I’ve just turned the last page of Talking to My Daughter About the Economy by Yanis Varouvakis.
I’ve long admired Yanis and he’s good authorial company in this book but I ultimately found it a bit thin, especially when compared to other popular books with similar remits (Filthy Lucre by Joseph Heath being my fave).
I have a special dislike of the Guns, Germs and Steel narrative of history and I think it has influenced Yanis’ writing for the worse. I don’t see how anyone can believe in the inevitability of geographic determinism while also being an activist with “resistance is never futile” as a personal motto. Sorry Yanis. I still love you.
Anyway, Yanis does have a certain Escapological sensibility that I thought I’d share with you all today. Towards the end of the book (shortly after a sub-chapter called “Escape Hatch,” oddly enough) he writes:
Something that angers and terrifies me more than almost anything else is the thought of being the plaything of forces and people of which I am oblivious.
The worst slavery is that of heavily indoctrinated happy morons who adore their chains and cannot wait to thank their masters for the joy of their subservience.
I just wish he’d more successfully squared this libertarian streak with the broader socialist/democratic moral of the book. That is the challenge for intellectual Escapologists.