Max Ernst Ubu Imperator 1923
Germany is lost.
The German health minister claimed that experts see the Moderna shot as the “Rolls-Royce” of vaccines, while likening the Pfizer jab to a “Mercedes” as the country looks to roll out booster shots to tame a fourth wave. Speaking on Monday, Health Minister Jens Spahn told a news conference that the government will insist on the use of the Moderna vaccine as a Covid-19 booster, warning that millions of shots could expire in the first quarter of 2022 unless used. Spahn said that some 16 million Moderna doses could go to waste unless they’re used in the coming months. “This is an important aspect, but it is not the decisive one. What’s crucial is that our BioNTech stock is emptying so fast that coming next week we won’t be able to deliver more than two-three million doses a week,” he added.
The minister emphasized that the preference of most Germans for the Pfizer vaccine was misled, as he claimed that experts call the Moderna shot the “Rolls-Royce” of Covid-19 vaccines. Meanwhile, the Pfizer vaccine, developed in partnership with German firm BioNTech, was more comparable to “Mercedes.” Germany is racing to deliver booster shots in an effort to tame a dangerous fourth wave of Covid-19, which has already led to a lockdown in neighboring Austria. Allaying fears of vaccine shortages, Spahn claimed that Germany had a combined 50 million doses from Pfizer and Moderna available until the end of the year. Earlier in November, an advisory committee said that people under the age of 30 in Germany should only receive the Pfizer vaccine, as it caused fewer heart inflammations in younger people than Moderna’s. France, among other nations, had already applied similar guidance.
All history forgotten.
In view of Germany’s dramatic Covid situation, and following last Friday’s news that neighboring Austria will impose a mandatory vaccination starting February, the debate about a general vaccination obligation is gaining momentum, with a growing number of political leaders saying they would not rule it out. On Thursday, the heads of the 16 federal states agreed that mandatory vaccinations for health workers should be carried out “on a facility-by-facility basis” and urged the federal government to implement this as soon as possible. But discussions for mandatory vaccines for the general population are also intensifying. According to TheLocal.de, during a press conference about the availability of mRNA vaccines on Monday morning, Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) repeatedly refused to rule out the possibility of introducing mandatory vaccination in Germany in the future.
“That is not a decision we can make today,” he told reporters. On Sunday evening, SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach had also raised the possibility of compulsory vaccinations in a talk show on the TV station Bild: “We must move towards vaccination obligation,” he argued. “Without compulsory vaccinations, we obviously won’t achieve the vaccination rate we need to get to.” On Monday morning the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced a seven-day incidence of 386.5, reaching a new high for the 15th day in a row. 30,643 new infections within 24 hours were also reported, although fewer case numbers are usually reported over the weekend. Bavaria’s Health Minister Klaus Holetschek also recently said that he would not rule out a general vaccination requirement.
“I was always actually an opponent of compulsory vaccination,” he told Deutschlandfunk radio. However, he now believes “that we need to talk about this issue relatively quickly.” “Personally, I am now actually in favour of this general vaccination obligation as a last resort,” he said. Bavaria is currently one of the worst-hit federal states in Germany: on Monday the Robert Koch Institut reported an incidence of 640 in the region. The president of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, expressed restraint in the debate about compulsory vaccination, but said that it could be seen as “as a last resort” on ZDF television on Sunday. But he repeated his calls for people to get vaccinated voluntarily. “We must ensure that we get as many people as possible to vaccinate, and boost those who have complete basic immunisation,” he said.
A change is needed. This will not end well.
The Australian army has begun forcibly removing residents in the Northern Territories to the Howard Springs quarantine camp located in Darwin, after nine new Covid-19 cases were identified in the community of Binjari. The move comes after hard lockdowns were instituted in the communities of both Binjari and nearby Rockhole on Saturday night. “Residents of Binjari and Rockhole no longer have the five reasons to leave their homes,” said Northern Territory chief minister, Michael Gunner, referring to the country’s five allowable reasons to avoid lockdown (buying food and supplies, exercising for up to two hours, care or caregiving, work or education if it can’t be done from home, and to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location).
