Bodily wagers

Mike Konczal has been doing great work decoding the #OWS movement on his blog. His recent post on Occupy and General Strike Links reminds via Nietzsche and Michelle Ty that while creditors wager their money, debtors wager their bodies:

Although the defense of public education may seem a remote or peripheral concern of the occupy movement, the connection between the two is indisputable.  There is a financial pipeline that travels from public universities directly to Wall Street, and what is trafficked through this pipeline is not anything positive—rather it is debt…Nietzsche reminds us that the relationship between creditor and debtor depends on the wager of the body as collateral.  The creditor lends what the borrower does not have.  As a guarantee of repayment, the debtor agrees that in the event of default, the lender can inflict harm on the body as method of compensation.  Although the workings of this principle of exchange have become abstract, and even spectral—at root, the economy still operates in quite the same fashion.  Those who lack resources are forced to take out loans in order to provide for basic needs, like education, all while the cost of these basic needs becomes increasingly prohibitive; as a result of this unwise, but necessary borrowing, bodies are put on the line (the working body that can never seem to catch up to the interest that it owes; the sleeping body that is displaced from its shelter).

The students who wager their bodies are facing a power structure of the creditors where their future social security pensions may be forfeited to pay off the student debt.

Occupy and General Strike Links

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