hours? Even the Soviets were very strict on efficiency, if someone wasn’t pulling their weight they were “stealing from the people” so to speak. Because they didn’t own their own labour, it was the people's labour.

Unnecessary work? That’s another perplexing one, because you just criticised Capitalism for unemployment and being efficient. Now you are claiming Capitalism is being wasteful by creating jobs that don’t need to exist, which kind of contradicts their never ending pursuit of minimising costs and maximising productivity.

Travel, because travel isn’t going to exist in this Socialist world, what? Do they not have jobs to go to, but unemployment is bad!? I’m getting confused here.

Colonisation of time, again there is a lot of contradictory claims going on here. You seem to think Socialism is going to be able to do everything better than Capitalism, without any of the consequences. Work is bad, but so is unemployment. Efficiency is bad, but so is being wasteful. Now people will apparently be coming home from their “work” feeling well rested? Is work in this world somehow not going to tax human physical and mental energy reserves?

Education, well everyone is entitled to a basic education in modern Capitalist societies, which is beyond the dreams of just a century ago. We’ve managed to improve wealth and productivity to a point that youth have been freed up to become educated, were as prior the whole family was forced to work.

What you mean is there are higher levels of education, which cost too much to be delivered broadly across the population. Not everyone can go to Harvard, Harvard is a finite resource and people have differing abilities, maybe their goals in life don’t require a higher education? There is also the problem of qualification inflation, if everyone has a degree then that becomes the minimum standard. Jobs that previously didn’t require qualifications now do, not out of malice but in an attempt to filter through the applications. It would be ideal if everyone with the ability was able to go to higher education, but you need some system to distribute those resources. Cost is one way to filter those applications.

I admit this isn’t the best answer, but I have a lot to get through.

So now self discipline is bad?

Unpaid work, I take it you’re referring to the basics of life like raising children and maintaining your property? There are no transactions taking place in these scenarios, they’re not raising the kids on behalf of an employer; they’re raising their own children because they love them. This is self service and people should not be expected to be compensated for working for themselves. No one pays me to look after my hygiene, even though I am performing a service for all those around me by not stinking. There is no transfer of goods and services taking place when I look after my own life.

Empty apartments, so who is going to engage in the strenuous and labour intensive activity of building homes, which will then be given away for free? Work hurts physical and mental well being, didn’t you know. How are you going to compensate them for creating something of intrinsic value to society, at personal physical and mental expense, if the intention is the occupant doesn’t have to pay to live in it?

Luxuries are made to be enjoyed by the rich and desired by the rest? What are these luxuries? What are these things that the rich enjoy that the rest of society cannot, which would be approved of in your Socialist society? I can essentially buy all the things the rich can in a more affordable form, I just don’t need a private jet to get into work; the public transportation system is good enough. My smartphone doesn’t have to be gold plated, it works just fine without.

The basic needs for survival have to be purchased, well they do but that’s not technically true. The United Kingdom, America and many other developed countries have some sort of welfare system to look after people who are down on their luck. I understand that welfare is a Socialist system, but that just demonstrates Capitalism and Socialism doesn’t have to be exclusive. Most developed countries are hybrid systems in which they both operate.

Advertising, yeah it’s kind of necessary that if you wish to sell a product; that people are actually aware it exists. Socialist countries would have to inform their citizens that, you know, things exist. However in Capitalist countries we have this thing called competition, so advertising has to convince you to buy product B rather than product A. The choice at the end of the day is you, advertising cannot force you to buy anything; it can only make an argument for you to.

Waste, goods are designed to be purchased but not used, what? You know we do have regulations that require products to meet specific standards, and if they fail to meet that; the company can be prosecuted? Does waste not exist under Socialism? It certainly existed under the Soviets, there was no need to be efficient because people got what they were given. There was no choice.

Did I get everything? Can I finally start the game? Good.

So I have to click on things until they change into something else, which may affect other things elsewhere. But I cannot right click to get info on the changed state, did I just chop down all those trees and replace them with solar panels? Is that the preferred state? I’ve prevented ecological harm but I’m not really sure how or why.

Now the person in the apartment seems to be producing a smiley face, and listening to music, but I’m not sure why…

I just turned the roads into trains, we already have those in Capitalist society. Is the idea replacing roads with public transport? You know that already exists and we can choose between them? I don’t drive, I can go to work via train or bus, or boat but that’s expensive and slow.

I haven’t quite grasped the mechanics of this game yet. I click on things to make them better, but there is no explanation as to how or why they became better and how Socialism is responsible for this. I clicked on the unemployment section and now it’s a one way route upward… there is no explanation as to how Socialism has achieved this miraculous transformation. No one loses their job under Socialism? What, even if they’re bad at that job?

I just automated jobs with robots, so those jobs are gone. The person in the apartment is no longer happy, I assume that’s because he’s unemployed now. I clicked unemployment away, but now people have resumed being fired, I assume as a result of the competition posed by all those unemployed people chasing their jobs. Guess they’ll have to demonstrate they deserve the job more by actually being productive...

Clicking on work discipline turned it into one of those failed experiments to get employees to engage with each other, by forcing them to stare at each other all day. They’ve demonstrated that to be wrong because it makes people feel vulnerable, they’re stuck in the fight and flight response because they have no sense of privacy and security. So Socialism is applying old ideas that were demonstrated to be wrong? Nothing new there.

Clicking on solving basic needs has created unemployment again, I assume that’s because the government took control of providing basic needs; destroying all the private sector jobs involved in those areas. Making the apartment guy happy again has gotten rid of the trains… Ok I’ll use the right click linking system to find the relations now.

Ecological harm was prevented… somehow.

