The Jenga Economy

The global economy is a giant game of jenga – it only gets bigger by undermining its own foundations, and will inevitably collapse.

You know how to play jenga, right?  Build a tower with wooden blocks, then extract blocks that give the tower stability, and use them to make the tower larger, until the whole thing topples with a satisfying crash.  Winners and losers don’t matter, the whole point is to build the tower, and watch it fall.

You know how to grow the economy, right?  You get a whole bunch of forests, rivers, mountains, animals and people – a whole planet’s worth – and collectively name them ‘resources’.  Kill or enslave all these things and turn them into money.  Definitely don’t ask them if they want to play.  They are the blocks, not the players.  They don’t have a choice.  Build a tower of money, on a foundation of resources.  The only way to make the tower bigger is to destroy its foundations, the real things that make it possible for the towering economy to exist.  It will of course topple down, as it reaches a point of no longer having the strength to hold its weight.

The foundation has already largely decayed.

Those who find themselves living on the higher storeys of the tower – those who have become dependent on money, rather than forests, mountains, rivers, animals and people – are unlikely to survive the fall.

The players of the economy game don’t want to see the precarious nature of their construction.  They want to believe it can keep getting bigger forever.  Their attention is so focussed on the top of the tower that they can’t or won’t see its rapidly crumbling base.

I’m all for spoiling their game, knocking it down right away.  I don’t want to play, or be played.  The rules of this game don’t make sense anyway.

I know I’m not the first person to compare the global economy to a game of jenga.  There’s even someone selling Jenga Economy t-shirts.  Buy now.  Your purchase will remove one more block from the foundation, add one more block to the top of the tower, and bring the point of collapse just that little bit nearer.

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Viridescent at Bali and commented:
    Who’s just going to keep playing?


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