Debt is not moral, morality is not debt


Ok, first off:

"Debt: the first 5000 years" by David Graeber

You need to read this book. Now. Neither history nor the present day make any sense without an understanding of money and debt. See previously. Go. Now. There is so much in this book, I can't hope to do it justice.

Two related points I would like to make.

1. Debt is not a sinful state, repayment of debt is not always just, creditors do not have a moral right to repayment, especially if usury is involved. Consciousness raising time. This is deeply ingrained, and when you hear it, or opine it yourself, I want you to be uncomfortable, and I want you to raise this point so other people are uncomfortable too.

2. Sin is not a state of debt. There is no possibility of repayment. Bad is bad, and good is good. Good actions by a person who has previously done bad are no better or worse than good actions by a person who has previously done good. As a utilitarian, I didn't realize this was how other people thought, but it does seem to be common. Things as simple as trying to lose weight (problem one: posing this as a moral issue) -- you indulge a little too much, so you feel you have to pay it off with some exercise. Nonsense. To eat or not is a simple cost-benefit analysis, the pleasure of the food versus a small increase in weight. The value of exercise is a function of your level of health, not a repayment of any particular previous consumption.

More to follow, I'm sure. I think there's a need reboot some of the historical constructs David was talking about in digital form. Bitcoin is clearly hopelessly mired in the world view it seeks to undermine. I'm thinking more along the lines of digital tally sticks, local currencies based on trust in the issuer, Islamic banking systems. Underlying protocols for a consensus reality -- a reality maintained while useful, discarded if it goes awry...

... Jubilee. Funny isn't it, how we retain the meaning of a time of celebration, but forget what the joy was about.