Freedom from debt

António Guterres 
The UN Secretary-General proposed a military ceasefire during the pandemic, but we also need freedom from debt.

full emancipation from debt would be a landmark governed by lucidity, common sense, humanity, benevolence, protection and solidarity. 

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has proposed a global ceasefire during Covid-19. The initiative is essential for millions of people in need and shows humanitarian sense. 

Guterres said: “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war ... It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives."

However, quite to the contrary, we are experiencing another “war”, one that is as inhumane as the thunder of a missile, the hiss of a projectile or in the agony of chemical weapons. 


This “war” does not kill suddenly but embitters gradually; it tortures by hunger, and afflicts in the uncertainty of tomorrow. Its "generals", far from the battlefields, laze at expensive feasts and in luxurious urban offices of financial institutions.

The tactics here do not aim for death, but for subliminal dominance in the conversion of other people’s work into personal dividends.

In it, buttons are triggers that type bizarre calculations, transmuting debts into repayments of insatiable monetary greed. Annihilation is not carried out on buildings, but on the desolation of culture, in the absence of teaching, and in deep trenches of obscurantism.

full emancipation from debt would be a landmark governed by lucidity, common sense, humanity, benevolence, protection and solidarity. 

The agendas distort civilizational processes, hinder progress, spread the deceit of promises never kept, swearing a future that will never come.

The strategy does not use the impact of the gunshot, but the subtlety of never-ending monetary dependence, the artifice of undue interference, and politics as a weapon of corruption. This "war" shackles false morals, demanding payments no longer due, removing what can no longer be fulfilled, taking away what the peoples are no longer able to offer.


Capital exploits workers and natural resources, rendering the lives from which it profits disposable

The wealth produced is enjoyed by a few powerful people, with nothing left for many of the poor. Wealth grows more than wages, causing countless people to be underprivileged.

The profits of companies - banks, the arms industry, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, among others - always increase exponentially, while earnings are so minimal that they do not allow hunger to be quenched. Ghettos, slums, marginalities are created without water, without sewage, without quality of life (if it can be called “life”).

So many humans are obsessed with the selfish accumulation of goods, the insane exploitation of nature, the financialization of everything and everyone. 


The pandemic that we are experiencing now wounds a system of speculation, income from stock exchanges, obscene interest, loan sharking, unrestrained consumerism, and ungodly calculations that value the primacy of capital over the interests of human life.

So, as well as demanding an end to military conflict, we must immediately free all countries from the tentacles of debt, once and for all and forever. 

A simple “suspension” of the debt for six months is grotesque and only attests to a lack of dignity. Instead, full emancipation from debt would be a landmark governed by lucidity, common sense, humanity, benevolence, protection and solidarity. 

These Authors

Althen Teixeira Filho is a professor at the Biology Institute of the Federal University of Pelotas. José Domingues de Godoi Filho is a professor at the School of Geosciences of the Federal University of Mato Grosso.

Image: United States Mission Geneva, Flickr. 


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