Michael Hudson: Socrates on #Debt and Ibn Khaldun on the Cyclical Rise and Fall of Societies

In Book I of Plato’s Republic, Socrates discusses the morality of repaying debts. Cephalus, a businessman living in the commercial Piraeus district, states the typical ethic that it is fair and just to pay back what one has borrowed or received. Socrates replies that it would not be just to return weapons to a man who has turned into a lunatic. Because of the consequences, paying back the debt would be the wrong thing to do. At issue is not the micro-economic morality of paying a debt, but how this act affects society. The morality of paying back all debts is not necessarily justice. It should not be surprising that modern financial elites are fighting back against democratic moves. It has all happened before – and so have revolts by debtors and other exploited victims of such 'economism'.