Argentina elects chainsaw-wielding libertarian - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15296263
the Irish Times wrote:Radical libertarian Javier Milei seizes victory in Argentina presidential election

Former TV celebrity pledges ‘reconstruction of Argentina’ and warns ‘no room for lukewarm measures’

Javier Milei, a radical libertarian economist and first-term congressman, has won a decisive victory in Argentina’s presidential election, vowing “drastic” changes to the country’s economic strategy amid its worst crisis in two decades.

Mr Milei won 55.7 per cent of the vote, against 44.3 per cent for economy minister Sergio Massa of the centre-left Peronist government, with more than 99 per cent of votes counted.

...

He pledged swift reforms to the country’s fragile economy. “I want you to understand that Argentina is in a critical situation. The changes our country needs are drastic. There is no room for gradualism.”

Mr Milei’s campaign centred on a pledge to take a “chainsaw” to the state – slashing spending by up to 15 per cent of gross domestic product – and to dollarise the economy to stamp out inflation. Argentina’s annual price rises hit 142.7 per cent in October...


Image

Argentina has been running on hard times for decades now. Will the election of this cartoon-character help to resolve its resource-distribution (economic) problems?

Or is this, as the president of Mexico calls it, an "own goal" that Argentinian TV-viewers scored against their own team?

False consciousness is a serious social illness, and I hope this election is not a tragic example of it.
#15296268
QatzelOk wrote:Image

Argentina has been running on hard times for decades now. Will the election of this cartoon-character help to resolve its resource-distribution (economic) problems?

Or is this, as the president of Mexico calls it, an "own goal" that Argentinian TV-viewers scored against their own team?

False consciousness is a serious social illness, and I hope this election is not a tragic example of it.


Brazil got Bolsonaro and Argentina is going to get Milei.

Both will fail to make life better for the average Argentine just like Bolsonaro failed to make Brazil a safer country with more opportunities as promised.

Both are into individualism and bullshit. They are class-conscious leaders and about profit and elite rights.

So they will not be improving the lot of the underclass, working class or middle class and small business owners in their own countries. The majority are those. Not the oligarchs, elites and empresarios. So once the lies are obvious the voters vote them out.

Bolsonaro lost to Lula. A man who was supposedly the failed Leftist. Why? Because the Right never responds to bread-and-butter issues in those nations. They only deal with culture wars and raging on about getting rid of liberals, socialists, and communists. The enemy. Never a policy about jobs, economics, education issues, health, and infrastructure state benefits being expanded or affordable housing, old age pensions, etc. Nothing of substance.

It all ends in culture wars and fluff shit that is a total failure in the bottom line stuff for your average citizen.

Argentina is full of fascists and right-wingers. But it has some hardcore Leftists too. It is very very conflict prone. But in the end? The people just want something that works.
#15296285
Tainari88 wrote:Brazil got Bolsonaro and Argentina is going to get Milei.

Both will fail to make life better for the average Argentine...

It all ends in culture wars and fluff shit that is a total failure in the bottom line stuff for your average citizen.

Argentina is full of fascists and right-wingers. But it has some hardcore Leftists too. It is very very conflict prone. But in the end? The people just want something that works.


I have the same feeling that you do here. But my question is: How did a majority of Argentine voters all decide that privatizing public corporations and destroying social programs would lead to an improved quality of life?

What exactly was said during the campaign that made this seem possible to voters there?
#15296329
QatzelOk wrote:I have the same feeling that you do here. But my question is: How did a majority of Argentine voters all decide that privatizing public corporations and destroying social programs would lead to an improved quality of life?

What exactly was said during the campaign that made this seem possible to voters there?


Q, the right wing usually wins when ordinary people fail to get active. It is not really that the entire society decides to be pro right wing policies.

They think....someone else is going to vote the right way and I do not have to. The reality is that many of these shitty governments usually seize power when they discourage voting and participating in the political process, and make things more difficult to vote for ordinary people. The Republican party is doing that right now. Make it increasingly harder to vote for minority groups or others. And to also do disinformation, and lying and cheating.

The demographics will always favor the Left. There are more working class people by far in most nations including Argentina. But if you have people who are just tired and do not participate in the process? Do not stay actively engaged? You have a regression to bullshit Right wing politics. The Pandemic really burned out a lot of people. Many people lost something substantial in that long pandemic. And they often just say, 'I don't want to go there and vote. I do not want to deal with any more crap promises and red tape from the government.'

