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Karl Marx, Jürgen Habermas, and an Ethics of Debt

Ilsup AHN(North Park University)

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초록

The great financial crisis of 2007-08 is a global showcase of how profoundly erroneous modern neoliberal capitalism can be. Given that at the core of this crisis lies the abusive economy of debt, which includes not only household debt but also corporate financial debt, this paper thematizes specifically the abuse of debt from a moral-political perspective. More specifically, by critically engaging in comparative discourse between Karl Marx and Jurgen Habermas, I develop an argument that the abusive economy of debt should be deconstructed through the reconstructive political economy of debt. To be more specific, I present two fundamental ethical principles in reconstructing the political economy of debt: the “principle of nonviolence” and the “principle of remuneration.” The “principle of nonviolation” stipulates that it becomes an unethical appropriation of the economy of debt when debt plays the abusive role of violating the fundamental human rights of the debtor by the creditor. While the “principle of nonviolation” primarily addresses the abuse of debt occurring on an interpersonal level, the “principle of remuneration” mainly focuses on the abuse of the economy of debt on an international horizon such as Southern debt crises. The second ethical principle, the “principle remuneration” stipulates that it is imperative for the North to forgive the external debt (particularly odious debts) of the South, because Southern debt crises largely originate in the political economy of the North. Through political economy of debt, we not only protect debt from its abusers but also promote the mutual good between debtors and creditors in society. Ultimately, this paper presents a moral-political solution to liberate debt from the abusive and reductive economy of debt.

목차

Ⅰ. Introduction: Abuse of Debt and the Crisis of Capitalism
Ⅱ. Marx, Neo-Marxists, and the Critique of the Capitalist Economy of Debt
Ⅲ. Habermas and the Reconstruction of the Political Economy of Debt
Ⅳ. Reconstructing an Ethics of Debt for the Political Economy of Debt
Ⅴ. Conclusion
Works Cited
Abstract

참고문헌(23)

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  • 5.

    Beitel, Karl , 2008 , The Subprime Debacle , Monthly Review 60 (1) : 27 ~ 44

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