Yanis Varoufakis: The Future of Capitalism | The New School

Pubblicato il 27 apr 2016
Sponsored by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (www.economicpolicyresearch.org) at The New School for Social Research (www.newschool.edu/nssr), Yanis Varoufakis will deliver SCEPA's annual Robert Heilbroner Memorial Lecture, "The Future of Capitalism."
We all know Varoufakis as the former Greek Finance Minister and media sensation who stood up to Europe in the fight against austerity. His lecture will discuss themes from his new book, "And The Weak Suffer What They Must?," including the origins of a crisis that has affected not only Greece, but all of Europe.
The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion featuring New School Professor of Economics Mark Setterfield and economics student Ebba Boye.
Department of Economics | www.newschool.edu/nssr/economics
Varoufakis’ career has spanned academia, public service, and the private sector. After three decades in academia, he was elected to the Hellenic Parliament in 2015 as a member of the Syriza Party and became Minister of Finance in Alexis Tsipras’ government. He currently serves as professor of economics at the University of Athens and as a consultant for the Valve Corporation.
The Robert Heilbroner Memorial Lecture on the Future of Capitalism: The Heilbroner lecture honors the work of Robert Heilbroner, who was both a student and a professor in the economics department of The New School for Social Research. This event is dedicated to understanding questions of economic justice and how the profit-seeking activities of private firms might also serve broader social goals. To use Heilbroner’s words, “capitalism’s uniqueness in history lies in its continuously self-generated change, but it is this very dynamism that is the system’s chief enemy.”
THE NEW SCHOOL | www.newschool.edu
Location: John L. Tishman Auditorium, University Center
Monday, April 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm


  • Anyone interested in commenting on the issues addressed starting at 45.40?

  • *Ithagoria* (how is it spelled?) the lost key to true democracy at 27.20 (if you are oppressively persuasive, "too influential") you are a danger to the rest of the demos.

  • Mr. Varoufakis, I wounder if you think that you would have been expelled from ancient grece, for being so articulated and influencial? It is key to know what is your opinion, because you are very articulated and influencial. Therefore, if we listen to you, instead of expelling you from the debate, we are part of the degrading process of democracy. Your beautifully articulated lecture competes in unfair way with, probably, better ideas badly articulated.

  • They get to have debt. I get to watch at home.

  • Yanis starts at 11:19

  • Remember, this guy wanted to be a physicist but andreas papandreou influenced him to be an economist.

  • 11:15 for the speaker

  • ...democracy began in Athens... 24:38 - 29:28 “It is usually, and for good reason, said that democracy in ancient Athens was so severely circumscribed by racism and by sexism - by the exclusion of the metics. The metics were the migrants, the foreigners, of course the slaves, and women. But it would be a mistake - and I think Alan Wood has made a very good case for this - it would be a mistake to dismiss ancient Athenian democracy on the basis of whom it excluded. It is much more interesting to look at ancient Athenian democracy on the basis of whom it included. Because the 70 or so years - 70- 75 years during which this fragile flower flourished - before it was trampled by the Macedonians, later by the Romans, and so on - during those 70-75 years we had a very interesting regime in Athens, in which the majority ruled. The majority being the poor - the working poor citizens, mainly - but nevertheless, working poor. Now all the great and good ancient Athenians, whose names still resonate, hated democracy. Plato was a committed anti-democrat. Aristotle was not so committed, but he was also an anti-democrat. And he actually gave the most interesting definition of democracy: it is a constitution in which the poor and the free, courtesy of being in the majority, control the government. So, democracy is a highly politicised, very left-wing concept - in Aristotelian belief. A system of governance in which power lies with the poor - who happen to be the majority. This was indeed only possible because of scale being such that it permitted for direct decision making. And to the extent that democracy was also interwoven with another concept - a much less well known concept - which to me is or ought to be highly significant - I’ll spell - I’ll pronounce it in Greek - it’s isogoria - the concept of isogoria. What it means is the right to have your views listened to on their merit, independently of who is speaking the words articulating the view - independently of whether the person who is speaking those words that articulate that view is rich, poor, articulate, rhetorically accomplished, or a nothing. This is very interesting - so much so, that if you were too articulate, in your rhetoric, you got ostracised. Ostracised meant, that citizens, during the end - the last, final stages of the assembly, they would take an ostrakot, which was a shell, a seashell - and write the name of the person they wanted to expel from the city for being too articulate - too influential, thereby subverting isogoria. - stopping those who less articulate from having their views listened and judged on their merit, not on how beautifully and flowery their speech was. They went to such extremes. And indeed, in the final stage of degenerate Athens - after the end of the Peloponnesian War and the defeat of the tyrants - they went so far as to argue against elections. Elections are deeply undemocratic towards the end of the Athenian democratic period. Why? Because through competition they create a false dynamic - a competitiveness which usurps the essence of the exchange of ideas. And they replaced elections with random draws, which is where the jury system comes from - or the concept of it.”

