Tag: varoufakis

  • How Covid-19 accelerated the transition into post-capitalism

    Varoufakis argues there has been a decoupling of money markets from real capitalism. Speculators see that Covid-19 has put capitalism in suspended animation and that it is damaging our economies in a way that is at least medium to long term. It is causing a new tsunami of poverty which deepens and entrenches existing inequalities […]

  • We’re leaving neoliberalism and entering something worse

    For much of this crisis there has been a dominant sense that we will eventually return to pre-pandemic normality. There are many reasons why this hope is misplaced, with the pandemic likely to accelerate existing tendencies towards digitalisation, automation, occupational polarisation and political turbulence. If we have been in a Gramscian interregnum since 2007/08 then […]

  • What’s the difference between academia and politics?

    In his wonderful memoir, Adults In The Room, Yanis Varoufakis reflects on the frustrations of politics and how they compare to academia. From loc 5504: Possibly because of my academic background, this was the Brussels experience I least expected and found most frustrating. In academia one gets used to having one’s thesis torn apart, sometimes with little decorum; […]

  • Elections cannot be allowed to change economic policy

    What does it mean for policy to be insulated from politics? That’s the question we ultimately confront when investigating the putative depoliticisation of the economy. Matters which should be publicly resolved, through organised processes of contestation, instead get decided privately. We can cite examples of such transitions, consider whether they embody a broader tendency and […]

  • What will Macron be like in government?

    I happened to be reading this page of Yanis Varoufakis’ political memoir a few moments before Macron’s near certain victory was announced. From loc 3398: Emmanuel Macron listened actively and engaged directly, his eyes radiant and ready to display his approval or disagreement. The fact that he had good English and a grasp of macroeconomics […]

  • What does distraction mean for political theory and political philosophy?

    Soon after becoming Finance Minister of Greece, Yanis Varoufakis found himself surrounded by civil servants whose loyalties he could not assume and staff parachuted in by a political party with which he had little prior affiliation. In his political memoir, Adults In The Room, he recounts his impulse to find “a minder whose loyalties would not be […]

  • The technocratic oath

    In his political memoir, Adults In The Room, Yanis Varoufakis recounts a meeting with Larry Summer which took place in April 2015. Only months into his tenure as Finance Minister, he looked to this architect of the neoliberal world order for support as hostilities with European leaders over Greece’s fiscal future rapidly intensified. Coming straight […]

  • What would the European Union look like in an American context?

    This is a great analogy offered by Yanis Varoufakis in So The Weak Suffer What They Must? on loc 1016: The equivalent in the United States would have been a Washington bureaucracy, operating without a Senate or a House of Representatives to keep the bureaucrats in check, able to overrule state governments on almost anything […]

  • Yanis Varoufakis on the Parallax Challenge

    From loc 460-477 of his The Global Minotaur: The parallax challenge A stick half submerged in a river looks bent. As one moves around it, the angle changes and every different location yields a different perspective. If, in addition, the river’s flow gently moves the stick around, both the ‘reality’ of the ‘bent’ stick and our […]

  • 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 […]