Insurgent candidate Javier Milei has won the presidency of Argentina with 56% of the vote, defeating Peronist establishment economics minister Sergio Massa, who presided over 140% inflation. I posted a Tucker Carlson interview with Javier Milei on “The Crazy Years” here on 2023-10-15. Here is how two news outlets reported the election outcome.
Here is Elon Musk’s take.
Libertarians have long dreamt of an unambiguously and unapologetic libertarian candidate winning election in a country simply by campaigning on policies which amount to “stop doing stupid stuff” and then, once elected, actually actually stop doing stupid stuff and watch what happens. An excellent example of this genre is Aaron Zelman and L. Neil Smith’s 2001 novel, Hope, set in the U.S. Here is a forecast for Argentina from “Crémieux”:
(Crémieux, writing from the U.S., whose residents consider all vowels interchangeable, spells “Malvinas” (Falkland Islands) with an “e”.)
ZeroHedge summarises Milei’s policies in its report (emphasis in the original).
A Milei presidency will have profound implications for not only the third-largest economy in Latin America, but also the region and the world. In a continent dominated by leftist leaders, Milei could create tensions with governments he has attacked, including crucial trading partner and neighbor Brazil. In an era of growing Chinese influence in Latin America, Milei could become the region’s most vocal antagonist to a country he once called “an assassin.”
Milei made a name for himself as a television pundit who insulted other guests, and has shown a tendency to fight with the news media. In presidential debates, he has cast doubt on the widely accepted tally of murders during the country’s Dirty War from 1976 to 1983.
He has branded Argentine Pope Francis an “evil” leftist, called climate change a “socialist lie” and said he would hold a referendum to undo the three-year-old law that legalized abortion.
Wielding chain saws on the campaign trail, the wild-haired Milei vowed to slash public spending in a country heavily dependent on government subsidies. He pledged to dollarize the economy, shut down the central bank and cut the number of government ministries from 18 to eight. His rallying campaign cry was a takedown of the country’s political “caste” — an Argentine version of Trump’s “drain the swamp.”
Massa was emblematic of that ruling elite — “the king of the caste,” said political analyst Pablo Touzón. The career politician attempted to distance himself from the leftist government of Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the heirs to the populist dynasty first launched by Juan and Eva “Evita” Peron in the 1940s. Along with a grassroots campaign of activists, Massa sought to stoke fear over a Milei presidency they argued could threaten Argentina’s democracy and way of life.
But ultimately, anger won over fear. For many Argentines, the bigger risk was more of the same.
This topic will cover events in Argentina as they play out. I’ll be interested in hearing the take Doug Casey, who spends time there, has on Milei’s election.
Bitcoin, for which Milei has indicated support, although not so far going as proposing adopting as a currency in the manner El Salvador has, is up 2.43% on the day at this writing (2023-11-20 15:06 UTC).
Here is the pure, unfiltered Javier Milei. Note his citing Gramsci at the very end. This guy knows his commies.