Machiavelli and the Monopoly game: This is how you conquer and control the board

“Men naturally want to acquire more. When they succeed in acquiring more they are always praised, not condemned.”

Machiavelli took board games too seriously; he may even have taken life too seriously. Moreover, Monopoly was Machiavelli’s favorite board game, and that may be why he didn’t have real friends. But what are real friends anyway? Tough question. Want to hear a tougher question? Who do you conquer first in a game of Monopoly? The richest? The most dominant? Or the most diplomatic? None, you conquer the closest and move on to the other.

Machiavelli threw the dice, looked in Jalal El-Din Rumi’s eyes and said: “You’re done lover boy.” Confucius sat peacefully on Machiavelli’s right drinking Jasmine tea; looked at Machiavelli and said: “Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.” Machiavelli with a smirk on his face replied: “You know Confucius; this is why you’re so bad at this game.” Meanwhile, Rumi was stuffing his face with peanuts, took a sip of wine, and said: “I won’t grieve. Anything I lose comes round in another form.” Machiavelli laughed and said: “We’re not in the Casino, you drunk. Confucius you’re next!” Confucius stroked his beard, looked at Machiavelli, and announced: “A superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.” Machiavelli huffed and puffed his cigarette excitedly and retorted: “Come on, quit blabbering and roll the dice Confucius. It’s a matter of time till I occupy Rumi’s lands and buildings before I move on to dominate yours. I should weaken the strong and ensure that no other foreign power invades my assets. Weaker powers will naturally side with the strongest power as long as they cannot grow strong themselves. I must remain master of the whole board to keep control of the lands I have conquered.” Rumi was drunk at this point and exclaimed: “Machiavelli, I can see that you’re getting a little bit too excited over this. There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled! There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled! You feel it, don’t you?!” Machiavelli looked at Rumi and told him in a serious tone: “So I guess this is why you’re so bad at planning, your smell reeks of wine most of the time.” Confucius stood up and yelled: “Stop arguing you two! Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Machiavelli giggled, put out his cigarette and remarked: “Sit down Confucius, what do you know about Monopoly or running a state or anything really? Men naturally want to acquire more. When they succeed in acquiring more they are always praised, not condemned. But rulers who lack the ability to acquire, yet still try at the cost of their current state, should be condemned.” Confucius sat down calmly, took another sip of tea, closed his eyes, and said: “All I can say is that it’s easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve, and bad things are very easy to get.” Rumi was passed out drunk at this point and Machiavelli continued: “In order to conquer, one must understand state-craft and war-craft. The two are intertwined. War can be avoided by suppressing disorder. However, one can never escape a war: war can only be postponed to the enemy’s advantage.”

Confucius, frustrated with Machiavelli, asked him: “Why do you always have to be like this when we play Monopoly?” In which Machiavelli responded quickly: “Roll the dice Confucius, Rumi is out and you’re next.”



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