DAVID GRAEBER ~ DEBT – THE FIRST 5,000 YEARS ~ 2011 + 2012

~ IOTORCHTFSOFMEPDIWOZ-TTCHNAT-ANW ~ In Order To Obtain Refinancing Countries Have To Follow Some Orthodox Free-Market Economic Policy Designed In Washington Or Zurich – That Their Citizens Had Never Agreed To – And Never Would

~ IWABDTITCADC-ATAIT-WGE-THNCOTCPA ~ It Was A Bit Dishonest To Insist That Countries Adopt Democratic Constitutions – And Then Also Insists That – Whoever Gets Elected – They Have No Control Over Their Country Policies Anyway

~ FTOY-TSBRAPHLTTFOCBCAD-OAB-IP-DP-A-R-R-TSOS-TSOV-TSODCIS ~ For Thousands Of Years – The Struggle Between Rich And Poor Has Largely Taken The Form Of Conflicts Between Creditors And Debtors – Of Arguments About – Interest Payment – Debt Peonage – Amnesty – Repossession – Restitution – The Sequestering Of Sheep – The Seizing Of Vineyards – The Selling Of Debtors’ Children Into Slavery

~ FTLFTY-WRR-PIHB-WTRDOTDR-CTDARTL ~ For The Last Five Thousand Years – With Remarkable Regularity – Popular Insurrections Have Begun – With The Ritual Destruction Of The Debt Records – Cancel The Debts And Redistribute The Land

~ AAWROWTWHPACRISOBVORAW ~ Arguments About Who Really Owes What To Whom Have Played A Central Role In Shaping Our Basic Vocabulary Of Right And Wrong

~ TNNAVM-A-TWTOFOM ~ There’s Nothing New About Virtual Money – Actually – This Was The Original Form Of Money

~ ITCSV-TSATM-TAAEADOP-HRR-H-TWBTAHABI ~ In That Common Sense View – The State And The Market – Tower Above All Else As Diametrically Opposed Principles – Historical Reality Reveals – However – They Were Born Together And Have Always Been Intertwined

~ NOIIMTMDP-MADAOTSAETST ~ Not Only Is It Money That Makes Debt Possible – Money And Debt Appear On The Scene At Exactly The Same Time

~ SOTVFWDTHCDTUAMTRCAD ~ Some Of The Very First Written Documents That Have Come Down To Us Are Mesopotamian Tablets Recording Credits And Debits

~ TSOMFEABWAFWOB-TPIWTLTFITAS-WWNCVMCF ~ The Story Of Money For Economists Always Begins With A Fantasy World Of Barter – The Problem Is Where To Locate This Fantasy In Time And Space – What We Now Call Virtual Money Came First

~ B-ATBLAKOABOTUOCOPM-IHMBWPWAUTCTDWFOROATHNATC ~ Barter – Appears To Be Largely A Kind Of Accidental Byproduct Of The Use Of Coinage Or Paper Money – It Has Mainly Been What People Who Are Used To Cash Transactions Do When For One Reason Or Another They Have No Access To Currency

~ A-TFRWF-’F’-IAKHL-LM-’RTM’ ~ Amargi – The First Recorded Word For – “Freedom” – In Any Known Human Language – Literally Means – “Return To Mother”

~ SCM-MRS-NCCWTO-AL-IALTFWWRT ~ States Created Markets – Markets Require States – Neither Could Continue Without The Other – At Least – In Anything Like The Forms We Would Recognize Today

~ C-MWNITOTIOBBN-SNWHNRTEIBITFP ~ Clearly – Money Was Not Invented To Overcome The Inconveniences Of Barter Between Neighbors – Since Neighbors Would Have No Reason To Engage In Barter In The First Place

