Violence, Games And The Military: Consistency Is Not Chavismo’s Strongest Point

March 28, 2011

Last week, a decree was published making military education mandatory starting in first grade. Under the “Comprehensive Military Education Plan”, kids will learn about defending the coutnry and will be trained for war.

Under this plan, outside the sphere of “military spaces,” Venezuelan children will be trained for war from the start of their formal education, in first grade, until completion of their university education, and that this will be compulsory. And to top it all off, the teachers will be members of Chavez’ paramilitary militia, which have little training beyond how to use weapons.

So, picture first grade and onwards little kids, learning to use weapons and war “strategy” as part of their early brain washing by this militaristic, autocratic, pseud-socialistic Government.

But wait!

Isn’t this the same Government that does not allow these same young kids to purchase and play violent video games, particularly those involving war and weapons? You mean to tell me that these kids are mature enough to train about killing real people, real human beings, with real weapons, but at night they are only suppose to play Pac Man so that their young minds don’t get distorted?

This Bill that bans violent video games actually punishes the manufacturing, distribution, selling, rental, exhibition and use of such video games, giving discretionary as well as punitive power to the authorities. In fact, people regularly have their games confiscated at customs. (I am sure the kids of the custom agents have a nice collection)

So, picture the scene: Hey kid, stop playing that violent war game, go grab your FAL and let’s do some target practice killing enemies of the revolution.

Clearly Chavismo’s ideological consistency is not among its strongest points…If there are any.

37 Responses to “Violence, Games And The Military: Consistency Is Not Chavismo’s Strongest Point”

  1. NicaCat Says:

    Another day, another ridiculous, stupid, nonsensical, etc., etc., Chavista non-thinking plan in the works.

  2. Roger Says:

    Of course most of the kids that live in the ranchos are already getting Gangsta training. Some other parties may like the idea of having their own para military. There is nothing that makes a political rally or protest more interesting than both sides in uniform.

  3. Gringo Says:

    Interpreting Thugo is like interpreting the Koran. While there are many contradicting statements in the Koran, the rule of thumb is that the later statement trumps the earlier statement. Ditto with Thugo.

  4. Groucho Marxist Says:

    Well, in the strict sense, the ban isn’t because the games are violent, but because most of them show Evil Imperialist Soldiers(tm) being successfully violent, easily wiping out their opponents with their superior firepower. And you just can’t allow Venezuelan niñitos to role-play evil imperialist soldiers, can you?

    On the other hand, I think the fact that Chavez wants his own version of the Hitler Youth to be a tad more worrisome than his hypocritical stand over violent video games, don’t you think?

  5. Peter Says:

    …and lets not forget that Venezuela has ratified the optional protocol against child soldiers in 2003.

  6. Dean A. Nash Says:

    This is another brilliant move on the Dictator’s part. Of course, it’s horrible for the country, its youth and by extension, its future. But none of those are his concern. Maintaining power is and this helps. If push comes to shove, well, MANY Chinese children ratted out their parents curing China’s own crazy period, known in the west as the Cultural Revolution. And everyone – including the children – knew the consequences beforehand: DEATH.

    That didn’t stop the kids….their ability to act rational is limited.

    Is there NO ONE who will stand up and LEAD. (And by lead, I mean “DO”.) Everyone knows what needs to be done.

  7. Roberto N Says:

    NicaCat:

    I disagree. This is more of the same from Chavez. The man waves some improbable thing in our face time and again, we react, and meanwhile, por la siniestra, he slips something else by everyone except his band of thugs.

    In this case it was MARS and GADDAFI, while the militia law was the objective.

    Whether or not Hugo comes up with this by himself or is “helped” I could not tell you, but he’s been doing that schtick for years and getting away with it.

  8. island canuck Says:

    Where are the parents of Venezuela? How can they allow this to happen to their children? This is just outrageous! Where is the opposition?

    If I still had school age children I would not allow this to happen to them. I would home school them if necessary.

    Sadly this is just another example of the “head in the sand” population of Venezuela. I know there are some activists but the big majority are just self centered.

  9. Kepler Says:

    Island,

    One of the last words I said to a former friend of mine in Venezuela was: “avestruz”. And mind: I did not say he was an ostrich, I just said a lot of people in Venezuela are behaving now like ostriches. He got the message, though.

  10. geronl Says:

    Hugo Youth Brigades!

