Ambrose Bierce: Debt Slavedriver

Posted by admin on Thursday, June 8, 2023

Meaning of Ambrose Bierce Money Quote: saying debt is nearly the same as the punishment of a mean and angry slavedriver. Ambrose Bierce said:

Debt is an ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver Quote

“Debt is an ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver” — Ambrose Bierce


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In this quote, Ambrose Bierce is sharply criticizing debt as a form of control and coercion over people. By likening debt to “the chain and whip of the slavedriver”, Bierce suggests that being deeply indebted functions similarly to enslavement by forcing people into servitude out of desperation to pay what they owe.

His view is that debt traps people in ongoing financial obligations that deprive them of true freedom, much like physical chains and whips would. Bierce portrays debt as a modern “substitute” for overt slavery that still oppressively binds people to the demands of creditors. The quote presents debt in a very negative light, as a means for others to indirectly dominate debtors through economic rather than physical compulsion.

Overall, Ambrose Bierce is condemning debt as another form of servitude that lacks the overt cruelty of slavery but achieves similar effects of power over those who are financially shackled by what they owe.

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