We have a good understanding of what is the essence of “money”.
"Money" is generalized form of goods and services.
In an economy that makes widespread use of money, “everything has a price”, meaning that anyone can buy or sell most anything, in exchange for money, which can then be used to purchase most anything else.
The use of money enables the more complex and specialized trading practices that are essential to a more developed economy.
But what is “debt”?
Our usual descriptions of “debt” are more mechanistic.
We can explain how debt works?
A debtor and a creditor exchange money in the present, in exchange for a promise to payback that money in the future, commonly with interest, commonly under terms and conditions enforced by police and courts, and frequently under the threat of some penalty to the debtor, such as forfeiture of some collateral property if not repaid as promised.
That’s how it works.
But in more abstract terms of the present and future goods and services, resources and liabilities available to a society:
What is “debt”?
I would suggest that, in an economy that has excess “stuff” (goods and services) or that can make excess “stuff”, then debt is an instrument for exchanging present stuff for future stuff.
In other words, “money” is a generalized medium of exchange between two parties in the present and “debt” is a generalized medium of exchange between one party in the present and one in the future.
The debtor receives some “stuff” in the present.
In return, the creditor expects to receive some “stuff” in the future.
Control over who gets lent what for what offers a powerful control lever over an economy.
… more to come when I continue this discussion, hopefully in the next day or three .