I know that in Puerto Rico the hurricanes, the pandemic, the brownouts and blackouts, the lack of jobs, the constant lack of stability wears on people. They often do not show up to vote.

If you can increase about 20% more voters of working-class backgrounds to show up and vote for a working-class candidate. The reality is that the Right-wing fanatics never have a damn chance at any political post in most nations around the world. Keeping people weary and unmotivated is a great strategy if you defend the rights of an elite.
#15296339
QatzelOk wrote:I have the same feeling that you do here. But my question is: How did a majority of Argentine voters all decide that privatizing public corporations and destroying social programs would lead to an improved quality of life?

What exactly was said during the campaign that made this seem possible to voters there?


Simple, the ruling peronists have left the country with 140% inflation and 40%+ poverty, and presented the economics minister who's failed to do anything about it as their candidate.

Those social programs you mention have become worth less and less under these conditions. The purchasing power of, say, pensions has been steadily eroded by this high inflation and the government is completely unable to do anything about it. The fact many of those pensioners used to own their pension funds until 2008 (when they were nationalized) doesn't help either.

Also, around 22 million Argentinians are recipients of the welfare from those various social programs, that's about half of the country. The other half gets nothing yet still has to deal with high inflation and the corresponding erosion of their income and wealth.
#15296348
Beren wrote:Argentines must be really desperate about their country going bankrupt from time to time so much so that they finally elected a libertarian economics professor seemingly bold enough to do something about it.


You mean after irresponsibly voting for morons for decades Argentines decided to double down and vote for the ultimate moron? Falling apples etc.
#15296349
Tainari88 wrote:Q, the right wing usually wins when ordinary people fail to get active. It is not really that the entire society decides to be pro right wing policies...


Is it possible that Argentina's status as a "rich country" for so long... has limited its ability to embrace socialism now that its riches have gone away? Perhaps most people - rich and poor - have come to conclude that only the rich can dominate, and only by being much richer than average Argentinians?

Perhaps the culture-of-money that developed in Argentina during the fat years... are now making a transition to a more equitable distribution-system impossible because of cultural contamination by the rich for several generations?

I ask this because this "we're rich, we don't need social programs" mentality is very prominent in my own country and the one south of the border. Is this the dysfunctional political future that awaits the soon-to-be-former rich countries of the West?

We will be vindictively choosing between chainsay-wielding ideologues as the homeless slowly become the majority?

Beren wrote:Argentines must be really desperate about their country going bankrupt from time to time so much so that they finally elected a libertarian economics professor seemingly bold enough to do something about it.

When the early USA kept going bankrupt, they simply killed more First Nations, and then expanded. All those generations of "libertarian economics professors" had nothing to offer as a solution except killing other people and then stealing their resources. This always pushed bankruptcy a bit down the road, until the next crisis-war-kill-seize land event.

Money doesn't grow on trees, and it doesn't fall from the sky when you elect someone who loves it more than he loves life itself.
#15296352
QatzelOk wrote:Is it possible that Argentina's status as a "rich country" for so long... has limited its ability to embrace socialism now that its riches have gone away? Perhaps most people - rich and poor - have come to conclude that only the rich can dominate, and only by being much richer than average Argentinians?

Perhaps the culture-of-money that developed in Argentina during the fat years... are now making a transition to a more equitable distribution-system impossible because of cultural contamination by the rich for several generations?

I ask this because this "we're rich, we don't need social programs" mentality is very prominent in my own country and the one south of the border. Is this the dysfunctional political future that awaits the soon-to-be-former rich countries of the West?

We will be vindictively choosing between chainsay-wielding ideologues as the homeless slowly become the majority?


It's not that Argentinians have a "I'm rich, we don't need social programs mentality" you can (could?) find in the US and parts of the Anglophone world. It's more like "I'm poor and the government is making me poorer while the 'caste'* is getting rich".

*Milei refers to mainstream politicians and specially the peronists as a caste. Dissatisfied libertarian Argentinians will often refer to their own country as Peronia because of how entrenched peronism is everywhere.

Argentina is the poster child for political clientelism, it's worse than even in Southern Europe. Yet as it turns out things are so fucked up even those vast networks are failing to fulfill their promises and there's a realization among many younger Argentinians that this system itself is broken. That it doesn't matter what they do, they can't improve their lives (a sentiment shared among many young people in the West, I'd say, even the Anglophone countries).

