What We Are Reading Today: Varoufakis on how Marx predicted our present crisis

Updated 23 April 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Varoufakis on how Marx predicted our present crisis

‘Marx predicted our present crisis and points the way out,’  writes Yanis Varoufakis in The Guardian’s Long Read Series.

Most people think communism has been consigned to the dustbin of history, but Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek finance minister, goes back to the source and examines “The Communist Manifesto,” written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and published in 1848.

Varoufakis said the book remains unsurpassed as a work of literature that foresaw the predatory global capitalism of the 21st century.

“Today, a similar dilemma faces young people: conform to an established order that is crumbling and incapable of reproducing itself, or oppose it, at considerable personal cost, in search of new ways of working, playing and living together?” Varoufakis wrote. “Even though communist parties have disappeared almost entirely from the political scene, the spirit of communism driving the manifesto is proving hard to silence.”

Marx and Engels forecast that a powerful minority would prove “unfit to rule” over polarized societies.

“The manifesto gives its 21st-century reader an opportunity to see through this mess and to recognize what needs to be done so that the majority can escape from discontent into new social arrangements,” Varoufakis said.


What We Are Reading Today: Underland by Robert Macfarlane

Updated 55 min 2 sec ago
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What We Are Reading Today: Underland by Robert Macfarlane

In this highly anticipated sequel to his international bestseller The Old Ways, author Robert Macfarlane takes readers on an extraordinary journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind.

“Hailed as ‘the great nature writer of this generation’ (Wall Street Journal), Robert Macfarlane is the celebrated author of books about the intersections of the human and the natural realms. In Underland, he delivers his masterpiece: An epic exploration of the Earth’s underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself,” said a review published in goodreads.com.

It said Underland “marks a new turn in Macfarlane’s long-term mapping of the relations of landscape and the human heart. From its remarkable opening pages to its deeply moving conclusion, it is a journey into wonder, loss, fear, and hope. At once ancient and urgent, this is a book that will change the way you see the world.”

Macfarlane is a British nature writer and literary critic.