Historical Perspectives on Current Struggles against Illegitimate Debt
This chapter discusses the scope and strategies used by debt resistance movements to effectively challenge the power of creditors, which has grown with financialization. It looks at some of the collective strategies of resistance against the excesses of financialization. The chapter aims to show that successful initiatives by debtors were those in which broad peoples’ movements pushed directly or indirectly to question the legitimacy of the accumulation of debt. It provides an overview of historical examples where political support for repudiation bore fruit. The chapter focuses on strategies used to challenge the power of creditors and asset holders. In 2011 the Greek Debt Audit Campaign was launched to demand a full examination of Greece’s public debt with the aim of cancelling illegitimate, odious and unsustainable parts of the debt. In the USA, a bold initiative has taken direct action for debt cancellation. A debt jubilee is cancellation that wipes the slate clean for those in debt bondage.