  • A most pressing issue of economics is sea-level rapidly increasing to a minimum rise in 80-years of 1m/3.3ft, it never goes back down the point and seeing nothing done by Paris at all in emissions thus pushing that estimate beyond 2m/6.7ft instead by the fact that Antarctica has gone from 10-20B tons/yr in a century to 280Bt/yr today and its melt rate is constantly accelerating. Where is formal recognition of forced relocations to already inhabited lands by the economic system in place? How will economics value properly the risks of a fossil-fuel oligarchy free to wage wars with the majority of global "discretionary income" on humanity's needs versus criminally derived profits? Wall $treet and the Bankster$ with the zillionaire$ lead the cartel$ in putting inflated zeroe$ on paper as profit$ off$hore with ea$e now. Like Rome, it wa$ $uch a$ milk alway$ co$ting more that had the mo$t to do with it$ ruin from a hi$tory not con$idering hear$ay on their ri$e and fall.

  • Listening to that Dutch girl is freaking painful

  • go DiEM25 go...

  • Wow, ~130 he deals so well with stupid comments.

  • The constant "hmm... uh-huh... yeah"" from the compare during the questions section is driving me mad.

  • Full automated communism

  • he is really good theoretician, but not good politician, his Diem movement is not working unfortunately

  • Capitalism is the devil

  • The Demagoguery of socialism that place the rich as bogeymen and stirs the fears and hatred of people has passed. Likewise as the throne passes from Plato and his Republic ruled by Philosopher Kings, to Aristotle and his ideal Constitution based around the character of the people. - A tempered form of democracy he called Politeia or Polity, a word we should use more!

  • Oh my poor Yanis; Aristotle never wrote any Physics, this is a collection of works from his Lyceum. I think all leftist take the lead from Plato and the right Aristotle. People give most attention to their own property, less to what is communal - Aristotle.

  • Klassikos Thrasopoustas olkis!!!!! Poutanes,glytosate apo tin pragmatiki epanastasi...Tha eprepe na sas eixan exafanisei olous apo tin Ellada...kakos......Vromiarides.....pithikomouri.....

  • Well this is interesting. I come from a background of #poverty and #homelessness, and as a single parent and #feminist; it has been an extremely trying journey. While I am against unchecked #capitalism, I have a small #business (#RAVISH) that I'm using to support myself and my 4 year old daughter. In my case, #capitalism is beneficial, as single parent households are bad for #economics and #society, in general. I was also accepted as a #fashion #marketing student to #parsonsschoolofdesign in 2015, but never got to attend because of the lack of #resources for low-income students.

  • I truly enjoy listening to Prof. Varoufakis as I enjoy listening to Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky. These are the great thinkers of our time and listening to them is a delicious experience.

  • In depends if you see Christianity as a bible story or as Laws to live by......

  • 31:48 - 33:00 = The importance of Sociology

  • The greek tragedy. What a load of crap.

  • Another thoughtful & invigorating presentation by Mr V! One of the more interesting (ex) politicians of modern times - very enjoyable stuff! .....Buuut, the intro / interview-robot is awkwardness incarnate! Good _GRIEF!_ O__O

  • Christianity works just fine without the notion of hell. Proverbs and Christ’s teachings work for society . Hell is for the sociopaths and those who reject Jesus for image

    • i can assure you hell was not a concept in the greco roman world..it was intriduced by christianity along its siblings too other equally upsurd concepts Satan and Sin..when i note this fact to many fellow orthodox christians in converstations their jaw drops because they havent even entertained the thought in their dogmatic view of the cosmos once..we greeks have the advantage of our heritage and mythology and we can draw the conclusions between mythologies plausibility and fiction..thus no classicera educated person can accept the existence of a supernatural evil conspiring entity and its dystopian residence as anything other than a fairy tale of a sinister purpose..to push humanity in the dark ages whitch it did and still tries to repeat..

  • Pour the dice . Wait for the crest . Don’t roll the dice . Pour it . Quick silver . Loans . Not subprime . Sea anemone . Your current system . Bail outs get sucked down like a sea anemone . You need to be the eel which can bite itself off the spear . In your face fashion . Comorbidity . Don’t let neighboring countries slow your expansion . Aluminum foil you have one main competitor Reynolds wrap . Give it a better box with the the color green on it. Orrrr you can sack up and get as diverse as your neighbors . Your construction equipment probly comes from next door , so your non export construction ventures do not profit the the way they should . Not a lot of room for growth ? Undo the building codes for new better ones . Take the scrap material to build new factories . Made in Greece sounds better to the world than made in China . It just does

  • habitat acquisition regard duplicity wine and winery time shares . Perfect conditions .

