Toward a Stark Utopia
in Debt as Power

This chapter argues that debt within capitalist modernity is a social technology of power and its continued deployment heralds a stark utopia. Debt instruments effectively divide society into debtors and creditors within a power structure that vastly privileges the latter over the former. The chapter presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book traces the origins of debt as a technology of power to a confluence of events in seventeenth-century England. It argues that the invention of a funded long-term national debt was principally born to aggrandize the power of what Justin Rosenberg has called "the empire of civil society". The book examines the sovereign debt crisis in the so-called heartland of global capitalism or what Pettifor has called the "coming first world debt crisis".

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