Communist Massive Games

I have a fetish for communist propaganda. It’s simply amazing how fucked up ideologies are. Juan José Sebreli once described his experience traveling to Mao’s China in the sixties as the witnessing of a collosal work of art. He was shown “the model factory”, “the model school”, and “the model hospital” with all the workers cheerfully doing their repetitive job. When he finally assisted a big parade on Tiananmen’s Square, he concluded that totalitarian leaders end up to become -evil- artists that try to make of the whole reality surrounding them, a big façade.

Kim Jong-il isn’t an exception, and he has taken the madness to a magnificent level of artistic genius: Each year, North Korea celebrates their national pride under a massive gymnastic event where almost 12,000 kids transform themselves into pixels and make of the whole stadium a gigantic screen for the enjoyment of “The Great Leader”.

This massive game, not only displays beautiful imagery of the communist ideals, but it also effectively reduces the individual to the collective experience. A complete parade is online in 11 parts at Youtube.

Guy Delisle worte an autobiographical comic about the time he spent on North Korea. For western eyes, it’s certainly a very hard thing to understand such level of oppression. And living in a country where Castro and Chavez are worshiped by some, it’s also scaring.


25 Responses

  1. You should see Baltimore, one of the most hollowed out cities Capitalism could ever have built. Its very much like a big art project. They contrast, the communist arrays are austere but souless, the cities of Baltimore or New Orleans are decadently trashed but punkishly personified.

    Castro and Chavez are not good leaders for their countries, but they’re great symbols for what Latin America needs to do. There’s so much wealth of knowledge in the rain forest, so many minerals in the Andes, and on an on, Latin America with China, India and South Africa could stand on its own without the US/EU plutocrats sucking its blood. As long as you all don’t replace it with something worse, you’ll be ok.

    Anyways, are MMOs potentially totalitarian collective hallucinations? Could games be the most powerful and pervasive form of propaganda ever concieved? What if its a game designed by a malignant AI, matrix-style and so forth. Something to think about.

    Hey, you ought to stop by and comment on some of my latest.

  2. The thing about capitalism -or free societies- is that its buildings, monuments and ideas (independently of how much we hate them or like them) emerge from individuals, from private hands.. companies are created from the bottom up and later on debated on society the good or harm they do to it.

    Totalitarian states such as Cuba or North Korea rely too much on their constantly imposed propaganda. I went to Cuba for a whole month, living with state officials and former guerrilleros of the revolution. One thing that trip taught me is the essential difference between ideas and reality. Since then, I became a more pragmatic man. Probably less romantic, but certainly more commited to truth itself.

    Yes, Latin America needs to have an identity of its own and be pride of our roots and common history. But independence does not mean auto-excluding us from the world. And leaders like Chavez and Castro, are big narcisist artists playing their socialist façade that love hearing themselves speak bullshit for 6 hours. People die to get away of their countries, just like Germans did during almost 3 decades when the wall was there. Just a few weeks ago Chavez passed a law to forbid people under 18 to leave Venezuela.. and to think that all the support they have right now is because of their anti-americanism. And that’s certainly thanks to that asshole of a president the US has right now…

    aah.. poltics are too much for me now. See ya

  3. Believing ones own propoganda is the beginning of the decay.

  4. I agree with you on all but this: considering capitalism and “free societies” at the same level, its the biggest mistake of our modern society.

    Believing that ANY multinational corporation behaviour its different from those crazy assholes (Chavez, Castro, etc, and at different level, Bush, Blair, etc.) its naive thinking. Beacuse in fact, it is worst. And those corps, are nothing but the more pure result of the capitalism.

    (btw, I dont think comunism nor socialism are any solution)

    P.S.: Santiago, saludos desde Mar del Plata 😉

  5. Of course corporations are a complete debatable topic on the issue of capitalism, and I’m not a big fan of them.

    The reason why I have related free societies to the idea of capitalism, is the spirit of entrepreneurship: owning your own business to pursuit a dream is a very valuable thing. Progress in all its essence, if you ask me.

    Yes, many good ideas end up becoming corporations in the end, and power is a very hard thing to master for us mere humans…

  6. I really don’t understand what people have against Chavez.

    Before him people in the barrio’s couldn’t even get basic health care or education. Where is free health care for all in the states? Michael Moore showed the embarrassing situation there in his recent doc “Sicko”.

    America spends too much time “fixing” other countries in the world when they have plenty to fix right under their own noses.

    To me, Chavez epitomizes raw democracy. He’s won 10 elections in 8 years. How many elections has the Empire of extreme capitalism had in those 8yrs?

  7. Sure, Hitler had also won elections. Democracy is not just voting, you know, It requires, among other things, free speech: the core feature of a democracy. If you do some research you’ll discover that even Cuba and North Korea have elections too.. and it’s very shameful to consider those ‘democracies’ because we all know what happens there to people who think different.

