Power Shifts

Guatemalan Government Game and How it relates to the real world

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Questions :

  • 1.       Groups: government(weak/controlled by Army & wealthy), Army and wealthy, USA, peasants, guerillas. In the beginning, the army and wealthy had the power because they had the most MSU’s and therefore could silence members of other groups or use the takeover card to take over the government.
  • 2.       The power quickly shifted from the Army and Wealthy to the Guerillas. My group, the army and wealthy, kind of just sat back and didn’t do very much because we had the most power. Meanwhile, the guerillas convinced all of the peasants to join them, which increased their MSU strength and power. They then convinced our group that they wanted to be peaceful and work together, so we signed a treaty which also gave them 25 of our MSU’s. At this point, they were very close to us in MSU’s. The next day, they made a treaty with the USA, gaining more MSU’s. Now, they had more MSU’s than we did, so they gained the takeover card and used it immediately. In doing this, they broke the treaty that they had with us, which said that they would not take over the government, but they didn’t care.
  • 3.       At first, it seemed like there was going to be cooperation between groups, with the guerillas making treaties with the army and wealthy as well as the USA. However, this soon changed when they gained power and used the takeover card. When this happened, there was conflict between the guerillas and the army and wealthy about how it was unfair, and the army and wealthy were angry about losing power.  When power shifted, conflict began and groups got upset. There was no violence or war between groups.
  • 4.       Throughout the game, the US was very quiet and was just watching over the country. They would not talk much with other groups. Then, after the guerillas overthrew the government and set up a democracy, the US stepped in and said they did not like what was going on. They got rid of what was set up by the guerillas and implemented a government with representatives from each social group that would meet every month, with the USA checking up on us every year. This upset the guerillas, who had just implemented their own government style, which was immediately nixed by the USA. We all realized how the USA could have done whatever they wanted during the entire game.
  • 5.       Whether or not a power shift in a country is positive or negative depends on what group you are in. If you support or are a part of the group that gains power, you will think the shift is positive. However, if you support or are a part of the group who loses power, you will think the shift is negative.
  • 6.       An example of a relationship in my life that relates to the game is  when I babysit for my neighbors, who have three kids.

                USA- The kids parents

               Army and Wealthy- Me

               Guerillas- The oldest girl

              Government- The two younger kids

              Peasants- Cats

When I babysit, I am like the Army and Wealthy because I have control over the house and the kids. However, the parents have the ultimate power. Although they aren't home when I'm babysitting, they are the ones who tell me what the rules are and how they want the house to be run when they are gone. This is like how the USA had the ultimate authority over Guatemala, even though they are in another country. The oldest girl often tries to rebel against the rules and take advantage of the fact that I am not her parents. She tries to control the games we play, food they get to eat, and their bedtimes. This is why she is like the guerillas, she wants to take my power. The two younger kids have very little power, as they just go along with whatever. They are like the government in how they are weak and controlled like puppets by whoever is in charge. Even weaker than them is the two cats, who are like the peasants because they have no power.  

Real World Examples :

                                Rebels Overtake the Congo in 2012

USA-                    Guerillas-                   Govt-                    Peasants                A+W  

USA             Rebels (M23)              Congo Govt                  Peasants               UN/ Military

In 2012, a group known as the M23 rebels rebelled against the government and took over Goma for 8 months. It was an embarrassment to the national army and the UN who were easily controlled by the rebels. The overtake of Goma was described as a "cakewalk" because of how easily the rebels defeated the national army and UN troops. This is like in the game, how the Guerillas easily gained power and overthrew the Army and Wealthy. Residents of Goma (peasants) were happy to see the M23 rebels. They supported them because they were tired of the distant federal government. This is like how the peasants in the game joined forces with and supported the guerillas. The UN had 1500 peacekeepers staitioned in Goma, but said  "We are not the Congolese army. It's not our position to stop a rebel attack." This is like how the Army and Wealthy did not want to attack the guerillas because we wanted to keep peace with them and not be violent. The USA ultimately could have stepped in and changed the situation, but it was not a big enough issue to concern the USA.


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