The Potential of Debtors’ Unions

Published on, by Dept Collective, by by Laura Hanna, Alessondra Shackleton, Ann Larson, Hannah Appel and Luke Herrine, Dec 23, 2015.

Aiming to build collective power in an age of financial absolutism, the Debt Collective is piloting a new kind of organization: the debtors’ union.

From Ferguson to Greece, debt is about power and subordination as much as it is about repayment at a profit.

Financial markets are political. Stock markets, bond markets and derivatives markets do not merely (or even primarily) raise capital for goods and services. Rather, they all have direct and often harmful effects on people’s everyday lives.

Our public universities issue bonds to cover the shortfall from tax cuts and, in turn, use ever-rising tuition dollars as collateral. Our mortgage, car and credit card payments are all securitized into short-term, lucrative investments for banks and investors, while for us they are shelter, food, and merely getting by. The municipal bond and sovereign debt markets have had plainly disastrous effects from Detroit to Puerto Rico to Greece—but for some they have been spectacularly profitable.

If financial markets are political, how can we contest them and their effects? What does civil disobedience and collective power look like in the age of finance? The Debt Collective is attempting to answer that question by piloting a new kind of organization: a debtors’ union.

You say Finance, we say Dept: … //
… Dept, Power and Exploitation: … //
… Financial Desobedience: … //
… Dept Resistance and Higher Education: … //

… Getting Organized:

For-profit schools are notorious for running afoul of the law. Corinthian Colleges Inc., once the nation’s largest for-profit educational chain, was no exception. The company has been accused of fraud and predatory lending by everyone from Attorneys General to the CFPB, gaming the federal student loan system to the tune of $1.4 billion in federal grant and loan dollars in 2010 alone, more than the ten University of California campuses combined for that same year.

As Corinthian’s many scandals grew increasingly public in the summer of 2014, a small group of former students had already begun to organize. Collaborating with these students, and enrolling technology experts and lawyers daring enough to take us seriously, we began to work closely with a group of 15 former Corinthian students who were ready to publicly declare their refusal to make any more payments on their federal student loans.

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Spaces for the Left, Interview with Michael Hardt, on, Dec 23, 2015: We are in a period where the question of organization is most centrally on the agenda;

Blütenpracht im Dezember – Wärmeschock irritiert Mensch und Natur, im Spiegel Online, 23. Dez 2015 (Fotos): Allergiker klagen über Heuschnupfen, Landwirte fürchten Schädlinge: Der warme Dezember lässt die Natur verrückt spielen. So schön die Blütenpracht jetzt ist – im neuen Jahr droht Ungemach;

Tout savoir sur Podemos, la révélation des élections législatives espagnoles, dans Direct Matin, le 21 déc 2015;

Auropa Eculugia, Verdi, après les territoriales, dans Corse Net Infos, par Charles Monti, le 21 déc 2015;

Peut-on s’échapper d’une prison panoptique? dans Agora, le 21 déc 2015;

Social movements in Spain, insiders’ perspectives, on, by AK Malaboca, Dec 20, 2015;

Are US academics who cite WikiLeaks blackballed? on Crikey, by CHRIS SPANNOS , Dec 18, 2015;

UAE interest rates may go up in short term, on Khaleej Times, Dec 18, 2015;

Beaucoup de gens ont intérêt à ce que nos résultats ne soient jamais publiés, dans La, par Pr Walter Willett, Dec 18, 2015;

Spekulation über Megastruktur, lassen Aliens Sonnenkollektoren um Stern kreisen? (Video 1.50 min), in Pravda-TV, Oct 18, 2015: das Kepler-Weltraumteleskop hat um einen Stern in der nördlichen Milchstraße Objekte ausfindig gemacht, die künstlicher Natur sein könnten. Darauf deuten die beobachteten Bewegungsmuster hin …; (siehe auch auf YouTube);


Le Mouvement;

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