    Sounds familiar…. hhmmm

    What a maroon

  11. firepigette Says:

    Since when have most folks in Venezuela cared about consistency?Most people there have a decent grasp of numerical logic but few excel in verbal logic.Consistency is not a cultural value either.

    If Chavez cared at all about reducing violence he would reduce crime- but he doesn’t.

    Then there are those Venezuelans, not necessarily Chavistas, who will say ALL violence is wrong, even the violence required to stop violence.These are the people who allow corruption, criminals of all kinds , dictators, nutjobs, etc to take over the country and stay there.

    Understanding differences is an integral part of prioritizing.This should be taught in schools.

    Chavez prioritizes.He makes violence okay when it benefits himsef, and not okay when it doesn’t.

    Most other Venezuelans do the opposite.They make violence okay when it goes against themselves, but not when it doesn’t.

    The perfect fit.

  12. An Interested Observer Says:

    I think the video game ban was not inspired by violent games in general, but by this game in particular: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercenaries_2:_World_in_Flames . I’ve never played it, but have been curious about it, mainly because there is supposed to a huge map, and one can rumble through many parts of Venezuela with numerous recognizable sights.

    On ideological consistency, you can only expect that when one has an ideology. Staying in power is not an ideology.

  13. loroferoz Says:

    How do we call it?

    HugoJugend? Huguito must then grow a small brush moustache….

    PSUV’s Pioneers? A handlebar moustache for Huguito, or more likely a full beard…

    The Spies? A handlebar moustache here, Big Brother looked a lot like Stalin…

    Hugo can well forego the facial hair. This initiative, I expect to be as successful as that moronic law in keeping violent videogames off the streets of Caracas. As for the sheer arbitrism involved in the law, I decline to even consider it below contempt.

  14. loroferoz Says:

    AIO: The problem with that videogame, Mercenaries 2, is that inside of the leeway for artistic license, and a bit of leeway for action-game exaggeration, it HIT UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE TO THE PROBABLE OUTCOME for our country.

    I still wonder what nationalities? What forces? Will occupy Venezuela’s territory after Hugo is done with it.

  15. capitankane Says:

    AIO, I have Mercs 2 and played it through. It’s fairly average in all respects and is a bit of a grind to finish and the game is buggy as all hell.

    In the game you can have American (or Chinese, you get to choose sides) missiles to blow up the Maracaibo Bridge, Parque Central, army bases, oil rigs etc. But other than those there’s not many memorable landmarks and it just looks like any computer game land, except the towns are labelled Caracas, Merida, Maracaibo etc and the geography is loosely based on here (though driving down one of the freeways in the game made me think of the Cota Mil). I think they just didn’t like the fact that the goal of the game is to take down the corrupt Venezuelan president, rang too close to home.

    I think by banning it they only caused more interest as otherwise it really didn’t have much going for it and noone would have paid it much attention if left be.

  16. m_astera Says:

    I wonder how Stephen Lendman and James Petras will spin this.

    My guess is they won’t touch it and hope no one else notices.

  17. Pygmalion Says:

    Until the new military oriented courses start and there is proof about who is going to run these classes and what form the course will take, then I honestly think that you are jumping the gun and making a scandal out of nothing.

    I especially like Peter’s comment about “child soldiers” which is totally irrelevant.

    What no one mentions – since it would just blow a hole in the scandal which is being pumped up here, is that there are mililitary and training programs in many countries for school kids as part of the curriculum, which are geared to defending the country.

    Now, if countries such as France, UK and US (all currently bombing Libya), can have such programs in schools, and no one makes a scandal out of it, then why not Venezuela?

    And, Peter, I do not see any of these countries having child soldiers either.

  18. moctavio Says:

    And Venezuela’s GDP is one trilion Bs.

  19. metodex Says:

    It’s moves like these that make me think of the future. These things get buried, as no network or newspaper makes it as big as it should.THIS IS HUGE!

    I seriously don’t want my kids to grow up in here. I don’t even want kids as long as i’m here. The country WILL go to hell,and 2012 is already lost, as you can see the “candidates” fighting over who will sit in the throne, they all want a piece,and none is leader.

    I may even have to look for illegal immigration.

  20. An Interested Observer Says:

    Hey Pyg, maybe it’s not a scandal in those other countries because it doesn’t start in the FIRST GRADE. Of course, you probably are right about jumping the gun, because the chance of this ever becoming reality – like virtually every one of Chavez’s other plans – is close to zero.

    loroferoz and capitankane, I see in the description there was a coupster named Carmona involved – never mind that he was military. I do not doubt that the programmers loved the controversy for the attention, and probably expected it in the earliest stages of design.

