Yanis Varoufakis, together with DiEM25 and MERA25 activists, recently took part in an anti-war rally in Munich, Germany. This speech is likely to have taken place on February 17, 2024:

This is when and why I fell out of love with Yanis Varoufakis. No matter how many true things he has said lately, e.g. about the European Energy Exchange AG, about Technofeudalism (why not Cloudalism?), about Israel and Palestine, this time, too much is too much when it comes to exaggerating and misinterpreting reality.

First, what he said

He started by mocking a person that he saw holding a NATO flag (was that person even real?). Then, he started to hallucinate and claim:

● That Joe Biden is Putin’s best friend, because crap, so if you want the war in Ukraine to continue forever, vote Biden!

● That Putin is Joe Biden’s best friend, because Putin gives him the best argument why people shouldn’t vote for Trump… and the best argument for the never-ending war, which (Yanis seems to be green brainwashed) enriches the Texan gas and oil producers, because you’re not buying from Russia. (His obsession with fossil fuel companies can be noticed even in his latest book, Technofeudalism, which should have had nothing to do with fossil fuels.)

● That Putin and Biden need one another.

● “Who created Putin? NATO! NATO created Putin by supporting the killing of 250,000 people in Chechnya. Remember, in 2001? They supported him. They created the monster. Monsters are hugging each other and dancing together.”

● “If you were Putin, if you were Biden, if you were Zelenskyy, if you were Netanyahu, what would your worst nightmare be? Peace. Because peace would mean that you become politically bankrupt and, at the same time, that people who support you—the arms industry, the weapons producers—they will become bankrupt.”

● On the alleged people holding a NATO flag: “They believe that NATO offers a shield, an umbrella, that protects them. Well, NATO doesn’t protect us. NATO is like the Mafia. The Mafia creates insecurity to sell you security. The Mafia creates threats to sell you protection. It’s a protection racket. NATO creates the wars, NATO creates the monsters like Putin, NATO created Saddam Hussein, they created all the monsters that then justified all their monstrosities, and the fact that we, Europeans, have become their slaves, their vassals. There is no such thing as Europe. We are a colony of the United States of America. We are a colony of the oil producers, of the fossil fuel industry, of the banking sector, of Wall Street, of the Frankfurt bankers, of the European Central Bank. We together, Germans, Greeks, Italians, Irish, we’re all together their slaves.”

● “Why is the political spectrum in Germany so complicit in the genocide? Why are they so complicit in the wars? Why do they keep saying yes, whether they are the CDU, the CSU, the FDP, even in parts of the left, definitely the SPD, definitely the Greens? Why are they allowing Europe to deindustrialize? Why are they allowing your country to fall back? Let me tell you why. There is no conspiracy here. It’s very, very simple. If you own Mercedes-Benz, you really want to sell your cars to the United States of America. The United States of America has a big deficit. Because of that deficit, they buy everything the German industry, Chinese industry, Japanese industry produce, and they pay them in dollars. And what does Mercedes-Benz do with the dollars? They take them to Wall Street. And they invest in America. Who is their constituency, who do they care about? Not you, not the people of Germany. They care about Wall Street, they care about Washington, they care about Biden. We are a colony, with the complicity of our own political class.”

● “All the political parties, every single one of them, that are in the Bundestag, have dropped the ball. They have left Germany down. The people of Germany, the people of Greece, the people of France, have been let down by their political system. … What you’re doing today is not a demonstration; what you’re doing today is political agency. You are democracy.”

A second major topic:

● “I can’t sleep at night, I cannot think of my prosperity, when we have 15,000 children that are injured without known relatives in Gaza. There is no possibility for any ethical person to sleep at night and to talk about our security when insecurity, inhumanity, illegitimacy are the order of the day in the land of Israel, in the land of Palestine.”

● “It was 1982, and I was in Warsaw, in Poland. And I remember that the Solidarność dissidents had written a slogan on the bridge …. they had quoted Karl Marx, and it said: A people who oppresses another people is forging its own chance. Karl Marx.” “That is the case for Israel today, it is the case for Russia, it is the case for Turkey, it is the case for Greece. If we oppress or are complicit in the oppression of anyone, we can never be free. None of us can be free, if a people are (sic) oppressed.”

● “I have been told, by my comrades and friends, that in the state of Bavaria I am not allowed to mention two bodies of water in the Middle East. Something that looks like water that is flowing—I can’t say the word—and another body which is not flowing, which is large and is part of the Mediterranean. And I am not allowed to say that we need universal human rights and political freedom between these two bodies of water.”

● “So, let us all proclaim: the need to fight for universal freedoms and universal human rights between every body of water in Israel and in Palestine! Let us all rage, rage, and rage again for the dying of the light(?) in Palestine, in Munich, in Holland, and everywhere there are people who are breathing and living. Let us rage, let us rise up against the dying of humanism. Carpe diem!”

Now, my comments

Undoubtedly, there are elements of truth in many of his assertions, but they’re so primitive and so brutally unreasonable.

Look, I understand why Yanis Varoufakis is more or less leaning towards communism, and why he seems to be so rabidly anti-American. Shortly after the infamously stupid Greek Civil War, his father was imprisoned in a camp used for the “political re-education” of those who were not anti-communist enough. Oh, the irony. The utterly moronic civil war that started even before the end of WWII, with communist resistance organizations fighting the more democratic forces under Allied control, has led to undemocratic right-wing regimes. After a massacre by the British troops, and later, after unlawful killings on both sides, an anti-communist persecution campaign included the forced removal, on the one hand, of some 30,000 children who ended up in Eastern European communist countries and, on the other hand, of a similar number of children being put in indoctrination camps by the government (Queen Frederika’s camps), some of them to be adopted by American families. Varoufakis senior wasn’t a communist, yet he was a victim of the anti-communist, McCarthy-like post-war policies in Greece. And this was before the military junta! (The only positive consequence of the 1967–74 military dictatorship was the abolition of the monarchy.)

