The Higher Arcana

The Higher Arcana, a term borrowed from Tarot card reading, comprises the most potent and confounding cards in a deck. Please also see Magic: The Gathering, Illuminati Card Game and others of this ilk. It's a trading card game, y'all, it should be fun.

PROJECT/PROBLEM: How to 'translate' into Postmodern images and captions the wonderfully frightening and curiously humorous cards that appear in the various decks of the Gothic-style card game MAGIC: The Gathering (but where is the 'gathering' in that warfare game?)* We started by looking for contemporary equivalents of the various deadly Creatures and powerful Spells in the decks (see examples below). More difficult, or rather more complicated, is the project/problem of how to adapt the rules of the game and the actual play to our scenario or BACKSTORY (see 'Collective Creation' page). Like how many decks? Types of mana. Role of Chance. For the moment, let's label these two projects CARDS and RULES.

*The so-called gathering is a gathering of power and skill; it's an imaginative game of self-mythification. The players gather their forces, some brutal and some elegant in the form of the magic cards themselves and wield them with wisdom. Our game could feature such a gathering of power and skill, as defined by revolutionary need given the ever-changing circumstances that govern the game's interaction at the time. That need should vary and brute force, for example, may be a useful strategy at one point, but may need to give way under alternate circumstances, perhaps requiring other skill sets and allies entirely. The matches of magic the gathering are rarely very lengthy.

PROBLEM: 'Billionaires and Billions': we need easily remembered abbreviations or symbols to distinguish them. For now let R represent 'The Rich' and P 'the Poor' until we find better.

I can't recall all the categories and foolishly lent my French Magic cards to Tom, but I think it would be fun to play with the ones MrRankin posted and try to assign them categories like CREATURE and SPELL and describe what they do.

SPELL: Bureaucratics levy toll on forward movement. Simple hurtles are now more difficult because bureaucrats must be overcome (or bribed) in order to accomplish anything. Makes opponents' Creatures twice as slow and three times more expensive. Cost: 5 megabucks.

CREATURE: Lawyers. Several types, each more costly than the next. A few good labor lawyers cards in the Billions' deck, including one called The Brain (Mitch Craner). They can cast SPELLS called Injunctions, and Court Orders that prevent the P's from Rallying.

LAND CARD? Rally- A Rally is the power card of a people. Like Mana, it is the source of power for movements. So maybe there's lots of Rally in the P's deck and they have to accumulate it before they can attack the R's. But at the same time the P's need Money every day to subsist

CREATURE: Bankers. Are Bankers CREATURES or something bigger? Like Corporations and Politicians and I guess Governments they are all CREATURES of Capital. Marx described capital as a self-expanding force for self-accumulation. Through the mechanism of competition capitalists seek always the highest rate of return and are

LAND CARD. Money- Symbol: M$ for Megabucks. Money is the power of the capitalists. Of course, it is more available to Capitalists than other players, but all players need some supply of Money.

Needs clarity? Unlike Rally, money is temporary in its effects (meaning?) but there is a deeper well to be tapped than with Rally which requires popular support and mass effort. I was thinking rather that Rally would be temporary, like in a strike or a growing movement that might fall apart. Money piles up in banks and vaults. Of course it can also collapse and lose its value.

Terror- What play for world dominance is complete without Terror? Terror is those tactics that ALL groups use to prove some point or to support one effort or another. But it always backfires, blows back and destroys those who unleash it.

CREATURE: Intellectual- A card ALL groups need as they elaborate and justify their interests, philosophies and tactics. Intellectuals are powerful in establishing a philosophy. Not as strong as Rally or Money which are Mana, but necessary before any progress can be made towards goals. There are many different varieties of Wizards like Biologists, Geologists, Economists, Geographers etc. But really only two types: those in the pay of the Rich (directly at Corporations and Think-tanks or indirectly in Universities) and those who try to be independent (e.g.)

Organizer- A binding power for organizing forces. ALL groups have organizers since they are the mortar between the bricks of action.

Politician- Politicians are fighters for ALL groups, except they are more powerful when used with Capitalists. Smaller groups need Politicians as well and one Politician can be more powerful with a small group than with a large congress.

Religious Leaders-- ALL groups use these for moral support. Capitalists will use these to shore up their agenda while Revolutionaries will seek inner peace, separation from worldly matters and individual experiences. Capitalists use Priests, Reverends and main stream types; Revolutionaries use Yoga masters, Martial Arts Masters, and New Age gurus.