I had already written an addendum for the German version of the review I wrote of David Graeber’s Debt for the newspaper ak – analyse und kritik. Some points had only been touched upon; in the case of others, my intent was known only to those familiar with certain debates (alluded to between the lines). For that reason, I wrote a short, summary addendum.1 For this translation, I have revised the addendum, in order to more precisely address some points after David Graeber heavily criticized me for my review. The heated reaction, also from and toward other individuals, was and is irritating for me and can hardly be attributed to differences concerning matters of substance. It’s also probably not a mere coincidence that only men had their say. Also, a staccato in 140-character tweets and commentary at various places on the Internet (instead of where the text originally appeared) were not very encouraging for a meaningful debate based upon mutual understanding. In the meantime, the debate on Graeber’s debt has advanced. A very intensive discussion is still going on, for example with regard to Mike Beggs’ review in Jacobin magazine and on the blog Crooked Timber. Unfortunately, I was not able to take any new aspects or arguments arising from this discussion into consideration.
Just one more preliminary note, since the battle lines of »Marxist« vs. »Anarchist« were all too quickly drawn. Many points of my critique of the conceptional and theoretical approach of Debt also apply to the historical work of Marxists. In their case, the forces of production or class struggle are the trans-historical constants. For that reason, they are also »ahistorical«, despite their historical self-conception. More on that shortly.
Find the rest here.