One of my twitter friends, @EclecticRadical, had a pretty thought provoking post about the law as a tool of control and it got me to think about the power that indebtedness gives to the billionaire class. By the way, if you are on twitter, a progressive, and are not following EclecticRadical, he is worthy follower. Anyhow, debt might actually be a more powerful tool of control than the law.
Capitalist societies begin the indoctrination early and kids are taught responsibility equals paying your debts on time, even if it is just the minimum payment. In fact they want you to make the minimum payment so they can assess interest fees. You are made to fear the consequences of being unable to meet your debt obligations. This fear is reinforced by the fact that your credit score effects even what jobs you can and cannot get. Your credit score determines where you can and cannot live and so much more.
This is much stronger than the power of the law. People routinely break the speed limit and drive while texting, among other things. However, they live in abject fear of the consequences of missing a car payment or rental payment. I find this psychology very interesting. It would seem that, debt in a capitalist society, holds more power to control people than the law. We see people routinely park in handicapped spaces or in fire lanes that wouldn’t dare miss their car payment. Money is the ultimate tool of control!
The rule of law is a much healthier tool of control because it’s supposed to be blind to status. The only way to make debt as a tool of control is to stop giving in to the demands of the billionaire class. The billionaire class has broken America and begging them to swoop in to fix the problem just won’t achieve what we want and need. As Bernie reminds us, transformation begins at the bottom up.
Let’s stop all of the indebtedness by canceling student loans and building strong public housing. Let’s make it our goal in the next 4 years to decrease the amount of influence that the billionaire class has over all of us. Lives will improve dramatically under a society that has economic justice.