This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.
reviewed September, 2005
"Caesar III" is one of many strategy games that are the same. If one cannot see the similarities of this game to "Emperor," then one needs to work on abstract reasoning skills. The only difference is the graphics are Roman instead of Chinese. Between the two games, "Emperor" is better for imperialist country audiences, because "Caesar III" comes with much more reactionary cultural baggage.
Decline of empire
The worst aspect of the game is how users will draw an image of barbarians attacking the "greatness" of Rome. In the game, semi- naked people of color with inferior military implements show up with nothing to offer the world. The barbarians never do anything but destroy the city--its water supply, walls and anything else.
Stone walls slow down the barbarians and rebels. Building walls and training troops is the only solution offered in the game-- repression and waste. The fact that just building walls and troops may bankrupt the government does not redeem this aspect of the game.
Our stupid "Leftist" Amerikkkan critics may find some consolation in that some rebels are actually white. Again though, there is nothing that these rebels can do but destroy.
With horses and better weapons, the "civilized" people may have the upper hand. Nonetheless, the Romans also have nothing to offer the barbarians. The game simply does not allow for any other interaction or outcome other than war. Even the wars do not have political content other than the possible sense of "game over." For this, we blame the game-makers. Even if all the historians of that time period could come up with nothing better to say about Romans and barbarians, spreading and reinforcing the stupidity of that age is still backward today. It would be an example of how living in the past drags down the species. Keeping out the Mexicans or Palestinians with walls and shooting them when they try to cross borders is the contemporary equivalent. The amazon.com reviewer T. Byrl Baker missed all that: "It is satisfying to create a self-sufficient and profitable city that can fend off enemy attacks and produce productive, educated citizens." It's absolutely amazing what is left unsaid. This is a game justifying conquests of empire and blindered thinking about people outside the dominant culture. "Caesar III" is training for twisted little imperialist administrators.
Playing this game, one should be inspired to look for the origins of pornography in history. When we look for how entertainment and violence intertwined in a sick way, we must recall the Roman gladiators.
"Winning" in "Caesar III" means among other things hiring enough "prefectures" or police to repress rebel gladiators. Players should realize what this means: "winning" means doing battle with gladiators who wanted release from killing each other and wild animals in arenas for the thrill of Roman audiences. (In my running of the game, the police did battle with invisible gladiators, a programming defect.) Russell Crowe acted the part in a movie aptly titled "Gladiator."
According to some historians, the time period depicted in Russell Crowe's movie saw Romans bring back gruesome gladiator games. The general line of the Western historians is that such entertainments were part of a general decadence that included an unwillingness to wage wars on barbarians. Had they had the discipline to attack the barbarians, Romans would not have fallen into decline say many historians. For MIM's part, it's not so easy for us to say: if bringing back gladiator games allowed the ruler to withdraw from what is today France and Germany, then pornographic spectacle reduced wars on behalf of Roman Empire. Reducing Roman wars might have been a good thing. So for us there is an important question of how gender preoccupations intersect with empire preoccupations in reality, and not just our wishes.
As in the movie, in the "Caesar III" game, the popularity of the government rests partly on the entertainment of the public. Gladiators and lion trainers are part of that.
The contemporary version is in all the TV shows about live cop chases. The movie "Running Man" should also come to mind.
In today's romance culture, we still have much of the same sick idea of "winning." It's tied up with power to the extent that "crimes of passion" are still a leading cause of murder among common people.
After building temples, improving the economy and above all, building entertainment arenas for lions to eat people, this player enjoyed a long period of peace with no rebels or barbarian attacks. In other words, in "Caesar III," what we would call pornography brings substantial peace. From the vantage point of today's imperialist administrators and the makers of "Caesar III," pornographic spectacles improve government stability.
Feminists should always recall the example of the gladiators to learn distrust of entertainment for profit and government motives. MIM says its principal task is to "create public opinion and the independent institutions of the oppressed," part of which means breaking with the government, including its bureaucracies ranging from public universities to police.
MIM's vision of a vanguard party and the altruistic leadership principle is also important to feminism. According to MIM Thought, the Maoists will not come to power in the imperialist countries based on a popularity contest. Whether it is pop music or movies, revolutionary feminists need to figure out the basis for standing up independently.