Friday, June 24, 2016

Michael Hudson — Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun

Last week I attended a wonderful conference in the university town of Tübingen, Germany, on “Debt: The First 3500 Years,” to bring ancient historians together to discuss David Graeber’s book Debt: The First 5000 Years.
I was enlightened by two papers in particular. Doctoral fellow Moritz Hinsch from Berlin collected what Socrates (470-399 BC) and other Athenians wrote about debt, and the conference’s organizer, Prof. John Weisweiler, presented the new view of late imperial Rome as being still a long way from outright serfdom. The 99 Percent were squeezed, but “the economy” grew – in a way that concentrated growth in the hands of the One Percent. In due course this bred popular resentment that spread in the form of debtor revolts, not only in the Roman Empire but that of Iran as well, leading to religious reforms to limit the charging of interest and self-indulgent greed in general.

I had not been in Tübingen since 1959, and it was my first chance to meet with David Graeber since he moved to England to teach at the London School of Economics after being hounded out of his apartment in New York City in the wake of the police and FBI crackdown against Occupy Wall Street. Our mutual German publisher, Klett-Cotta, sent its senior editor from nearby Stuttgart to discuss their German translation of my Killing the Host, to appear in November, as Der Sektor: Warum die Globale Finanzwirtschaft uns Zerstört.…
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Michael Hudson | President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Guest Professor at Peking University

1 comment:

Kaivey said...

Micheal Hudson is one of my favourites, along with PCR and Stephen Lendman. I even get a reply from him sometimes, and from the other two.