Monday, December 19, 2011

Debt and Resistance

Debt by David Graeber

Graeber offers an argument for why debt constitutes society.

He also cites an interesting situation in Madagascar in which people were able to participate in imperialism only to the extent necessary to survive, but remained effectively subtracted from colonial control by refusing to use their money to buy into the narcotic trip of consumer products culture. I'm used to seeing situations in which that kind of gesture makes control more effective by making it livable (for example, the fact that I can buy fair trade coffee allows me to cope with my participation in global capital by calming my liberal guilt, foreclosing any kind of more radical act that would actually threaten the status quo). I'm interested in reading this book to see how that strategy worked and what became of it in the long run.

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