Milei wields a chainsaw to cut the grease in the Argentinian government, to cut those clientelistic networks. But actually that is a reference from an anime series called Chainsaw Man that is fairly popular in Latin America. It actually began as a criticism of Milei in the mainstream Argentinian press by people who support the current government:



It actually ended up backfiring, because she didn't quite understand the appeal of the series and specially for many young Argentinians. The main character is someone who they can empathize with. Here's the first episode so you can understand why.

#15296353
Rugoz wrote:You mean after irresponsibly voting for morons for decades Argentines decided to double down and vote for the ultimate moron?

I wonder if he got elected because he means to cease the peso and introduce the USD, if my understanding is correct, which Argentines may believe to be the only possibly successful way to tackle their rampant inflation. Or they just mean to have a reset perhaps as making Argentina a kind of Wild West appears to be his electoral programme, which could be a typical an-cap libertarian pipe dream indeed.

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#15296354
wat0n wrote:...as it turns out things are so fucked up even those vast networks are failing to fulfill their promises and there's a realization among many younger Argentinians that this system itself is broken. That it doesn't matter what they do, they can't improve their lives (a sentiment shared among many young people in the West, I'd say, even the Anglophone countries)...


I get this. But isn't this "lack of equitable options" in Argentina... the result of the country being rich and decadent for so long in its history?

Like here in the "rich" West, the masses - both left and right - can't even imagine sharing, cooperation, lowering their expectations, or sacrificing for group health. Like in the West, is it possible that Argentinians feel like they individually "deserve to be rich" and if they can't, to hell with everything, let's vote for some crazy man with crazy ideas?

And then what? :eh:

In the last decade, in the province of Quebec, the voters twice chose a "reboot the entire system!" party of entrepreneurs with moneyed connections (CAQ). We are now living with culture wars shit and lots of failed mass transit projects. But the government reps increased their own salaries by 30% a few years ago. Food bank use is double what it was ten years ago.


Is this election a "hara-kiri" moment for the formerly rich who simply can't adapt to resource limits?
#15296359
QatzelOk wrote:Is it possible that Argentina's status as a "rich country" for so long... has limited its ability to embrace socialism now that its riches have gone away? Perhaps most people - rich and poor - have come to conclude that only the rich can dominate, and only by being much richer than average Argentinians?

Perhaps the culture-of-money that developed in Argentina during the fat years... are now making a transition to a more equitable distribution-system impossible because of cultural contamination by the rich for several generations?

I ask this because this "we're rich, we don't need social programs" mentality is very prominent in my own country and the one south of the border. Is this the dysfunctional political future that awaits the soon-to-be-former rich countries of the West?

We will be vindictively choosing between chainsay-wielding ideologues as the homeless slowly become the majority?


When the early USA kept going bankrupt, they simply killed more First Nations, and then expanded. All those generations of "libertarian economics professors" had nothing to offer as a solution except killing other people and then stealing their resources. This always pushed bankruptcy a bit down the road, until the next crisis-war-kill-seize land event.

Money doesn't grow on trees, and it doesn't fall from the sky when you elect someone who loves it more than he loves life itself.


People who vote learn over time. As all of us do.

But voting is not enough. You have to be involved in your society.

Again, value systems have to change. All of the nations that are troubled economically have to do some soul searching.

I think people have to let go of that consumer culture stuff they have been taught to revere from the past.

Consumption is pushed hard as a way of living a good life in capitalism. To be taught that you do not have to consume a lot of consumer goods to be a good human. But, you will have to work very hard on making sure your water is clean and fit to drink and bathe in, your air is clean and fit to breathe, your land is fertile and fit to grow food on, and your cities are sustainable and walkable and fit to explore without using fossil fuels all day long.

That transition will have to happen in the near future. So the entire consumption free-for-all that used to be the center of all life in the past? That is gone now. And it is creating pain in the ones who got used to those value systems.

They should be happy. Because what is coming is going to be far more satisfying for all of us. It is going to force us to be frugal, to be thoughtful, to be careful planners and it will force us to be responsible. In the end? That makes for a much better world.
#15296361
annatar1914 wrote:You all know that this man is the great grandson of Croatian dictator Ante Pavelic, right? Well:



He is.