Surprisingly enough, this wasn’t an impediment for Yanis to move to Britain, to study there, to teach there, and also in Australia. Greeks were supposed to hate their former British oppressors, were they not? Also, for the left-wing militant that he was while in Britain, his 2012–13 employment with Valve, in which he researched the exchange rates within the virtual economy of virtual games, sounds a little bizarre. We know that Yanis is fascinated by technology, being himself a victim of the Cloud feudalism, but he also helped build this nonsense!

After his 2015 involvement in the Greek government, and after and his founding of MeRA25 (European Realistic Disobedience Front) and DiEM25 (Democracy in Europe Movement 2025), I thought he and the political movements he founded committed political suicide. They became utterly irrelevant, and I wondered what the fuck was that. How were they supposed to get whatever they wanted to get, by 2025?!

And now, the surprise: Yanis really is a far-left militant!

To the point

Obviously, Putin is not a creation of NATO. The collective West is responsible for not having acted accordingly in 2001 (Chechnya), 2008 (Georgia), 2014 (Ukraine). The “business as usual” policy has, however, older roots. We are still drawing the consequences of the German “Wandel durch Handel” theory, which extended good trade relations up to a direct support of the USSR through the agreement of February 1, 1970, on the basis of which the first deliveries of natural gas from the USSR to the Federal Republic of Germany took place in October 1973 on pipelines supplied to the Russians by Germany! To say that Willy Brandt, Gerhard Schröder, and Angela Merkel “are NATO” is a grotesque oversimplification.

Then, of course, we Europeans have an unhealthy dependence of America. But here too, Germany is the culprit. Even if history doesn’t work with “what if” scenarios, here’s mine. If Germany had not entered WWI, leaving Austria-Hungary with its pains, and had they not sent Lenin to Russia, two things would have happened: one, there would have been no Treaty of Versailles with extremely heavy reparations demands on Germany, hence no Hitler; and two, the Bolsheviks wouldn’t have executed the Russian Imperial Romanov family, and, most likely, we’d have had no Stalin. Furthermore, no WWII, no Ribbentrop-Molotov, no Holocaust, no Cold War, no division of Europe. Most importantly: no Soviet troops in half of Europe, no American troops in the other half. No NATO whatsoever!

Right now, with all its faults, and with all the faults of the United States, we need NATO. Also, if Biden is the bad guy, are we supposed to wish Trump to become president once again? Are you serious, or are you on questionable mushrooms?

“We are a colony of the United States of America.” Possibly. “We are a colony of the oil producers, of the fossil fuel industry”–now, this is obscene. We do purchase from Texas, if not from Russia, but what are the alternatives? To switch to a “100% electric” society, using the electricity produced using Greta Thunberg’s organic and CO2-free farts, and Yanis Varoufakis’ nuclear nuts? This guy’s obsession with the “fossil fuel Mafia” is grotesque.

“It’s a protection racket. NATO creates the wars, NATO creates the monsters like Putin,” and so on. Oh my, what a great finesse of the analysis! “We are a colony of the oil producers, of the fossil fuel industry, of the banking sector, of Wall Street, of the Frankfurt bankers, of the European Central Bank.” You forgot the City of London, buddy. I know you prefer the virtual currencies and even crypto, if used by governments, but hey, you’re supposed to be on the Left! Blame them all!

I thoroughly appreciate Yanis’ take on Palestine (I mentioned two of his interventions here), but his other political positions are undermining his credibility.

As for the quote from Karl Marx allegedly used by Solidarność, “A people who oppresses another people is forging its own chance,” I couldn’t identify it. The closest I could find belongs to Friedrich Engels, from his Speech on Poland (1847), and it reads as follows: “A nation cannot become free and at the same time continue to oppress other nations. The liberation of Germany cannot therefore take place without the liberation of Poland from German oppression.” I suppose this is what he had in mind, possibly translated from Greek.

I’m not sure what it was that the Bavarian government has banned, and I don’t remember where I’ve mentioned (I guess here) an opinion shared by many knowledgeable people: Germany, in the implementation of its “never again” promise, considers Israel to be “the victim by definition,” regardless of what Israel does. So Germany officially supports the genocide in Palestine (in Gaza, but also in the West Bank) because the brainwashed German politicians don’t wish to allow themselves the luxury of thinking using their own heads! Mao issued a Red Book with all the answers ever needed by any Chinese; Gaddafi had his Green Book; post-WWII Germany has a white-blue page that reads: “Because of the Shoah, Israel is always right, even when it isn’t. There is nothing to be discussed; move along!”

But I have to write a similar statement about Yanis Varoufakis, the intelligent economist who managed to go beyond ridicule. What’s wrong with the far left these days? Mélenchon is nuts, Michel Onfray (originairement adepte du socialisme libertaire antimarxiste à la Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, donc pas du tout d’extrême-gauche) has become strange, and now Yannis…

I will not trust the judgment of Yanis Varoufakis. Never again. That’s a disheartening conclusion.

And to think that I was going to write him a long email, him being someone who could understand anything related to economics, to suggest topics for a new book…