Yanis Varoufakis, former finance minister of Greece and author of “Adults in the Room: My Battle with the European and American Deep Establishment,” explains that the rise of Donald Trump and the alt-right is a symptom of the failure of the establishment and liberal capitalism. Following is a transcript of the video.
Yanis Varoufakis: My name is Yanis Varoufakis. I’m a failed finance minister of a failed state called Greece. I’ve written a book, “Adults in the Room.”
Donald Trump is a symptom. He’s a symptom of the failure of the establishment. He’s a symptom of the failure of liberal capitalism to deal with a crisis of its own making.
In the European Union, the Euro crisis, which was a comedy of errors. Every time the great and the good in Europe in the European Union Council and the Eurogroup met since 2008, 2009, they compiled one gross error upon the next. The result being that now there is absolutely no leadership in Europe.
Angela Merkel had a splendid opportunity to be the leader that unites Europe, that turns us into United States of Europe, because effectively the moment you start unifying different disparate economies by means of a common currency, that should be a first step towards federation. Instead we are having the opposite process of fragmentation.
The alt-right, both in the United States and in Europe, is a symptom. It’s a symptom of our generation’s 1929, which of course took place in 2008, and of the establishment’s spectacular, colossal failure to deal with the challenges by this, first the financial sector collapse and secondly, inability of our market societies to rise up to the occasion and to find ways of recovering a kind of equilibrium between savings and investment so as to create the prospects and the jobs — good quality jobs — that are the only real antidote to the rise of xenophobia populism.
You’ve got to remember, we have to remember, that deflationary periods, like the 1930s, breed political monsters. So when the great and the good, and the Obama administration has a share of this blame, failed to deal with the crisis that started in 2008, failed to boost investment in things that humanity needs and things that can restore hope, effectively created the circumstances for their own demise and for the rise of the Donald Trumps and the Marine Le Pens and the xenophobic, racist populace around the so-called civilized world.