Seminar on David Graeber’s Debt – admin notice

by Chris Bertram on February 28, 2012

We’ve now received and published all the contributions in our online seminar on David Graeber’s _Debt: The First 5000 Years_ . For those wanting a handy index the posts are:

Chris Bertram, “Introduction”:
John Quiggin, “The unmourned death of the double coincidence”:
Henry Farrell: “The world economy is not a tribute system”:
Barry Finger “Debt jubilee or global deleveraging”:
John Quiggin (slight return): “The end of debt”:
Neville Morley: “The return of grand narrative in the human sciences”:
Malcolm Harris: “The dangers of pricing the infinite”:
Daniel Davies “Too big to fail: the first 5000 years”:
Lou Brown: “Good to think with”:
Richard Ashcroft: “Money out of place: ‘debt’ and incentives”:
Rob Horning: “Debt on the 12th planet”:

Stay tuned, as we’re hoping that David Graeber will be able to write a response to some of this soon, but that won’t happen for at least a week or so.

Debt on the 12th Planet

by Rob Horning on February 28, 2012

In his 1976 book The Twelfth Planet, independent scholar Zecharia Sitchin drew on his heterodox studies of archeology, biology, anthropology, and ancient Sumerian to put forward the thesis that an alien race from the planet Nibiru came to earth thousands of years ago and enslaved the human species and forced them to mine precious metals, instilling in our ancestors a religious respect for metallurgy and an insatiable love for gold. As I remember it from Sitchin’s appearances on the Art Bell show in the 1990s, the original political hierarchies in ancient times derived from the appointed intermediaries to the Nibiru people (known in various human mythologies as the Nephilim or the Annunaki); these became the earliest human kings, with access to supernatural power that justified their rule, the purpose of which was essentially to expedite the greatest amount of precious metal extraction possible.
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