Deconstructing Debt

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In this interview economic anthropologist David Graeber disputes the standard theory that the monetary system replaces the barter system, arguing that credit and debt come before money.

Graeber sheds light on the complex relationship between debt and morality, transitions from commodity to virtual money, and the relative importance of money versus debt, before dipping into the current financial crisis.

“There are always going to be lots of different sorts of principles at play simultaneously in any social or economic system – which is why we can never really boil these things down to a science. Economics tries to, but it does it by ignoring everything except exchange.”

(Via Maud Newton)


Lisa Dusenbery is the former managing editor of The Rumpus. More from this author →