“Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.” – Shakespeare
Until recently, I had never read the rest of that quote, “…borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.”
Back in those days of Shakespeare, essentially every land owner or lease holder was engaged in husbandry (raising animals and doing all the things it takes to support that endeavor). Girls leaving home (hopefully) either did domestic work or “took a husband.” Their house management work and labor-unit-making (baby) services were critical and extremely valuable, so the “husbandry practitioner” paid a dowry to her parents. Many marriages were little more than financial transactions, but the few alternatives to those transactions were very grim indeed.
So, of course the self sufficiency skills required of both men and women to do husbandry and householder work would be “dulled” if the husband borrowed money. The safe and sure route was to either make everything one used or trade for it.
Creating a wide spectrum of items needed for daily life developed a broad skill-set which prepared people for most any eventuality. When necessities couldn’t be created from available skills or materials, people traded. Trading required giving up something of REAL value, so it was usually done only when something was REALLY needed.
Borrowing goods or help from a neighbor wasn’t the same as borrowing currency from a moneychanger. Borrowing a tool from a neighbor in exchange for the understanding the neighbor could borrow what they needed at a future time was still considered trading.
Without these “do it yourself or make do” habits, it stands to reason that over time, a debt-based society would be chocked full of “dullards” who have no skills for self-sufficiency. Most modern people posses nothing of real value to trade except their limited time and they trade what little time they have for promissory notes which they most often trade for things they don’t REALLY need.
There are few if any true “husbandry practitioners” left. Everyone is in some way now reliant on the corporate state. We’ve given up our land, sent our animals to factories, forgotten if we ever knew how to build, grow, or refine anything, and stretched out our wrists to receive the digital shackles of tax IDs.
Self-Sufficiency? It’s a miracle most people know how to tie their shoes.