Finance Is Just Another Word for Other People's Debts: An Interview with David Graeber

Hannah Chadeayne Appel, David Graeber

In this interview David Graeber discusses the radical politics of his childhood, his own political trajectory through the globalization movement, and how Occupy Wall Street both emerged and departed from that genealogy. Turning to questions of intensifying financialization in recent years, Graeber takes analysts to task for not understanding the relationship between private debt and finance — that far from making value out of nothing, finance has been making value out of the income and debt streams of working- and middle-class people. As he traces his own intellectual ancestry from Marx to Mauss to economic anthropologist Keith Hart, Graeber also shares his vision of the present moment, in which the cancellation of private debts in some form seems inevitable and the democratization of finance and the money-creation system, increasingly possible.

Radical History Review
Publication/Event Date: 
January, 2014