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Venezuela Bans Hostile Videogames and Toys 335

An anonymous reader writes "In an effort to 'help improve child education and prevent misconduct,' the Venezuelan government began enforcing a law on March 3rd banning war videogames and toys, imposing a fine and 2.5 years in prison on the production, distribution, sale, hiring and use of video games and toys inciting violent behavior. Alberto Federico Ravell, former director of opposing news network Globovision, has already come on twitter denouncing the authorities for seizing imported Gameboy, Wii and PlayStation 3 consoles, due to considering them violent."
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Venezuela Bans Hostile Videogames and Toys

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  • by DontLickJesus ( 1141027 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @06:44PM (#31364000) Homepage Journal
    As a gamer this saddens me. As a parent I applaud the effort. However, seizing the consoles seems overboard. Many non-violent games exist. Seize the games, not the consoles.
  • Story at 11 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Citizen of Earth ( 569446 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @06:46PM (#31364020)
    Tinpot dictator does something stupid. Story at 11.
  • by wmbetts ( 1306001 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @06:46PM (#31364022)
    How about seize nothing, because this law is retarded.
  • by alexborges ( 313924 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @06:46PM (#31364026)

    As a gamer talking to a parent I ask you: WHy in hell do you want ME to suffer for YOU to educate YOUR CHILD in whichever way YOU decide?

    Do I violent gamer have a say in how you educate your children? Then why do you advocate in favor of people telling ME how to educate MINE?

  • by alexborges ( 313924 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @06:50PM (#31364078)

    Prohibiting things that are not proven dangerous is plain stupid. Why would you want kids in venezuela to go out, if its one of the countries with the most terrible urban security problems in all of latin america?

  • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @06:51PM (#31364086)

    As a gamer you should be educated enough to know which games are appropriate for a child, and as a parent you should be aware of what he/she is up to and police them yourself. As a parent I understand children are willful and disobedient at times, but once he's old enough to sneak one by me, he's probably old enough to handle some nudity and violence without turning into a serial killer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2010 @06:53PM (#31364128)

    As a parent, I lament losing the opportunity to be able to teach my child right from wrong and instead having state opinions foisted upon children.

  • by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @06:53PM (#31364132)

    As a parent I applaud the effort.

    You are the embodiment of everything that is wrong with actions and laws such as these. It is not the governments place to parent your children yet you cheer them on every time they do.

    You think of your children, no one else should have to.

  • by ChromeAeonium ( 1026952 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @06:54PM (#31364148)

    However, seizing the consoles seems overboard.

    Seizing anything is overboard. You might applaud the effort, but what do your kids learn? That responsibility is someone else's problem and that you have the right to control what others do? Those are the attributes of a reckless bully, exactly how we teach kids not to think. Parents should be against this for that (and the whole freedom of speech trampling of a universal human right thing).

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @06:54PM (#31364154)

    Nice Troll, but if you want responses you should create an account. Also you might want to add some stuff about how these games are clearly for children.

  • Kids will be kids (Score:4, Insightful)

    by camg188 ( 932324 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @06:59PM (#31364214)
    What are they going to do when a kid picks up a stick and pretends it's a gun?
  • by dwiget001 ( 1073738 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:01PM (#31364240)

    As a parent, let alone a human being, you should really FIND OUT about who Hugo is and what he has done to the people of his country.

    I work with person from Venezuela, his family is here (U.S.) from Venezuela and they are all, everyone, completely opposed to mad-man, his usurping of power, his decimating the what freedoms the people of his country had, etc.

    Hugo and the antics of his government deserve the ridicule and condemnation of all free people. This gaming thing is just a small small piece of the overwhelming oppression he has rained down on his people.

  • Re:Story at 11 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:06PM (#31364310)
    ... Whom managed to change the constitution to extend his first presidential election from 4 to almost 8 years (He changed it from 4 to 6 year at the middle of his mandate) and to allow indefinite re-election periods.

    Very convenient use of democracy, and many others are following these steps.
  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:07PM (#31364318)

    Considering the wealth disparity in that nation what did they expect?

