Monopoly is perhaps the most infamous, if not the only, socialist board game corrupted by capitalism. As society has changed in the more than one hundred years since Monopoly’s inception, our favourite home-wrecker has evolved alongside it. One of the more recent editions is entitled Monopoly Empire, where instead of building up a portfolio of properties and driving up affordability costs – not unlike property investors today – you spend money creating an empire of brands, effectively monopolising modern media and pop culture. Now I wouldn’t say that the boardgame resembles anything like a Picasso, but perhaps it might be appropriate to insert an “art imitating life” quote somewhere here.
The media we consume every day of our lives, whether it be news or mermaid movies, has gradually become monopolised by a small handful of business moguls, which might be cause for more immediate concern given the rising popularity of nationalism and “fake news” if it weren’t offset by the ever increasing accessibility of the internet and all the perks that come with it.
While Murdoch and his magnate mates tighten their grip on the legacy media, produsers and their chosen software platforms open up the doors those monopolizers may try to close. In days gone by, a dominating ideology with its teeth sunk firmly into the neck of free speech saw the rise of dictatorships that still cast a shadow over our society today. But with the indomitable force of the internet, tyrannical tycoons and corrupt politicians are finding it more and more difficult to enforce broken systems on the backs of lower classes to keep them in their golden penthouses.
Never before has legacy media felt so threatened by the public. In an effort to survive the Titanic that is their method of operations, parent companies like Fairfax and TimeWarner have been forced to create a clear divide between honest journalism and sensationalist, “alternative facts”. Independent news organisations and diligent fact-checkers provide a direct line to the truth some powerful people wish to keep from us. One day, their time in the spotlight will end and a new generation of leaders will take its place. Hopefully, they can learn the tricks some old dogs could not.