    Chavez closing a TV network (or not renewing their license, as he likes to pathetically say) is not a sympton of pursuing that spirit of a democracy, and it ends up affecting the quality of an election. Just hearing him talk 8 hours in Alo Presidente about how important it is for him to rule venezuela the next 30 years, is quite intimidating too.. as it is to discover that oil is cheaper than water inside that country.

    Nietzsche once said that the identity of a population is based on being the exact opposite of its neighbour’s identity. So if human nature applies to latinamerica, we’ll keep celebrating bullshit discourses against the Empire.. we’ll keep voting them.. and we’ll still keep blaming that empire for our own corruption and mistakes.

  8. … and just to support my notion of Free Speech as an essential part of a democracy, your very own mention of Michael Moore stands for my point: he’s not from venezuela you know..

  9. Sorry Santi, I have to disagree with the fragment “companies are created from the bottom up and later on debated on society the good or harm they do to it”. In capitalism, you can’t have this kind of debate, since corporations can do almost anything because of private property. Unless you push very hard for laws to control how the corporations must behave, while hearing neoliberal “intelectuals” screaming against state intervention.

    How much can we discuss as a society about the methods of glod mining for a mining corporation? Aggressive soybean farming in Argentina? Oil extraction? None, those are decissions of private companies, working on private land, documenting their operations in private. The only thing we can do is elect representatives which we hope will be on society’s side and not on corporations payroll.

    And speaking of Chavez, let’s remember the 2002 coup which intended to remove him from power. TV stations actively participated in the copu, working alongside the opposition leaders and misguiding the general population. I think in other “democratic” countries that could be considered treason.

  10. All of a sudden we forget Chavez himself made a coup back in 1992? His a militaristic oil addicted fuck. Just like “mr. danger” as he likes to call Bush.

    I’m not against the state putting clear rules for the corporations not to fuck up. Who would be against that? If we want to take this debate on the direction of oil, gold and other minerals, that’s for certain a very particular subject to talk about. How much benefit do the societies (populations) sitting over rich oil get from the public ownership of oil (venezuela, iran, OPEC nations) against those where oil is in private hands (US, Europe)? Yes, we can talk this way back onto 500 years of imperialism/colonialism/and many other isms that excite history teachers, but honestly I’m not looking forwards to that conversation.

    Corporations are an emergent product of capitalism, yes, and they do require strict controls, yes. But free enterprise affects any individual that has an idea and incentivates him to make it a reality, and nothing has brought more material progress to the world than that very simple principle.. And isn’t it fascinating that principle only evolves more where there is more free speech? That very same principle has generated open source and new kinds of intellectual property unthought of by traditionalists capitalists. Just look at the Internet! An explosion of innovation from the spirit of free enterprise. That’s the principle I’m standing for here.

    China understood it back in 1978 and today we find 300 Million chinese entering the middle class life in the year 2010. Socialist nations have only emerged in poor countries such as 1917 Russia where a nuclear plant had to explode in ’86 for the press to start opening up, because it was a matter of fucking survival and they’re still dying. Today we can debate all this just with facts: . Numbers speak for themselves.

    We can get philosohpical and ask ourselves if we want a consumist lifestyle. And of course, nobody wants his whole life based on product acquisitions, but in the end if you want to be shallow or a deep romantic, it will still be a private decission and no one should tell you what to do. Not the state, not corporations. And if you’re stupid enough to believe all the ads you see, you won’t get too far.

    … Can’t help it.. I’m quite mad at Chavez. Mad at Castro. And mad to Peron and it’s inheritance. At least Vargas in Brazil was brave enough to kill himself. But Latinamerica is rich and beatiful enough to prosper some day.. probably it will need new ideas beyond left or right -’cause that’s a very antique model for defining politics in the 21th century-

  11. Very little time to post. Internet was created by the US state sponsored agency, DARPA. No free enterprise was involved in that initial research. Once the technology matured, then the private sector entered this industry.

    Same case with any major industry in the first world. They all receive big state support at one point or another. So much for free markets…

  12. Chavez closing a TV network (or not renewing their license, as he likes to pathetically say) is not a sympton of pursuing that spirit of a democracy

    and if you did your research you would know that RCTV did not deserve a licence renewal.


    A Climate Of Transition – Overthrowing Chavez

    In a rare example of media honesty, the Los Angeles Times reported last month that RCTV had initially been focused on providing entertainment:

    “But after Chavez was elected president in 1998, RCTV shifted to another endeavour: ousting a democratically elected leader from office.” (Bart Jones, ‘Hugo Chavez versus RCTV – Venezuela’s oldest private TV network played a major role in a failed 2002 coup,’ Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2007; click here)

    Controlled by members of the country’s ruling elite, including station chief Marcel Granier, the channel saw Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution” in defence of Venezuela’s poor as a threat to established privilege and wealth.

