Debt : The First System Of Economics Essay

1436 Words Oct 27th, 2016 6 Pages
There is a mysterious voice saying “We didn 't use money. In ancient times we used to barter commodities directly.” This voice appears in every society with money, and as Graeber believes, is fantasy. In his book Debt: The first 5,000 Years, Graeber states “We did not begin with barter, discover money, and then eventually develop credit systems. It happened precisely the other way around” (21). Graeber writes his book to dispel the widespread notion of the “Myth of Barter” and provides his own hypothesis that debt was the first system of economics.
Debt: The First 5,000 Years provides a brief history of economic anthropology, and explains how it impacts us today. What I enjoy about Graeber’s work is its challenge towards traditionally held ideologies. Graeber observes there lack of empathy towards humans because of the desire for money. Graeber provides instances of slavery and colonialism, in which humans were assigned a value for trade or a value in which they must produce for taxes. Perhaps the most important part of Graeber is the critical thinking he inspired. I scrutinized many of my long held subconscious ideas, such as my debt to society, and capitalism as the leading economic system. The book leaves me a desire to learn engage in more charitable actions as well as think critically on my role in society.
The book does come with substantial flaws when it comes to convincing skeptics. First, the presentation of his argument is written for a book and not a…

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