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.

Maoist Internationalist Movement

"The Political Machine"

This strategy game is a simulation of the campaign for the U.S. presidency. In the realm of politics, "Political Machine" does not compare in sophistication to a strategy game like "Superpower," which one can play for days at a time, because "Political Machine" is a much simpler game that plays out in 41 turns.

"Political Machine" works within completely bourgeois assumptions, but it succeeds in presenting the gist of what bourgeois politicians face. At the fringes, this game raises questions about alleged "socialism" in Western Europe, by which the Amerikan-type game designers meant "social-democracy." Socialism means appropriation of the means of production and that has not happened in Western Europe; although it is accurate that most Amerikans do confuse the terms the way the game does.

Despite its bourgeois assumptions, "The Political Machine" may be of some use to younger game players, because it contains some basic notions of what political opportunism is. For example, a player may notice that the computer-generated opponent attacks from both sides of each issue, just depending on which state the candidate is in. The whole game is poll-driven, so if a player wants to win in a certain state, s/he has to find something appealing to that state's residents, based on what they already think.

According to the game, the only power that the candidate has is one of emphasis: if one spends enough money on political ads, one can raise the profile of an issue in a state, but the proportions for and against any political stand do not change. Meanwhile, candidates willing to work with the issues that are already high profile enjoy an easy advantage.

Another benefit of the game is that the proportions for and against various stands on political issues as presented by the game do reflect the real world in the united $tates. People who have spent all their time living in major cities like New York or Los Angeles or even just smaller cities that are college towns might be in for a shock to see the whole picture.

Left out of the game are the specific political debts one owes for raising money. Money flows in as if solely from volunteers interested in Amerikan politics broadly speaking.

On the other hand, the game does show that long- run popularity depends largely on money to buy political ads in newspapers, radio and television. The effectiveness of those ad purchases depends on the polling data that is given as fixed.

Once one learns what opportunism is from this game, and once one realizes that countless would-be politicians follow a path not unlike in this game, it is possible to understand why Lenin wanted what we call a "vanguard party" instead of a party like the Democrats or Republicans. People who want a fight for the truth regardless of its popularity have no choice but the vanguard party option.

The people who change reality and the parameters of the system are leaders. Leaders who have a direction are not the same thing as bourgeois politicians who have to fight within certain confines or lose. This is especially true in the united $tates and other majority-exploiter countries where flattering the majority is inconsistent with the goal of international peace.

Technically, the program has little enough going on that there do not seem to be major errors or any major likelihood of the program's crashing. The only problem was graphical: a political tough guy hired in Washington state may not show up on the game board and therefore it becomes impossible to move that piece. Other states can get crowded too, so that it is difficult to move pieces around or see what is going on in the state.

People who are far along with their political development will find themselves naturally tiring of this game quickly. On the other hand, MIM gives this game an unqualified endorsement, especially for youth, because of the other choices of games that youth might play instead. There is also nothing at all that a parent could find objectionable in this game.