    As for the final outcome, there are some actions (by Chavez) missing before foreign military action becomes an option on the table. Economic occupation (which means mainly companies, not countries), on the other hand, seems the only post-Chavez likelihood. By promoting the patria, he’s devalued everything to the point where nobody local will be able to produce. You go, Hugo.

  21. Deanna Says:

    Interested Observer and Pyg. In those countries, not only does military training not start in the First Grade, but those military programs are also not compulsory–at least in the US and I went to public school from 1st to 12th grade. If you are thinking about Boy Scouts, that is not military training nor a compulsory program and the ROTC is not compulsory and is only from HS and above. Yes, there are some military academies, but only for those who can afford them.

    People should be fearful of what’s happening because of the word “compulsory.” However, I do have a question on how the government will keep control of this “compulsory” military program: Will they have people policing the implementation of thise program?

  22. pookeye Says:

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone heard about ending the publishing of independent auditors export numbers of petroleum.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/29/venezuela-oil-idUSN2927108720110329

    seems like the chavistas have something to hide..

  23. raulfattorello Says:

    mussolini and hitler did something similar didn’t tehey? Yet he calls every body else a “fascist”

  24. Humberto Says:

    On a lighter (but marginally related) note: the top grossing movie in Venezuela is “Battle:LA” which features US Marines kicking alien butt to save the world.

    Maybe the aliens are from Mars and are escaping capitalism?

  25. NicaCat Says:

    @RobertoN: I didn’t mean to imply that Chavez isn’t aware of what he does. Por diestra o siniestra, he certainly plans these things, or thinks he does. Of course, I believe that he only has himself in mind, and not the country he supposedly pledged to serve. Bastard. The Mars crap? WTF? And backing Gadaffy? WTF??? I’m thinking self-destruction on a massive scale. Or not.

  26. susan Says:

    FYI: I know you will be interested.
    By Luis Andres Henao

    LA PLATA, Argentina | Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:27pm EDT

    LA PLATA, Argentina (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who critics accuse of stifling press freedom, was given a prize by an Argentine journalism school on Tuesday for his contribution to “popular communication.”

    Since coming to power in 1999, Chavez has polarized his country and opponents say he has set out to silence criticism by refusing to renew the licenses of a critical television broadcaster and dozens of radio stations.

    Chavez, Washington’s most vocal leftist foe in Latin America who often refers to the United States as “the empire,” points to a plethora of daily criticism and mockery of his government as evidence of plurality in his own country.

    “Long live free thought … down with hegemony,” Chavez said while accepting the prize from the communications department at Argentina’s state-run La Plata University.

    He told a supportive crown of hundreds of students that Venezuela is promoting “a new dynamic of communication and popular information free from the media dictatorship of the bourgeois, and of the empire.”

    Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, one of Chavez’s closest allies in South America, and her late husband and predecessor as president, Nestor Kirchner, met as law students at La Plata University in the 1970s.

    The university was a hot-bed of leftist activism during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship and the prize awarded to Chavez is named after Rodolfo Walsh, a journalist and author who was killed by security agents in 1977.

    John Dines, a professor at Columbia University’s School of Journalism in New York, said the controversy over the prize revealed differing ideas about press freedom in Latin America.

    “For a journalism school to give (Chavez) a prize setting him up as a model seems to be a contradiction or it means the La Plata journalism school has adopted the view of communication viewed by Chavez: that … state-controlled, direct communication is preferable to independent media and journalism as we know it.”

    (Writing by Helen Popper; Editing by Eric Walsh)

  27. Kepler Says:

    Hey, Pyg:

    Since when are those programmes used (but for a couple of private schools somewhere, I suppose) in France and in Britain? In Netherlands or Belgium? In Scandinavian countries or in Spain?
    They definitely do not have that in Germany anymore. They did have, as someone said, the Hitlerjugend many years ago, when they were ruled by that left-handed, wannabe-painter coup monger.

    Nowhere in Western Europe do you have that crap on a general basis (I am sure there will be private schools doing any crap, including speaking Latin in day-to-day talk or specializing in XIX century Russian literature). They prefer to teach children to solve equations or write properly.

    Misery…Pyg and you really have a better-than-the-average job in Venezuela?
    Es verdad: en el país de los ciegos, el tuerto es rey…hasta el tuerto híper miope.

