What American Conservatives Can Learn From Argentina’s Javier Milei
Javier Milei, the self-described classical liberal and anarcho-capitalist who won Argentina’s presidential election on Sunday, campaigned with a brash message of slashing government programs, cutting taxes, and privatizing state-owned enterprises.
Whether he’ll be able to accomplish any or all of that prodigious list of economic reforms—or his even bigger promise to fix Argentina’s busted monetary system and curb the country’s runaway inflation—will depend on how much support Milei can muster in the legislature and his willingness to follow through on these big campaign trail promises. Those are issues of great importance for the future of Argentina, but they are questions that cannot be answered today.
What can be definitively answered today is the political question raised by Milei’s candidacy for Argentina’s highest office: Can voters experiencing economic turmoil be persuaded that government is the problem, rather than the solution?
Milei won more than 56 percent of the vote in the final round of Argentina’s election—a figure that President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump can only dream of approaching next November—and his victory seems to have been driven by young and working-class voters. Some of Argentina’s poorest neighborhoods have been a beachhead for Milei’s anarcho-capitalist message, as none other than Jacobin, an explicitly socialist publication, reported last month.
Because Milei is a political novice who proudly trashed both political norms and Argentina’s ruling establishment, American media has been quick to compare him to Trump and the wave of right-wing populists the former president has inspired in America. But once you get past the aesthetics, the similarities between Milei and MAGA mostly vanish.
Look how The New York Times summarizes Milei’s platform: “lowering taxes; slashing regulations; privatizing state industries; reducing the number of federal ministries to eight from 18; shifting public education to a voucher-based system and public health care to insurance-based; and cutting federal spending by up to 15 percent of Argentina’s gross domestic product.” Additionally, “he has said that as long as the state doesn’t have to pay for it, he could support drug legalization, open immigration, sex work, transgender rights, same-sex marriage and selling organs.”
While there might be some overlap with American conservatives when it comes to cutting certain taxes and regulations, the rest of Milei’s political agenda is expressly libertarian and often directly at od
Article from Latest
The Reason Magazine website is a go-to destination for libertarians seeking cogent analysis, investigative reporting, and thought-provoking commentary. Championing the principles of individual freedom, limited government, and free markets, the site offers a diverse range of articles, videos, and podcasts that challenge conventional wisdom and advocate for libertarian solutions. Whether you’re interested in politics, culture, or technology, Reason provides a unique lens that prioritizes liberty and rational discourse. It’s an essential resource for those who value critical thinking and nuanced debate in the pursuit of a freer society.