    Of course the poor are going to go for this guy, they had been getting screwed by the same old rich jackasses for a long damn time. I am not saying Chavez is a good leader or a good person, but these folks via their actions led to his election. Anyone who had the money to leave the country was probably part of the reason this guy is in power now. You can only fuck the vast majority of your population so for long before bad shit happens.

  • Re:Story at 11 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pepeizquierdo ( 1124229 ) * on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:07PM (#31364332)
    Yes, a tinpot democratically elected president who for 11 years has been subverting all those democratic principles that allowed him to be elected in the first place. This cancer called Chavez has destroyed Venezuela's democratic institutions. His only aim is to stay in power for as long as he can. I don't think this will end well.
  • Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:08PM (#31364346)

    He was elected to being with, and that election seems to have been fair. However since then he has been taking increasingly underhanded methods of retaining power, stifling dissent and so on.

    Do remember that a large number of dictators are elected to power initially. They then just misuse the power and suppress freedom. That someone was elected initially doesn't mean they aren't a dictator now.

  • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:09PM (#31364350)
    Media terrorist, eh? All those poor DVDs and storage viciously butchered in his attempt to influenece their policies by fear...

    Words have meaning. The meaning of terrorist is not "someone I don't like", despite US policy to the contrary.
  • by DontLickJesus ( 1141027 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:09PM (#31364360) Homepage Journal
    If you read the article, it says things that "incite violence and hate". Sorry, but over the years I've grown tired of the military writing war simulators to train my kids. I've played these games, I know what they are. Child or adult, it just glorifies violence. If the US were more focused on deterring violence instead of sexual explicitness we'd be far better off. Sex is natural, killing other humans is not.
  • Re:Story at 11 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:12PM (#31364404)

    So he used a legal process to alter the government? Oh Noes! To me this looks like it might end up being another Salvador Allende.

  • by jombeewoof ( 1107009 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:13PM (#31364414) Homepage

    killing other humans is just as if not more natural than sex.

  • Re:Not really (Score:4, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:14PM (#31364424)

    Considering we regularly used to oust elected leaders and that is how we ended up the the Iran of today, maybe we ought sit back and see how this plays out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:14PM (#31364438)

    This is exactly the direction the United States is headed. Everyone expects the government to protect them from everything, because we claim no responsibility for our own behavior. I had no problem telling my kids they couldn't play certain games because they were too violent or offensive, but unfortunately good parenting skills and responsible people seem to be harder and harder to find.

    Fortunately, we have our government to protect us from ourselves....

  • Re:Not really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:15PM (#31364456)

    And folks dealt with him we he started invading our friends. He might be a nutter but Chavez has not invaded anyone yet.

  • by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:18PM (#31364490)

    Sex is natural, killing other humans is not.

    Whaaaa? Killing is very natural and we have been doing it since day zero. It's taken a long long time to bring that natural act under control, and it still slips out now and then.

  • by copponex ( 13876 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:18PM (#31364498) Homepage

    Palestinians electing Hamas? That's not democracy. Venezuelans electing Chavez? That's not democracy. Bolivians electing Morales? That's not democracy. Spain leaving Iraq because 95% oppose the war? That's not democracy.

    Pinochet taking over Chile? Triumph of democracy! America invading Iraq? Triumph of democracy! The CIA and the Shah taking over Iran? Triumph of democracy! Turkey supporting the Iraq war against the will of it's populace? Triumph of democracy!

    All you have to do is replace "democracy" with "American interests" and it all makes sense.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:21PM (#31364536)

    Violence isnt what makes (most) violent games fun. Few games that rely on violence are good games, but plenty of good games have violence as the setting.

    People playing StreetFighter aren't going to go out and start mettsu-hadokening each other, the game is fun because of its balance and the feel of the game. Why ban it just because from an outsider perspective its just a bunch of people fighting?

    Same with Counterstrike, Warcraft(omg it has WAR in its name!), Quake, Nethack.. Really anything that isn't a puzzle game tends to include some form of violence. Stomping on people and throwing fireballs is pretty violent, but I dont think Mario made me a bad person.