“They can only leave for medical treatment, in an emergency, or as required by law.” “It’s highly likely that more residents will be transferred to Howard Springs today, either as positive cases or close contacts,” he continued, adding “We have already identified 38 close contacts from Binjari but that number will go up. Those 38 are being transferred now.” “I contacted the Prime Minister last night. We are grateful for the support of about 20 ADF personnel, as well as army trucks to assist with the transfer of positive cases and close contacts – and to support the communities. We are doing an assessment today of what extra resources we might need from the Feds, and the Prime Minister is ready to help further – I thank him for that.” “We’re conscious of the fact that this can have some impacts on people’s mental health as well as their general well being,” Police Commissioner Jamie Chalkner told NT News.
Of note, the Northern Territories are home to a large percentage of indigenous Australians. As the Epoch Times’ Steve Milne notes: “According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in 2018-19, almost one in five Indigenous Australians lived in overcrowded dwellings (18 percent), compared to 5 percent of non-Indigenous Australians. Although this percentage had decreased from 27 percent in 2004, it still meant an estimated 145,340 Indigenous Australians were living in overcrowded dwellings in 2018-19. In addition, the more remote an area, the higher the proportion of Indigenous Australians living in overcrowded dwellings (26 percent in remote areas and 51 percent in “very remote” areas), compared to 8 and 22 percent in non-remote areas.”
Pfizer board. Careful never to mention number 4.
Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Sunday that he expects the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to consider Americans “fully vaccinated” when they receive a booster shot, adding that recommendations to change it would likely not happen this year. “Should the CDC say you need a booster to be considered fully vaccinated?” “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan asked Gottlieb on CBS. “I think at some point they’re going to, but not this year,” Gottlieb answered. “I think eventually this will be considered the three-dose vaccine, but I would be hard pressed to believe CDC is going to make that recommendation any time soon, in part because of this debate about whether or not younger people who are less risk should be receiving that third dose in states where governors are looking to do this, and I think some local communities will do it,” he added.
Gottlieb was also asked about CDC saying last week that all American adults could get a booster shot while specifically recommending that people over the age of 50 get their boosters. “I think the reluctant nature by which CDC has been stepping into this debate reflects a broader ambivalence or a broader debate happening in a public health community about whether the vaccines should be used as tools to protect people from bad outcomes from COVID, or whether they should be used as tools to try to end the pandemic and control transmission,” Gottlieb said. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky late last week signed off on a recommendation from a CDC advisory panel to broaden eligibility of the COVID-19 booster to all American adults.
“..the only reason you got protection was due to a wildly elevated titer in the first place, and once it waned, which it inevitably would, you were going to get ****ed.”
its actually worse in percentage terms. Yeah, that’s bad, and we’ll get to that. But first, another study. Because, well, why tell you that you likely screwed yourself once when we can get a two-fer at once? So on the first up I have a nasty prediction to make, and you’re not going to like it — but it is, once again, nothing more than reading the data and making a reasonable projection forward based on what it shows. If you remember one of the nightmare scenarios was an “ADE” sort of response to the jabs, which many so-called “experts” poo-pooed. They had no evidence to poo-poo it, by the way, and in fact the evidence all ran the other way from history. We had never successfully vaccinated against a coronavirus producing durable immunity and this is why; the previous trials all aborted out due to VEI (vaccine-enhanced infection) which covers ADE, OAS and a whole other litany of stupidity caused by using non-sterilizing “vaccines.”
Then this paper published, which confirmed it was in play with specific focus on these jabs. “In this study we profiled vaccine-induced polyclonal antibodies as well as plasmablast-derived mAbs from individuals who received SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccine. Polyclonal antibody responses in vaccinees were robust and comparable to or exceeded those seen after natural infection. However, the ratio of binding to neutralizing antibodies after vaccination was greater than that after natural infection and, at the monoclonal level, we found that the majority of vaccine-induced antibodies did not have neutralizing activity.”
This was published in July of this year. It should have been the end of mass-vaccination attempts against Covid because it made clear that binding (infection-enhancing) antibodies were produced by the jabs in abundance and what’s worse the majority of the antibodies produced were worthless or harmful. In short the only reason you got protection was due to a wildly elevated titer in the first place, and once it waned, which it inevitably would, you were going to get ****ed. We also found a co-dominance of mAbs targeting the NTD and RBD of SARS-CoV-2 spike and an original antigenic-sin like backboost to spikes of seasonal human coronaviruses OC43 and HKU1 That’s even worse in that OC43 in particular is believed to have caused a Covid-19 like pandemic in the 1890s. Backboosting that virus, which circulates all the time in humans, is flat-out nuts because like Covid-19 the pandemic of the 1890s featured all manner of nasty death.
