I am befuddled.  This morning I was reading about capital and about the world debt.  The debt is something like 200 trillion dollars.  What is that debt?  Who owns the debt?

I am also befuddled by ideas like “people of color.”  American politics seems to have defined itself in term of something called race.  Immigration is bad because people who speak spanish are brown.  Is Spanish a race?  What is race?  Who defines my race?

Then I figured it out, world debt is a social construct like race!

Every time someone tries to explain race to me, they explain it is a “social construct.”  Skin color doesn’t matter until someone decides black people smell bad.  Hell, skin color itself does not define race because somehow being Hispanic or Jewish gets you a racial quality and if you do not have that quality you get “white privilege.”  The liberal community has decided that Jews are white,  another social construct. In India they have a caste system very much like American racism.  Brahmins get to be at the top and Dalit at the bottom .. just like white folks and black folks in the USA! Of course when they come here, Brahmins become people of color.

Problem is, I can not find a  definition of a social construct.   Is there some way to figure out what races are?  If so maybe we could just refine race out of the vocabulary.  The same problem happened for me fifty years ago in college when I read Marx.  What is capital?  Like race, there is no real definition of capital.  As Marx explained .. or as well as I understood .. capital is a social construct, an agreement that we all have to recognize that someone owns the rights to buy and sell stuff.  Jeff Bezos has, a very big amount of capital.

Economists and bankers define capital so well that it seems real .. just like race.   The US can borrow lots of money because everyone knows we are worth it!  Like race, that works as long as everyone agrees.


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  1. Roger Rabbit #

    I thought capital is money.

  2. theaveeditor #

    No. Capital is credit. It can be money or it can be any construct that can be used to create.

  3. Roger Rabbit #

    Credit is money, Bitcoin is money, chickens are money, seashells are money … anything used as a medium of exchange is money. Capital is money used for production instead of consumption. If you keep a chicken to lay eggs it’s capital, if you eat the chicken it’s not.