Debt – The first 5000 years.


David Graeber

Throughout its 5000 year history, debt has always involved institutions – whether Mesopotamian sacred kingship, Mosaic jubilees, Sharia or Canon Law – that place controls on debt’s potentially catastrophic social consequences. It is only in the current era, writes anthropologist David Graeber, that we have begun to see the creation of the first effective planetary administrative system largely in order to protect the interests of creditors.

War is violence, War was the origin of slavery, War desensitizes the populace (the aggressor and the invaded populace) to a militant policing of every aspect of their lives, to extreme inequality, and to the abrupt deterioration of human rights. War requires debt to be financed and fought. Debt is used by institutions in many violent ways but none more directly violent than war.

In the recently released Costs of War Report the human, social, and financial costs of one specific war are encapsulated. This was a war initiated upon conscious lies and continued with deceit and policies that feign a desire for peace, freedom, and democracy while destroying the communities they claim to be defending. In short this is a large part of what is known as the Neo-Liberal agenda. This agenda is the abdication of all social responsibility by government and private institutions and that responsibility is shifted to the individual and populace. This agenda uses debt as a means of accomplishing it goals. This debt turns human beings into ATM’s for the government and corporations to be used at will. This debt is also used on a larger scale to enslave countries, communities, and systems of social functioning such as public transit, medical care, education, housing, and basic human needs. Under the Neo-Liberal paradigm the sovereignty of any human or country is non-existent, paying the lender at all costs even death is the only imperative. And the lenders are very concentrated. They consist of a few behemoth private banks, the IMF, and the World Bank. These banks form a cartel that works together to accomplish any goal they desire. They are vile, immoral, and unethical institutions that ensure their income through any means not the least of which is touting the immorality of not paying debt. This debt they claim moral ownership over was created out of thin air by them and is abolished among themselves and between large corporations at their leisure but they do not extend this same opportunity to the public at large. It is not hyperbole to say debt is a lie, debt is slavery, and debt is violence. An in-depth analysis of the issue indeed shows that these stark assessments are rational and sound. So what can we the populace do about our own enslavement?

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Just brilliant. So true that it hurts. Thank you for sharing.


  2. Posted by sofemveg on March 22, 2013 at 6:05 am

    revolution 😉


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