February 5, 2023
From Popular Resistance

Greece’s former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis explains the US system of “neo-imperialism” based on the dollar, an “IOU issued by the hegemon”, which finances a huge trade deficit by letting foreign capitalists “extract colossal surplus value from their workers and then stash it away in America’s rentier economy”.

Economist and former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in a speech this January that the United States is leading a “new, audacious imperialism”, which he calls “neo-imperialism”.

“Neo-imperialism’s highest form” is “globalization, financialized capitalist globalization”, Varoufakis added, stressing that this system is based on the dominance of the US dollar.

When President Richard Nixon ended the convertibility of the dollar into gold in 1971, it became merely an “IOU issued by the hegemon”, Varoufakis explained.

This dollar “IOU” financed the United States’ huge trade deficit by letting foreign capitalists “extract colossal surplus value from their workers and then stash it away in America’s rentier economy”.

The US trade deficit became a “huge vacuum cleaner” that “was sucking into America the net exports of Germany, Japan, and China, Varoufakis continued.

But deficit countries in the Global South “had to borrow from Wall Street to import medicines, energy, and the raw materials necessary to produce their own exports for earning the dollars with which to repay Wall Street”.

When Global South countries could no longer pay their debts to the bondholders on Wall Street, “the West sent in the bailiffs, the International Monetary Fund”, which imposed mass privatizations and neoliberal economic policies, Varoufakis pointed out.

Economist Michael Hudson first exposed this system back in 1972, in his book “Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire”. (Hudson published an updated, third edition in 2021.)

Varoufakis provided his analysis of the US dollar hegemony scheme in a speech he delivered in Cuba in January 2023, at the “International Conference for the Balance of the World”, a meeting organized to advocate for the New International Economic Order.

In his remarks, Varoufakis also condemned the new cold war, and called for a new non-aligned movement.

At the same conference, a German member of parliament from Die Linke (the Left Party), Sevim Dagdelen, denounced the NATO proxy war in Ukraine and warned that European Union members states have become “servile vassals” that are “pursuing the interests of US corporations and following foreign policy instructions from Washington”.

Yanis Varoufakis Explains The Us Dollar Hegemony Scheme

An extended excerpt from Yanis Varoufakis’ speech follows below:

Varoufakis Challenges Eu/Imf Austerity, Forms Political Movement, Campaigns To Free Assange

Yanis Varoufakis briefly served as Greek’s finance minister in 2015, when the leftist Syriza party was voted into power.

Following the 2008 financial crash, Greece had been trapped in unpayable debt denominated in foreign currencies.

To try to negotiate debt relief, Varoufakis led negotiations with the European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF), known collectively as the “Troika”.

The Troika demanded brutal austerity measures and neoliberal economic reforms that Varoufakis said would make it impossible for Greece to repay the debt.

He rejected the Troika’s proposal as a “New Versailles Treaty” and “coup” that amounted to a “complete annulment of national sovereignty”. He condemned it as “Greece’s Terms of Surrender” and said it would make his country into a “vassal of the Eurogroup”.

Varoufakis then resigned from his position in protest. Since then, he has founded a leftist political movement, DiEM25, and party, MeRA25.

He has also campaigned for the release of imprisoned WikiLeaks journalist Julian Assange.

After speaking at the conference in Cuba, Varoufakis traveled to Mexico, where he met with progressive President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

“Wonderful meeting with Mexico’s inspiring President. I thanked him for his steadfast support of our campaign to Free Julian Assange. We also discussed how the New Cold War begets an urgent need for a New Non-Aligned Movement & a New International Economic Order”, Varoufakis tweeted.

Source: Popularresistance.org