In his 2011 Debt: the First 5000 Years, anarchist anthropologist David Graeber concludes, "we are long overdue for some kind of Biblical-style Jubilee: one that would affect both international debt and consumer debt." Graeber's position is validated all the more by his connection to the Occupation Movement. This panel will engage Graeber's sweeping presentation of 5000 years of debt relations, debt manipulation and debt liberation from three perspectives in philosophical anthropology: Derridean, Lacanian and Arendtian. From an Arendtian perspective,Graeber's evocation of the liberations of classical antiquity will be pursued with a view toward present liberations. Graeber's ambitious attempt to formulate an anarchist anthropology will be discussed in light of the difficulties that arise when one attempts to differentiate that which is mathematical and quantifiable from that which is alleged to be free from the language of the marketplace. Thirdly, from the perspective of Lacanian psychoanalysis, drawing on the Protestant Reformation as historical exemplum, the liberation of debt relief will be theorized as paradigmatic instance of a de-mythologization of the categories which structure the subject's experience of lack.
In short, this panel hopes to inspire a broad spectrum of thought on the phenomena of debt relief. Best of all, Professor Graeber has agreed join our sympathetic critiques as discussant.