Strike Debt!

The Debt Resisters’ Operations Manual

Written by a network of activists, writers, and academics from Strike Debt, The Debt Resisters’ Operations Manual reveals how the predatory debt system works to increase inequality, undermine democracy, and ruin lives. It provides detailed strategies for fighting common forms of debt and lays out an expansive vision for a societal movement of debt resistance. The full text of the manual is available here for free.

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  1. IntroductionDebt Rules Everything Around Me
  2. Chapter OneCredit Scores and Consumer Reporting Agencies: Surveillance and the Vicious Cycle of Debt
  3. Chapter TwoCredit Card and Automobile Debt: On the Road to Nowhere
  4. Chapter ThreeMedical Debt: America’s Sick Creation
  5. Chapter FourStudent Debt: Foreclosing on the Future
  6. Chapter FiveHousing Debt: How the American Dream Became a Bait-and-Switch Nightmare
  7. Chapter SixTax Debt: The Certainty of Debt and Taxes
  8. Chapter SevenFringe Finance Transaction Products and Services: Making Bank on the Unbanked
  1. Chapter EightFringe Finance Credit Products and Services: Credit for the Precariat
  2. Chapter NineDebt Collection: Don’t Feed the Vultures
  3. Chapter TenBankruptcy: It’s Better Than Nothing
  4. Chapter ElevenStrategies for Survival: Living on the Margins of the Debt System
  5. Chapter TwelveMunicipal and State Debt: Crushing Debt from Above
  6. Chapter ThirteenNational Debt: The Politics of Scarcity and Control
  7. Chapter FourteenClimate Debt: An Overdue Balance
  8. Chapter FifteenProspects for Change: Join the Resistance!
  9. Glossary

Praise for the Manual

"That debt is neither inevitable nor ethical is one of the powerful assertions of Strike Debt, whose brilliant manual is both a practical handbook and a manifesto for a true debt jubilee: an economic rebirth in which the indebted are freed and financial institutions are reinvented. It's a stunning intersection of ferocity (against the debt industry) and compassion (for the people whose lives are broken by debt). In years to come, we may look back on it as a landmark in social transformation; right now it is both useful and exhilarating."

—Rebecca Solnit, author of A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster and Wanderlust: A History of Walking

"The impact of the neoliberal assault on the U.S. population in the past generation has rightly been designated a 'failure by design.' This failure is sharply class-based-for the designers it has been a grand success, and a failure for most of the rest. The same is true of debt. That sets two tasks for those who care about the health of the society: change the design, and find ways to cope as effectively with the failures it imposes. This valuable monograph by Strike Debt provides a good guide to undertake both."

—Noam Chomsky, author of Hopes and Prospects and Making the Future: The Unipolar Imperial Moment

"This manual is a practical guide that will aid anyone who is struggling with debt. But even more important, it is a political guide that illuminates the myriad kinds of debt relationships that define our society and helps us imagine how we can begin to organize collectively against debt."

—Michael Hardt, coauthor of Commonwealth

"The Debt Resisters' Operations Manual is a powerful tool for resistance and creation. It shows how we can say 'No!' to debt-resist and refuse-while at the same time opens the possibility of alternative ways of relating and creating real value together-based on solidarity and care."

—Marina Sitrin, author of Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina

"The Debt Resisters' Operation Manual is a sober, practical book that will save its readers much money and many sleepless nights. At the same time it is a visionary text that goes into the bowels of the debt machine to chart a collective way out of the state of debt-induced indentured servitude that millions of Americans face. It is the new debt resisters' movement's opening challenge to Wall Street that is making the bankers anxious. Get a copy and join the movement."

—Silvia Federici, author of Revolution at Point Zero and Caliban and the Witch

"The Debt Resisters' Operations Manual is a guide for every debtor living in the United States. Given that more than 75% of American households are in debt right now, its relevance cannot be overstated. The manual is ambitious in subject matter but grounded in tone: plain and clear English is the best weapon if we want to understand the deliberately over-complicated debt economy."

—Natasha Lewis, occasional writer and regular producer of Dissent magazine's Belabored podcast