Since OC43 circulates in the population on a roughly four-year cycle anything that enhances that virus is begging to whack people in size — but not from Covid-19, rather from another virus that usually is nothing other than a nuisance! Well, now we’re seeing the consequences. UM (Ann Arbor) is reporting a wildly-virulent outbreak of “the worst flu ever” but the testing for Covid is coming back negative. They’re claiming its a strain of flu but that’s even worse because that strongly implies that the immune damage isn’t Covid-19 specific. [..] We had plenty of warning and should have stopped the jabs immediately in healthy people when that data became apparent because the very last thing you ever want to do is potentiate some other disease with your so-called “strategy.” What’s even worse is that this was the only reasonable and plausible explanation for why the drug companies set dosing where they did (the presence of binding antibodies) which means everyone in both the FDA and drug companies knew ******ned well before the first EUA issued that these jabs were likely to do this.
But it doesn’t end there. It is reported that the hospitalization rate for “breakthrough” infections is in the neighborhood of 9%. That is roughly double the rate the CDC “estimates” for all Covid-19 infections. In addition the recent outbreak in a CT nursing home with more than a 10% fatality rate has made clear that in terms of actually protecting people from severe outcomes who need it most the vaccines are essentially worthless. In other words when your protection wanes you are at higher risk of getting severely ill. That too is logical given the binding antibody titers. In addition there are now a myriad number of reports of people who got Covid again after being vaccinated yet non-vaccinated second infection reports remain nearly non-existent. So if you had the disease and then take the jab the evidence is that it ruined your existing protection, at least in part. How bad that will get is unknown — but we’re going to find out.
Let the stories be told.
Monday marks the deadline for millions of federal employees to provide proof that they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19. The mandate was imposed by President Biden in an executive order signed back in September. Federal workers will have all day today to turn in their proof of vaccination. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said experience with other similar mandates in the private sector indicates there could be a last minute rush to meet the requirements and submit paperwork. “We don’t see it as a cliff,” said Psaki in Friday’s briefing. For months the White House resisted vaccine mandates out of concern over backlash, but with the delta variant causing a surge in cases and the pace of vaccinations plateauing, Biden signed orders requiring all civilian federal workers and employees of federal contractors to provide proof of vaccination.
A similar requirement was instituted for members of the military and people working in nursing homes, hospitals and doctor’s offices. Although the CDC opened up booster shots to all adults on Friday, for now, the requirement is just for a single dose of the J&J vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. That could change if the CDC updates its definition of fully vaccinated to include boosters. As for the share of federal workers who have already gotten vaccinated, Psaki said the White House will be crunching the numbers throughout the day. But she insisted they aren’t expecting disruptions caused by people choosing not to be vaccinated. “No, we do not anticipate facing any governmental operational disruptions due to this requirement,” said Psaki. “And in fact the requirement will avoid disruptions in our view because vaccinations help avoid COVID.”
“Nobody knows what’s going on. It’s been a complete and utter disaster every step of the way.”
The military’s system of implementing a COVID-19 vaccination order for all those in the ranks is facing unprecedented stress as a historic number of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines say their faith should allow them to skip getting the shot. The result so far has been a massive logistical headache for Pentagon leaders and an unenviable task for the chaplains who find themselves in the crosshairs. It’s a dilemma that shows no signs of easing as the services’ vaccine deadlines come and go. With the Defense Department mounting an aggressive push to get service members vaccinated and force out those who refuse, sources across military branches said the sheer volume of faith-related exemption applications is unlike anything seen before.
Exact figures for most of the military services won’t be released publicly for another several weeks, but the few numbers available so far paint a behind-the-scenes picture of a system not designed to handle such a huge influx of waiver requests in a relatively short period of time. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and senior service heads say the vaccine mandate is a readiness issue, needed to protect those who serve and prevent COVID-19 outbreaks from sidelining troops or cutting short deployments and naval missions. But as in the civilian world, vaccine skeptics are proving hard to win over, even in the face of a direct order.
“They don’t have the resources to handle this in a serious manner,” said Sean Timmons, a Houston attorney who said his firm, Tully Rinckey PLLC, represents more than 100 military personnel seeking COVID-19 exemptions, most of them on religious grounds. “It’s a giant mess,” Mr. Timmons told The Washington Times. “Nobody knows what’s going on. It’s been a complete and utter disaster every step of the way.” Pentagon officials vehemently disagree with that characterization and stress that each service member who seeks a religious waiver from the federally mandated coronavirus vaccine is given a fair hearing and ample opportunity to explain their objection.