  • Designate new arenas . Sign off on Greek and Italian games at the coliseum . Fashion show , 10 days of games . Instead of killing , debate for war criminals , debate for economic criminals . Weighted swords that can cut but not kill . Dare alpha nuance . Iidtidhy should be new alpha . Alpha exports . Draft for non guilty elites to trade assets . Allocate new management based on bidding wars for projected growth worldwide . Greek automobile created with japan . Greek design , Japanese motor. Greek film and electronics. New China in some areas . Make it feasible . Salad after dinner . Salt alliance laden with acceptable demand . Olympic sport spear fishing home arena off Mykonos . Worldwide betting on catches. Greek pornography purchase only . Greek unknowns coupled with American porn stars . Greek goddesses actual brilliant dialogue . We buy for the lines . Casinos . Develop international bingo with prize from new country monthly membership .

  • The words are our light and our darkness! I may be compelled to change my opinion about Yanis! In addition to the fact that I did not receive the announced answer about what constitutes the essence of capitalism, I am obliged to deal with the new dilemma. (I think it is a "tense" explanation of the essential events that await us, so we will soon inevitably decide if we will use our technological knowledge for our real needs. People are in the situation to do so since they have mastered the knowledge that enables them to have safe existence in relation to nature - that is - a couple of millennia, and not thinking about that question is IS THE BASIC AND VERY SIMPLE ERROR OF WHOLE HUMAN SPECIES, noticing of which is very seriously opposed by the very economists, among others). I know that the practice of all the parasites (in which economists “fall in” in total), is to “turn over” the meaning of the already present and famous words, but the example that Janis mentions in 38:15 is really iritating. If democracy is not the “ruling of the people”, but the "dialectics that arises from the exchange of opinions," why did hi not "dialectically" remain on the post of minister of finance after meeting with “a great troika”, i.e. after exchanging views with them?

  • The words are our light and our darkness! Yanis, "aries" at the very beginning, is like every aries, beautiful, charming and - like almost every aries - benevolent. And like every aries - he is in such a hurry, with so much optimism and energy, that his work will be necessary to correct for years afterwards. But at least, as with each aries, his action will start the thing from the dead end in an attractively short time. Economics is not a science! Yanis emphasizes this, sometimes decisively, sometimes with conidtions. Yanis is an economist. What do economists economize with? When Yanis sucsesfully answers to this question himself, he will cross to my side. And in order to respond to himself, he must first answer himself - what are the politicians doing? What is their duty? And he must compare the duties of politicians with the duties of economists. Yanis is wonderful to hear, even in this tragic time.

  • I can't handle how sexy Yanis Varoufakis is.

  • Could we skip those fucking introductions? Thank you.


  • The reason why the TROYKA insisted that Yanis Varoufakis signe their' stupid ' Program, and implement it, for this reason only, that although they beleived this program would not work (!) as it's beginnings in Chillie in 1972-1980 , is simply that this was ' the European BAIL-OUT of Big BANKS , from bankruptcy of new capitalist system , and HELP the French and the German or English-FED Banks from bankruptcy, by face saving of European ' LEFT ' Socialists , in their continued TREASON and make them falsely argue that this will help The Greek people ! Where as every chid understood that they, the Elite united to International Bankers are Completely NUDE after 2008 big crisis !

    • As far as third speaker , if one do not have the analysis that state-banks in E.U. or other republics are dominated by International Bankers and The FED , then political analysis leave people wnader how to erform the age old rotten republics eaten up by giant Banks-Multinationls that run the show democracy is barred , and with all deeper crisis nothing will be or could be done without massive occupations of institutions and radical changes of structures , republics are not reformable as much as bankers are the kings !

  • 45:07 who is the person mentioned here?

  • In between allowing the wages in deficit countries to rise and surplus countries to fall, wasn't there two World Wars? What do you think those wars were about?

  • Isn't the Surplus recycling model also used by other countries, like Britain? Infact, are these two nations not competing for the share of global surplus passing through their financial systems. And, doesn't this model echo those from history, I don't think this is New. It's almost like the people who run western economies are retarded, being incapable of creating anything other than that which has already laid down by some ancient civilization. So we created this system, and now this system prevents the creation of any other system, no matter what. I wonder if that will happen with AI, too.

  • The Norwegian economist is right.

