Making loans that clearly can never be repaid in full is a more delinquent act than being unable to pay. Making a killing off vital common goods like education and healthcare and public infrastructure is venal, anti-social conduct, to be condemned and not indemnified. The money we borrowed from banks was not theirs to begin with—it was created as interest-bearing debt, only when we signed the loan agreement. The long record of fraud and deceit on the part of bankers disqualifies their right to be made whole—it is more moral to deny them than to pay them back. The banks, and their beneficiaries, awash in bonuses, profits, and dividends, have already been paid enough. Since the creditor class produces phony wealth, fake growth, and thus no lasting prosperity to society as a whole, it deserves nothing from us in return. Loading debt onto the citizenry inflicts grievous damage on any democracy, no matter how durable it appears to be. When a government cannot—or will not—respond, then taking debt relief for ourselves, by any means necessary, may be the most indispensable act of civil disobedience. Asserting the moral right to repudiate debt may be the only way of rebuilding popular democracy.

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