“And on Sunday he did nothing, with apparent success.”
Proposing a hypothetical: What if “Joe Biden” has worsening symptoms of an adverse reaction to his late September Covid booster shot? Does that account for the sudden flurry of interest in how his handlers might manage the problem of Kamala Harris? And what, is the problem with Kamala Harris? That she is Vice-president and next-in-line for Commander-in-chief in the (adverse) event that “JB” has to step aside. And why is that a problem? Because she is widely loathed and distrusted among those who know her in Washington.
That’s what bubbled up last week as “Joe Biden” went into Walter Reed Hospital for a checkup, including an alleged colonoscopy. What if that was not the test he had? What if they ran him through a CT scan or an MRI to detect neurological damage or vascular irregularities in his brain? (In 1988, “JB” did have a couple of brain aneurysms and endured a four-and-a-half-hour microsurgical craniotomy.) Briefly during this exam, Veep Kamala Harris carried the nuclear football, gaining no yardage in the process, but curdling the spinal fluxes of many casual observers in our nation’s capital. Later, the president’s doctors issued a detailed report that portrayed an elderly gentleman “fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency….”
And so, for the next three days “Joe Biden” proceeded in his august duties. Late Friday, after the checkup ordeal, he successfully pardoned a Thanksgiving turkey (convicted of mis-gendering a capon). On Saturday, he successfully attended evening mass at a church in Wilmington. And on Sunday he did nothing, with apparent success. Today, he flies to Fort Bragg for a “Friendsgiving dinner” with soldiers. One must imagine that Kamala Harris could keep up with a schedule like that, though perhaps without successfully easing the woes and travails of the American people in this time of Covid, Climate Change, inflation, and white supremacist terrorism.
Of course, if it turned out that “Joe Biden” presented symptoms of an adverse reaction to his Covid booster shot, that might flip the government’s claim that the mRNA vaccines are harmless. It might actually blow away the entire rationale for pushing the American people around over all things Covid. It would drive a stake through the heart of the CDC and end the career of Dr. Anthony Fauci. It would end all the efforts to destroy small business and public school in the USA. It would also prompt severe reactions from the citizens in other advanced nations — especially among what is called the West — and put a stop to their lockdowns, health passports, and proposals for mandatory vaccinations.
So, you see, whatever might be going on with “Joe Biden” health-wise has got to be a national security matter. And so, considering that our government lies liberally about thousands of other matters of lesser importance, one can see that they would be motivated to not tell the truth about “JB’s” checkup.
“..releasing the information could help reassure vaccine skeptics that the shot is indeed “safe and effective and, thus, increase confidence in the Pfizer vaccine.”
Last week attorney Aaron Siri of Injecting Freedom reported that the FDA is going to take 55 years, or until 2076, to disclose all of the data and information it relied on before approving Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. Following its publication, we expected the usual constellation of conflicted neerdowell ‘fact checkers’ to shoot it down – or at least, spin what was going on. To our surprise, that wasn’t the case. In fact, Reuters – whose founder and former CEO sits on the board of Pfizer, looked into the matter and was apparently shocked. Here’s how they explain it:
“The 1967 FOIA law requires federal agencies to respond to information requests within 20 business days. However, the time it takes to actually get the documents “will vary depending on the complexity of the request and any backlog of requests already pending at the agency,” according to the government’s central FOIA website. Justice Department lawyers representing the FDA note in court papers that the plaintiffs are seeking a huge amount of vaccine-related material – about 329,000 pages. The plaintiffs, a group of more than 30 professors and scientists from universities including Yale, Harvard, UCLA and Brown, filed suit in September in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, seeking expedited access to the records. They say that releasing the information could help reassure vaccine skeptics that the shot is indeed “safe and effective and, thus, increase confidence in the Pfizer vaccine.”
But the FDA can’t simply turn the documents over wholesale. The records must be reviewed to redact “confidential business and trade secret information of Pfizer or BioNTech and personal privacy information of patients who participated in clinical trials,” wrote DOJ lawyers in a joint status report filed Monday. The article explains how the FDA proposed releasing 500 pages per month on a rolling basis – informing the court that they only have 10 employees in the branch that would handle the review, and are currently processing around 400 other FOIA requests. “By processing and making interim responses based on 500-page increments, FDA will be able to provide more pages to more requesters, thus avoiding a system where a few large requests monopolize finite processing resources and where fewer requesters’ requests are being fulfilled,” wrote DOJ attorneys, citing other cases in which the 500 monthly page production was upheld.