  • I wonder why people who hear this still support the system...

  • The "Larry Summers choice" should be immortalized. He was quite correct, and thank god Yannis made the only morally correct choice. To be an insider and reap the glorious peer approval and power over the piecemeal changes that will only deepen the disaster while castrating and beheading the working classes in Greece was never an option for a decent human. By unsubtly suggesting the insider choice was "correct" Summers shows he really is on the dark side, but not the prince of darkness, more like the Daffy Duck of darkness. Varoufaksi will be vindicated too, I believe, with his DiEM25 project he stands a good chance of rehabilitating Greece. But it is a long hard struggle to prosperity and justice for all, not a short rapist-capitalist zero sum game of the type the Seth Toon Larry Summers likes to play. Summers, Geitner, Ruben, and the rest of those Warner Bro elites belong in the cosmic Gulag next to Hayek and Reagan and Thatcher, truly people who used freshman level textbook thinking to bail out the rich and f***k the poor. If I were of that crowd I would hate to see the calculation done in Hades where the death's due to their policies are tallied.

  • idk why the norwegan chick is falling back on tired conservative logic of local autonomous governments.. we have the technology to coordinate at large scales democratically and issues like nuclear weapons and climate change mean we need to do this anyway.

  • Such a brilliant mind. New age Chomsky

  • Thanks---worth every minute, and more power to the Diem25 international party so that the people who do the daily work lay claim to their own essential value and power. I hope YV becomes next PM of Greece so that courage and creative solutions can begin again---so that "a groundswell of democratic participation brings Europe to a Green New Deal" (said at very end). Btw, YV's summation of capitalism-vis-a-vis-democracy rings true with the Native American historical experience of the beginnings of modern economics in the Renaissance. That is---for colonizers, outside peoples who are happy with the simple essential things they have must be "reformed" to want unnecessary things, so that business makes profit; and, that the true "ideal" of business is slave labor. Whoops, I'm an Indian!

  • The New School one of the few institutions doing valuable work.

  • Amazing stuff.

  • The pathology of the ultra ruling class and their greed is absolutely unreal . From lies to , wars , to destruction and plunder it has no end. We as a world have to put these madman on leash . Look up Michael parenti’s video of pathology of the rich . It’s mind blowing , problem is the common man of Europe and America has little or no understanding of economic policies , political economy , power intent and agenda .

  • yf has lost his mind. i wondered why he had no respect for democracy, it turns out he doesn't know what it is.

  • Does anyone still take anything this pathetic, treasonous stooge with delusions of adequacy says seriously? He regurgitate the same ol' waffle depending on who's paying and the "audience". Why do you think he was dropped kicked out of govt by his "left wing" comrades?

  • 45:39 who is he talking about. I'm a beginner

  • 11:20

  • Ehhh ehhhhh ehhhh Loooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

  • Quite

  • the north of England would've gladly joined Scotland rather than stay with the south.

  • Por favor podrían ponerle subtitulos en español gracias!

  • Advice from this guy and his buddy Larry Summers who almost single handily were responsible for the near bankruptcy of Eastern Europe and the financial crisis in the US.

  • The problem a low investment is what put us in this mess? All of this to try to please the investor ? Sheeet, the solution is so obvious, fuck the good will of investor ! The government and the public sector can invest ! Invest in its people ! Better yet because the government would not be tempted to move factories to china for a buck ! The public investment are good enough to create the computer, the internet, going to the moon .. the public would be in much better shape if we also reap the benefit!

  • 1:58:00 Here it is clear he gets his information from activist journalism... it's fair to support the SNP but then to dislike UKIP despite being the same bar the EU membership issue. EUrophile wants his one vote to have a say in a room of hundreds, which coincidentally happens to be the key argument the SNP oppose on a national(EU provincial) level. I guess I don't understand him...

  • 1:48:00 This is where Yanis fails to understand how trade works. If you want to sell to a market, you have to produce for that market. Anyone selling to that market must play by the same rules. Therefore only tariffs are relevant and they are ever eroded by the WTO and the fact that currencies fluctuate almost daily by the value of the average tariff(effectively making them unimportant). The notion that your sovereignty is affected by foreign markets is ideological on his part, not economical.

    • you seem to not take into account that Greeks cannot print Euros; so no currency to fluctuate

  • i still don't know why he didn't talk to the people instead of eu bureaucrats. he could have established actual democracy in greece, and then turned to eu, and make a rude gesture. in the end, he is an academic, not a leader. just listen to him talk about democracy in europe. there is none, outside of switzerland, but he will not admit it. that is a kind of betrayal of the people. he's just another intellectual for hire, in the end.