  • Re:hugo... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:22PM (#31364550)


    Perhaps so, but reasons and what-ifs aside, I wonder how they plan to block the vast amount of browser games that are certainly violent? How do you stop the internets?

    Do they really think it's possible to put a block on every violent game link? What about phone games? I seem to recall that Quake 1 just got ported to Andriod or iPhone?

    Interesting stance for a government to take, but really, honestly, truly. Goodluckwiththat.

  • by jmpeax ( 936370 ) * on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:30PM (#31364662)

    Im Venezuelan, linving in Venezuela. And the seizing of gaming consoles is a lie.

    You're a Venezuelan living in Venezuela, and the only thing you have to say is that the government is not seizing consoles? How about some outrage at the absurdity of this law? How about some disgust at the fact that your government is passing laws that shift parental responsibility to the state?

    This is a silly ploy to make it look like the government is tackling crime. In actual fact, they are just trying to get political points at the expense of their citizens' freedoms and on the back of their citizens' fears [reuters.com].

  • Re:Story at 11 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:32PM (#31364698)

    So then don't move to Venezuela?

    If you actually had a rough life you would not say that. If you have not eaten in a week violence in video games and the freedom to play them is way down on the list of shit you care about.

  • He's not responding like an American because he isn't American.

    People from different cultures have different priorities.

  • ORLY? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by copponex ( 13876 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:44PM (#31364848) Homepage

    So, in your crazy little head, assassinating someone - which the CIA and our proxy Mossad do regularly - is the activity of a thuggish dictatorship...

    I guess when Chavez plots an assassination of a government we subsidize, that's a crime. However, when we carry out plotted assassinations against our enemies, it's justice. Yes, it makes perfect sense to me now!

    Hypocrisy? What's that, a new Morrissey cover band?

  • Sigh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:50PM (#31364910)

    Sadly, the real world is nowhere near as depraved and decadent as it is in the mind of conservatives.

  • Re:hugo... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrNaz ( 730548 ) * on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:52PM (#31364944) Homepage

    As much as I hate censorship, I do agree with this sentiment. Has anyone actually sat down and watched a kids' show? Ben10 has something like 10 violent acts every 3 minutes.

    Being anti-censorship does not mean "anything goes". I am the primary carer (uncle for my adopted nephew) for a 4 year old, and I can tell you there is a marked increase in hyperactive behavior, aggression and general lack of control for hours after watching Nickelodeon. Consequently, I have banned TV in my house. It was a few days of tantrums, but he's gotten over it, and the improvement in behavior is astonishing.

    I flatly refuse to accept that what we watch does not affect us. Movies like Saw and Hostel simply cannot be psychologically inert, the content is just too potent.

    "Down with censorship" and "down with psychologically and socially destructive media" are NOT mutually exclusive in the same way that "down with government control" and "down with harming your neighbor" are also not mutually exclusive. Lets grow up past the idea that any control of media that has a negative social impact is censorship and should be fought. Media *can* have a negative impact on social behavior and mental health. Get over it.

  • by Tromad ( 1741656 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:53PM (#31364952)
    People have been killing for just as long as they have been fucking. For a long time the solution to grievances or injustice has been murder (Burr–Hamilton duel, Rome assassinations, Code of Hammurabi). Only recently have we replaced this with courts.
  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @08:13PM (#31365154) Journal

    This is a dictatorship with deep financial troubles. The reasons they give for seizing valuable equipment don't bear deep inspection.

  • by Arthur Grumbine ( 1086397 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @08:20PM (#31365228) Journal

    I'm sure Native Americans, tribal Africans, the Celts, the Vikings and all other tribal peoples without anything close to formal government or religious establishments never resorted to war, rape and pillage out of territorial instincts/motives or material desires. I'm just sure of it.

  • by Jarjarthejedi ( 996957 ) <christianpinchNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday March 04, 2010 @08:20PM (#31365230) Journal

    Tag's pretty violent when you get down to what the goal is, you're basically hitting your friends while running around. Should we ban that? All competition is violent, and some of us enjoy competing.From a certain perspective even Pong is violent (Slam that ball into your opponents goal! Yeah! Right past that loser!) so have fun without any games (not even number cruncher passes a strict definition of violence).

