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Fake war is the state's killer app
April 29, 2014 4:00 AM   Subscribe

Politically speaking, "the most anticipated game was the Left Party who faced their arch rivals the Sweden Democrats." This was actually the first pairing of the tournament and pitted the Left's Prospect against the Sweden Democrats' Zaki. "It was truly a grudge match between the right and the left and it did not leave anybody disappointed." -- Reasoned debate is boring; in Sweden politicians settle their differences through Starcraft II battles.
posted by MartinWisse (12 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
in Sweden politicians settle their differences through Starcraft II battles.
So, does that mean that teenage Asian boys run Sweden?
posted by Flood at 4:08 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


This is pretty cool. I often think about politicians busting out their own clumsy karate to solve international disputes, rather than stocking the downtrodden in their militaries.

But Starcraft. Shit yeah. Way better.

Also, I'd pretty much be Putin if FPS was the way things were resolved.

Nah, I'd prolly be dubya.
posted by hal_c_on at 5:04 AM on April 29


All they need now are disintegration chambers scattered throughout their cities, to where members of each party will report as defeats are suffered in the game.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:19 AM on April 29 [5 favorites]


All they need now are disintegration chambers scattered throughout their cities...

Still better than what happens after defeats in countries run by the Zerg.
posted by frimble at 5:23 AM on April 29 [2 favorites]


I still hold that all issues at all levels of government should be settled via Robot Jox.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:10 AM on April 29


That's wonderful, but do we really want politicians to get blase about hearing "Nuclear Launch Detected!" all the time?
posted by Wretch729 at 7:12 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Spawning on Lost Temple? Map's so imba for Terran...
posted by Windopaene at 7:56 AM on April 29


"I still hold that all issues at all levels of government should be settled via Robot Jox."

A bit expensive though. This would be the UK version. [warning - loud!]
posted by marienbad at 7:58 AM on April 29


The problem with this simulation is that Sweden has a parliamentary system of government which cannot simply be mapped onto a conflict between right and left.

The Left Party (Vänsterpartiet) is a splinter group within the moderately left wing Social Democratic party - it was formerly under the control of the Comintern (Soviet Communists) until the 1960s when it was renamed and rebranded as the Vänsterpartiet Kommunisterna (Left Party Communists) which caused the further splintering into the Arbetarpartiet Kommunisterna (Worker's Party Communists)... and after the fall of Communism in 1989 the party renamed, but did not really rebrand itself as Vänsterpartiet (The Left Party). Splintering from this party were the Greens and more recently something called the Feminist Initiative, and the Pirate Party, all of which are far left organisations which form the opposition within the Left Party - which itself remains the left wing opposition within the Social Democratic Party which is still the largest Policital party in Sweden, but no longer having a Parlimentary majority.

On the right center part of the political spectrum you have the Moderates (which by American standards stand far to the left of Bernie Sanders) which are the second largest party in Sweden who together with the People's Party (Folkpartiet), the Center Party (Centerpartiet) and the Christian Democrats (Kristdemokraterna) are part of the governing coalition known as "Alliansen" - the Alliance.

The Sweden Democrats - which is a narrowly nationalistic and anti-immigration party and a relative new-comer to the scene - pull most of their support from the Christian Democrats, but are otherwise not really an opposition party within the Alliansen or the Moderates (as Vänsterpartiet is to the Social Democrats.) And then there are a dozen or so minor national parties and an even larger number of local parties.

Simulating a battle between Vänsterpartiet (who have 19 seats in the Parliament) against their "arch rivals" Sweden Democrats (with 20) is by definition a side show far away from the main event.

In the last election the Sverige Democrats gained 20 seats in the parliament (out of 349), they are not part of the ruling coalition - and other than being a focus for left wing hate - aren't a player in Swedish politics. Social Democrats - the main left wing party - don't engage with them or give them the time of day. It is only the far left splinter groups within the SD (The Left Party, Greens, Feminst Initiative, etc.) who like to brawl with them. They hardly deserve all of the attention they receive, but since the far Left no longer stands for anything significant numbers of people actually support, they can only define themselves by what they are against.

Moreover, although Sweden does not have a federal system, political power is not centered on the Riksdag - the national parliament. Landsting, the county councils, have power over things like healthcare, police, etc. and are largely self-governing. At the lower level, the Municipal Government Kommunen controls schools, social welfare programs, fire and emergency services, local planning, and what not.

A simulation representing all of these parities would be extremely complicated which is why I guess a classic bilateral struggle between left and right is more appealing, but it is grossly misleading.
posted by three blind mice at 8:03 AM on April 29 [5 favorites]


:D

Though I think Dota 2 would be an even better game for pols: 5 people with different skills and roles trying to achieve a single, seemingly simple goal while contending with hundreds of bewildering, arbitrary tools and systems (not to mention the other team).

Also, last year's world champions were Swedish.
posted by Reyturner at 8:06 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


On the right center part of the political spectrum you have the Moderates (which by American standards stand far to the left of Bernie Sanders)

Some months ago, I was watching a documentary on netflix "Big Boys Gone Bananas!*", about the Dole company suing the filmmakers behind "Bananas!*". In that documentary, there is a sequence where, to quote wikipidia:

In September 2009, the Swedish parliament members Mats Johansson (M) and Luciano Astudillo (S) took the initiative of displaying the movie in the Parliament of Sweden, this being its premiere in Sweden.[1]

As I was watching the guy from Moderaterna, I was astonished at how reasonable and sane and decent he sounded. I was astonished, because when growing up in Sweden in the 70's and 80's, I absolutely despised the Moderaterna. They were right wing nasties, advocating for their right wing nasty stuff. After a few decades in the U.S., and being exposed to the insanity that is the GOP (and their proto-fascist Tea Party soul), the Moderaterna by contrast sounded, well, moderate.

It reminded me yet again, that the political instincts and tendencies of human beings are the same, regardless of the system, and only their expression changes, dependent on context. George W. Bush was a right wing nasty in the U.S. context in the first decade of the 21 century, but would be a Moderate in Sweden, and a throat-slitting fundamentalist in Afghanistan. He'd defend child labor and slavery if you placed him back a couple of centuries, and he'd be burning witches during the Inquisition. Back then, the conservative stance was to defend slavery and deny women the vote. Today, GWB would "merely" put discrimination against gay people into the constitution.

Which is just another way of saying that laws and the cultural context is how we change civilization. We pushed for the abolition of slavery - in the teeth of the conservatives - so that today's conservatives would be onboard with at least that (for the most part!); we pushed for the right of women to vote - in the teeth of the conservatives - so that today's conservatives would be onboard with women voting (for the most part!); we push for gay rights - in the teeth of conservatives - so that tomorrow's conservatives would be onboard with that.

The fact that a Moderat sounds to American ears quite reasonable is a testament not to the benign nature of the conservatives in Sweden, it is a testament to a tremendous amount of work and pushing and struggle that was done in order to get them to even express that amount of reasonableness - and the Moderat wants to stop there at best, or preferably roll back the progress. I'm sure GWB also sounds reasonable to someone whose frame of reference is the fundamentalist throat-slitters of Afghanistan.

And so, the struggle must continue, no matter that the Moderat is "by American standards to the far left of Bernie Sanders", because the moment the struggle stops, he'll revert to form and we're back in the middle ages and worse.
posted by VikingSword at 12:38 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


This reminds me a lot of Midnight Cricket - Anarchists vs Capitalists.
posted by plep at 1:56 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


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