The Tyranny of Debt

all roads lead to wall street


Capitalism is an economic-political system of dependency and wage slavery.  Debt is one of the system´s instruments for the domestication and domination of human beings.  It constrains freedom and creativity, it generates fear, it discplines and shapes, through a diversity of apparatuses, human subjects.  Debt is a form of economic dominion, but also ethical and political constitution.  Subjects of debt can imagine no morality beyond law and command, beyond utility.  The sheer presence of human singularity brings with it no ethical appeal.  Like Melville´s Bartelby, an individual who can not prove her/his worth is beyond moral community.  To imagine an ethical-political reality beyond debt is therefore to move towards an ethics of presence, an ethics without "I" or "you", "mine" or "yours", but of a common, changing we.

From the Debtor's Jungle:

We are the Invisible Army of Defaulters. We are your neighbors. We are your family, your friends. We are millions. We are everywhere. We are going to bring the system to its knees. We can, because we wield the one power that all the armies of the world can never defeat: The power of refusal. This power has destroyed the mightest empires. The same fate awaits the current system of mafia capitalism in America, an economic system driven by Wall Street CEOs who produce nothing, contribute nothing, who have bought our government and reduced it into a criminal enterprise whose main purpose is to support loan-sharking, gambling, extortion, and the slow reduction of American citizens into debt peons. Every dollar we take from a subprime mortgage speculator, every dollar we save from a collection agency is a tiny piece of our own lives and freedom that we can give back to our communities. To be able to take care of our children, our friends, our families is a value that no accountant can ever measure, that no government, loan administrator, or hedge fund manager can ever have the right to take away from us. We are an army of lovers who cannot be defeated. We are laying the groundwork for another world. Strike debt.

Resist. Insist. Stand together. Build. Never give up. #S17.


David Graeber on Debt …



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