That doesn't inspire me to think that he's all that different.


Argentina is stuck with a fascist offshoot. Lol. Oh, you will cry for me Argentina.
#15296363
Tainari88 wrote:People who vote learn over time. As all of us do.

But voting is not enough. You have to be involved in your society.


In rich countries, people get used to not being involved in their societies at all. Could this contaminate their ability to form a civilization after the old one crashes?

...what is coming is going to be far more satisfying for all of us. It is going to force us to be frugal, to be thoughtful, to be careful planners and it will force us to be responsible. In the end? That makes for a much better world.

Argentina has lived through a lot of years of crisis and voting for heroes. At one point do voters decide to be thoughtful and responsible (for one another)?

And is the left contaminated by the same hierarchy-of-social-status that makes the rightwing so uncaring of the poor and disenfranchised?
#15296366
QatzelOk wrote:In rich countries, people get used to not being involved in their societies at all. Could this contaminate their ability to form a civilization after the old one crashes?


Argentina has lived through a lot of years of crisis and voting for heroes. At one point do voters decide to be thoughtful and responsible (for one another)?

And is the left contaminated by the same hierarchy-of-social-status that makes the rightwing so uncaring of the poor and disenfranchised?


This is interesting. The reality is that people who grow up in poverty rarely have time for all this bourgeois reflection on what is correct. Most of the Mexican families I know who live in poverty right now are scrambling to get a job that helps pay their bills, they also rely on extended family a lot. They often have to travel long distances from their hometowns to larger dirtier cities to get piece meal little gigs that barely cover their expenses. They often have spotty and inadequate education. So? They also raise their kids with inadequate education, and make them work from an early age.

It is cyclical. The only thing that breaks that pattern is investing in education, jobs, and adult preparation, and just a lot of infusion of time, efforts and pesos in these smaller rural communities. If you neglect them? The thing snowballs.
#15296372
Beren wrote:I wonder if he got elected because he means to cease the peso and introduce the USD, if my understanding is correct, which Argentines may believe to be the only possibly successful way to tackle their rampant inflation.


Yes, please. I want to see the epic clusterfuck of pegging the currency to the dollar and slashing government spending on top. They will drag his body through the streets.
#15296377
annatar1914 wrote:You all know that this man is the great grandson of Croatian dictator Ante Pavelic, right? Well:



He is.

That doesn't inspire me to think that he's all that different.


First time I'm hearing this.

But one thing he did say is that his parents beat him as a kid and that he didn't speak to them for a decade. That may explain why Milei is like he is.
#15296401
Rugoz wrote:Yes, please. I want to see the epic clusterfuck of pegging the currency to the dollar and slashing government spending on top.

He actually means to cease the central bank and dollarise the economy.

Reuters wrote:Argentina's Milei says shutting central bank 'non-negotiable'

Reuters

November 24, 2023 3:25 PM GMT+1 Updated 5 hours ago


BUENOS AIRES, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Argentina's President-elect Javier Milei said on Friday that the closure of the country's central bank, a signature campaign pledge, was a "non-negotiable matter", according to a statement from his office posted on social media platform X.

The comments, in response to what he called "false rumors", come as the outsider libertarian economist races to put together his team ahead of taking office on Dec. 10, with some signs that he is picking a more moderate Cabinet that expected.

Argentina's social security administration ANSES, a key institution given Milei's pledge to slash state spending and subsidies, will be lead by economist Osvaldo Giordano from the key central Cordoba region, the statement added.

That marks a shift from a previous plan that Milei would appoint a close ally to lead the administration.

Horacio Marin, a private energy sector executive, was also confirmed as the incoming chief of state oil company YPF.

Milei faces major hurdles to implement his more radical reform plans, which include dollarizing the economy, shutting the central bank and privatizing state companies like YPF, which will take time if they can be done at all.

His libertarian coalition has a limited number of seats in Congress and no provincial governors. Milei also has to juggle demands from the more mainstream conservative bloc, whose public backing was key to him winning the run-off election last week.

Investopedia wrote:Dollarization is the term for when the U.S. dollar is used in addition to or instead of the domestic currency of another country. It is an example of currency substitution. Dollarization usually happens when a country’s own currency loses its usefulness as a medium of exchange, due to hyperinflation or instability.
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