Advanced Search Module

TERRITORIES WE SELL INTO:


Close Search

Creditocracy and the Case for Debt Refusal

Author:

Publisher:

Original Language: English | 220 pp. | February 2014

2 Seas Represents: Dutch, French and Nordic Rights.

NON-FICTION | ECONOMICS

Andrew Ross is the very model for a scholar-activist, and Creditocracy, his latest book, is as compelling as it is important. Let’s hope this makes a difference in the world. It really should. —David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years

In this lucid and accessible book, Andrew Ross argues that we are increasingly oppressed by the rule of credit and that ever more people must go into debt just to access life’s necessities. But Ross not only names the problem; more importantly, he points toward solutions. Read this book and join a debt resistors movement. —Michael Hardt, co-author of Empire

Andrew Ross’s Creditocracy is the middle finger to our economy’s debt vultures: he lays out a masterful case that we must tell the creditor class to stick it where the repo man don’t shine. Ross is particularly good at picking apart that new form of indentured servitude, the student loan. Creditocracy calls for resistance to our nationwide virtual debtors prison, and it’s about time. —Greg Palast, reporter for BBC’s Newsnight and author of Vultures’ Picnic

I use Mastercard to pay Visa. —bumper sticker

Creditocracy (n.

1. governance or the holding of power in the interests of a creditor class
2. a society where access to vital needs is financed through debt

It seems like pretty much everybody – homeowners, students, those who are ill and without health insurance, and, of course, credit card holders – is up to their neck in debt that can never be repaid. 77% of US households are seriously indebted and one in seven Americans has been pursued by debt collectors. The major banks are bigger and more profitable than before the 2008 crash, and legislators are all but powerless to bring them to heel.

In this forceful, eye-opening survey, Andrew Ross contends that we are in the cruel grip of a creditocracy – where the finance industry commandeers our elected governments and where the citizenry have to take out loans to meet their basic needs. The implications of mass indebtedness for any democracy are profound, and history shows that whenever a creditor class becomes as powerful as Wall Street, the result has been debt bondage for the bulk of the population.

Following in the ancient tradition of the jubilee, activists have had some success in repudiating the debts of developing countries. The time is ripe, Ross argues, for a debtors’ movement to use the same kinds of moral and legal arguments to bring relief to household debtors in the North. After examining the varieties of lending that have contributed to the crisis, Ross suggests ways of lifting the burden of illegitimate debts from our backs. Just as important, Creditocracy outlines the kind of alternative economy we need to replace a predatory debt-money system that only benefits the 1%.