Debt: The First 5000 Years

Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a book by anthropologist David Graeber published in 2011.wikipedia
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David Graeber

Graeber, DavidGraeber
Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a book by anthropologist David Graeber published in 2011.
David Rolfe Graeber (born 12 February 1961) is an American anthropologist and anarchist activist, perhaps best known for his 2011 volume Debt: The First 5000 Years.

History of money

monetary historyabandonmentan international currency of the early ages
A second major argument of the book is that, contrary to standard accounts of the history of money, debt is probably the oldest means of trade, with cash and barter transactions being later developments.
In his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years, anthropologist David Graeber argues against the suggestion that money was invented to replace barter.

Credit theory of money

credit moneydebt-based monetary systembank credit
This return to credit money increased uncertainties.
In his 2011 book Debt: The First 5000 Years, the anthropologist David Graeber asserted that the best available evidence suggests the original monetary systems were debt based, and that most subsequent systems have been too.

Bread and Roses Award

The book won the inaugural Bread and Roses Award for radical literature, and the 2012 Bateson Award of the American Society for Cultural Anthropology.
2012 David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Anthropologist

anthropologistssocial anthropologist
Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a book by anthropologist David Graeber published in 2011.

Debt

debtsprincipalborrowing
It explores the historical relationship of debt with social institutions such as barter, marriage, friendship, slavery, law, religion, war and government; in short, much of the fabric of human life in society. The author claims that debt and credit historically appeared before money, which itself appeared before barter.

Barter

barter economybarteringbarter trade
It explores the historical relationship of debt with social institutions such as barter, marriage, friendship, slavery, law, religion, war and government; in short, much of the fabric of human life in society. The author claims that debt and credit historically appeared before money, which itself appeared before barter.

Marriage

married couplesopposite-sex married couplesmarried
It explores the historical relationship of debt with social institutions such as barter, marriage, friendship, slavery, law, religion, war and government; in short, much of the fabric of human life in society.

Friendship

friendfriendsbest friend
It explores the historical relationship of debt with social institutions such as barter, marriage, friendship, slavery, law, religion, war and government; in short, much of the fabric of human life in society.

Slavery

slaveslavesslave labor
It explores the historical relationship of debt with social institutions such as barter, marriage, friendship, slavery, law, religion, war and government; in short, much of the fabric of human life in society.

Law

legallawslegal theory
It explores the historical relationship of debt with social institutions such as barter, marriage, friendship, slavery, law, religion, war and government; in short, much of the fabric of human life in society.

Religion

religiousreligionsreligious beliefs
It explores the historical relationship of debt with social institutions such as barter, marriage, friendship, slavery, law, religion, war and government; in short, much of the fabric of human life in society.

War

warfarearmed conflictconflict
It explores the historical relationship of debt with social institutions such as barter, marriage, friendship, slavery, law, religion, war and government; in short, much of the fabric of human life in society.

Government

governmentsform of governmentgovernmental
It explores the historical relationship of debt with social institutions such as barter, marriage, friendship, slavery, law, religion, war and government; in short, much of the fabric of human life in society.

Society

societiessocialsocietal
It explores the historical relationship of debt with social institutions such as barter, marriage, friendship, slavery, law, religion, war and government; in short, much of the fabric of human life in society.

Sumer

SumeriansSumerianSumerian civilization
It draws on the history and anthropology of a number of civilizations, large and small, from the first known records of debt from Sumer in 3500 BC until the present. Graeber lays out the historical development of the idea of debt, starting from the first recorded debt systems in the Sumer civilization around 3500 BC. In this early form of borrowing and lending, farmers would often become so mired in debt that their children would be forced into debt peonage.

Violence

violentviolent behaviorphysical violence
A major argument of the book is that the imprecise, informal, community-building indebtedness of "human economies" is only replaced by mathematically precise, firmly enforced debts through the introduction of violence, usually state-sponsored violence in some form of military or police.

Trade

tradingmercantileexchange
A second major argument of the book is that, contrary to standard accounts of the history of money, debt is probably the oldest means of trade, with cash and barter transactions being later developments.

Trust (emotion)

trusttrustworthinesstrusting
Debt, the book argues, has typically retained its primacy, with cash and barter usually limited to situations of low trust involving strangers or those not considered credit-worthy.

Credit risk

creditworthinesscounterparty riskdefault risk
Debt, the book argues, has typically retained its primacy, with cash and barter usually limited to situations of low trust involving strangers or those not considered credit-worthy.

Debt bondage

bonded labourbonded labordebt slavery
Graeber lays out the historical development of the idea of debt, starting from the first recorded debt systems in the Sumer civilization around 3500 BC. In this early form of borrowing and lending, farmers would often become so mired in debt that their children would be forced into debt peonage.

Jubilee (Christianity)

JubileeJubilee YearHoly Year
In ancient Israel, the resulting amnesty came to be known as the Law of Jubilee.

Credit

consumer creditconsumer lendingconsumer loan
The author claims that debt and credit historically appeared before money, which itself appeared before barter.

Money

monetaryspeciecash
The author claims that debt and credit historically appeared before money, which itself appeared before barter.

Adam Smith

SmithAdam Smith’sNeo-Smithian
This is the opposite of the narrative given in standard economics texts dating back to Adam Smith.