The Economy of Jolly Roger's Lagoon
The small and intricate anti-capitalist economy of a village in Banjo-Tooie
…Did you know there is a small market economy in the village of Jolly Roger’s Lagoon? Jolly Roger’s Lagoon is located near Cliff Top in the Isle O’ Hags, a world found in the video game Banjo-Tooie (2000).
The Lagoon’s currency is Doubloons. Doubloons are traded among the villagers and tourists.
The doubloon looks like this:
And when found on the ground, it’s like this:
In total, there are only 30 doubloons found around the village. Supposedly there is more, but the lagoon’s economy only accepts doubloons and no other currency!
There are only three shops in Jolly Roger’s Lagoon; Jolly’s Tavern, Pawno's Emporium, and Captain Blubber’s Waveracer Hire.
Doubloons are referred to as “dollars.” This is because there is a “$” symbol found on the Jolly Tavern’s menu.
Because there are only 30 doubloons scattered around the village, tourists and foreign pirates might have earned doubloons from somewhere else, and that max number might as well be somewhere around 500 doubloons in the wild.
Anyone can also buy food for around 3 to 5 doubloons at Jolly’s Tavern, but who does? Jolly, the manager of the tavern, is seeking to obtain more doubloons when necessary, and not as a desire. Profit is never common in Jolly Roger’s Lagoon, and this is why their economy is so special.
What else can be bought in Jolly Roger’s Lagoon?
Not that much.
At Pawno's Emporium, on display is a Gruntilda doll, a portrait of Brentilda, and a box titled “B-K” with special goodies inside. They could be for sale, but who exactly would buy such things? Banjo-Kazooie only buys the Jiggy piece and the Cheato page is sold here.
You can also sell and thrift things for Pawno. But how much does Pawno exactly have in exchange? Pawno is not reporting how many doubloons he has. There is a bag of gold coins on the back counter, but there is no telling if they are doubloons or not.
As for Captain Blubber, he operates a “wave racer” rental store. There is both a green and blue wave racer for rent. Both are jet skis for categorical purposes.
And finally, as mentioned before, most tourists are likely going to stay at Jolly’s Tavern, which charges two doubloons for a room, two for a “Ginger beer” drink, and the rest of the food is on the menu, along with a broken jukebox.
The rental room has a single bed, a drawer, and a window.
And there is a cozy backroom with a drunk pirate!
When Banjo-Kazooie is in town, they only spend their doubloons on a Jiggy piece for 20 dollars, 5 for a Cheato page, 1 for a box of Turbo Trainers, and 2 to rent a room in the Tavern. That’s it. They don’t even bother buying a drink or playing a song out of the jukebox.
A small economy with a village population of 10! How can 30 doubloons circulate between all of them and still function as a society? Who visits the place other than Banjo-Kazooie? Does this Epicurean society need capitalism at all?
No. Not at all.
Jolly Roger’s Lagoon follows a market socialist economy. An economy where businesses compete for profit, but every enterprise is owned and operated by the community or by individuals who contribute. Jolly at his Tavern may be getting more doubloons than Captain Blubber, but his profits go back into helping the community and never interfering with the markets of others. The three markets in Jolly Roger’s Lagoon benefit the Epicurean society of 10.
These members include,
Merry Maggie Malpass
And his son, Tiptup Jr.
Tourists need to apply for citizenship in Jolly Roger’s Lagoon. Tourists have a 30-day limit to their stay. If they stay longer, they can become a citizen in the circumstance they contribute to the welfare of Jolly Roger’s Lagoon.
In essence, socialist societies and punk rock houses in major cities should emulate their economy and community around the fictional village of Jolly Roger’s Lagoon. I call this political model, “The Lagoon Effect.” As capitalism breaks down when a certain population is reached, socialism is effective in small communities, and the state should not interfere. (The state that could harm Jolly Roger’s Lagoon is the authority of Isle O’ Hags or the Jinjo Village).
While market socialism can thrive with a bigger population, it’s good to start with,
A currency max of 100 doubloons, but 30 doubloons are distributed in the village.
And a population of 10 people.
With these key ingredients together, all virtual realities become possible, and a healthy economy and culture can be constructed on these principles alone.
If I were on vacation, I would want to visit Jolly Roger’s Lagoon in Banjo-Tooie. If I lived there, I wouldn’t worry about the stress of work, the anxiety of my welfare, or the struggle to survive, because profit no longer commands the means of production.
The market socialist economy of Jolly Roger’s Lagoon cares about humanity. We should invest our wealth into trading and collecting doubloons.