The plaintiffs, on the other hand, point out that the FDA has 18,000 employees and a budget of $6 billion – and “has itself said that there is nothing more important than the licensure of this vaccine and being transparent about this vaccine.” Since the first batch of documents were released, people have already noted some disturbing findings. What could the rest of the documents reveal?
Kirsch may be taking it a step too far. It’s not a game show.
I’ve been reading a number of comments from people who think that my million dollar offers aren’t serious. The people who doubt me are all people who don’t know me very well. There is no evidence of anyone who has ever attempted to negotiate a definitive agreement on any of my offers. The furthest it ever got is one time someone had their attorney contact my attorney and then when we called back, they hung up on us. Clearly, they were hoping to expose me and quickly learned I don’t bluff. Here is a list of my million dollar offers. They are all done to expose corruption or to show people that nobody can dispute our calculations, even with a very large incentive.
Open million dollar offers
I will bet anyone $1M that the CDC lying to everyone about number of deaths. If you think the CDC is telling the truth, this is an easy way to double your money for a few hours of effort.
$1M research grant if you think Mathew Crawford made a math error that would change the result. I’m offering a $1M research grant to the first researcher to publish a paper that disproves Mathew Crawford’s analysis of the death data that shows that the vaccines have killed over 150,000 people in the US.
$5M bet with Gavin Newsom for a blank piece of paper. See the article. If he takes the bet, I’ll happily write a term sheet. Who would turn down $5M for a blank piece of paper? If he was vaccine injured, he’d turn it down. If he wasn’t, it’s a free $5M he can keep or donate to his favorite charity. He can argue he doesn’t need it, but how about charities? When was the last time you saw Gavin give $5M to charity? The point is that even if he’s uber rich, he’d still take the offer in a heartbeat if he had nothing to hide. The fact he’s not accepting my offer shows most (but not all) people that he’s a hypocrite by forcing people to take a vaccine he knows can damage people for the rest of their lives.
Expired million dollar offers
FDA/CDC committee debate (expired November 19, 2021)
I offered any voting member $1M to debate our team. You got the money just for showing up to be questioned. No debate here to win. Just show up at the debate table for 5 hours. Up to 5 people could show up so worst case each person walks away with at least $200K for 5 hours of work. Who would turn that down? Turns out everyone did after I sent to their emails. Which proves to me one thing: they don’t like answering questions at all.
“I am not advocating or condoning violence. But it is going to happen. It is happening already. Totalitarianism (even this “pathologized” version of it) is imposed on society and maintained with violence.”
On November 19, 2021, the government of New Normal Austria decreed that, as of February, experimental mRNA injections will be mandatory for the entire population. This decree comes in the midst of Austria’s official persecution of “the Unvaccinated,” i.e., political dissidents and other persons of conscience who refuse to convert to the new official ideology and submit to a series of mRNA injections, purportedly to combat a virus that causes mild-to-moderate flu-like symptoms (or no symptoms of any kind at all) in about 95% of the infected and the overall infection fatality rate of which is approximately 0.1% to 0.5%. Austria is just the tip of the New Normal spear. Prominent New-Normal fascists in Germany, like Der Führer of Bavaria, Markus Söder, and Minister of Propaganda Karl Lauterbach, are already calling for an allgemeine Impfpflicht (i.e., “compulsory vaccination requirement”), which should not come as a surprise to anyone.
The Germans are not going sit idly by and let the Austrians publicly out-fascist them, are they? They have a reputation to uphold, after all! Italy will probably be next to join in, unless Lithuania or Australia beats them to the punch.But, seriously, this is just the beginning of the Winter Siege I wrote about recently. The plan seems to be to New-Normalize Europe first — generally speaking, Europeans are more docile, respectful of all authority, and not very well armed — and then use it as leverage to force the new pathologized totalitarianism on the USA, and the UK, and the rest of the world. I do not believe this plan will succeed. In spite of the longest and most intensive propaganda campaign in the history of propaganda, there remain enough of us who steadfastly refuse to accept the “New Normal” as our new reality.
