'Debt' is about the origins of money and debt. I found it fascinating, but I'm not sure where to trust it, especially given the clear agenda around tying debt to violence.
Barter economies have never been seen (see Caroline Humphrey for more detail)
A communalist setting is one in which people share by default
It requires something on this scale - an immediate threat to life and limb, terror-bombing of civilian populations - before people will ordinarily consider not giving a stranger accurate directions.
Most pre-axial economies were heroic economies.
In most pre-axial societies, honor (blood debt etc) followed money-like rules
In most pre-axial societies, goods were managed communistically (eg surplus stored in the village longhouse and distributed by chief)
The difference between owing someone a favor and owing someone a debt is that the amount of a debt can be precisely calculated
Debt preceded money
Prior to government money, commerce ran on networks of trust and credit
Early money systems were formed out of IOU notes / notes of assurance
Credit systems require either a personal connection or a trusted enforcer to function
Money allows strangers to trade
Coinage was invented during the Axial age
Bullion/coinage are popular in violent periods because they can be stolen
Soldiers are a credit risk because they are heavily armed itinerants
Because soldiers are a credit risk, they cannot rely on normal systems of credit
Governments fed large standing armies by paying them in government tokens (coins) and then demanding taxes in the same tokens
Debt slavery effectively makes it possible to use people as securities, even if the law forbids selling them
Slave trade was often legitimized/white-washed by the pretense of debt
Most peasant rebellions focus on erasing debt
The US spends more on military than every other nation put together
The US deficit produces a surplus on dollars, which can only really be used to buy US treasury bonds
US treasury bonds are supposed to be repaid, but are instead becoming a currency of their own, producing a free ride for the US