At least one South American country might be poised to start throwing off the oppressive yoke of socialism. Javier Milei, a libertarian running for president of Argentina, has been making a splash on the national stage due to his dominance in the polls.
Milei recently sat down for an interview with Tucker Carlson, who questioned the candidate about his ideology and views on socialism, among other issues. The conversation was quite enlightening, especially from a liberty perspective. In the interview were some stark warnings for the United States as Milei shed light on how his country descended from a liberal society into an authoritarian leftist system that has left the economy in shambles and many living in abject poverty.
Socialism was the underlying topic of the conversation, with Milei expounding on the many flaws inherent in statism and the notion that it is the government’s role to take care of the populace. “The problem is that Argentina began to embrace socialist ideas more than 100 years ago,” Milei said. “And the analogy or metaphor of the toad in the water is always a good one.”
And then one begins to heat the water and the toad does not realize it. But there comes a time when he wants to realize it, it is too late and he ends up dead. Argentina began to embrace the ideas of socialism [which] looks very attractive, but is terrifying in terms of the functioning of the economic system, which is the idea that where there is a need a right is born.
Milei was referring to the notion that those on the hard left believe that if someone has a need, they have a right to have that need fulfilled by the government, which steals from some to give to others.
The candidate also took on the social justice movement, which has been seeping into Argentinian society despite being born in the United States. “Socialists do not like the idea of the invisible hand, they prefer the claw of the State and basically hide it behind the idea of social justice,” he said, also noting that the leftist view of social justice “is profoundly unjust because it implies unequal treatment before the law, preceded by theft.”
The conversation later turned to abortion, which Milei vigorously opposes as an ardent proponent of protecting natural rights – specifically the right to life. “We believe that libertarianism is the respect and the restriction of the life project of others, based on the principle of non-aggression and in defense of the right to life, liberty, and property,” the candidate said. “Therefore, in relation to the ideas of freedom, basically one of the fundamental ideas is to defend the right to life.”
Milei addressed the commonly-used pro-abortion trope that argues “my body, my choice.” He said:
That is to say, it is true that the woman has the right over her body, but that child inside the womb is not her body. That is to say, the child is not her body. Therefore, abortion is a murder aggravated by the bond and by the differential of forces, since she has no way to defend herself.
Some of Milei’s harshest criticism was reserved for the Pope, whom he accuses of meddling in geopolitics and siding with some of the worst left-wing authoritarians on the world stage. “He has also shown a great affinity with dictators like [Raul] Castro and [Nicolás] Maduro,” Milei said. “In fact, he doesn’t condemn them.”
But he is also someone who considers social justice to be central to his vision. And that’s very complicated, because social justice, what is it? Stealing the fruit of one person’s labor and giving it to another. So it involves two things. One is theft…the other problem is that it is unequal treatment before the law. And it does not seem to me that it is fair, let’s say, that some are rewarded and others are punished from a position of power such as that of the State, which has a monopoly on violence.
Overall, Milei made an amazing showing on Carlson’s show. But his interview reflects an intriguing reality regarding geopolitics. If he manages to get elected, Javier Milei will be the world’s first libertarian head of state. The fact that this is occurring in South America is even more noteworthy given the region’s love affair with socialism.
Milei’s popularity seems to belie the reality that people all over the world are beginning to resent living under a ruling class that continually enriches itself at the expense of regular folks. Many have grown weary of government officials dishonestly promising to address their needs while doing nothing of the sort.
Most of all, it seems there is a growing sentiment that perhaps having an allegiance to a governing authority isn’t as beneficial as many once believed. Perhaps Milei’s ascendence is a harbinger of things to come all over the world.