Basic income is provided as a right, so people are being paid to just exist. How this is being funded without placing a huge tax burden on wealth producing sectors, as well as acting as a disincentive to work, isn’t explained.

Consumerism for profit is bad apparently, even though the profit motive is what informs companies as to what consumers want but never mind. Somehow they know what people want without any means of consulting them…

All work has been supported, so I guess we’re going to pay people for performing basic duties in their lives… Again, placing a tax burden on the productive economy.

So apparently there is too much work to do, and they have solved this by placing maximum limits on working hours… In other news, my council has solved the problem of excess waste by giving everyone smaller bins… However...

For many people, there isn’t enough work! So we have both too much and too little work at the same time. Which I’ve apparently solved by guaranteeing everyone work, because governments can do that apparently.

But wait, maximum limits on work hours is conflicting with guaranteed work. Ecological harm is conflicting with all work being financially supported. We’ll try to sort these later.

Basic needs have now been provided as a right, because of course as we learned earlier; the environmental resources are finite… Guaranteeing resources is totally compatible with that…

Now I’ve apparently solved overproduction for the rich (because the rich are such big consumers…) by redistribution of wealth and assets. Sensing problems here, given there is little reward for working harder than the average chap as you’ll be taxed to buggery for it. Yet somehow there's an abundance of resources being produced to guarantee them to everyone, all without over taxing the environment… somehow.

Land was changed from a commodity to being held in commons, because it’s not like there is a long history of people not respecting what was held in commons… It’s just a defect of human nature, people don’t respect things that are owned by everyone. They litter in public parks, they don’t maintain buildings, they don’t invest their own limited resources in something they don’t have ownership of.

Here in the UK we saw an explosion of home improvement when council housing was allowed to be purchased by those occupying them. Because once they became private property, suddenly people started caring about them. No one invests their savings into improving something that can just be taken away from them.

I’m just clicking on things at this point and seeing what they enable/disable, reading the comments section I’m now supposed to match these…

So land being a commodity and basic needs are a commodity are linked by things being valued by exchange, which is fixed by… things being valued by their use… Do you know the problem with that? Because everyone values things differently and what we value as a society doesn’t always follow what you’d think it would be. Logically, doctors are worth more than actors. Doctors use value is much higher than an actor, yet, famous actors often earn more than doctors.

This is confusing to the use value argument, but makes sense when you factor supply and demand. Lots of people can be a doctor, but there is only one Morgan Freeman. That’s why Morgan Freeman gets paid more than the doctor, that’s why your celebrity of choice gets paid more than the doctor. Because you, yes you, make that vote with your money.

But the Socialist central planner isn’t psychic, they don’t know what you want; they only know what they think you need. So you get more doctors, and assuming this environment doesn’t imper their creation; your celebrity of preference buggers off somewhere that actually appreciates them. Assuming the socialists haven’t built a wall to keep people in.

Right so all work being supported is incompatible with ecological harm being externalised, which  are solved by… The true cost of Capitalism is excluded from calculation? Oy, how much damage has historical attempts to implement Socialism caused, care to do those calculations? At least Capitalism has produced a functioning society, which is continuing to improve living standards and incentify progress. Socialism has yet to produce a demonstrable example that actually does what it says on the tin.

But of course everyone knows, Socialists never recognise their own history, because it’s never “real Socialism”... But Capitalism is responsible for everything, even when it’s state interference it is still Capitalisms fault...

Lack of work and too much work, claims the problem is labour is exchanged as a commodity, which is solved by… Labour not being sold. So you don’t have a right to sell your own labour? Who is working in this society? Who is producing the tangible wealth that is being consumed by all these people, magic automation tech that doesn’t exist yet?

Now this one is combined with the UBI, with wage labour being expressed to be the dominant form of work; as the apparent problem. So how are you going to solve the ‘problem’ of people earning something in return for their efforts, hmm? Labour is given from each in accordance to their ability… You haven’t explained what they get in return for their lifetime service, or are they just expected to work for the sustenance you are providing them? Because Capitalism offers them a lot more than just sustenance.

Ok let’s combined consumption not being subordinate to financial gain; with things are valued for their use. We get production is directed to profit through exchange, because apparently getting something in exchange for your production is a bad thing… Go on, what’s the solution? Production is directed to satisfy human need. Again, all these people working hard for your production, what are they getting in return for that? We are a tad beyond basic needs as a society, people want to work for more than basic survival. How are they performing all this labour without taxing their body and mind? Where is all this automation tech coming from without a market advancing towards it?

So is that it, no more combining, we reached utopia have we? I can’t see anything else to click on, everything that’s combinable appears combined. This didn’t actually feel like a game, it wasn’t even a puzzle, you just followed instruction. The hows and whys weren’t explained, we are just to accept the presented solutions. In much the same way that the citizenry of a Socialist country are to accept what they are given.

Where is the game in this? What do I do now, have I reached the end? A conclusion screen would have been nice. The argued solutions in this simply haven’t been demonstrated in the wild, Socialist countries are often terrible to live in, people flee to the Capitalist countries; not from them to the supposedly superior Socialist ones.

This is just yet another example of someone attempting to paint Capitalism as self evidently terrible, while offering no demonstrable better alternative.

They use the lack of perfection to argue the whole system is flawed, when there is no such thing as perfection, never mind from the Socialist system that has done nothing but repeatedly fail throughout history. If Socialism worked, we’ve have seen it by now. Capitalist countries wouldn’t be the dominant force on the planet; the naturally superior systems would have overtaken it.

Uh, the time I’ve spent going over this today and there wasn’t even a game in it. It might as well have been a powerpoint presentation.

That’s quite enough of that I think, I’m going to vote with my wallet and not support this one. There are actual economic simulators out there, which have actual gameplay, not simplistic propaganda masquerading as a game.