Quote of the day

Jodi Dean calls for a debt strike:

A debtors’ strike is about using the power that debt gives to people to demand concessions.

There are, however, obvious difficulties. To begin with, the stigma that debt holds must be overcome. The idea of refusing to repay a loan seems offensive. If you sign a contract, it’s your moral – not to mention legal — duty to pay it back. However, this misses the fact that debt is a political, and not a personal, issue.

Climbing private indebtedness is the outcome of a deliberate strategy on the part of banks and a wilful [sic] impotence on the part of government. Banks developed, sold, and lobbied against the regulation of corrosive debt instruments. They cannot, then, demand that the rest of the population bleed so they can maintain their practises. When the creditor-debtor relation is seen properly, as a socio-economic arrangement, negotiation becomes a fact, as well as an economic necessity.

The next problem is building a movement big enough. A one-man debt strike is as useless as a one-man labour strike, but the quest for a mass debt strike may actually be more plausible.

Indeed. Building a massive network — that is, generating popular solidarity — is always the first task opponents of the current system must complete before they and their movement solve the compelling problems of the day.

The reasons for seeking to achieve a debt strike are obvious — especially obvious to the debt-ridden.

A photo taken in Poland during the time (1980) of Solidarność

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