By - Todorlija
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This is one of those questions that demonstrates how liberalism, and especially "balanced budget neoliberalism" has completely broken people's ability to think or understand the world. The question itself is asked from the abstract, idealist perspective -- how does one tackle *debt,* -- no material grounding in asking *which debt,* or *whose debt,* or *from where do the debts come?* and more importantly no actual attempt to wrestle with the notion of what debt is: just the idea that it's some big daunting number that simply has to be paid back and dealt with. The underlying assumption built into liberalism is that debt and money are these grand, eternal things, disconnected from society and existing apart from and above them, and that no matter the changes occurring in society, these things will remain. This assumption is false.
In classical political economy **a debt is a claim on future labour,** and this definition holds true and accurate to this day as to what a debt is, but this definition gets obfuscated in liberal ideology. If I am a creditor and you are in debt to me, then I own some of the work that you will do (or have to do) in the future, from which the accrued value of the work done will go to me instead of you. Throw debt interest, service fees, and a myriad of other financial mechanisms on top of this, and now there is a regular growth and increase of that debt claim, despite no increase in production being tied to the increase in the ownership claim (that is, you will simply have to do even more work that will belong to me, rather than the work now being more productive). I am making my money via M-M' rather that M-C-M' -- I do not have to produce commodities (goods or tangible services) to expect income, I just need to hold money and accrue ownership claims. I contribute nothing productive to the economy, I just extract out of it as the creditor. I don't help make the overall pie bigger, I just grow my slice at the expense of others.
And this is where it ties into the actually existing debts in the world, and the question you neglect to ask: *to whom are these debts owed?* The answer is, primarily, bank owners and shareholders and other financial capitalists and financial capitalist institutions -- already the wealthiest and most powerful institutions on the entire planet, from whom the credits and debts emerge. So the concern, then, in seeing debts repaid is actually a concern of trying to ensure that even more wealth immediately transferred over to the already wealthiest people and institutions in society -- you are in a moral panic about seeing the richest people in the world get even richer even faster. You don't ask the question why the richest people need to be repaid in the first place.
Most of this isn't even Karl Marx either, it's from Adam Smith. Liberals, of course, do not ever actually read Adam Smith -- they just throw his name about blindly -- but it was Smith that pointed out that national debts are almost never ever repaid and essentially never need to be repaid. The actual answer to your question is nothing; the debts are meaningless, the bourgeois debt holders are among our principle enemies as communists, and any and all redistribution of wealth when we have power will include an abolition and redistribution of their property and ownership claims -- including their debt claims, which can simply be wiped away.
Forgive the blatant question with no other given context Comrade, I was truly curious about this topic and since it gets thrown around like "Do YoU kNoW hOw SoCiAlIsM wOrKs? ThRoUgH HiGh TaXeS AnD hUgE iNdEbTiNg!". The fact that you used up your time to explain this much in-depth is more than I could've asked for. Would you suggest reading Adam Smith as a leftist? And also if you got any other sources I could look into, be sure to recommend them to me. Thank you!
> Would you suggest reading Adam Smith as a leftist?
I mean you can, but reading Marx is going to be more productive if your looking to understand political economy. If you want more on understanding debts, Michael Hudson's *Forgive them their Debts,* and other works talk a lot to explain the mechanics of what societal debts are actually doing.
Noted, thanks again.
Lead with the shoulder , aim for the midsection, wrap up, drive into the ground.