An illuminating excerpt from David Graeber’s forthcoming book Debt: The First 5,000 Years can be found on the website triple canopy :
In the ancient world, it was not debt that was considered sacred, but rather the power to make it disappear. We are, it seems, long overdue for a contemporary Jubilee, one that would affect consumer debt as well as international debt, and that would not only relieve a great amount of human suffering but also remind us that money is not ineffable, that paying one’s debt is not the essence of morality, that borrowing and lending are human arrangements, and that if democracy is to mean anything, it is the ability to all agree to arrange things differently.
“The power to make debt disappear.”
Indeed, paying debt is not the essence of morality. Traditionally, debt has been seen as bondage, slavery and sin. The opposite of debt is EQUITY. Ownership. Ownership signifies responsibility.
Selah. Stop and think about it.
Some articles I have been reading this week. On debt, economic crisis, jubilee.
The reset button needs to be pressed, there is no other option. The next generation will not and should not pay for the mistakes of a few who continue to enjoy their privileges and are supported by the word of law written and influenced by themselves.
Pressing the reset button means the permanent writing off of just about all debt, sovereign and individual. A ‘debt jubilee’. But if the reset button is pressed there is a real danger that the prudent will lose out. For every debtor paying interest there is an investor or saver receiving interest (with finance institutions in the middle of course). So they should be rewarded proportionately to the wealth write-offs and those who profit at the expense of the majority should be penalized proportionately.
This is called fairness, which is an alien concept to anyone who wants to maintain the current crumbling system at any cost (to others).