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History Will Repeat Itself ~ by Jill Smith, a Pangean citizen

In this post Jill Smith, a citizen of Pangea (the Civic Mirror country of Grade 12 students from Shanghai American School), reflects on the tragedy of civic apathy. Hopefully we can all remember Jill’s story when we find ourselves observing situations unfolding for the worst. Her statement that, “(History) is easy to forget” is frighteningly true.

Here’s Jill’s post, and a special thanks to Kevin who, by all accounts from his teacher, carried out his Civic Mirror agenda with maturity and skill … which happened to involve being viewed as a tyrant in order to put stress on Pangea’s democracy:

History Will Repeat Itself ~   by Jill Smith

The lesson that I value the most from my Civic Mirror experience is that if you are not careful history repeats itself.

Before the simulation I, like many other students, sat through history classes confused. How could a war like the Vietnam War happen when so many people were against it? More importantly how could the United States allow the same mistakes to happen again in yet another unpopular war – the War in Iraq? How have corrupt leaders risen to power time and time again in so many countries? How did the holocaust occur? How did the rape of Nanking occur? Why don’t countries learn from their mistakes, and other countries’ mistakes?

The truth is that it is easy to forget. It is easy to not examine events from the past when your country is in danger, or when your county has a leader coming into power that has an impressive ability to convince people of their views. I learned that manipulation is a superpower and that it takes more than one person to identify the manipulation in order to wake a country up.

The country of Pangea – our country – had a modern day Stalin. His name was Kevin. Kevin manipulated “the people” to go along with the many things that they didn’t believe in; things that even went against their hidden agendas. The vast majority of the citizens elected Kevin as president of Pangea, which led to the deaths of 16 people.

During the election a citizen who had once fought with me for the same things – who once had the same values and distrust of Kevin – switched sides and became his biggest supporter. She rambled on about how Kevin was good and why he should be trusted despite the fact that he contributed to the deaths of innocent citizens through over-consumption and breaking contracts that no longer benefited him. Kevin was the only citizen who was sued every year and a lot of the time by more than one person. When this girl spoke I couldn’t understand why people agreed when all I heard was,”Bahhhh!” She was like one of the blind sheep in Animal Farm, a book that everyone in the class including her read earlier in high school. Why didn’t she see it, why didn’t others see it?

I told everyone to stop, take a step back and look at what was happening and think about what he was saying, what his promises were and how he had behaved in the past. Nobody listened. The only people who did not vote for Kevin were already against him in the beginning of the class.

Kevin went power crazy, stole the government hexes, stole the government money, gave himself legal immunity, removed the house, and threatened to destroy all energy hexes if we went against him. We had to get smart and think up how to take him down without killing ourselves. When he created enough destruction to drive his followers away we took him down.

It was too late, history had already repeated itself. Our country was no better than the rest.

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2 Responses to History Will Repeat Itself ~ by Jill Smith, a Pangean citizen

  1. kevinhuang says:


  2. kevinhuang says:

    In my defense, I will all my actions and the valid reasons behind them.

    First of all, lets begin with the executive takeover. My intentions, I assure you were well-intentioned. With my power, I wanted to create a gentle dictatorship where there would be minimal deaths, meaning that there would be no deaths due to a lack of food or housing. I saw that the present (at that time) state of our country was not as good as it could be. As we all know, democracy can be bureaucratic and mob-like and IS NOT necessarily the best form of government. I realized that people in the government were trying to pass petty laws that violated the inherent rights of business owners, which was forming our country into a more socialist/communist system because many people were poor. Each issue took a numbing amount of time to resolve, but eventually the majority party would convince my party members to agree with them through mob psychology. I was upset that my granted rights were being stolen through.. means of the government. This was outrageous. I was not allowed to have a monopoly on any business, even though some owners like the technology owner, Christine, who were inherent monopolists were allowed to maintain their businesses. They (the other party) said that having no monopolies was for the good of the country, but is it? In the real world, monopolies are bad because the produce at a low quantity in order to maximize profits; however, all hexes in our country already have enough units produced every year. There are also so many variables that deal with real monopolies that could not be related to a monopoly in this simulation and thus I found it ridiculous that many of my classmates agreed that monopolies were harmful to our simulation. Another law that upset me was the price regulation. It was highly hypocritical of the government to be milking our country of money as a food and energy owner such as me was being forced to sell only my particular units at a lowered price. At the end of year 2002, our government owned about 26% of the nations wealth while a majority of our country was poor, yet I, a honest citizen of the country, was being forced to agree to price regulations. Is that not ridiculous? The government (Christine) also kept saying that they would create jobs for the people. I did not see any creation or attempt at creating jobs for the jobless inhabitants of our country in the 2 years that she was president. Neither did I see any effective use of the funds that our government had hoarded.

    This was my first reason for taking over the government. I was losing all my rights as a private business owner and the government was just too inefficient. I decided that helping my friend’s fascist agenda while creating a refreshed, more efficient and need-meeting government would be a good idea. I outlined a budget and plan that would provide REAL jobs to all the people that needed them and I optimally allocated the funds of the government so that the people would benefit while there would still be about 10,000 dollars left in the treasury in case of emergencies. I also thought up of specific roles that each person with a government paid job would have to carry out. For example, the food unit supervisor would have to create a list for people who want to buy food to sign up and they would have to send out the trades and make sure that none of the recipients had more than one food unit to ensure that everyone received their basic necessities. I needed to be in control so that I could personally ensure that everyone survived.

    Jill says I went power crazy and stole all the money and hexes that the government owned. I disagree. I did not steal them and I was not power crazy. In order to distribute all the units to the people that needed them, I realized sending trades from both my account and the government account would take a several hours for me to accomplish (at this point I was willing to provide free food to everyone); therefore, because i already owned the energy and food hexes, i decided that if I transferred the hexes to my hand, I would be able to power them and then complete all the required trading in half the amount of time. At the end, I would have transferred the hexes back.

    As for the money: I realized that my enemies were such strong supporters of democracy and had such a violent temper towards me that I would need a bargaining chip in order to preserve my ideal government plan. Turns out that the democratic fanatics were willing to die for their beliefs when they just could have agreed to try out my form of government, which would have guaranteed the livelihood of everyone. They were hasty and called a crisis vote before I could even show them how my plan would work out… Some people just assume that other people are ill intentioned without premises..

    I agree with Jill. Our country is no better than the rest. They were not willing to try out a well-intentioned plan for the government that would revive the country. They immediately assumed that I was going destroy the country and hastily called a crisis vote which only lead them to their own demise. I was being sued by various people in my country for things such as… losing 3 wellbeing points when I didn’t even own the energy hex that was harming their well being. I was also fined 5000 dollars and living necessities for life.. because I ate two foods where as another person who also ate two foods in the same year was fined nothing. Clearly, our democratic system had lost its way and was falling into the hands of a merciless (in respect to private business owners) mob and that was the reason I had to overturn our back then government system.

    I could elaborate more, but I suspect no one will read this post… -.-