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CKUT's Off the Hour: In Conversation with Anthropologist David Graeber about his book Debt: The First 5000 Years

by Neal Rockwell

David Graeber
David Graeber

Neal Rockwell sat down with David Graeber while he was in Montreal last week. They talked about a number of topics from his book Debt: The First 5000 Years. These ranged from precapitalist economies, to markets which during certain periods have prevented rather than fostered capitalism and to how our contemporary concept of freedom originated from Roman property law and slave ownership.

David Graeber launched his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years in Montreal at QPIRG Concordia, Monday, November 21st.

This interview originally aired on CKUT's Off the Hour, Thursday, November 24, 5-6pm.

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neal rockwell (Neal Rockwell)
Montreal, Quebec
Member since November 2010


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bar baz


Over and over these two

Over and over these two describe the social/economic relationships as "communist".  The Maori example where the beggar is killed has nothing to do with communism but with a cheat who owed and never paid his debts.  the others enforced a bankruptcy on him.  The story of the Alaska natives who didn't want to hear "thank you" responded negatively because a thanks is not what is required but rather an acknowledgement of debt through repaying it later.  Economies didn't come from barter; as stated in this conversation but from debt.  Gold and silver are only markers for debts that cannot otherwise be paid.  They have no intrinsic value except for durability and scarcity combined with ease of transportation.  There isn't any communism in the societies that are referenced here.

Currency debasement doesn't cause inflation because it can still be used for taxes?  It is currency forced on people by the tax collector so of course yu pay your taxes, the same as you collect your wages, in the dictator's money.  They admit that foreigners would no longer accept this currency for the value it formerly held.  This is an advantage to the issuer because they get to spend it first, before the value is lost but the rest of the people, who are forced to use this less valuable counterfeit currency lose thier buying power and the value of their savings.  This broadcast is full of fallacies and misdirection.

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