~ TSASA-CTTS-AT-DTEFITK-OTPOOTCB-NEF-IOTGTHOTC-MFSWT-PSWTTW-MABIEAASE ~ To Support A Standing Army – Coins To The Soldiers – And Then – Demands That Every Family In The Kingdom – Obliged To Pay One Of Those Coins Back – Now Every Family – In Order To Get Their Hands On The Coins – Must Find Some Way To – Provide Soldiers With Things They Want – Markets Are Brought Into Existence As A Side Effect

~ DTDLA-TTEOSAMASO-THRITETOITC-SSTATBWM ~ Despite The Dogged Liberal Assumption – That The Existence Of States And Markets Are Somehow Opposed – The Historical Record Implies That Exactly The Opposite Is The Case – Stateless Societies Tend Also To Be Without Markets

~ WIEO-OTLFTY-MHBE-ACOTS ~ Whatever Its Earliest Origins – Of The Last Four Thousand Years – Money Has Been Effectively – A Creature Of The State

~ MIC-ICBBIBBPCA-TSMETAADTLT ~ Money Is Credit – It Can Be Brought Into Being By Private Contractual Agreements – The State Merely Enforces The Agreement And Dictates The Legal Terms

~ AOTISTGBTSSOO-’SC’-TESAO-TNORKEWOBW-OWWSBBBTDODAOTOM-WWDFPBBTDOODAOAE ~ All Of This Is Said To Go Back To Some Sort Of Original – “Social Contract” – That Everyone Somehow Agreed On – Though No One Really Knows Exactly When Or By Whom – Or Why We Should Be Bound By The Decisions Of Distant Ancestors On This One Matter – When We Don’t Feel Particularly Bound By The Decisions Of Our Distant Ancestors On Anything Else

~ TBBSAM-BGAM-INITTHC ~ The Battle Between State And Market – Between Governments And Merchants – Is Not Inherent To The Human Condition

~ ‘F’-CTRAATRFTEOD ~“Freedom” – Came To Refer Above All To Release From The Effects Of Debt

~ AHRABOSVOR-IS-TDRIATROAM-BDIWHWSBHNYBR ~ All Human Relations Are Based On Some Variation On Reciprocity – If So – Then Debt Really Is At The Root Of All Morality – Because Debt Is What Happens When Some Balance Has Not Yet Been Restored

~ WEA-C-WOCF ~ We Are All – Communists – With Our Closest Friends

~ NRMOWWWTLIAPWNDLAOA ~ No Reasonable Man Or Woman Would Want To Live In A Place Where Neighbors Don’t Look After One Another

~ GASCADFCABOSF:TCBS ~ Gold And Silver Coins Are Distinguished From Credit Arrangements By One Spectacular Feature: They Can Be Stolen

~ MCSC ~ Military-Coinage-Slavery Complex

~ MATHFE-ITNEAL-AASEOGAS ~ Markets Appear To Have First Emerge – In The Near East At Least – As A Side Effect Of Government Administrative Systems

~ WUTATCAMATST-B-IMWTCREWBCAO-WMAWOEGTTMOM-CIFAFTAOUMTGMM-TEWTDTIBESKOFODFRM ~ We’re Use To Assuming That Capitalism And Markets Are The Same Thing – But – In Many Ways They Could Equally Well Be Conceived As Opposites – While Markets Are Ways Of Exchanging Goods Through The Medium Of Money – Capitalism Is First And Foremost The Art Of Using Money To Get More Money – The Easiest Way To Do This Is By Establishing Some Kind Of Formal Or De Facto Monopoly

~ B-1520A1650-UTOGASFMAPWTATAAPISTS-VLOTGASLVLIE-MOTGEUITII-ATOMOTSBWUSOTC-EHNPMOATAWTB-SIWFTPISFSSSAOI ~ Between – 1520 and 1640 – Untold Tons Of Gold And Silver From Mexico And Peru Were Transported Across The Atlantic And Pacific In Spanish Treasure Ships – Very Little Of That Gold And Silver Lingered Very Long In Europe – Most Of The Gold Ended Up In Temples In India – And The Overwhelming Majority Of The Silver Bullion Was Ultimately Shipped Off To China – Europe Had Never Produced Much Of Anything That Asians Wanted To Buy – So It Was Forced To Pay In Specie For Silks, Spices, Steel, And Other Imports

