Analysis of Debt
The author clearly brings out the issue on social relationships based on reciprocity, exchange and repayment of debt. Graeber recognizes the different motives that lead people to economic interactions. In addition, Graeber suggests that there are three main moral principles at work in the entire economic life. These principles include communism, exchange and hierarchy. He describes communism as the sharing relationship that is framed on the principle of reciprocity, to each according to their requirements, from each according to their capabilities. On the other hand, exchange relationships are explained on the fact that they are based on reciprocity and formal equality while on the other hand, hierarchial relationships are taken to be unequal and they tend to work by the sense of social reference rather than reciprocity.
According to the author of this book, debt alters the hierarchical relationships into the understanding of exchange, an exchange that has not been brought to a completion. This suspends the formal equality between parties. In addition, in the short run when the debt lengthens it may be become not payable. Likewise, it may become permanently withdrawn and the relationship becomes repeated in the hierarchy. Although, the writer warns against making too much of this mistake that would fall into the economic trench of holding an assumption that reciprocal exchange, is the bottom-line against which all other mentioned relationships should be measured.
Other important idea that the author seems to bring to consideration is the aspect that debt is the essence of monetary relations that often are exchanged. Furthermore, credit relationships transform exchange so that the payments do not look similar to the transactions and reciprocal the relationship that may further explain that some debts remains in spite of the urge for debt payment through monetary terms. In addition, debt instruments can be used as payment terms among individuals that are not the initial debt .This is mainly seen in our modern society and thus, most people use it for payment of their bank debts.
The author also goes on to show many of the same contradictions that exist in other world religions as well. However, he insists that the society have different ideas but the moral principles that always exist everywhere. He argues that there are different set that compete, contradicting pressures that are widespread in the society. This may take various forms on particular level of power. In addition, societies apply various ways that prevent the society from changing from one particular form to another different form. About the repayment of debts, Graeber writes that all the debt that is borrowed should be repaid back in full. In order to obtain refinancing, countries had to follow some orthodox free market economic policy designed in Washington or Zurich that their citizens had never agreed to and never would agree to.Therefore, Graeber brings out the three issues as closely related to the existing social relationships.
There are also other types of relationships that the author brings out in this book. These include political relationships whereby he states different countries having relations over trade and money transactions that would result to debt. He also further mentions about organizational relationships whereby the companies have a history of also acquiring money from financial instructions in form of debt. To add on these relationships, there are also interpersonal relationships that are strongly brought out by the author in that the both sides of debt are highly involved with individuals who relate to each other. The new promise of debt in rich countries and novelty in poorer countries has linked to by its political silence. Also, the author explains religious relationships. In his book, at once, it is learned that he concludes with the use of a biblical style.
In addition to all these, the author places the subject of debt to a comparative framework in that debt touches many aspects of this life. In relation to communistic aspects, it can be easy to arrange the relations in a formal hierarchical inequality. For example, egalitarian societies are aware of this and tend to develop simple safe guards around the dangers, more so good hunters while hunting rise too far above them, just as they tend to be in fear of anything that may make one member of the society feel in debt to another.
From a sociological perspective, many explanations can be included in the already acomplished views by the author. This is by understanding that debt constitutes a promise that becomes a moral obligation. This moral obligation was in existence during and before capitalism and independent of money.
In summary, money makes a promise between people into something impersonal and that can be transferrable. According to Graeber, existing relations of power and domination alter cooperation, community, and other forms of renegotiating promises. Therefore, debt cancellation is indeed a correct demand, but only when the social relations the constantly bring an agreement with Graeber on exactly what social relations are or all concerned about. A settlement by the means of debt cancellation, or renegotiation, as was still prevalent in capitalistic countries is no longer possible in the current life.