graeber violence/quantification law
when one looks a little closer, one discovers that these two elements—the violence and the quantification—are intimately linked
from this passage in book:
central question of this book: What, precisely, does it mean to say that our sense of morality and justice is reduced to the language of a business deal?
esp.. but really any language.. language as control/enclosure et al
what does it mean when we reduce moral *obligations to debts? what changes when the one turns into the other? and how do we speak about them when our language has been so shaped by the market?
*actually.. when reduce human being ness to obligation ness.. huge red flag
on one level.. diff between obligation and debt is simple and obvious: a debt is the obligation to pay a certain sum of money.. as a result, a debt, unlike any other form of obligation, can be precisely quantified.. this allows debts to become simple, cold and impersonal.. which in turn allows them to be transferable.. one does not need to calculate the human effects; one need only calc balances, penalities, rates of interest..
from this perspective.. the crucial factor: money’s capacity to turn morality into a matter of impersonal arithmetic – and by doing so, to justify things that would otherwise seem outrageous or obscene. the factor of violence, which i have been emphasizing up till now may appear secondary
when one looks a little closer, one discovers that these two elements—the violence and the quantification—are intimately linked.. t in fact almost impossible to find one w/o the other
‘when one looks a little closer, one discovers that these two elements—the violence and the quantification—are intimately linked‘
ginormous – huge – ginormous – huge
we need an infra/mech/org for 8bn people sans any form of measuring/accounting
the way violence, or the threat of violence, turns human relations into mathematics… it is the ultimate source of the moral confusion that seems to float around everything surrounding the topic of *debt.. the resulting dilemmas appear to be as old as **civilization itself.. t
**and yeah.. civilization ness is based on the math/violence
we can observe the process in the very earliest records form ancient mesopotamia.. reappears in endless forms throughout recorded history.. and still lies underneath the essential fabric of our institutions today – state and market – our most basic conceptions of the nature of freedom, morality, sociality – all of which have been *shaped by a history of war, contest, and slavery in ways we’re no longer capable of even perceiving because we can no longer imagine things any other way.. t
black science of people/whales law – we have no idea what legit free people are like..
we keep missing what is the essence of human being – and today we can org ourselves around that..
*and measuring things
structural violence – et al
of math and men – et al