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Debt Slavery

By John Scales Avery

 07 July, 2015
Countercurrents.org

At the moment, the issue of debt slavery is very topical because of the case of Greece; but it is an issue that has a far more general significance.

Usury, the charging of interest on loans, has a history of being forbidden by several major religions, including not only the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but also the ancient Vedic Scriptures of India.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usury#Historical_meaning

Perhaps the reason for these religious traditions can be found in the remarkable properties of exponential growth. If any quantity, for example indebtedness, is growing at the rate of 3% per year, it will double in 23.1 years; if it is growing at the rate of 4% per year, the doubling time is 17.3 years. For a 5% growth rate, the doubling time is 13.9 years, if the growth rate is 7%, the doubling time is only 9.9 years. It follows that if a debt remains unpaid for a few years, most of the repayments will go for interest, rather than for reducing the amount of the debt.

In the case of the debts of third world countries to private banks in the industrialized parts of the world and to the IMF, many of the debts were incurred in the 1970's for purposes which were of no benefit to local populations, for example purchase of military hardware. Today the debts remain, although the amount paid over the years by the developing countries is very many times the amount originally borrowed. Third world debt can be regarded as a means by which the industrialized nations extract raw materials from developing countries without any repayment whatever. In fact, besides extracting raw materials, they extract money. The injustice of this arrangement was emphasized recently by Pope Francis in his wonderful encyclical “Laudato Si' ”.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/07/a-revolutionary-pope-calls-for-rethinking-the-outdated-criteria-that-rule-the-world/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt_bondage

http://www.globalissues.org/issue/28/third-world-debt-undermines-development

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt_of_developing_countries

http://worldcentric.org/conscious-living/third-world-debt

http://econlib.org/library/Enc1/ThirdWorldDebt.html

http://newint.org/easier-english/money/debt.html

http://www.context.org/iclib/ic32/coledebt/

Wealth, virtual wealth, and debt

Frederik Soddy, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1926, later turned his attention to economics.  Soon after receiving his Nobel Prize, he published a book entitled “Wealth, virtual wealth and debt; the solution to the economic paradox”. 

In this book, Soddy was extremely critical of the system of fractional reserve banking, whereby private banks keep only a small fraction of the money entrusted to them by their depositors and lend out the remaining amount. He pointed out that, in this system, the money supply is controlled by the private banks rather than by the government. Thus profits from any expansion of the money supply go to private corporations instead of being used to provide social services. Soddy's criticisms of fractional reserve banking cast light on the sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2008 and the debt crisis of 2011.

As Soddy pointed out, real wealth is subject to the second law of thermodynamics. As entropy (i.e. disorder and degradation)  increases, real wealth decays. Soddy contrasted this with the behavior of debt at compound interest, which increases exponentially without any limit, and he remarked: “You cannot permanently pit an absurd human convention, such as the spontaneous increment of debt [compound interest] against the natural law of the spontaneous decrement of wealth [entropy]”. Thus, in Soddy's view, it is a fiction to maintain that being owed a large amount of money is a form of real wealth.

http://www.cadmusjournal.org/article/issue-4/entropy-and-economics

We can learn from the thoughts of Frederik Soddy in the 1920's and from the wisdom of Pope Francis today. Most third world debts can be regarded as “odious”, i.e. incurred by governments whose actions were not in the best interests of their peoples, and therefore not legally collectible. In most cases, forgiveness and a fresh start would be of benefit to all of us.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odious_debt

Some suggestions for further reading

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/debt-slavery-30-facts-about-debt-in-america-that-will-blow-your-mind

http://livingeconomiesforum.org/systemic-debt-slavery

http://www.nationofchange.org/make-no-mistake-you-are-american-debt-slave-1389886420

http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/slavetobanks.php#axzz3etW0WItZ

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/07/03/referendum-looms-troika-charged-plotting-regime-change-greece

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/07/03/how-europe-played-greece

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/07/03/our-responsibility-vote-no-greek-referendum

http://www.countercurrents.org/bantekas030715.htm

http://www.countercurrents.org/singh030715.htm

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/06/greek-referendum-on-imf-ultimatum/

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/07/midnight-in-brussels-the-austerity-junta-and-savaging-greece/

https://www.transcend.org/tms/2015/06/breaking-greece/

https://www.transcend.org/tms/2015/06/why-we-should-all-be-indebted-to-syriza-three-victories-of-the-greek-government/

https://www.transcend.org/tms/2015/06/iceland-just-jailed-7-bank-executives-for-market-manipulation/

https://www.transcend.org/tms/2015/06/why-greece-is-on-the-brink-of-putting-life-before-debt/

John Avery received a B.Sc. in theoretical physics from MIT and an M.Sc. from the University of Chicago. He later studied theoretical chemistry at the University of London, and was awarded a Ph.D. there in 1965. He is now Lektor Emeritus, Associate Professor, at the Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen. Fellowships, memberships in societies: Since 1990 he has been the Contact Person in Denmark for Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. In 1995, this group received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. He was the Member of the Danish Peace Commission of 1998. Technical Advisor, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe (1988- 1997). Chairman of the Danish Peace Academy, April 2004. http://www.fredsakademiet.dk/ordbog/aord/a220.htm. He can be reached at avery.john.s@gmail.com

 

 

 


 

 





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