FPI / August 27, 2019
“You seem to be doing too well for yourself. That’s not how socialism works.”
That’s the message on one of the game cards included in Monopoly: Socialism, Hasbro’s parody version of its iconic board game Monopoly.
Parody-challenged socialists do not like Monopoly: Socialism. After relaying their anger over a board game via a tweetstorm, reports say that some retailers apparently caved to the irate socialists. Target reportedly removed the game from its website. As did Hasbro. (Or, in true capitalist form, maybe it sold out.)
"Get ready for laughs as the twists and turns of life put a damper on working toward a shared, utopian society," the description for Monopoly: Socialism reads. "Cooperation isn't always what it's cracked up to be."
In the parody game, players who pass or land on “Go” do not collect the usual $200 salary but instead receive a $50 “living wage.”
Although the game was released last year, socialist furor only boiled to the surface last week after author and historian Nick Kapur tweeted the he had bought it and found it to be “woefully ill-informed.”
“Maybe Hasbro actually knows its audience, and that audience is just hate-filled Boomers raised during the Cold War and triggered by whatever people under 40 do?,” the 39-year-old Rutgers University history professor concluded his 21-tweet critique of the parody game.
Kapur’s initial tweet has racked up 42,000 likes and 15,000 re-tweets.
The New York Post’s Hannah Frishberg noted in an Aug. 23 report: “The game features a Red take on the iconic Monopoly pieces. Players get old-timey tokens, which recall the McCarthy-era tech of the 1950s, and abundant, anachronistic references to current social issues.”
Game cards reference a “no-tip vegan restaurant” and a “dairy-free coffee shop.”
The outrage from the Left was widely mocked.
"Wah, wah, wah. Maybe they're making fun of socialism because it's bad," National Review's Katherine Timpf said on Fox & Friends. "We've seen [socialism] kind of not work in the past, so I feel like it might be fair game to make fun of it. ... I also don't understand how people are getting so upset about a game."
Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, suggested different editions of Monopoly: Socialism.
"We could do the Venezuela edition: start out (in 1950) with the 4th highest GDP per capital in the world: end starving in the street with massive shortages of food & medicine," Cruz tweeted. "We could do the Cuba edition: start (in the 1950s) as the world’s top sugar producer; end up earning $25 per month and risking your life to put your children in rafts seeking freedom."
Cruz continued: "We could do the Russia/USSR edition: the 'old timey' playing pieces are all the tech the common people are allowed. When Yeltzin toured a TX supermarket in 1989, he told his comrades that if their people — who faced breadlines — saw the choices in the US 'there would be revolution.' We could do the East Germany edition: you build a wall across your living room; put all the food, technology & prosperity on one side; erect machine guns on the wall; and shoot anybody who tries to get to the West.
“Or we could do the University edition: you imagine a magic money tree; you give everything free to anybody who wants it; nobody works, studies, or innovates; and everybody gets an A!”
The saying goes, if you don’t like something, don’t watch it, or buy it — or play it. Humorless socialists don’t seem to want anyone to enjoy anything that doesn’t ascribe to their ideology.
As the Monopoly: Socialism’s box prominently emotes: “Winning is for capitalists”.
Free Press International