Student Debt and Democracy

Student Debt and Democracy

On this week’s episode of The Time of Monsters, Astra Taylor joins the show to discuss the politics and morality of debt.


Joe Biden’s executive action on college student debt is both the culmination of a long political struggle and the possible start of a new era of debt relief not just for college students but also for many other people weighed down by money they owe for hospital stays, housing and other essentials.

To talk about the potential of debt relief as the basis for an energized new left politics, I talked with Astra Taylor, the documentary filmmaker who has been an active player in these debates since the days of Occupy Wall Street. Astra is the cofounder of the Debt Collective. In her writings and speeches, she’s made many key points about how debt relief is grounded in organizing and solidarity, how economic equality (including making sure people aren’t burdened with undue debt) is crucial for democracy, and how we need to free people from the unjustified guilt that prevents them from fighting for their rights.

I should note that I was coming out of the cold when I recorded this podcast, so my voice is raspy. But I think Astra’s eloquence more than carries the show.

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