Sunday, December 28, 2008

Monopoly (game)

According to Wikipedia Monopoly is the most popular board game in the history of the world.


It was created in 1935, in the middle of the American depression, and seems to model the effective, if not purported, American dream:

The object of the game is to own every piece of property and drive the other players into bankruptcy.

How else explain Bill Gates insouciance about being called a monopolist, or even being convicted in European courts of being a monopolist. Of course he's a monopolist, it's human nature.

"We're all monopolists at heart, and here free to be, liberty, whee!"

Controls on monopolistic rapacity are represented as Sylvester, to the individual entrepreneur's Tweety.


It's part of American culture: we root for the nerdy guy with the glasses and the high pitched voice to... own the whole world.

An individual's fantasy (we're probably talking mostly men here) of becoming king of everything, with no restraint on kingly prerogative, is so valuable, that the fantast would prefer slavery in a system that supports this possibility to mere comfort in a more egalitarian society.

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates talked with UW-Madison undergraduates about the promise of the technology industry when he stopped in their classroom during his 2005 College Tour. UW-Madison was one of five universities included in the tour, which is promoting greater youth involvement in technology careers. 
© UW-Madison University Communications 608-262-0067
Photo by: Jeff Miller
Date:  10/05    File#:  D100 digital camera frame 14338

As long as there's such a thing as kingship we can fantasize. And a major depression with its accompanying war every few generations is not too steep a price to pay to keep this fantasy alive.

For many the fantasy includes slave-girls or slave-boys, and the unrestrained ability to punish, or else, like, what's the point.  For Bill Gates the fantasy includes... we'd rather not know.

No winners without losers, no kings without slaves.

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1 comment:

Bycolor said...

Excellent point and well written...