Menu Home

Varoufakis on contemporary capitalism’s preposterous reversal of the truth

This isn’t a new idea but I’ve rarely encountered it expressed so concisely:

The idea that individuals create wealth and that all governments do is come along and tax them is what Varoufakis calls “a preposterous reversal of the truth”.

“There is an amazing myth in our enterprise culture that wealth is created individually and then appropriated by the state to be distributed.

“We are conceptualising what is happening in society as if we are an archipelago of Robinson Crusoes, everybody on an island, creating our own thing individually and then a boat comes along and collects it and redistributes it. It’s not true. We are not individual producers, we produce things collectively.”

He points to an iPhone.

“This machine, inside of it, contains technologies that were created collectively. Not only through collaboration but a lot of public funding. Every single technology in there was created by government grant.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/25/yanis-varoufakis-australias-negative-gearing-is-scandalous

Categories: Archive The Political Economy of Digital Capitalism The Technological History of Digital Capitalism Thinking

Tagged as:

Mark

2 replies

  1. There is a great book by Mariana Mazzucato (2015) entitled “The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths.” She’s an Italian Marxist Economist who makes the same case, both with the iPhone and other innovations. Her larger (and compelling) argument is that there has been no true innovation without state involvement and investment. It’s a good read.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s