Is the Stock Market Game Capitalist Propaganda?

Cooper Raposo '21, Contributor

How much money will a right-wing military coup in Bolivia win for Elon Musk regarding cheaper lithium? Will Amazon be able to stave off any hopes of unionization? Can health insurance companies deny coverage to hundreds of thousands more in the middle of a pandemic? Find out by cashing into the Loomis Chaffe stock market game.

Loomis can feel engulfed in a thick fog of capitalism. We call our school “The Island,” a moniker so oppressively rich it’s hard to believe Che Guevara has not yet strolled onto our campus in search of class enemies.

Nowhere is this facet of the Loomis experience more apparent than the annual tradition of the stock market game, where students invest a fake 1,000,000 dollar allowance in real stocks and see who can grow their portfolio the most. Students can bet their fake money on any stock imaginable, from defense contractors and weapons manufacturers like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin to seemingly more innocent ventures like Amazon and Tesla. But in almost every case, students are gambling on how much money the richest in the country can reap from the exploitation and alienation of the working class.

Whether through war, the buying of cheap labor, or imperialism, the stock market marches forward, and we the students of Loomis profit through the reward system of the game.

Where does a budding socialist turn in the midst of this neoliberal wilderness? In the spirit of including all political views on campus, I propose a new game built around the class struggle, one that even the aforementioned Che could be proud of. This new communist game would be based on empathy and camaraderie, a counter to the stock market game’s Reaganistic values.

Presenting: Solidarity Forever, a game designed around the principles of democracy and egalitarianism, in which you can seize the means of production while building unions, networks of mutual aid, democratic workplaces, and new forms of governance. The simulation would be set in a fictional country that has been held in chains by Western imperialism and the student body would collectively devise ways to break it out and build it a new society. In the game, we could ponder the tough questions of policy and protest: how to properly dismantle the police, resist colonialism, and assure an end to the alienation of labor.

Each day the game could throw us new challenges: a natural disaster or a CIA operative with a heavy wallet. Overcoming these trials would bring together the student body in a setting centered on the emancipation of the marginalized. The simulated revolution would be monitored for any wisp of human rights violations, and it would provide a much-needed counterweight to the stock market game.