Debt By David Graeber Summary

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David Graeber is an American anthropologist, anarchist and an activist. He is a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics.
To begin with, Graeber uses definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary to define debt. Firstly, debt is defined as a sum of money owed. Secondly, it is the state owing money. Thirdly, it is a feeling of gratitude for a favor or service. Graeber then introduces the book with the following American Proverb: “If you owe the bank a hundred thousand dollars, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank a hundred million dollars, you own the bank”.
To further introduce the concept of Debt, Graeber recalls attending a garden party at Westminster Abbey. He met a woman who worked as legal support for anti-poverty groups in London. They began discussing the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Graeber postulates that the IMF are the world’s debt enforcers. However, Graeber then makes a cogent argument about how the IMF promotes the paradox that 3rd world countries must cut food stamps, education and other subsidies to experience double digit growth. Furthermore, Graeber recapitulates that there is a difference
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To clarify, Barter is when goods and services are exchanged for other goods and services directly instead of exchanging through money. The process of Barter proves to be difficult and inconvenient. An example of Barter is me looking for someone with a scarf I like. I must exchange a good of mine that the other party wants for the scarf. In light of barter, one must first understand Mesopotamia from 3500 to 800 BC to understand debt and credit. From the time of Mesopotamian tribes in 6000 BC, transactions would usually take place without the use of currency. Not to mention, some of the first written documents in human history are Mesopotamian tablets recording credits and debits. The earliest paradigms of moral philosophy reflect what it means to imagine morality as debt, in terms of

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