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How debt creates hierarchy

Like other market transactions, a loan is agreed to by formal equals, say Cypryus and the European Union, neither of them legally required to lend or borrow.

Although formally equally, debt can become a way practically to dominate the formally free

For so long as a debt is outstanding (Greece/Ireland etc)  any debt that has not been brought to completion the logic of hierarchy takes hold.

 If you are in debt, you have crooked you knee to my liege, the one who extended the loan.
And you only as a debtor get off the torture rack when you fully repaid the loan and more importantly for the lender the interest.

It is in this exchance that monetary debts often smuggle gradations of power into what look like straight forward horizontal exchanges

Commercial economies, in other words, routinely grant credit
arrangements a factitious independence from social interchange, so that primary
seem to obtain not between human beings but between two sums of
money, one loaned and the other due, while people themselves become mere
bystanders to the accumulation of compound interest.

Equality for the debtor (getting off your knees) is restored only when repayment is made in full.

 Money, and therefore debt, is always an abstraction. But justice too can be abstract, and
there is no reason in principle why money and debt must serve injustice rather
than justice.

So if a Euro Cat is living on vast expenses and inflated salary if he/she is exacting a toll
from Brussels on the debtor, there is a certain injustice here, for the creditors is living
parasitically in the lap of luxury on Euro money, and is demanding of the tribunes a
standard which is unjust in the light of his living standards.


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