    Perhaps you're referring to blood and gore which is an entirely separate thing from violence?

  • by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @08:44PM (#31365444)

    As a parent, let alone a human being, you should really FIND OUT about who Hugo is and what he has done to the people of his country.

    Many of us who follow global politics are quite aware of who Chavez is. It is you who seem to have a rather narrow field of vision based on highly biased personal contacts.

    I work with person from Venezuela, his family is here (U.S.) from Venezuela and they are all, everyone, completely opposed to mad-man, his usurping of power, his decimating the what freedoms the people of his country had, etc.

    So you work with people who were very likely well-off (comparatively) in Venezuela (who are also the type to most likely flee from Chavez) and whose family's wealth could be very likely traced to slaughter, slavery and other similar pleasantries perpetrated on the locals by their European ancestors. Unfortunately for them, unlike the situation in the USA where almost a complete genocide of the locals was carried out, the completely impoverished indigenous "lesser people" are an actual majority in places like Venezuela. And while keeping them down was a lovely past-time of all sorts of tin-pot tyrants with warm-hearted support of Uncle Sam and more importantly massive US-based conglomerates, some "mistakes" (such as implementing an actual democratic process coupled with an over-estimation of influence of the moneyed-owned media) resulted in an "oops": election of a charismatic indigenous leader whose popularity amongst the most poor indigenous Venezuelans is somewhere around 80%.

    Hugo and the antics of his government deserve the ridicule and condemnation of all free people. This gaming thing is just a small small piece of the overwhelming oppression he has rained down on his people.

    Which people? Surely the aristocratic rich, the descendants of colonial plantation owners, the well-to-do businessmen whose profit depend on exploitation of the locals are mad as hell at him for screwing up their racket. The indigenous poor on the other hand see him mostly as a great hero. Guess which section of the population constitutes majority.

    Oppression? He "oppressed" all the rich by putting their taxes into education for the "filthy" aboriginals, he "oppressed" oil cartels by taking Venezuela's oil and using it to pay for medical care for the same "uppity" locals who do not know any better to be just happy in their place as plantation workers and maids in extravagant mansions of the likes of your friends in the US.

    Chavez is what happens when a small ethnic minority with a checkered colonial past hoards all the wealth of a nation and flaunts it in the face of impoverished aboriginals and where the democratic process is even partially operational - sooner or later the majority manages to elect someone on their side. Sometimes the "mistake" of the democratically elected leader can be "taken back" (see Thailand and how a band of army thugs backed by aristocracy and the rich managed to remove any last vestiges of democracy that threatened them because of impoverished majority ... in the name of "freedom" and "democracy" of course - Orwell must be chuckling somewhere), sometimes Uncle Sam lend a "helping" hand in form of some CIA assassins or a funding for a coup ... but then sometimes these tactics fail and the result is what is going on in Venezuela.

    Is Chavez a good leader, is he wise, are his policies sustainable? Probably not. Does he abuse his power? That highly depends on whose side you are on. But he is in power not because of anything he managed to do himself, but because he is the first ever person in power in Venezuela of whom the impoverished majority can truly say of "he is one of us - he is trying to do good by us", irrespective of him being actually able to do it. And at the moment it is all that counts over there. It will take a truly monumental screwup to destroy his popularity amongst the

  • by jmpeax ( 936370 ) * on Thursday March 04, 2010 @08:56PM (#31365562)
    I am not American, nor am I living in America.

    If such a tepid response to an obvious overstep by the government is a cultural difference, it certainly isn't a good one.
  • by Paul Fernhout ( 109597 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @09:16PM (#31365708) Homepage

    I don't think censoring as a society is the answer. But censoring as a parent for age/development appropriate levels to create a nurturing environment for kids makes a lot of sense IHMO (up to some point).

    Resources about non-violent cooperative games:
        http://www.familypastimes.com/ [familypastimes.com]
        http://www.amazon.com/Playfair-Everybodys-Guide-Noncompetitive-Play/dp/091516650X [amazon.com]
        http://www.amazon.com/No-Contest-Case-Against-Competition/dp/0395631254 [amazon.com]

  • by MrMista_B ( 891430 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @09:16PM (#31365712)

    Hmm? Why funny? It's actually true. You think a cop who see's a kid doing something like that isn't going to shoot the kid?

