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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.

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a form of rationality or logic and mobilized by definite social forces. In capitalism, the prevailing logic is the logic of differential accumulation, and given that debt instruments far outweigh equity instruments, we can safely claim that interest-bearing debt is the primary way in which economic inequality is generated as more money is redistributed to creditors. In other words, debt instruments effectively divide society into debtors and creditors within a power structure that vastly privileges the latter over the former. However, we know this is a bold claim

in Debt as Power
Open Access (free)
A Party of the 99% and the Power of Debt

forgiver by dying for its sins (see Ahn 2010; Graeber 2011: 76ff). This idea that the debtor–creditor relationship is central to our sense of moral obligation, and that ultimate power can be conceptualized as the debtor–creditor relationship, puts the lie to the classical economic idea that money is neutral and simply a means of exchange, a unit of account and store of value. If you have the power to create money through the medium of interest-bearing debt, once you lend it into existence, you 126 Debt as Power are replicating what, for Nietzsche, is the primal

in Debt as Power
Open Access (free)
War, National Debt, and the Capitalized State

lend to borrowers with differential interest rates.8 Nor does the creation of money depend upon someone entering a commercial bank to make a deposit (Sheard 2013). Commercial banks are quite simply “merchants of debt” that produce and allocate needed money as interest-bearing debt (Minsky cited in Ingham 2004: 161). In traditional economic accounts, money is said to play at least three roles in society: a medium of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of account or measure of value. Following Innes and Keynes, Ingham (2004) argues that the unit of account function

in Debt as Power
Open Access (free)
The Debt–Growth–Inequality Nexus

intrinsically good, particularly when weighed against the negative externalities it produces that include environmental devastation, the centralization of power, and dysfunctional social relations, growth (or, more accurately, capital accumulation) is necessary to ensure that the financial system does not freeze up or collapse and take the rest of the society with it. That is the price we pay and the dilemma we face for granting to private interests the right to issue money as interest-bearing debt. Currently total global debt exceeds $199 trillion or almost 300 percent of

in Debt as Power