    Thus, for two days before the April 11, 2002 coup, RCTV cancelled regular programming and instead ran constant coverage of a general strike aimed at ousting Chavez. A stream of commentators delivered fierce criticism of the president with no response allowed from the government. RCTV also ran non-stop adverts encouraging people to attend an April 11 march aimed at toppling the government and broadcast blanket coverage of the event. When the march ended in violence, RCTV ran manipulated video footage falsely blaming Chavez supporters for the many deaths and injuries.

    There is still plenty of anti-government television broadcasting in Venezuela. Freedom of speech was not in jeopardy from the RCTV decision, and is not in jeopardy in Venezuela now.

  13. Santi Siri: Sure, Hitler had also won elections.

    Congrats on invoking Godwin’s Law so quickly.

  14. Haha I didn’t know about Godwin’s Law, nice. Still, the point I was making is that democracy isn’t elections only, and the analogy fits perfectly.

    What can I say about LA Times? Another example of how easy is to get diverse opinions in America? Quote articles from far more respected media such as leftist NY Times or rightist Washington Post?

    If RCTV had to do with the coup of 02, it’s the directors behind it who should be taken to justice for treason as Marco said. Closing the entire network, is a clear gesture of how far this gentleman Hugo likes to excercise his power.

  15. But they key thing of this isn’t the very details of what happened, but the big picture: where is venezuela heading..

    Hugo’s big hero, Fidel, he certainly has a very particular view of free speech…The Cuban Constitution actually says that “this nation will deeply embrace free speech as long as its not counter-revolutionary”.. genius!

    Do you know how many pages does Cuban newspaper Granma have? 9! Talking about amazing loads of bullshit.. they are clueless about what’s happening outside the island. 4 TV channels, 2 educational and 2 with amazing content that gets interupted by Fidel every single day 3 or 4 hours for him to explain the population how to use the casserole his government just distributed. Just hearing my friends indignation by saying “te das cuenta chico, hace 20 años que cocino y ahora a este se le ocurre enseñarnos como hacerlo!” showed me Cubans really have sense of humour.

    Not to mention that internet is only available for 15 monthly hours, with restrcted access to _many_ websites. And if you get into the deep neighbours of Havana you’ll see there’s a gigantic black market of tv antennas that helps them get in touch with the world. If you get caught with one, it’s 5 years.

    So if that’s Chavez’ role-model, seeing him closing a tv network, is not a minor thing.

  16. I don’t fully understand Cuban, but I understood your friend has been cooking for 20 years, was the joke that?

    If RCTV had to do with the coup of 02…

    watching the documentary “the revolution will not be televised” which was filmed during the ’02 coup would help to clarify this uncertainty for you.

    Personally I would have taken action against RCTV much sooner. Their hands were drenched in blood.

    Regarding freedom of speech, how much dissenting speech is actually heard or actually makes a difference to the big agenda?

    To paraphrase Chomsky, most democratic countries offer capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich.

  17. It’s not making a difference to the big agenda, but to you.
    May I ask, are you american?

  18. Creo que la mayor dificultad cuando criticas a líderes como Chavez o Fidel es el hecho de encontrar el contraste (en el mundo actual o pasado). Mas sencillo, si ellos no, ¿entonces quienes? Y aqui es cuando pienso que el laberinto no tiene salida, aqui es cuando se que lo unico que me queda al respecto es al menos ser consciente de la GRAN MENTIRA.
    Todo lo que en las historia represento y representa progreso, comfort, bienestar, trae consigo la miseria y la desdicha para otros. Siempre fue asi, siempre lo sera.
    Prefiero vivir consciente de ello y de tanto en tanto pensar en la edad de oro y la desnudez.
    Pd: No seas tan careta (chiste).
    Pd2: Si bien leo y escucho muy bien el ingles, lo escribo de manera muy defectuosa (i chose spanish).
    Pd3: Te felicito por todo lo que haces.

  19. Al “entonces quienes?”, contestaría un simple: nosotros. De nosotros depende, cada uno desde su lugar.
    Gracias por los comentarios!

  20. No, I’m not American. I don’t see the importance of my nationality, you think I’m a self-hating-American? I’m an Earthling and that is all. One Earth.

  21. I was just curious, of course it won’t make a difference in the discussion unless you’re from venezuela.
    I absolutely agree with you: One Earth.

  22. just a quick question , hugo chavez and venuzuala are mentioned alot , and well it seems to me with constant elections being held in the country a figure given was 8 in 8 years if people wernt happy , if they didnt like the cencorship wouldn’t they just vote chavez out? non venuzualans keep arguing about what is good for them , is it not there own choice , is that not democracy? or are we trying to instagate soem kind of selective democracy here?

  23. Tom

    I think God approves of you.

  24. America disturbs me. We need a strong communist government here.

  25. death to capitalism!
    long live communism!

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