Socialism and tech

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…

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.

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.

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…

I’m Dutch, and we don’t use that acronym here. I only understand what STEM stands for because I spend a lot of time on the internet, but I don’t think the majority of my country knows what STEM is. And I’m not sure if the Dutch people that are interested in things like Democracy 4 would know it, I would assume some, maybe even most, won’t. Even the ones that just play the English version of the game.

But I also can’t give you a better alternative, that includes everything that STEM does. So STEM could also be the right choice.

Oh, does streaming mean separate classes? I’m familiar with the term mainstreaming in special education, which refers to mixing special ed kids in with normal classes.

As for political support/opposition, in America our schools you have to test into were actually a racial integration measure, to provide a carrot once the stick of bussing proved massively unpopular. As for STEM education, I think liberals might make more sense as the opposition to it. You are both downplaying the humanities and pushing kids to do something to push the nation’s interests over their own.

Selective Schooling/Streaming sounds like a meritocratic policy, and therefore seems like something capitalists would support. The downsides proposed are that students see this meritocratic ideology hammered into them (though we definitely had ability-based classes at my school, and they got away with it by not telling us) so it’s perhaps something liberals would disagree with since it unconsciously conditions them to better contribute to the machinery of the workforce without their, or their parents consent.

From your A/B question I think it leans more to B.

I think the science is out on whether it’s better for education generally, but perhaps it should decrease the Skills Shortage situation over a long inertia.

Also religious people outside of grossly stereotyped depictions don’t oppose science.

Think option B is preferable and it should negatively affect global_socialism in the long run. Might also slightly negatively affect equality.

As to whether it actually affects global education (in the game), I think some research or info from someone who knows what they’re talking about is needed.

Although not helpful for your Trello board (!), following on from where the thread has been going, at some point in the future a policy (or group of policies) to adjust fulltime education leaving age would be really interesting, as would addition of technical colleges, apprenticeships & vocational training (i.e. non-academic further education options). Do/would these affect poverty, equality, GDP, (un)employment, amongst other things…?