The Left actually want to save capitalism

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Joined: 6-01-07
Feb 18 2015 12:21
The Left actually want to save capitalism

Yanis Varoufakis the current Greek SYRIZA government finance minister and former academic Marxist certainly knows his marxism but in a republished article in today's UK Guardian explains that his experience of the trauma of working class defeat under Thatcher has caused him ( and despite some former criticism of Keynesianism) to believe that he and the Left must and can somehow save (European and not just Greek) capitalism from itself, but it would seem still with a dose of neo-Keyenesianism seemingly ignoring the realities of both capitalist economic crisis and the competitive power politics of national states.

Topping that we have another article by George Monbiot in the same Guardian edition ignoring his own advice that ''I should warn you that no one in their right mind would take financial advice from me.'' going on to promote some hopelessly misleading assumptions about commercial banks and debt and recomending solutions to the crisis of capitalism through various daft money reforms.

I'd laugh if it wasn't so painfully tragic!

Joined: 11-02-07
Feb 18 2015 14:50

Here's a link for the Varoufakis article

His papers for the EU negotiationsφάκελος%20διαπραγμάτευσης.doc

S. Artesian
Joined: 5-02-09
Feb 18 2015 16:29

I don't think he "knows his marxism."

Joined: 6-01-07
Feb 18 2015 17:10

Yes I was I perhaps too generous to Yanis appreciation of Marx - see above link.

The Monbiot article is here if anyone can be bothered:

Agent of the International's picture
Agent of the In...
Joined: 17-08-12
Feb 18 2015 22:46

The left doesn't really know capitalism.

Stupid article headline by BBC News: 'The middle-class voters who can't resist Karl Marx'

Joined: 30-06-12
Feb 19 2015 09:09

Anyone who wants to save capitalism from itself isn't a Marxist. Marxism, that is to say the working class, wants, needs and has to get rid of capitalism and build the new society. If it doesn't we're all toast.

Joined: 7-11-13
Feb 19 2015 17:06

We are all already toast and been so for quite some time.

In the guardian piece, Varoufakis actually talks about "stabilising" capitalism which doesn't always mean the same as saving it. Progressive misery doesn't mean progressive politics.

The point he is making is that the far-right is actually capitalising on the current (and past) misery, much more than "the left" or any progressive force (including libcoms), he talks about the political implications of that as well.

Joined: 10-02-12
Feb 19 2015 17:49
jojo wrote:
Anyone who wants to save capitalism from itself isn't a Marxist.

Exactly what I was thinking watching Paul Mason on Democracy Now just there. From about 19:00 in, he can barely contain his excitement about the number of "Marxist-trained" people in the Syriza government, they're sending Marxist lawyers to the EU, and have "a Marxist criminologist in charge of the police". This is surely a major advance for the class struggle (just forget about the contradiction in that statement, or the last century of experience of "Marxists" running the coercive apparatus of the state).

Incidentally, Plan C (maybe only Manchester?) are calling on people to fund Paul Mason's new film on Greece. I'm sure it'll be interesting but I'm more than a bit skeptical that it'll "go beyond fetishizing the party".

Khawaga's picture
Joined: 7-08-06
Feb 19 2015 18:27

Urgh, do we need yet more Mason shite?

Joined: 6-01-07
Feb 19 2015 19:07

Yes things do look bleak but do you think SYRIZA and Yanis can actually stabilise capitalism or even just Greek capitalism - seems unlikely - and when they fail, given the illusions they have helped foster where will that lead?

Joined: 11-02-07
Feb 22 2015 17:50

Wayne Price article on Varoufakis.

Of course, my comments are only based on this one essay. I do not know what Varoufakis may have written elsewhere, in his books and articles and his blog. But his article is presented as an overview of his political and economic opinions, focusing on his views about Marxism, and I take it as such.

The above is a bit hopeless tbh. If the idea is to write a serious article on Varoufakis's ideas then reading one essay doesn't cut it. He could have read the Global Minotaur, which is quite accessible, or at least had a look at the blog.

Joined: 20-04-08
Feb 23 2015 12:38

Maybe some might have missed it but i (and ALB independently of one another) had a letter in Weekly Worker just before the Syriza election giving my own "Left Menshevik" line to the prospect of their victory.

And 2 related comments to an Andrew Flood article on Anarkismo here

boozemonarchy's picture
Joined: 28-12-06
Feb 23 2015 13:38
sharkfin wrote:
In the guardian piece, Varoufakis actually talks about "stabilising" capitalism which doesn't always mean the same as saving it.

Watch those knuckles with all that mincing wink

Joined: 6-01-07
May 2 2018 09:35

It seems that Yanis having long since departed his position in the Greek government is still popular with many in the liberal Left (alongside such as Paul Mason) and recently claimed to be some kind of 'libertarian Marxist' in his preface to a newly re-published edition of the Communist Manifesto. There is a short review of another of his books here:
and there is some more discussion of the above (with some other useful links) here:

Flava O Flav's picture
Flava O Flav
Joined: 10-04-13
May 3 2018 12:44
Spikymike wrote:
and recently claimed to be some kind of 'libertarian Marxist'

It was a typo, he missed the Oxford comma there.