David Graeber: “DEBT: The First 5,000 Years” | Talks at Google

DEBT: The First 5000 Years While the “national debt” has been the concern du jour of many economists, commentators and politicians, little attention is ever …


47 Replies to “David Graeber: “DEBT: The First 5,000 Years” | Talks at Google”

  1. Much more interesting than all his ramblings about debt is the question of why he keeps picking up the coffee cup, holding it for a moment without drinking from it, and then putting it back down. Is he some kind of mental patient?

  2. My parents made the mistake of making more humans. I'll never forgive them for that. Luckily I'm smarter and I will not make more human copies to suffer a few years and live through a shitstorm of nonsense (and maybe do it to others too) on this planet and then without exemption disappear again. It's all an unnecessary heap of shit we have to go through. You have the power to make it stop by not breeding. Think about it. Please.

  3. I like how he completely ignores the need for barter in a situation a trader stops through an area for a week or two and need goods now since they won't be around to take place in a wink-wink, nudge-nudge giftconomy.

  4. He's never gonna drink from that cup…. He's not supposed to.

    Even in the future, in another time and place, he'll not drink from another cup either. And it's ALL a deliberate focus point (or ploy) to make you store info as you focus deeper onto the cup and relax and casually press CTRL + S into your minds keyboard and save the info you are receiving, highly important info you'll need to recall from time to time.

    You'll remember the name David Graeber and the important info you were given, with ease.

    Keep focusing on the cup and relax, the info is going in… relax.

  5. David says everyone is in debt –hmm? I can think of two groups of people that are probably not in debt – those people over 80 who have pensions – these people bought their houses when they were cheap they have long been paid off and have made them money and their pensions subsidizes what SS doesnt pay (this is my Dad) and the second is homeless people — nobody will give these people credit so they have no debt.

  6. You might well find that the effort and work involved to organize a debt jubilee may well be greater than if one applied one self to earning more money and paying back the debt. Just a thought.

  7. at no point did u deal with the money system and unhowsymetrical it is…the people issuing the money have far more power than people working for that system…its always been asymmetrical …the banking system has always been about taking more from you than me its how we got what called fractional reserve banking…and its always been unequal…because if if someone makes you a loan for something they dont really have then you dont owe them at all, youve been swindled…thats modern banking…its not a simple transaction between people trying to make a deal thats reasonable…its im gonna fck u so hard and u wont see coming…thats why the banking and financial system is broke

  8. "Commerce says we ought to frame everything in terms of debt and exchanges, but actually… we can't". What a devastatingly poignant and even, dare I say authoritative statement of our humanity. To sum it up so shortly: "We can't." We just can't, it just goes against every fiber of our being, and if we do transgress this limit, what hell are we in for…

  9. Wonder no more peeps, they're going to elect a mentally ill TV actor who played an authoritarian entrepreneur and he's going to recreate the set of circumstances that led to banks over leveraging in the 2000s.

    Prepare to take to the streets and demand Fully Automated Eco-Communism.

  10. When I was a kid, I would let people borrow things. Sadly some of my black "friends" thought it was okay to steal from the white kid and just never gave it back. I don't know maybe they thought my parents owned slaves or something despite the fact we lived in the same poor neighborhood. One actually threatened me when I asked for the item back. This happened again within the last year to me when I lent money to my Hispanic "friend" to help him out of a bind. He apparently justified in his mind that I had plenty of money and he didn't need to pay me back. I like to help people but I'm not an altruist. Hard to build community when people do not play by the same rules. Sorry to make this a racial issue but my white and Asian friends pay their debts back in my limited experience. Any racism I harbor is directly related to my experience lending things to other races. My guess is that this whole experience is based on racism. The perception that white people have enough and can afford loss is also racism.

  11. Moral of the story: don't lend anybody money, except for small sums to your neighbours. This way, you won't sin, you won't be a loser if you happen to live in a culture that practices jubilee years and you could use the money you keep to do what all good men do – buy land and slaves/serfs so you can expand your capital the proper way.

  12. "debt is a business transaction"
    – According to whom?
    "a business transaction is an arrangement btwn two legally equivalent entities"
    – So what? Is your legal obligation to a bank any different today from the relationship that an ancient peasant had to his gods?

    Doesn't sound like debt is absurd. It's not fun but it's by no means irrational.

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