A New Clown Rises In Argentina
The system allows no genuine choice.
Argentina just elected an extremist clown.
This guy didn’t just squeak it. He won by a big margin. It’s hard to overstate the extremist and the clown bit.
Javier Milei has pledged to abolish almost every single government department. He wants to cut all financial state support for individuals, including disability and unemployment welfare. He wants Argentina to abandon its currency, the peso, and adopt the US dollar as its official currency. He has pledged to cut ties with Brazil and China (Argentina's largest trading partners) and replace all that business with trade from the US.
He wants to mandate forced labour for prisoners and build for-profit prisons while changing laws to make the smallest infractions punishable with prison time. He wants to install facial recognition cameras every few metres across the country and legalise the sale of babies. He has an alter ego ‘superhero’ persona that he dresses up as while singing songs about filthy leftists.
He loves Trump, Bolsonaro and Netanyahu.
His underlying economic ideology is anarcho-capitalism. Essentially, he believes in letting capitalism do whatever it wants without any state moderation or intervention. In the background, an economic crisis in Argentina has led to soaring inflation and collapsing wages. The country owes $44bn debt to the US-backed International Monetary Fund.
Of course, Milei was welcomed by the usual assortment of flump muffins, including Trump and Musk, who tweeted that prosperity is returning to Argentina. For Musk and other billionaires, I don’t doubt it. For 99% of people? No chance. Milei will be a disaster for the millions who rely on the state to shield them from the worst ravages of capitalism.
Too many people fail to understand the goal. The elite want to expose them to capitalism in tooth and craw and let the chips fall where they may. It’s the economic component of eugenicist ideology.
Melei is just the purest distillation yet of this ideology.
His plans would make Ayn Rand blush. They are the essence of the disaster capitalism Naomi Klein wrote about.
These people don’t come from nowhere. They come out of the very structures they claim to oppose. Trump is a billionaire nepo baby. Boris Johnson is a privately educated toff descended from royalty. The current British prime minister claiming to be fighting the system is richer than the king of England.
Milei is privately educated with four economics degrees. He was economic adviser to a soldier-turned-politician who was elected to Argentina's parliament in the late 1990s (who was then expelled, accused of crimes against humanity during Argentina’s dictatorship). He has run several private consultancy firms, earning himself many millions. He is financially supported by one of South America’s richest men, the billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian, the owner of media and airport conglomerate Corporación América.
This clown isn't fighting the system.
He is the system.
Despite Argentina’s problems stemming from a debtor-creditor relationship with the US-dominated IMF, Milei wants to hitch Argentina as close as possible to the US and the economics at the root of Argentina’s crisis.
As soon as Milei won, stocks and bonds in Argentine companies rose. The market loves clowns like this.
His support came from working people, also as expected.
The truth is, working people have been let down by politicians everywhere, over decades. Whether those are from the centre-left, right, or extreme right. Because all of them practice neoliberalism, to greater or lesser extents. They all cohere around the same ideology of limited constraints on capital, the shrinking of the state, removal of welfare, and lower taxes for the rich. All of which accelerate inequality and give rise to the conditions that open the door for extremist clowns.
Neoliberal policies will always act as a precursor for the Trumps and the Mileis. Why vote for the sanitised version when you can vote for the real thing?
Anyone on the left that has tried to fight back in the populist terms that could combat the populists on the right, has been destroyed.
Because populists on the right, as crazy as they might be, are at their heart always neoliberals. This critical distinction gets obscured. They don't want the system to change. They just want to be on top.
They believe they belong there.
As such, the system, including the mass media and the moguls that run it, will always prefer neoliberalism run by a populist clown than someone in power who might actually challenge this system.
The election of Milei also accelerates a social-psychological trend we’ve seen in recent years: the descent into wishful political thinking and mass delusion. The lies these people sell are outrageous and unbelievable.
Yet they keep winning power.
Voting for them is an act of collective self-harm.
Yet where else is there to turn? People are so devoid of agency and power that they are turning to these clowns in the delusional belief that they are the ones who can fix the system.
But they won’t, they can’t, because they are the system.
The media sells us nonsense about people like Trump and Milei being ‘outsiders’ and ‘anti-establishment’ figures.
This isn’t true.
They’re just embedded in a different part of the same capitalist system, only slightly outside the centre.
They might rail against communists, Marxists, and feminists, but this culture warrior fluff only distracts from the real issue: they believe in the same economic system as the establishment they ostensibly oppose.
This is the truth rarely told, and is why we end up with the Mileis of this world. We’re told that voting is the only way to keep these fools out. The argument goes that the choice might be a lesser evil, but at least it isn’t the real evil.
In reality, most of the time, we actually have no choice at all. We can choose between evil and more evil.
Expect more extremist neoliberal clowns.