~ TEYOEEWLATGAET-EL-O-TNSOGASWWTPFT ~ The Early Years Of European Expansion Were Largely Attempts To Gain Access Either To – Eastern Luxuries – Or – To New Sources Of Gold And Silver With Which To Pay For Them

~ THTBPIM-EB-IC-CTBTMAIHITMA-BMOVFOVCM-T-PN-O-STKTOWOWTW ~ Taxes Had To Be Paid In Metal – Everyday Business – In Contrast – Continued To Be Transacted Much As It Had In The Middle Ages – By Means Of Various Forms Of Virtual Credit Money – Tallies – Promissory Notes – Or – Simply The Keeping Track Of Who Owed What To Whom

~ CC-WELBS-O-WPRTAT-TLBPAOS-AA-GASWUBTGTPAAPS ~ Cold Cash – Was Employed Largely Between Strangers – Or – When Paying Rents, Tithes, And Taxes – To Landlords, Bailiffs, Priest, And Other Superiors – Above All – Gold And Silver Were Used By The Government To Purchase Arms And Pay Soldiers

~ TGCTMWENTP ~ The Great Conversation That Many Were Expecting Never Took Place

~ WCTWEBWCNLIAATWBEW ~ We Cling To What Exists Because We Can No Longer Imagine An Alternative That Wouldn’t Be Even Worse

~ ASTRTWTNCOBHIPBW ~ Any System That Reduces The World To Numbers Can Only Be Held In Place By Weapons

~ ITLSOT-JANOHTRTTUOTV-NOHTRTTUWWTO ~ In The Largest Scheme Of Things – Just As No One Has The Right To Tell Us Our True Value – No One Has The Right To Tell Us What We Truly Owe

DAVID GRAEBER ~ THE UTOPIA OF RULES

~ BHBTWIWWS ~ Bureaucracy Has Become The Water In Which We Swim

~ WNLLTTAB-YIIEAOOE ~ We No Longer Like To Think About Bureaucracy – Yet It Informs Every Aspect Of Our Existence

~ H-MAGEASEOGO-EMO-OWDCBGP-THBTALSTIOC-WWFCAPAAMOPS ~ Historically – Markets Are Generally Either A Side Effect Of Government Operations – Especially Military Operations – Or Were Directly Created By Government Policy – This Has Been True At Least Since The Invention Of Coinage – Which Was First Created And Promulgated As A Means Of Provisioning Soldiers

~ ITOTMAFMERQTTMP ~ It Turned Out That Maintaining A Free Market Economy Required A Thousand Times More Paperwork

~ TILOL-AMR-ITRRTAPMF-WHTUEO-ITTNOR-TTAOP-ATTNOB ~ The Iron Law Of Liberalism – Any Market Reform – Intended To Reduce Red Tape And Promote Market Forces – Will Have The Ultimate Effect Of – Increasing The Total Number Of Regulations – The Total Amount Of Paperwork – And The Total Number Of Bureaucrats

~ TUSI-AFWOACHB-APBS-TRIISETOIBMABHAS-FCTTLTTDOFAO-EFTPS ~ The United States Is – And For Well Over A Century Has Been – A Profoundly Bureaucratic Society – The Reason It Is So Easy To Overlook Is Because Most American Bureaucratic Habits And Sensibilities – From The Clothing To The Language To The Design Of Forms And Offices – Emerged From The Private Sector

~ WTROTFS-IIBAITSWIPAWIP ~ With The Rise Of The Financial Sector – It Is Becoming Almost Impossible To Say What Is Public And What Is Private

