Paying the debt

September 2021 Forums General discussion Paying the debt

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    Hic rodus

    This has probably be covered, if so, could you point me to the article.
    At the moment, there are lots of conflicting views on social media, particularly following Lisa Nandy’s comments about paying the debt.
    A lot of people say that we own the debt and paying back isn’t necessary. Others, and I know this is incorrect, speak of balancing the books and paying back the credit card. Do we have any articles or has this been discussed already?


    Yes, there was this article in the November Socialist Standard. There’s another in the March issue which should be in your doormat on Monday or Tuesday.

    Cooking the Books II: The National Debt: whose debt?

    Hic rodus

    Thank you. I had a vague memory of seeing something about this.


    That is the capitalist debt, it is not the working class debt. The capitalist state is the private organ of the capitalist class and the state is financed with surplus value

    Hic rodus

    Hi-thanks for replying. Yes, it mentions this in the article. The media report it as our debt. Using this argument, they’ll make cuts in the name of paying the debt.


    Yes, but the leftists repeat the same arguments of the capitalist press, as well, they repeat the same nonsense that workers are paying for the social benefits of the foreign workers and that workers are paying for the capitalist bailout, the capitalist state saved others capitalists

    Hic rodus

    For anybody interested, this is a helpful website, lots of helpful information explaining borrowing and government debt.

    Young Master Smeet

    Some of the debt is owned by the Bank of England, so in a sense the government owes itself money. In theory, this debt could be simply written off, but that would harm confidence in the pound, as it would be effectively the government printing money to pay off it’s debts). A lot of the debt is owned by banks, and while the government can dictate to a certain extent the price of that debt, in the end, these are private institutions that could choose simply not to buy government debt. Some debt is held overseas, and that helps with maintaining the value of the pound, and enables international trade.

    A principle function of the national debt is to discipline government, since the state could simply operate through taxation entirely, i.e. simply seizing whatever wealth it needs, if it comes to rely on debt, it has to behave in a way that keeps creditors nice. It is a tool of class control of the state.

    Hic rodus

    Thank you. I’ve found a few articles that explain it quite well, but you’ve pretty much summed up what they said.

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