The legitimacy of a given social order rests on the legitimacy of its debts. Even in ancient times this was so. In traditional cultures, debt in a broad sense—gifts to be reciprocated, memories of help rendered, obligations not yet fulfilled—was a glue that held society together. But what if this is just a story?
Occupy’s Rolling Jubilee idea transcends politics and will be difficult for lenders to oppose.
Let’s replace our fixation on growth with a steady-state economy focusing on lower consumption, leisure and ecological health.
Perhaps selfishness is not human nature; perhaps it is an artifact of our system.
Debt: The First 5000 Years covers a vast sweep of history, anthropology, and political economy, arguing not so much for a single thesis as for a braid of complementary ideas.
The longer we hang on, the harder we scramble to apply one technical fix after another to our tottering money system, the more severe the crisis and its subsequent dislocation will be. The eventual result, however, is assured: a new system of money will emerge that is aligned with the priorities of the connected, interdependent self: sustainability, beauty, and wholeness.