Christopher Pollard Deakin University
Yanis Varoufakis was born during the Greek dictature of 1967-1974. He was briefly Greek finance Minister in 2015 and later an economist.
He also instilled a critical understanding of the role technology plays in social change in his son, who was a chemical engineering in a steel mill. He also instilled him with a belief that capitalism and genuine freedom were antithetical – a leftist politics that made his father a political prisoner for several years during the “junta”, as they called it.
In 1993, when he first got the internet, Varoufakis’s father posed a “killer question” to his son: “now computers speak to each other, will this network make capitalism impossible to overthrow? Or might it finally reveal its Achilles heel?”
Varoufakis is still mulling over the issue.
Though, sadly, it is now too late to explain to his father in person, Varoufakis’s new book Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism answers the question in the form of an extended reflection addressed to his father.
“Achilles heel” was on the right track. Varoufakis’s striking response argues that capitalism has evolved into something else.