Yanis Varoufakis, elected member Greek parliament, joins Prof. Wolff on this week's show and offers his original, critical perspectives on (1) the banking crisis, (2) the decline of the US empire and US capitalism, (3) the mass uprisings of the French and Greek working classes in Europe, (4) the collapse of Europe's efforts to shape an independent (from the US and China) economic position, and (5) class struggle inside China.
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About our guest: Yanis Varoufakis is a member of Greece’s Parliament and parliamentary leader of MeRA25, the Greek political party belonging to DiEM25 – Europe’s first transnational paneuropean movement.
In his own words, Varoufakis was “thrust onto the public scene by Europe’s inane handling of an inevitable crisis”. In January 2015 he was elected to Greece's Parliament with the largest majority in the country and served as Greece’s Finance Minister between January and early July of 2015. During those tumultuous six months he faced down the authoritarian ineptitude of the world’s most powerful institutions – the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank; three institutions determined to impose upon the poorest of Greeks the harshest austerity in history. Varoufakis resigned from the finance ministry when he refused to sign a loan agreement that perpetuated Greece’s debt-deflationary cycle.
A year later, Varoufakis co-founded DiEM25 (the Democracy in Europe Movement) and, two years hence, in 2018, he launched its Greek electoral wing (MeRA25). Also in 2018, together with US Senator Bernie Sanders, he established the Progressive International – a global movement whose affiliated members exceed 200 million persons from across the world. In addition to these organizational endeavors he has traveled extensively giving talks and participating in various activist events and projects.
Varoufakis read mathematics and economics at the Universities of Essex and Birmingham and subsequently taught economics at the Universities of East Anglia, Cambridge, Sydney, Glasgow, Texas and Athens where he still holds a Chair in Political Economy and Economic Theory. He is also Honorary Professor of Political Economy at the University of Sydney, Honoris Causa Professor of Law, Economics and Finance at the University of Torino, Visiting Professor of Political Economy at King’s College, London, and Doctor of the University Honoris Causa at University of Sussex.
Currently completing a new book entitled Technofeudalism: Capitalism’s stealthy successor (to be published by Penguin in the UK), he is the author of a number of best-selling books, including Another Now: A novel (Penguin UK & Melville House US), Adults in the Room: My struggle against Europe’s Deep Establishment (London: Bodley Head, 2017); Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A brief history of capitalism (London: Bodley Head, 2017), And the Weak Suffer What They Must? Europe, Austerity and the Threat to Global Stability (London: Bodley Head and NY: Nation Books, 2016); and The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the Future of the World Economy (London: Zed Books, 2011,2015). His academic books include Economic Indeterminacy (London: Routledge, 2014); Game Theory: An introductory Text (London: Routledge, 2003), Foundations of Economics (London: Routledge, 1998); and Rational Conflict (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991).
“Marxism always was the critical shadow of capitalism. Their interactions changed them both. Now Marxism is once again stepping into the light as capitalism shakes from its own excesses and confronts decline.”