  28. Roberto N Says:

    “Now, if countries such as France, UK and US (all currently bombing Libya), can have such programs in schools, and no one makes a scandal out of it, then why not Venezuela?”

    BECAUSE NONE OF THOSE COUNTRIES IS LED BY HUGO CHAVEZ YOU BLINKING IDIOT.

  29. Ira Says:

    Hugo has brought VZ into a Cold War of his own making, and this reminds me of MY youth a little:

    When I was in the first grade, we had bomb drills in class, when the teacher would unexpectedly yell, “BOMB DRILL”–and we had to jump under our desks and put our asses to the window to protect ourselves against a nuclear strike by the Russians. (The American comedian Robert Klein has a hysterical bit about this on his album entitled “Child of the 50s.” To summarize, how would pointing your ass to the window save you from nuclear fallout.)

    Mind you, this wasn’t preparing us kids for actual combat to defend our “empire,” but it nonetheless had a lasting, negative impact on an entire generation. Most of you have probably heard of this, but just search a clip on You Tube called “Duck and Cover” to see what I’m talking about it.

    The point is, it horrified our kids, and was just plain stupid–so you would think Hugo could learn SOMETHING from history, but I guess not. It’s this same mentality which has turned several generations of Cubans into soul-less, scared cretins who do anything the leader asks them to for the sake of safety:

    “Keep ‘em scared” never fails, REGARDLESS of the country.

  30. firepigette Says:

    Ira, I remember those days…

    The sirens would suddenly go off and we would rush home, terrified of Russian bombing.We would hide under our beds before the bombs would drop-Somehow we knew they were probably not going to drop, but the imagination of a child is big enough to where we were very frightened anyway.

    There was a general apocalyptic feeling about being a child and living in those times.Remember ” Big Brother” ? Animal Farm?.The books we were reading when we were 11 and 12 yrs old were quite terrifying for children.It was a strange time.There were some escapist books that were popular like “The Hobbits”, or CS Lewis’s Narnia books, but still, we could not get over a sense of ‘the end of the world’.

    On one hand there was the happy feeling of the 50’s , on the other, the threat of it all disappearing in a cloud of bombs, or a scary world government.

    Of course this experience pales in front of the experience many of my European friends had in World War 11.One of my closest friends, a Hungarian lady, was caught in bombing, hiding out in the basement of her parents home.She was so traumatized that when she heard Chavez won elections in took her all of 3 months to leave Venezuela.Her fear of Communism/ or fascism is huge.She is now living in Switzerland which she hates, but anything to assuage her fears of what could happen in Venezuela.But it’s funny -’cause many people in Venezuela see it so differently.

  31. loroferoz Says:

    “Until the new military oriented courses start and there is proof about who is going to run these classes and what form the course will take, then I honestly think that you are jumping the gun and making a scandal out of nothing.”

    We would never take Hugo too seriously, until he starts doing something… We know, he is first a comedian, then a joker, then a comic ringmaster, then some stereotype of third-world dictator, then maybe lastly some kind of public official.

  32. deananash Says:

    This isn’t about ‘child soldiers’, it’s about LOYALTY. I repeat, take a look at fairly recent Chinese history (particularly the Cultural Revolution) where children sold their parents out in exchange for ‘praise’ as being good citizens.

    Chavez doesn’t need more guns/soldiers, he needs informants. Children who reveal their parents level of opposition.

  33. GB Says:

    This won’t be military training, more like political indoctoration. Deananash has got it right. Once he has a new group of followers he will include children in the voting system!

  34. ElJefe Says:

    It’s probably all rubbish just to get the opposition worked up. The government can’t even ensure basic things like food supply, infrastructure, etc. I seriously doubt that they’ll be able to indoctrinate youth in an effective manner either. It’s still troubling that someone would take the time to draft this law because it shows that quite a few people in government have radical ideas and more than a few screws loose, but the truth is that this new military education program will probably suck and be about as ineffective as everything else the Chavez administration has put forth to date.

  35. Deanna Says:

    I just saw one of those militia members in Caracas while I was waiting for a bus to come back to the Litoral. The man was in his 60s and really a sorry sight with his rifle hanging on his back. If he was an example of the so-called defenders from “imperio” invaders and I were Venezuelan, I would really be in trouble!!!!! These people are ridiculous!!!

  36. Kepler Says:

    The training will equate to less time to learn mathematics.

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