The role of governments according to the Primordial Debt Theory

The core argument is that any attempt to separate monetary policy from social policy is ultimately wrong.

Primordial-debt theorists insist that these have always been the same thing.

Governments use taxes to create money, and they are able to do so because they have become the guardians of the debt that all citizens have to one another.

This debt is the essence of society itself. It exists long before money and markets, and money and markets themselves are simply ways of chopping pieces of it up.

An idea subsequently debunked in the book:
Primordial-debt theorists have other fish to fry. They are not really interested in the cosmos, but actually, in “society.” Let me return again to that word, “society.” The reason that it seems like such a simple, self-evident concept is because we mostly use it as a synonym for “nation.” After all, when Americans speak of paying their debt to society, they are not thinking of their responsibilities to people who live in Sweden, or Gabon. It’s only the modern state, with its elaborate border controls and social policies, that enables us to imagine “society” in this way, as a single bounded entity. This is why projecting that notion backwards into Vedic or Medieval times will always be deceptive, even though we don’t really have another word. It seems to me that this is exactly what the primordial-debt theorists are doing: projecting such a notion backwards. Really, the whole complex of ideas they are talking about—the notion that there is this thing called society, that we have a debt to it, that governments can speak for it, that it can be imagined as a sort of secular god—all of these ideas emerged together around the time of the French Revolution, or in its immediate wake. In other words, it was born alongside the idea of the modern nation-state.