[David Graeber] Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Title: Debt: The First 5,000 Years
Author: David Graeber
Published: 2011
Publisher: Melville House; Revised edition (2014)
ISBN-10: 978-1612194196

The 2008 crash showed that how our everyday financial situations were tightly linked with social systems and how vulnerable we were with any market changes. In 2020, we are experiencing another world-wide crisis – COVID 19 pandemic-, which causes the massive increase of debts of the governments and individuals.

David Graeber’s book “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” is a history of debt and money from an anthropologist’s perspective. The book aims to rebuke the na├»ve negative connotation of debt and show how debt has played an essential role in binding essential social lives. Contradictory to the standard economics texts, debt and credit appeared before the use of money.


Graeber proposes “everyday communism.” Communism is the foundation of all human social structures, and everyday communism is based on the ethic of reciprocity.

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