"Adults in the room" in the context of our crises

by Aris Telonis

Yanis Varoufakis’ book and some other nominees on the Guardian’s list of the 100 best books of the 21st century highlight the multiple and interconnected crises we are facing.

The Guardian just recently released their list of the 100 best books published in the 21st century. “Adults in the Room“ by DiEM25 co-founder Yanis Varoufakis which has been described as “one of the best political memoirs ever written” was listed in position 86.

Expectedly, we made some noise on this but not only because of Yanis’ name. According to The Guardian, he describes “how the system works – as a result, the book is a telling description of modern power”. If you agree with his negotiation strategy as finance minister or not: the book reveals how policy making, power and an absence of democracy are intertwined in the bureaucracy of the European Union to result in feeding both, a dead-end casino capitalism and devastating neoliberal policies.

But Varoufakis’ book is part of a bigger picture. In the list, we also see „The Age of Surveillance Capitalism“ by Shoshana Zuboff (#72) and “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein, member of DiEM25’s Advisory Panel (#18). The former describes in a comprehensive manner how personal data have entered the market dynamic and were exploited and monopolized by tech mega-corporations. The latter deals with how capitalism finds its ways to make profit out of disasters, shocks and wars. 

The three books converge on revealing the multi-level crises of today: How capitalism will eat democracy, unless we speak up, as Yanis Varoufakis put it in a speech at the TED Global Conference in December 2015.

And that brings us to book #44: Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit, where the reader “finds optimism in political activism and its ability to change the world”.

It is for this very reason that activists collectively work under the DiEM25 umbrella: to democratize Europe. Join us!

Aris Telonis is a member of DiEM25 and coordinator of the NYC1 Collective.

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