Int the “company towns” of old days, workers bought the tools and goods they needed on credit, then were trapped indefinitely working to pay off their debts. Today this story outrages people-but what if the same scam were perpetrated by a class rather than a single corporation? Student loans ensnare young workers more effectively than any general store could have. Likewise, the only difference between debt and old fashioned indentured servitude is that now the servitude is owed to the economy in general rather than a particular individual or institution.
If we look at debt as a form of obligation, it starts to sound suspiciously familiar. Some are born with little, and can only get what they need on the condition that they pledge themselves to service; others start out with plenty and are so generous as to loan some of it out to the needy in return for this pledge. This is simply a new incarnation of the duty the poor have owed the rich since feudal times, updated to appear voluntary.
— Crimethinc, Work