  • by skywire ( 469351 ) * on Thursday March 04, 2010 @11:14PM (#31366570)

    When a headline writer can employ the incoherent phrase "hostile videogames and toys" with a straight face, the battle is already lost.

  • Re:hugo... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @11:32PM (#31366708)

    I flatly refuse to accept that what we watch does not affect us.

    Violence in media is not the issue, its the acceptance of violence as a resolution in society that it.

    I know a guy growing up, extreme fundamentalist family who filtered everything he watched, as 12 yr olds when we started watching Aliens and Terminator he was barely permitted to watch Blinky Bill. He was shipped off to a religious school as soon as was permissible and the last I heard, he'd spend his life since 18 in and out of rehab. His family of course pretends he's dead.

    An anecdote yes but with a point, his parents neglected their responsibilities to prepare him for the real world. Violence is part of the real world and parents need to teach their children how to respond to it. This means teaching them the results of violence. Not all portrayed violence is bad, your examples of Saw and Hostel are extremes but when you look at other examples, even action movies like Terminator and Batman they portray the repercussions of violence (people getting hurt) and are meant to invoke the correct emotions associated with this (empathy, pity, fear).

    There is also the difference between real violence and fantasy violence, games like COD which are fairly mature do not portray things in a very realistic manner, that being said it's still unsuitable for a young child (less then 12). Once again it is the responsibility of the parent to ensure a child can tell the difference between fantasy and reality the same as right and wrong. A lot of games do not have you fighting other people (humans) rather using a proxy (aliens, zombies, nazi's) to obviously abstract the idea of harming other people in the minds of the player.

    In the west, we are fairly lucky (esp here in AU) where violence is not prevalent because it is not accepted. If we look at places like Thailand, culturally maintaining face is important, one way to do this is to simply kill the person who made you lose it. As violence is repugnant to the Thais and admitting to violent society would be a loss of face they simply turn a blind eye to this, ending up with one of the highest murder rates in the world. I'd be willing to bet there are similar stories of a social acceptance of violence in South Africa and Venezuela.

  • by OrwellianLurker ( 1739950 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @12:03AM (#31367004)
    How about as a parent you don't buy your kids inappropriate content and you don't allow them to possess it?

    In America, and many other western countries, there is a system for rating games based on their content. Minors cannot purchase some media, including movies, games-- so why should all of us be restricted as a result of your poor parenting?

  • Re:Story at 11 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by n3r0.m4dski11z ( 447312 ) * on Friday March 05, 2010 @12:55AM (#31367426) Homepage Journal

    Well not to discredit you, but a "high profile" family member can hardly be expected to speak on behalf of the average working person. Of which the country is mostly made up of...

    well maybe a bit to discredit you, AC...

    Banning shit that doesnt hurt anyone is of course tyranny. BUT I am sure they have their reasons, as the USA also does when talking about weed and other drugs.
    They all have their reasons...

  • Re:hugo... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by rmushkatblat ( 1690080 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @01:22AM (#31367606)
    You can argue away anything to "public interest".
  • Re:hugo... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 05, 2010 @01:44AM (#31367726)

    I flatly refuse to accept that what we watch does not affect us. Movies like Saw and Hostel simply cannot be psychologically inert, the content is just too potent.

    Really? I can't say about Hostel, but I saw Saw once (didn't have anything much better to do) and was bored as fuck. And the large popularity of these movies (and their sequels) does not seem to have been accompanied by the spike in violent crime theories like yours would seem to predict. Actually, the fact that half a dozen Saw movies have been made without the world ending would seem to strongly argue against this.

    As has been often quoted, "reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, does not go away". You can "flatly refuse" to accept it if you so please, just like lots of people "flatly refuse" to accept that you can allow children to see nipples without the fabric of society crumbling, or "flatly refuse" to accept that the universe is older than a few millennia. We call these people idiots.

