Simply: there is no Citibank except by the borrower and for the borrower.
               Meaning: Citibank would be meaningless except for the borrower’s line of credit and Citibank is made possible only by those borrowers.
               Meaning: Citibank would be the relationship between the borrower and his or her habit of borrowing.
               Meaning: when the borrower first appears under the category of Borrower (which might function under other names: the guest, the purchaser, the debtor), the borrower becomes central to Citibank and whatever its operations at any given time on any given day—since Citibank itself has no margin.
               I say: the borrower is central to Citibank, but at the same time and immediately I add that the borrower is central to Citibank only insofar as Citibank has the function (which defines it) of locating concrete individuals as borrowers. In this transaction exists the primary interest of Citibank: a borrower becomes a Borrower only by borrowing.
               In order to grasp what follows, it is essential to realize that both she who is writing these lines and the reader who reads them are themselves borrowers, and therefore subject to Citibank (an orthological propostion). It’s true: the author, insofar as she has borrowed the lines of a discourse which she does not claim to be her own, is not completely absent as a “borrower” from her “own” discourse (for all discourse is by definition a borrowed discourse; there is no "ownership of discourse" except in the discourse of ownership). This is a charge which I shall leave, for now, unrepaid.
               For you and for me alike, even the category of Borrower is a “debt” we owe to Citibank. Like all debt, including that which loans value to capital, the ‘debt’ of becoming a borrower is an effect of Citibank: the elementary Citibank effect. It is not a peculiarity of Citibank that it imposes debt as debt (without appearing to do so, since it is ‘our’ debt which Citibank imposes), which as borrowers, we cannot fail to repay, and to do so indefinitely. Yes: we have the inevitable and belated reaction of crying out (alone, only; only to ourselves): ‘!’
               Specifically: you go to Citibank. You drive up to the window and Citibank asks, through the window, ‘Who’s there?’ You answer: “me”. But Citibank doesn’t recognize “Me”. Citibank does not open the window, and doesn’t recognize you as ‘Me’ who is there. Citibank recognizes only Borrowers, demands the borrower’s recognition, but does so without incurring any debt of its own.
               By this I only wish to illustrate that you and I were not always borrowers. Understand this: Citibank does not recognize us as individuals.
               We recognize ourselves as borrowers and yet we somehow continue to prosper in the everyday interpersonal transactions of life. This prosperity obscures our mutual awareness of our privately inescapable debt; in no sense does it charge us with the means and motives for this public obfuscation. This is the knowledge we must reach, if you will, if we are to free ourselves of Citibank. We must find a definition of prosperity that breaks with ownership in order to be redefined as individuals rather than by our habit of borrowing.

©2008 Dr. Lacy M. Johnson All Rights Reserved.