I´m a huge fan of Monopoly, the game of property trade (and destroying your competence). The other day, a common university day, I discovered a forgotten 100 “monopolies” (as I like to call the game’s currency) bill between the pages of my book The Zombie Survival Guide, a gift given to me one day we gathered to play the game by a friend who had visited New York (NOTE: MONOPOLY CAN DESTROY FRIENDSHIPS, never play it with beloved ones who do not en joy the game or are not interested in playing). I must off left it there as my book’s separator. The point is I lay the book on top of a short wall, and suddenly the wind decided to skim through the book, throwing the bill through the air with disdain.
I realized how attached I am to a bill lacking of real currency value; its only a toy-bill. But I also realized that, in his apparently symbolic value, this is, exchange value, he’s got me on zombie state, pursuing for it’s entrails and bowels. This attachment is, by those means, visceral. Money is skein deep. Or that we believe. It is, in semblance to the attribute attributed to love, what we desire the most in our globalized world, or <mundialized> as Baudrillard would say. Nevertheless, money is exchangeable for everything and nothing. ¿What about those who marry for money? They change affection for money. ¿What about those who give sex for money and vice versa? ¿What about those who gable everything? ¿How many times have we not heard of people gambling clothing, the car, the home, and event the wife, the family?
The problem makes it seem as if money is desired as an end (“I wanna be millionaire” is the goal of many, its what kids say) when truly its only a medium. But if money is equivalent to anything (and nothing), meaning it can be exchangeable, and that “anything” includes every product and service to which it serves as a medium, then isn’t money medium and end simultaneously?
Monopoly is about being the richest. It is at the same time about annihilating your opponent, where annihilating is to bankrupt him. The more you have compared to the other, the more imminent is the other’s annihilation. Possessing more (money and properties) is a medium to annihilate your competence; but annihilating your competence is simultaneously a medium to obtain and accumulate more money and properties. ¿Whats the end, if accumulate or annihilate, and whats the medium, if annihilate or accumulate? ¿Whats the end, if if love or accumulate love, and whats the mean, if accumulate love or love?
It is simply the structure’s redoubling. Better said, it is the cleavage –duplication– of the structure. A fold slowly opening until encompassing the game board, then the table. That is how money encompasses everything: means and ends, us as zombies to accumulate and in order to accumulate us.
Even countries. States subjugate to the market. In Monopoly, owning only Railroads and Electric Company and Water Works, analogues of those State-provided services, will help you survive for a while. But never against those in property possession; perhaps against those possessing the less valuable ones. Even police’s authority is more a matter of chance than a game value, barely efficient against proprietary. State properties are worthless in Monopoly only if no other market property is owned. In real life there can not be State without Market. In personal private live we don’t want a Life without Money.
Zygmunt Bauman, Anglo-Polish sociologist, wrote in his book, Consuming Life, that States hand out their soverreignty to the Market , same premise expressed by Hitler as follows: “In proportion as economic life grew to be the dominant mistress of the State, money became the God whom all had to serve and to whom each man had to bow down”.
As stated before, it is not about bowing down before the Money, but also about bowing down other in name of the Money. We do it as individuals, States do it as countries, economic blocks do it too. We do it on a board game; we do it in real life: both are a board.
By Ulises Bobadilla y Jiménez
1.Bauman, Zigmunt. Consuming Life. México D.F., Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2012.
2. Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf. pp. 241. https://archive.org/details/Mein_Kampf_Facsimilie