    With regard to your little anecdote, I could think of plenty of possible alternate explanations for the same behavior, given the available data. It could be just watching TV that causes the behavior. It could be something other than violence on TV that causes it. It could be something coincidental to the TV-watching that was causing it and stopped with it. It could be any of the myriad flaws of the average person's unconscious perceptions of statistics. A proper, rigorous scientific study, of the sort you'd need to be confident on things like this, controls for problems like these; Random Internet Anecdotes do not.

    And sorry, but censorship of things you personally think should be censored is still censorship. Censorship of things lots of people think should be censored is still censorship. It's not only "censorship" when it's of things you like any more than it's only "murder" when it's of people you like. Get over it.

  • by Failed Physicist ( 1411173 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @01:55AM (#31367786) Journal

    Media terrorist, eh? [...] Words have meaning. The meaning of terrorist is not "someone I don't like", despite US policy to the contrary.

    Well I'd think that a propagandist fits within the definition of media terrorist. Which fits what Ravell is doing here.
    An interesting thought to hold in mind is that information always has two main meanings; the information itself and the information of what your interlocutor wants you to believe.

  • by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @10:11AM (#31370456)

    You do know that violence increased dramatically in his presidency, right?

    Well since all the wealthy right wingers started funding violent opposition - complete with actual military coup attempts, egged on relentlessly by the media companies they own ... it is hardly surprising.

    Their remedy for "calm" is a traditional South American military crackdown on all uppity poor, complete with mass disappearances and executions in soccer stadiums - Chile style. Would this "reduce" violence? Of course - until it spawned yet another South American tradition: an uprising of a guerrilla army of the peasants.

    What you are seeing in Venezuela is simply class warfare - violence will continue in one form or another until the disparities diminish and edge is taken off from all real and perceived colonial injustices.

    Chavez is of course very unlikely to fix this problem, but listening to all the hateful braying of assorted racists and supremacists which he inspires is rather entertaining, particularly when they try to wrap themselves in the colors of "freedom" and "democracy"...

  • by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @04:54PM (#31375452)

    Socialism simply does not work.

    Neither does "free market", nor "capitalism". None of these simplistic systems work. They all have fatal flaws. That is why most sane countries use mixed economies, where the worst excesses of one system can be brought under control using another.

    People can have the same oportunities, but not the same capabilities.

    True, but in reality they have nothing like "same" opportunities, their position in life determined largely by dumb luck - and if you do not believe me, perhaps we could simulate life's roulette by for example gouging your eyes out so that you can experience at least a part of the fun of getting to the life's "start line" blind - somehow I suspect that all that belching about "opportunities" would end real quick. Furthermore, even if they start at the same point, what makes you think that because you've spent 10 years working 60% percent harder and more cleverly then the other guy, you then deserve wealth equivalent to 100000 people, not to mention that your kids will start at the top of the pyramid without lifting a finger, not having demonstrated any capabilities whatsoever? Wait, I think I know, that is because your aristocratic ass is just sooooo vastly superior to the rest of the undeserving rabble...

    I'm busting my ass to be an engineer.

    Which, naturally, means that you expect to be a billionaire, no? Or perhaps you've got no fucking clue about what you are talking about? None of the so-called "socialists" want to stick it to the engineers in favor of peasants. They are concerned with wealth disparities in the hundreds and thousands of times between the poorest and the wealthiest. And if you think that being an engineer entitles you to a 100 room mansion with 20 servants to lick your boots, then you have another thing coming. Also the "socialists" are concerned with having the said lowest rungs of the society and their kids to have some opportunity of a social advancement, rather then a permanent servitude in the kind of "society" (or more accurately a wolves den) you seem so keen on constructing.

    Don't ask me to think like a peasant, because it's stupid.

    No one ever did. But I do ask you to stop thinking like a wanna-be aristocrat, which is what you are doing, because it's even more stupid.

    And don't expect me to keep reading your - really, really dumb and ignorant - comments, because arguing with you has proven to be pretty pointless.

    More aristocratic farts along the lines of "I got mine, fuck everyone else, cause I am the smartest and they and you are just serfs and I shall daintily ignore you because your uncouth opinions do not agree with my Cognac" ...

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern