23A049 Donald, Javier and Maggie by Jim Davies, 12/5/2023
This Blog tries to offer reflections on What's Happening Now, and in November an unprecedented thing happened: Javier Milei was elected President in Argentina as an outspoken Libertarian, indeed an "anarcho-capitalist." The popular vote majority was large enough to be a landslide in the US: 56 to 44%. Javier is an accomplished soccer player and pop singer, as well as being a serious student of economics - notably Mises, Friedman and Rothbard.
Having detected the causes of the appalling mess that a century of socialism (in various guises) has created in his country, he uses colorful words (some with only four letters!) to denounce it and say what he'll do to fix matters: he'll burn down the Central Bank and take a chain saw to the bloated bureaucracy. Wonderful! He lined up the Ministries he will abolish and one by one shouted Afuero! as he threw out their names. Tucker Carlson interviewed him here.
Upon election he received a telegram of congratulation from Donald Trump, and responded with humble respect. Evidently DJT sees him as a fellow outsider to politics. Indeed he is, though as an ex-Prez I'm not sure DJT still qualifies. They are both compelling public speakers, though with different styles, but there the resemblance ends; Javier has a very clear free-market reform program in mind while Donald is so deficient in economics and freedom, he hardly belongs in the gallery below.
Like Donald, Javier has only a lukewarm support in his legislature, so when wielding his chain saw he'll be backed up only if its members fear the wrath of voters if they don't. He has a tough battle ahead. Some have warned that he's a prime target for assassination. Let's all wish him luck.
The other person worth comparing to Javier is Margaret Thatcher. When elected UK Prime Minister in 1979 she too inherited a socialist mess, and she too promised to clean it up using the teachings of Milton Friedman; in fact she began by requiring all in her cabinet to read his books! And in a tempestuous 12 years of tough leadership she delivered on a fair bit of it. Britain ended that period in far better shape than when it began.
She did tend to dominate her colleagues; as noted in this ZGBlog, 'It's said that after an intense period of discussion in Downing Street, she took some of her inner Cabinet (all males) out to dinner at a nearby restaurant. She ordered roast beef. The waiter asked "And for the vegetables, Madam?" Thatcher replied "They will also have the beef."'
Ironically, she also interacted with Argentina; in 1982 her government waged war on that country to restore the Falkland Islands to British control.
Did either Donald or Maggie deliver a free society? Can he or Javier do so in future? - no. Both will bring some improvement (DJT will end the War of Russian Independence for example) but a free society (a ZGS) will come about only when everyone has quit government employ and stopped trying to gain at others' expense; that is, embraced the SOA and taken responsibility for his own life while letting everyone else do the same.
And that requires education. And that's what TOLFA's for.