David Graeber - States Quotes
5 Sourced Quotes
Thus money is almost always something hovering between a commodity and a debt-token. This is probably why coins—pieces of silver or gold that are already valuable commodities in themselves, but that, being stamped with the emblem of local authority, became even more valuable—still sit in our heads as the quintessential form of money. They most perfectly straddle the divide that defines what money is in the first place. What's more, the relation between the two was a matter of constant political conversation. In other words, the battle between state and market, between governments and merchants is not inherent to the human condition.
Meanwhile, the U.S. debt remains, as it has been since 1790, a war debt: the United States continues to spend more on its military than do all other nations on earth put together, and military expenditures are not only the basis of the government's industrial policy; they also take up such a huge proportion of the budget that by many estimations, were it not for them, the United States would not run a deficit at all.
The one thing that's clear is that new ideas won't emerge without the jettisoning of much of our accustomed categories of thought—which have become mostly sheer dead weight, if not intrinsic parts of the very apparatus of hopelessness—and formulating new ones. This is why I spent so much of this book talking about the market, but also about the false choice between state and market that so monopolized political ideology for the last centuries that it made it difficult to argue about anything else.