Book Review: ‘Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism’ by Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis Unveils the Ominous Dawn of a Post-Capitalist Era

Book Title: Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism
Author: Yanis Varoufakis
Publisher: Bodley Head
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-1847927286
Date Published: Sept. 23, 2023
Price: INR 640

Technofeudalism by Yanis Varoufakis Book Cover

Book Review

In his latest book, Yanis Varoufakis boldly declares the demise of capitalism, a phenomenon he attributes ironically to the very force that gave it life – capital itself. Renowned as an economist and the former finance minister of Greece, Varoufakis fearlessly introduces provocative theories that challenge the status quo of both mainstream economists and Marxists alike. The book delves into the current global landscape, shaped by unprecedented financial collapses, disruptions in supply chains, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Varoufakis contends that we find ourselves in uncharted territories, facing technological and economic challenges that even capitalists could not have foreseen.

Varoufakis weaves a narrative of capitalism’s decline through personal anecdotes, incorporating tales from pop culture and his progressive upbringing. The book introduces readers to the emerging paradigm of technofeudalism, asserting that we have transitioned from the depths of capitalism to a more insidious and exploitative system reminiscent of historical feudal societies. In this new economic order, ownership of capital is replaced by rent payments for access to cloud systems, trading platforms, and the Internet. Varoufakis argues that power now lies firmly in the hands of those who control information networks and data, fundamentally altering the dynamics of socioeconomic power.

Technofeudalism is not just a dense economic thesis but a captivating and easily digestible exploration of our current reality. Varoufakis employs sharp insights and real-world examples, from the ecology of TikTok to the billionaire buyout of Twitter, to dissect the components of his argument. Having demonstrated his ability to simplify complex ideas in previous works like “Talking To My Daughter: A History of Capitalism,” Varoufakis offers vital insights into navigating our global economy and protecting ourselves from the perils of technofeudalism.

Varoufakis challenges readers to reconsider their understanding of capitalism and society. In this thought-provoking work, he pushes beyond mere theoretical discourse to guide readers into a new present, where technofeudalism emerges as the fusion of capital markets and technology, fundamentally reshaping the nature of capitalism. He contends that capitalism, as we once knew it, is no longer characterized by markets and profit as its central tenets. The author masterfully weaves personal elements into his argument, dedicating the book to his late father and drawing on their dialogues to provide a deeply personal perspective.

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Overall, “Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism” is a well-written, relevant, and enjoyable read, with Varoufakis’s theory poised to gain accuracy and significance with each passing year.

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