We need a movement. Here is one idea of a game-changing
movement: Debt Jubilee. The concept, a “reset” of debts (back to
zero), has a long history. Typically it would occur when a new King emerged:
all the old debts under the old King’s monetary system would be wiped
out and a new money and new debts would come into play. It is also mentioned
in the Bible as an event happening every 50 years. Today, as we have not had
a forgiveness of debts for generations, we find debt increasingly problematic
and weighing heavily on our entire economic system. Because debt is the very
foundation of our monetary system today, problems from debt affect us all.
The Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City has made this campaign, which they refer to as “Strike Debt” (as in “Debt”) their focus. The working group that studied the economy identified this as the core of any action aimed at resisting the existing paradigm. Over the summer, they have published a “Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual” as a starting point for the discussion. It is available on this website, and others around the 'Net. Opening the discussion about this concept:
o The initiative needs to get at deep structural change. If you know about how money is created, you understand that there is nothing that impacts our economic life more than debt. Finding ways to restructure our relationships with debt and money is key to changing everything about economics and creating a world that thrives rather than oppresses.
o It needs to have a clearly defined measurable goal. No debt, and no system that creates debt slaves: can’t be more clearly defined than that!
o It’s already happening, not something we build from scratch. This idea has deep historical roots, and even today, is already being discussed by groups that are offering coherent arguments in favor of the Jubilee.
o It needs broad grass root support to be effective. This is where we come in: understanding what is involved, we spread the discussion and broaden the support. This movement will not start at the top and filter down to the people, it can only happen through grassroots uprising.
o It has a ladder of engagement. Strike Debt has already held a global day of protest, 13 October. There were marches and protests in over 300 cities, although only a handful in the US. Community is easy to form once we have the discussion, and is a vital component of the strategy. One’s personal commitment to the Jubilee idea may be fostered as one encounters difficulties arising from personal debt; it is incredibly supportive to be a part of a movement that tells you it is okay to default, that there is no shame in discussing your finances with another or in being the victim of predatory lending practices. It is empowering to think that striking a blow against the very root of economic oppression can have an impact on the future. If debt were to be forgiven, and the economy reset using money that is free from the need for perpetual growth, we can foresee a future that respects humans and Pachamama, once again. Remember, there are alternatives to how money can be used and created; we are not inventing something new! This is a process that occurs incrementally, one debt at a time, until the moment when we (as a society) make a blanket commitment to end the dysfunction of debt. It is easy to see, once you become awake to the issue at hand, that we strive to “live a life, not repay a loan”. If we believe that ending mindless consumption is the only path to save Pachamama, then ending the system that demands consumption as the basis for our very existence is the most effective tool we have.
o It can be framed as a non partisan issue, in an inclusive way. Debt touches each and every person. Debt does not care about your political, racial, gender or class feelings, history, or proclivities.
Please join the discussion, become educated, and RENOUNCE YOUR DEBT!