Special Programming: Public Affairs on 01/24/12
Joe Clement speaks with David Graeber, professor, author and activist, about his book, Debt: The First 5,000 Years. Graeber shows that 5,000 years ago, during the beginning of the agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems. It is in this era, Graeber shows, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.
With the passage of time, however, virtual credit money was replaced by gold and silver coins—and the system as a whole began to decline. Interest rates spiked and the indebted became slaves. And the system perpetuated itself with tremendously violent consequences, with only the rare intervention of kings and churches keeping the system from spiraling out of control.
David Graeber speaks in Portland, Tuesday January 24th at 8pm, at The Alberta Rose Theatre. The event is presented by Reading Frenzy.
DAVID GRAEBER teaches anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the author of Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value, Lost People, and Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion, and Desire. He has written for Harper's, The Nation, Mute, and The New Left Review.