You are Not a Loan: A Debtors Movement

Authors

  • Andrew Ross Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University, USA

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3384/cu.2000.1525.146179

Keywords:

Populism, Occupy Wall Street, financial crisis, movement activism, student debt, financialization

Abstract

Written from the participant perspective of the author, the article documents the debt resistance movement that is one of the enduring offshoots of Occupy Wall Street. Addressing the household debt crisis in the wake of the financial crash, it focuses in particular on student debt, approaching an aggregate 1.2 trillion in the U.S., with defaulters numbering in the tens of millions. The emergence of The Occupy Student Debt Campaign is analyzed, along with the initiatives of its successor, Strike Debt, including the Rolling Jubilee and the Debt Resistors Opera-tions Manual. The article concludes by arguing that debt will be the frontline of anticapitalist struggles in the 21st century, just as the struggle over wages dominated the twentieth century.

References

Debt Resistors Operations Manual (2013):New York: PM Press/Common Notions.

Dienst, Richard (2009): The Bonds of Debt, New York: Verso.

Gitlin, Todd (2012): Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street, New York: HarperCollins.

Hudson, Michael (2011): “Debt and Democracy – Has the Link Been Broken?”:
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/12/michael-hudson-debt-and-democracy-has-the-link-been-broken.html (accessed 15 January 2014).

Larson, Ann (2012): “Cities in the Red: Austerity Hits America,” Dissent, November 16, 2012.

Noon, Chris (2005): “Berkshire Hathaway CEO Blasts 'Sharecropper's Society,” Forbes Magazine, March 7, 2005.

Saez, Emmanuel (2012): “Striking It Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States (updated with 2009 and 2010 estimates)”, March 2, 2012: http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2010.pdf (accessed 15 January 2014).

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Published

2014-02-20

Issue

Section

Theme: Capitalism: Current Crisis and Cultural Critique