Cultural Patterns and Processes
Groups and Power:
In Bullets and Ballots there were 5 groups, the peasants and workers, the army/wealthy, the Guatemalan government, the Guerrillas, and the United States of America. Each group held it's power in a different way. The peasants and workers for example, didn't have any military strength units, but their power came in numbers, and with the numbers came votes. All the other groups knew they were outnumbered if it came to elections, forcing them to make treaties. Even though the groups had military power, it couldn't help them in an election situation.
Soon groups were falling head over heels for the peasants and workers. Giving them MS U's and voting for them in the elections. These farm people started off the game with no military power, but ended with more than all, except army/wealthy.
Cooperation vs. Conflict:
Treaties were made withing all the groups, but the peasants intended to break two of these treaties. One made with the army/wealthy and the other with the US. The peasants believed with their power in votes and military, they would win the elections and be on their way, but they were wrong. The US and army/wealthy furious with their broken treaty started a revolution.
Throughout the simulation the US was like referee to a sports game. They observed the game and either helped or hindered other groups for their own well being. Many might say that the US would NEVER selfishly "help" out one group, but they would and they did. The US wanted a democracy and a percentage of goods. They helped groups that would get them these things, whether the group had good intentions or bad.
During the simulation, power shift happened constantly. This effected group both positively and negatively. The peasants and workers, for example, started out with no military power. Once the Guatemalan Govt. and Guerrillas allied with the peasants, the two groups donated all their MSU's to the peasants. In reaction, the peasants would forward their ideas to the election. This positively affected these two groups, however, it hindered the army and wealthy. In the beginning of the game, the army and wealthy had the largest amount of MSU's. Once the peasants joined forces with the Guatemalan Govt. and the Guerrillas; the army and wealthy had some competition.
Cooperation and conflict make up my life, and the lives of all other humans. Without conflict there is no cooperation and without cooperation there is no conflict. Throughout my fourteen years, I have come across many situation of conflict and cooperation, all ending both positively and negatively.
Growing up, I was always fascinated with different cultures and religions. My family and I had gone to the Science Center in Boston to watch and I-Max films about modern day tribes. I was perplexed when I saw how they lived and where they lived. They didn't live in houses, but huts. They cut their bottom lips and believed it was pretty. They stacked rigs on their neck as jewelry. When I first saw their ways, I believed they were bizarre. Why did they cut their bottom lip? And why did they think those large gold rings were pretty? The more I thought about it, the more I realized how "bizarre" we all are. They must wonder why we pierce our ears and think it's beautiful, or why we wear restricting clothing. I learned that what society comes up with the things that are "weird" and "cool" and most people believe it. Years ago, people would never think women would go around with their mid drift showing and shorts on. At a young age I had already understood cultural patterns and created my own claim. My conflicting views, often got me in trouble, but it did shape who I am today. Today, trends are a huge part of our life, our society and our culture.
A few years ago, I got into a verbal argument with my cousin. He believed that his shoes were the coolest. Me, being me a looking for dispute, told him they weren't. I told him that even though he thought they were cool didn't mean everyone else did. This conflict ended up with a negative effect. I told him they were not cool, but didn't explain to him why. It was also wasn't my place to be telling him his new shoes weren't cool. On the contrary, I learned that instead of arguing, I should explain my side if I wanted to get somewhere with it.
My dad and I have similar opinions on culture. We both believe that nothing is "weird" it is just different from how we know it to be. My dad and I, were going out for a dinner date. I was feeling Italian cuisine, while he wanted Chinese. We ended up compromising and going to an Indian restaurant. My dad taught me then, that its not always necessary top fight for what you want, because what you want isn't always what you need.