“Take It All” – A Mandelian Display of the Machiavelian
I’ve long suspected that Howie Mandel is a social provocateur, a rascal sage that tries to show us us. If you’ve seen the last (second) episode of “Take It All” then you know what I am talking about. The lessons are simple: when you try to screw others there is a good chance you are the one who is going to be screwed. Two contestants – now infamous for lying – looked each other in the eye and promised to share the wealth of the moment. And then they tried to screw each other by “taking it all.” The result is a cliche: when you try to take it all, there is a good chance you’ll be left with nothing.
Of course, it’s not always like that: in the first episode of the show, in a pairing of two career teachers, there was a brief talk about the “god-given” blessing of the moment… and then one teacher got over on another, taking home $420,000 (and the notoriety of being a first-class liar). “Ends justify the means,” “gotta do what you gotta do,” right? It’s comical to see contestants marshal rationalizations for their ruthlessness – “buying books for the class,” “sister with cancer,” – all kinds of reasons are introduced into the contestants’ profiles as if to build up the moral justification for the zero-sum immorality that follows. What a Mandelian display of the Machiavellian in us!
Thank you, Howie, for edutainment!
Hand grabbing money photo available from Shutterstock
Somov, P. (2012). “Take It All” – A Mandelian Display of the Machiavelian. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindful-living/2012/12/take-it-all-a-mandelian-display-of-the-machiavelian/