Javier Milei was one of the clear winners of the election night last Sunday in Argentina. Although it was a question of primaries for the legislative elections next November, given that voting for them was mandatory, the results allow us to anticipate – with only a certain margin of error – what will end up happening within two months. And, in that sense, Milei’s results were much better than anyone had anticipated: the future deputy harvested the 13.6% of the votes in the city of Buenos Aires and turned his party into third political force (Only behind the Macrista coalition of Together for Change and the Peronist coalition of the Frente de Todos).
Butwho is Javier Milei? The Spanish media, in the absence of better labels that allow them understand the phenomenon without caricaturing it, they have been quick to describe it as “far-right candidate”. If, from the perspective of the national left, Macri is the Argentine right, then the one who is located to the right of the right must necessarily be the extreme right. There’s no more.
In reality, however, Milei is a freak that should distinguish yourself clearly from others like Trump or Bolsonaro (even though in some respects they may exhibit certain points in common). Milei is a liberal (‘libertarian’, in the American sense of the term) directly opposed to state policy. His maxim is to spread the ideas of freedom throughout Argentina, understanding by such “unrestricted respect for the life project of others” (in the happy definition of Alberto Benegas Lynch, Jr.): something, by the way, of which he has never made flag the extreme right (more concerned with save the homeland from the individuals who besiege it than to save the individuals of the homelands that they want to impose).
THE POLITICAL CAST
Chapter: LIONS ROARING.
I want to thank the thousands of good Argentines who yesterday gave us their support in this first instance. We are happy, but we know that the work is just beginning. The job will be done when we have transformed the country.
— Javier Milei (@JMilei) September 13, 2021
For Milei, the capitalist economic system It is not only the mechanism that has lifted more people out of poverty throughout the history of mankind – something that is rigorously true – but rather is a civilizing institutional framework: capitalism promotes good customs such as savings, cooperation or entrepreneurship, and trade pacifies societies. Again, none of this fits with the archetypal discourse of the extreme right, more commonly obsessed with protecting national companies from the invasion of foreign competition or with curbing capitalist cultural imperialism that threatens national traditions (in that sense, for True, the Peronism that Milei opposes has more to do with the extreme right than, of course, Milei himself).
Perhaps the most controversial part of his speech, the one that could sound more populist, is the one that proclaims that taxes are theft and that the State is a gang of criminals. But, even if such propositions may sound exaggerated, they are strictly true: modern states are nothing more than the evolution of Mancur Olson’s stationary bandits (and, in fact, failed states end up degenerating into itinerant bandits due to the inability to organize a long-term stable plunder). And, again, the extreme right would never consider the State as a band of thieves: on the contrary, it considers it an instrument at the service of the historical realization of the nation.
Today, the ideas that have led Javier Milei to be the third force in Buenos Aires are essentially the ideas of freedom
Finally, Milei also maintains such heterodox positions from an ultra-right perspective as that of de-state civil marriage so that anyone can benefit from it (including, of course, homosexuals) or decriminalize drugs and welcome immigrants provided that the costs of these reforms are not socialized among the population as a whole through the welfare state (personally, I do not share this type of condition and I am in favor of decriminalizing drugs and making our immigration legislation more flexible even with a state of welfare involved, but of course Milei’s is not a position that the extreme right can share).
Today – we will see in the future, that politics is loaded by the devil – the ideas that have led Javier Milei to be the third force in Buenos Aires are essentially the ideas of freedom: And to the extent that these ideas begin to take root in part of the Argentine electorate, it is something that all of us – except the liberticides – should rejoice.