Category Archives: debt

Did you know many African countries continue to pay colonial tax to France since their independence till today!

When Sékou Touré of Guinea decided in 1958 to get out of french colonial empire, and opted for the country independence, the french colonial elite in Paris got so furious, and in a historic act of fury the french administration in Guinea destroyed everything in the country which represented what they called the benefits from french colonization.

Three thousand French left the country, taking all their property and destroying anything that which could not be moved: schools, nurseries, public administration buildings were crumbled; cars, books, medicine, research institute instruments, tractors were crushed and sabotaged; horses, cows in the farms were killed, and food in warehouses were burned or poisoned.

The purpose of this outrageous act was to send a clear message to all other colonies that the consequences for rejecting France would be very high.

Slowly fear spread trough the african elite, and none after the Guinea events ever found the courage to follow the example of Sékou Touré, whose slogan was “We prefer freedom in poverty to opulence in slavery.”

Sylvanus Olympio, the first president of the Republic of Togo, a tiny country in west Africa, found a middle ground solution with the French.He didn’t want his country to continue to be a french dominion, therefore he refused to sign the colonisation continuation pact De Gaule proposed, but agree to pay an annual debt to France for the so called benefits Togo got from french colonization.It was the only conditions for the French not to destroy the country before leaving. However, the amount estimated by France was so big that the reimbursement of the so called “colonial debt” was close to 40% of the country budget in 1963.

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That Debt From 1720? Britain’s Payment Is Coming

LONDON — Share prices went through the roof, speculation ran wild and money poured into ill-fated ventures before the boom turned, inevitably and catastrophically, to bust.

After that financial crash in 1720, called the South Sea Bubble, the British government was forced to undertake a bailout that eventually left several million pounds of debt on its books. Almost three centuries later, Britons are still paying interest on a small part of that obligation.

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Ingo Stützle on David Graeber – or why debt and labor have not existed until the XVIII century

Debt and Punishment. A critical review of David Graeber’s ›debt‹. The book is missing an analysis of capitalism

The last few years of cri­sis poli­tics were a prime example of how on the one hand pro­fits are pri­va­ti­zed, while on the other hand los­ses are socia­li­zed. The deep cri­sis of capi­ta­lism has left in its wake a sover­eign debt cri­sis. The ans­wer of the poli­ti­cal class has been fis­cal con­so­li­da­tion. Finance capital’s claims on returns are gua­ran­teed and collec­ted by the state. The invi­si­ble hand of the mar­ket is joi­ned by the visi­ble fist of the state. Strugg­les over state finan­ces will be cen­tral batt­le­fields in the next few years.

That is no doubt the rea­son why the publi­ca­tion of David Graeber’s book Debt: The First 5,000 Years was gree­ted with eupho­ria, even by the bour­geois press. In the Frank­fur­ter All­ge­meine Sonn­tags­zei­tung, Frank Schirr­ma­cher wrote that Gra­eber »opens the reader’s eyes to what’s going on right now,« and fur­ther­more, »Graeber’s text is a reve­la­tion, since one is no lon­ger forced to react to the sys­tem its­elf wit­hin the sys­tem of appa­rent eco­no­mic ratio­na­lity.« Der Spie­gel opi­nes: »his book on the nature of debt and its eco­no­mic and moral basis is alre­ady regar­ded as an anti-capitalist stan­dard work of the new social move­ments which have emer­ged during the world eco­no­mic cri­sis.« This is in refe­rence to the Occupy pro­tests. Even the chief eco­no­mist of the Deut­sche Bank group reviewed Graber’s book posi­tively in the monthly eco­no­mic policy jour­nal Wirt­schafts­dienst (4/2012) with regard to the ques­tion of the future of cen­tral ban­king. Since May 2012, the book has been avail­able in a Ger­man edition.

Continue reading Ingo Stützle on David Graeber – or why debt and labor have not existed until the XVIII century