Open Access (free)

This book describes the explosion of debt across the global economy and related requirement of political leaders to pursue exponential growth to meet the demands of creditors and investors. It presents a historical account of the modern origins of capitalist debt by looking at how commercial money is produced as debt in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The book identifies the ways in which the control, production, and distribution of money, as interest-bearing debt, are used to discipline populations. It focuses on the histories of the development of the Bank of England and the establishment of permanent national debt with the intensification and expansion of debt, as a "technology of power", under colonialism in a global context. The book investigates the modern origins of debt as a technology of power by focusing on war, the creation of the "national" debt, and the capitalization of the organized force of the state. It addresses the consequences of modern regimes of debt and puts forward proposals of what needs to be done, politically, to reverse the problems generated by debt-based economies. The book utilizes the term "intensification" rather than spread or proliferation to think about both the amplification and spatial expansion of debt as a technology of power during the era of European colonialism and resistance. Finally, it also presents a convincing case for the 99" to use the power of debt to challenge present inequalities and outlines a platform for action suggesting possible alternatives.

Open Access (free)
Tim Di Muzio and Richard H. Robbins

a supporting actor in a much larger 5,000-year historico-anthropology of debt.12 Unlike Graeber, our starting point is the presence of power as a differential social relation, and we theorize debt not just as money owed but as a technology of differential power over others rooted in private ownership. So whereas Graeber muses that “what makes debt different is that it is premised on an assumption of equality,” we argue the exact opposite: the very foundation of modern capitalist debt is premised upon inequality or “differential power”— our preferred term (2011: 86

in Debt as Power