~ TVDOABR ~ The Very Definition Of A Bureaucratic Runaround

~ SBLANRM‘D’–YCFIITPMAAWTRBASIIF ~ Simply By Labelling A New Regulatory Measure “Deregulation” – You Can Frame It In The Public Mind As A Way To Reduce Bureaucracy And Set Individual Initiative Free

~ TGFOPAPPIASE-RWRAR-WUPITEWITFOP-DNYHAN-TIIIS-TTCHLBWLAWTTAT ~ The Gradual Fusion Of Public And Private Power Into A Single Entity – Rife With Rules And Regulations – Whose Ultimate Purpose Is To Extract Wealth In The Form Of Profits – Does Not Yet Have A Name – That In Itself Is Significant – These Things Can Happen Largely Because We Lack A Way To Talk About Them

~ TAOTB ~ The Age Of Total Bureaucratization

~ TNCWTESLATWTTEOAI-EWCTOAPOC ~ The New Credo Was That Everyone Should Look At The World Through The Eyes Of An Investor – Everyone Would Come To Own A Piece Of Capitalism

~ I-CPIAANDFCOIAA-BFF-WM-U-FOPD ~ Increasingly – Corporate Profits In America Are Not Derived From Commerce Or Industry At All – But From Finance – Which Means – Ultimately – From Other People’s Debts

~ AWSHCTRTAGCM-RTSOAE-EDSATTCFBPTABTTBT ~ As Whole Societies Have Come To Represent Themselves As Giant Credentialized Meritocracies – Rather Than Systems Of Arbitrary Extraction – Everyone Duly Scurries About Trying To Curry Favor By Pretending They Actually Believe This To Be True

~ TITOH ~ The Inevitable Tide Of History

~ WIBTAITO ‘FT’&T‘FM’RETSCCOTWFEPSABS ~ What Was Being Talked About In Terms Of “Free Trade” And The “Free Market” Really Entailed The Self-Conscious Completion Of The World’s First Effective Planetary-Scale Administrative Bureaucratic System

~ TWFEPSABS ~ The World’s First Effective Planetary-Scale Administrative Bureaucratic System

~ DNOTIOTAACF-TCISNAIV-TWA-AOISAUW-BTODITDOSF ~ Do Not Overestimate The Importance Of Technology As A Causative Factor – Technological Change Is Simply Not An Independent Variable – Technology Will Advance – And Often In Surprising And Unexpected Ways – But The Overall Direction It Takes Depends On Social Factors

~ TAREBAWOATAWTEIAF-TUIATAATBTUEOHB ~ Talking About Rational Efficiency Becomes A Way Of Avoiding Talking About What The Efficiency Is Actually For – The Ultimately Irrational Aims That Are Assumed To Be The Ultimate Ends Of Human Behavior

~ ARCNELOFWPFITMPPFBAT ~ All Rich Countries Now Employ Legions Of Functionaries Whose Primary Function Is To Make Poor People Feel Bad About Themselves

~ WITWOSDCDOASEFIBTAOTPTVIUAPOP ~ What Is The World Of Securitized Derivatives, Collateralized Debt Obligations, And Other Such Exotic Financial Instruments But The Apotheosis Of The Principle That Value Is Ultimately A Product Of Paperwork

~ TPOFHMTAEIPOCPCITFOREOOSOA ~ The Process Of Financialization Has Meant That An Ever-Increasing Proportion Of Corporate Profits Come In The Form Of Rent Extraction Of One Sort Or Another

~ OLHCTBOATFOOF ~ Our Lives Have Come To Be Organized Around The Filling Out Of Forms

~ DZOTI ~ Dead Zones Of The Imagination

~ B-P&P-ATBOISAWATGTASPOAWNBATPTTAE ~ Bureaucracies – Public And Private – Appear To Be Organized In Such A Way As To Guarantee That A Significant Proportion Of Actors Will Not Be Able To Perform Their Tasks As Expected

