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48

The work of art in an age of unpayable debts: Social reproduction, geopolitics, and settler colonialism

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terms
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notes

Haiven, M. (2020). The work of art in an age of unpayable debts: Social reproduction, geopolitics, and settler colonialism. In Haiven, M. Revenge Capitalism: The Ghosts of Empire, the Demons of Capital, and the Settling of Unpayable Debts. Pluto Press, pp. 48-74

49

[...] Graeber's overarching argument is that debt (and money) don't emerge naturally from some neutral mechanism to hold society together; they emerge from power and coercion. Rather than money being a neutral human tool that then inequitably accumulates in the pockets of some rather than others, money and debt were "invented," so to speak, in order to normalize, legitimize, and facilitate power. [...]

—p.49 by Max Haiven 3 years, 6 months ago

[...] Graeber's overarching argument is that debt (and money) don't emerge naturally from some neutral mechanism to hold society together; they emerge from power and coercion. Rather than money being a neutral human tool that then inequitably accumulates in the pockets of some rather than others, money and debt were "invented," so to speak, in order to normalize, legitimize, and facilitate power. [...]

—p.49 by Max Haiven 3 years, 6 months ago
56

What would it mean to take this debt to future generations seriously? It would likely mean the relentless struggle to abolish a system that condemns so many of them (of all of us) to a fate of unpayable debt, financial debt but also the toxic legacies we leave behind: climate debt, ecological debt, the sociological debts of a world riven by inequality, and the violence it products.

—p.56 by Max Haiven 3 years, 6 months ago

What would it mean to take this debt to future generations seriously? It would likely mean the relentless struggle to abolish a system that condemns so many of them (of all of us) to a fate of unpayable debt, financial debt but also the toxic legacies we leave behind: climate debt, ecological debt, the sociological debts of a world riven by inequality, and the violence it products.

—p.56 by Max Haiven 3 years, 6 months ago
60

[...] what does it mean for the Troika to insist on the repayment of a debt that even they realize can never be repaid, a debt that, in fact, fatally undermined the debtor's ability to ever repay? At this point, the debt appears less and less like a financial obligation and more and more like a kind of vengeance.

—p.60 by Max Haiven 3 years, 6 months ago

[...] what does it mean for the Troika to insist on the repayment of a debt that even they realize can never be repaid, a debt that, in fact, fatally undermined the debtor's ability to ever repay? At this point, the debt appears less and less like a financial obligation and more and more like a kind of vengeance.

—p.60 by Max Haiven 3 years, 6 months ago

(adjective) kind obliging / (adjective) dutiful / (adjective) volunteering one's services where they are neither asked nor needed; meddlesome / (adjective) informal unofficial

60

the officious viciousness of the Nazi occupation of the country

i thought it meant like lackluster?

—p.60 by Max Haiven
strange
3 years, 6 months ago

the officious viciousness of the Nazi occupation of the country

i thought it meant like lackluster?

—p.60 by Max Haiven
strange
3 years, 6 months ago
65

[...] All three key dimensions of the so-called FIRE sector (finance, insurance, and real estate) were essentially born in the crucible of European imperialism and (settler-)colonialism: Both stock markets and the joint-stock, limited liability corporation had their origins in AMsterdam and London in the financing of colonial ventures, settler colonies and the slave trade. [...]

this is really bringing home the (now kinda cliched but still crucial) frankfurt school point about the enlightenment/modernity being not an escape from brutality/horror but instead fundamentally entwined with it

—p.65 by Max Haiven 3 years, 6 months ago

[...] All three key dimensions of the so-called FIRE sector (finance, insurance, and real estate) were essentially born in the crucible of European imperialism and (settler-)colonialism: Both stock markets and the joint-stock, limited liability corporation had their origins in AMsterdam and London in the financing of colonial ventures, settler colonies and the slave trade. [...]

this is really bringing home the (now kinda cliched but still crucial) frankfurt school point about the enlightenment/modernity being not an escape from brutality/horror but instead fundamentally entwined with it

—p.65 by Max Haiven 3 years, 6 months ago