And a lot of us are angry, extremely angry … militantly, explosively angry. We are not “vaccine hesitant” or “anti-vax” or “Covid-denying conspiracy theorists.” We are millions of regular working-class people, people with principles, who value freedom, who are not prepared to go gently into the globalized, pathologized-totalitarian night. We no longer give the slightest shit whether our former friends and family members who have gone New Normal understand what this is. We do. We understand exactly what this is. It is a nascent form of totalitarianism, and we intend to kill it — or at least critically wound it — before it matures into a full-grown behemoth. Now, I want to be absolutely clear. I am not advocating or condoning violence. But it is going to happen. It is happening already. Totalitarianism (even this “pathologized” version of it) is imposed on society and maintained with violence.
Fighting totalitarianism inevitably entails violence. It is not my preferred tactic in the current circumstances, but it is unavoidable now that we have reached this stage, and it is important that those of fighting this fight recognize that violence is a natural response to the violence (and the implicit threat of violence) that is being deployed against us by the New Normal authorities, and the masses they have whipped up into a fanatical frenzy. It is also important (essential, I would argue) to make the violence of the New Normal visible, i.e., to frame this fight in political terms, and not in the pseudo-medical terms propagated by the official Covid narrative). This isn’t an academic argument over the existence, severity, or the response to a virus. This is a fight to determine the future of our societies.
“Ukraine and Poland have actively opposed the Nord Stream 2 project. The two countries were added to the certification process by the German regulator last week..”
The new delay in approving the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany is down to Kiev’s lobbying efforts, Ukraine’s foreign minister claimed after Berlin’s regulator suspended the certification process. Speaking to the news channel Ukraine 24 on Monday, Dmitry Kuleba praised Ukraine’s attempts to delay the project’s approval. “Nord Stream 2 should have been operating and earning money a long time ago, but the fact that it still does not work and we are fighting against it is the result of our common endeavors,” he said. “Together with our partners, we have significantly slowed down the implementation of this project.” Kuleba also accused Russia of trying to find grey areas in EU legislation and create preferential conditions for the pipeline. He added that Ukraine, as well as Brussels and members of the 27-strong bloc, are united in their demands that Nord Stream 2 must meet “not only the letter, but the spirit” of the EU’s Third Energy Package.
The directive outlines the unbundling of the energy supply, the importance of independent regulators, as well as open and fair retail markets. The minister’s comments come after Berlin paused the certification process of the underwater pipeline last week. It will be halted until the company behind the initiative reorganizes itself in accordance with German law. Ukraine and Poland have actively opposed the Nord Stream 2 project. The two countries were added to the certification process by the German regulator last week. However, they do not have the power to block its implementation, and can only provide their opinions on the venture. Kiev has also warned it stands to lose billions of dollars if there is a decrease in the volume of Russian gas being exported through the Soviet-built pipeline network that spans the country.
Calling Jay Powell. Vague has a new book out, I think.
“In many of the most prominent ancient civilizations, including ancient Sumer, Babylon, Assyria, Akkadia, Egypt, Sparta, Corinth, and China, excessive household debt was a huge and recurring problem. This may come as a surprise to a reader today, because ancient societies are often misleadingly described as barter-based. In fact, debt was a necessary and pervasive part of these earliest economies, and our ancient ancestors quickly developed a sophisticated understanding of debt and lending, with laws and institutions to govern that lending. Debt did then many of the same things that it does now: it facilitated payment for labor, allowed for the acquisition of supplies, and bridged the time between planting and harvest — the reaping and then the sowing of profit.
“Some families in these agricultural societies would find themselves with little option but to amass debts in order to live, but in time the burden of this debt could cause them to lose their land, their means of sustenance, and even their liberty, in the tragic form of debt bond servitude. … Interest rates were high and lenders quickly learned the power of compounding. Bouts of disease, drought, war, or other disasters often exacerbated citizens’ debt burdens. These ancient economies would sometimes reach the brink of collapse under the staggering weight of private indebtedness.
“For this reason among others, kings devised the practice of debt forgiveness or amnesty as a solution. A king might proclaim a debt amnesty for a number of reasons, as we will see, including to ensure that citizens were available to serve in his army and help build the great public works of that society. At first, historians were surprised to learn of this phenomenon, but archeologically documented instances of debt amnesty are numerous and growing, and refer to actual, and fundamental, debt practices in these cultures. In fact, some historians view this practice as conservative, counterintuitive as that may sound, since it was a mechanism that both preserved the practice of lending and kept those loans from overwhelming these economies.
“A key Old Testament passage, Deuteronomy 15:2-3, describes clearly the time when these debt amnesties were proclaimed: ‘Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for cancelling debts has been proclaimed. You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you.’
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