Yves here. Lambert and I both noted the dearth of “2020 in review” stories and even greater scarcity of 2021 forecasts. Varoufakis’ optimism is therefore a departure, but you’d have to be an optimist to become Minister of Finance in Greece in 2015.
Nevertheless, I am surprised at his view of Brecht, since I take the social levelers Pirate Jenny (actually Polly Peachum) and Macheath and the collapse of the pleasure city of Mahagonny to represent Brecht’s theory of change.
By Yanis Varoufakis. Originally published at his website
I am Yanis Varoufakis with a message for the New Year from DiEM25.
2020 leaves behind much debris – pain, fear, broken lives, smashed dreams. But, we also owe a debt of gratitude to 2020: It has helped expose seven fundamental secrets.
We used to think of governments as powerless. But since Covid-19 struck we know better: Governments have stupendous powers that they hitherto chose not to use, deferring to the exorbitant power of Big Business.
Yes, the money-trey does exist after all. Except, of course, that is only harvested by the powerful on behalf of the oligarchy: Money created by the rich for the rich.
Solvency is a political decision because power-politics, not markets, decide who is bankrupt and who is not.
Wealth has nothing to do with hard work or entrepreneurship. America’s billionaires made 931 billion dollars from the pandemic. They got richer in their sleep.
Yes, 2020 was a vintage year for capitalists, but capitalism died! Liberated from any remaining competition, colossal platform companies like Amazon own everything. So, yes, during 2020, Capitalism morphed into an insidious Technofeudalism.
Our Europe, its civilisation and power notwithstanding, continued to sell its soul in 2020. One word suffices: Moria, the refuges prison camp in Lesbos – a mirror reflecting Europe’s cruelty and lost soul.
Yes, it has been a difficult year. We lost too many people to the pandemic. We saw exploitation flourish, driving so many into the embrace of destitution. Civil liberties took a major hit. But, despite it all, 2020 let us in on a brilliant, hope-inspiring seventh secret: Everything could be different.
If this pandemic proved anything, it is that Bertolt Brecht was right when he once said:
Because things are the way they are, things will not remain the way they are.
I can think of no greater source of hope than this. We must thank 2020 for it. Now, it is up to us to make 2021 a year of radical change in the interests of the many. Everywhere!
Happy New Year and Carpe DiEM25!