Socialism and tech

Just out of curiousity, why is it that policies such as tech colleges have a negative impact on socialist groups? This isn’t immediately clear to me

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Probably because socialists hate education because no one will be communist anymore then according to conservative stereotypes much of this game-series is based on lol.

I think it’s because they’re associated with private schooling? It’s always puzzled me, I’d hoped it’d get left behind in the new game.

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The theory behind this is that its selective schooling. This is based on the ‘grammar school’ debate that happens a lot in the UK. Basically conservatives/capitalists were in favour of selective education, where pupils that showed promise in an area would go to a special school where they got a specific sort of education, and generally went on to get better jobs and earn more.

Historically socialists ijn the UK (not sure about globally) disliked this because it was seen as entrenching inequality at an early age, and effectively picking winners before peopl even got a job.

Of course you can make the opposite argument, that selection for good schools based on actual ability is a great leveller and is what pulls many low-income kids into decent careers…

Its possible the effect is a bit too strong though, I’d be interested to hear as many opinions on it as possible. Its also possible this policy is a bit overpowered.


Ah okay, so the actual policy or effect you’re talking about here is ‘streaming’ in schools. You’re right, there is a lot bad about this from a left wing perspective as you say. But I think perhaps the way it’s modeled is wrong as you can definitely have a specialist technology school or university, say like MIT or community college system that focuses on post-secondary training for trades without streaming in k-12 regular public school system.

Yeah its not implemented as well as it should be. might be worth reconfiguring this policy to be a simple tech college for all, and then having a new policy for streaming/selection in the school system…although i guess that would have to apply to both public and private schools… Might be an interesting decision for liberals/conservatives with potentially better educational outcomes for streaming, at the cost of long term inequality.


Okay this makes more sense. From within the game it just appeared to me that investment in tech was anti-socialist which I didn’t understand.

Ha yeah true, i added it to the trello board as something to address. FWIW we have an intergalactic socialism achievement, so we aren’t making that connection :smiley:


Love that idea! Though I’m not sure the evidence shows that streaming has better educational outcomes ‘in general’… I believe the thought behind reducing streaming it is to compress outcomes more, by having smart kids in the same room as less gifted children they are sort of ‘pulled up’ to their level at the expense of the gifted child not being fully challenged. Not sure how that might be modeled in-game though.

I think he mistyped there and got it backwards.


No, I meant Cliffski typed it backwards. He meant that selection has

, he just typed “streaming” by mistake.

Should be capitalist/socialist. I base this on living in a capitalist/liberal country where “selection” is completely non-controversial.

Yikes. Interesting. I guess I need more input into attitudes on this. I have assumed that conservatives prefer streaming and liberals dislike it due to the way grammar schools have been portrayed in the UK.
I guess capitalists would argue in favor of paid education, thus the right for you to buy a better education for your kids, but thats conceptually different to the idea that the ‘cleverest’ kids should not be held back by the rest, arguably given a better education. Thats more of an individualist, perhaps libertarian approach… or is it socialist because it implies state schooling?

Its actually quite a complex issue now I think about who would be in favor or against…

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There’s more to socialist/capitalist than “the government should pay for everything!” vs “poor people should pay for everything with no government help whatsoever!” Academic selection vs streaming is about equality of outcome vs equality of opportunity and the merits of competition. Should those who are more talented or harder workers have the opportunity to pull ahead of the rest is probably the big capitalist/socialist divide there is.

There is a recurring issue that the capitalist/socialist in the Democracy games becomes a question of “Should the government spend any money on its people whatsoever?” And if you frame the question like that, socialism wins by default. Both by virtue of the fact that this is a game about government, and that it turns an extreme fringe position into the definition of capitalism. Economic questions like “should welfare be means tested?”, “Should welfare have a work requirement?” and yes, “How should schools work?” get short shrift.

Regulations that imply the existence of private enterprise don’t make capitalists happy and socialists unhappy, so I’d say the same should apply in the opposite direction.

I don’t know what country you are from, but leaving more things to the invisible hand of the free market (including schools, health- and elderly care) is among the top priorities of the liberal capitalists here in Sweden. Everything should be cut to make more tax cuts possible. Maybe socialist/capitalist are the wrong labels to use here, government control/free market would be more suited, but

poor people should pay for everything with no government help whatsoever!

is definitely a position held by many of the economic right with the reasoning that government is inherently inefficient and decreasing taxes and letting people spend their own money however they want makes everyone better off. They might favor some level of purely economic redistribution, but they don’t want the government to run any services or decide how what you have to spend your money on.

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I’m an American.

Quite possible. Actual socialists of the “nationalize everything!” variety are getting pretty rare on the ground these days. Pretty much everyone who can win an election is some variety of regulated capitalist. Socialists do tend to be over-represented among the very political as opposed to the electorate at large.

Thing is, that still pisses off capitalists and makes socialists happy in D3.

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so to drag things to the issue at hand on my todo list… :smiley:

The proposal is to break apart the technology colleges policy into two policies:

  1. Technology colleges, which is basically the government spending money to boost STEM in schools. Should it be renamed to STEM subsidy?

  2. Selective Schooling. (sometimes called streaming). This allows/encourage schools to put the brightest kids in one class/school and the least able in another, and lets kids learn at a different pace.

The implication is that almost everyone is neutral on 1) (*maybe religious people oppose such a hard nosed education in science that is implied) but on 2), eitherr…

A) socialist oppose, capitalists support
B) liberals oppose, conservatives support

Also should streaming/selection affect global_socialism in the long run? forcing all kids to be in mixed ability classes perhaps implies all are equal, and boosts socialism…and vice versa.


I’d rename it to STEM Schools?

You could even expand upon this with a couple of policies such as “Art Schools” These would teach the arts to people, for example music, theater, painting, etc. Then a “Culinary Schools” Policy. I don’t mind STEM Schools, but it’s a bit different to trades schools.

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I was considering calling it STEM subsidies (rather than imply separate schools), but was unsure if STEM was a globally understood acronym, for example in German, French, Italian, Spanish…