~ PIB ~ Paperwork Is Boring

~ PABWW ~ Police Are Bureaucrats With Weapons

~ B‘R’UMTSTEOTSTOV-NIARBTCKY ~ Being “Realistic” Usually Means Taking Seriously The Effects Of The Systematic Threat Of Violence – National Interest Are Real Because They Can Kill You

~ PMYL ~ Power Makes You Lazy

~ CPRSMWTPFTM ~ Charismatic Prophets Rarely Suffer Much When Their Prophecies Fail To Materialize

~ WHWTEFN-TWHTCTIWTFOCTSPPIOEO ~ When Historians Write The Epitaph For Neoliberalism – They Will Have To Conclude That It Was The Form Of Capitalism That Systematically Prioritized Political Imperatives Over Economic Ones

~ DDJSWIWHRCAMP-LA-IL-W? ~ Does Destroying Job Security While Increasing Working Hours Really Create A More Productive – Let Alone – Innovative, Loyal – Workforce?

~ TIIOGUAPF-HLAPTALSAOFTOITCW ~ The Increasing Interpenetration Of Government, University, And Private Firms – Has Led All Parties To Adopt Language, Sensibilities, And Organizational Forms That Originated In The Corporate World

~ IYLAHH-YCF-H-ET-ODPAES ~ If You Look At Human History – You Can Find – Hundreds – Even Thousands – Of Different Political And Economic Systems

~ MEA-AAHB-EBLBOOOSOA-TWITOCMASD-BMAE-BFAV-IAPOTBMS ~ Most Economists Are – And Always Have Been – Employed By Large Bureaucratic Organizations Of One Sort Or Another – The Whole Idea That One Can Make A Strict Division – Between Means And Ends – Between Facts And Values – Is A Product Of The Bureaucratic Mind-Set

~ RAAFOS ~ Rationalism As A Form Of Spirituality

~ CPHDAAATTTINSTAPTDFE-AHBWEWNBATTAA ~ Cognitive Psychologists Have Demonstrated Again And Again That There Is No Such Thing As Pure Thought Divorced From Emotions – A Human Being Without Emotions Would Not Be Able To Think At All

~ TBOTAF ~ The Bureaucratization Of The Antibureaucratic Fantasy

~ BAEIASRTBC ~ Barbarians Always Exist In A Symbiotic Relation To Bureaucratic Civilization

~ BCG-TJGTAINSF ~ Bureaucracies Create Games – They’re Just Games That Are In No Sense Fun

~ WULBTAOBIFOP ~ What Ultimately Lies Behind The Appeal Of Bureaucracy Is Fear Of Play

~ TFOGOKITMOHS ~ The Freedom Of Gods Or Kings Is The Measure Of Human Slavery

~ TLO-AHTZWSVITUEOTR-HETDARAEPAOHA ~ The Legal Order – And Hence The Zones Where State Violence Is The Ultimate Enforcer Of The Rules – Has Expanded To Define And Regulate Almost Every Possible Aspect Of Human Activity

~ F-ITTOTFPOHCATRIICG ~ Freedom – Is The Tension Of The Free Play Of Human Creativity Against The Rules It Is Constantly Generating

~ IJFTIOBGFTS-IAS-D ~ I Just Find The Idea Of Being Governed From The Shadows – In Any Sense – Distasteful

~ HDOTTDB-‘TP’-AAMRM?~ How Does One Tell The Difference Between – “The People” And A Mere Rampaging Mob?

~ WBTLOTWSOTCOTP-DTFTTOPWWERCOTMLOTHYA ~ We Base The Legitimacy Of The Whole System On The Consent Of The People – Despite The Fact That The Only People Who Were Ever Really Consulted On The Matter Lived Over Two Hundred Years Ago

~ TMWTRIWOALAIWKOOPASCTCC ~ The Message Was That Rebellious Imagination Was Okay As Long As It Was Kept Out Of Politics And Simply Confined To Consumer Choices