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President Milei – “Long Live Freedom, Damn It”

Posted on Friday, January 19, 2024
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by Outside Contributor
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34 Comments

Argentine President Javier Milei’s Wednesday speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Buenos Aires, Argentina. 10th december 2023. Inauguration ceremony of President-elect Javier Milei in Argentina at the National Congress

The Western world is in danger, and it is in danger because those who are supposed to have defended the values of the West are co-opted by a vision of the world that inexorably leads to socialism and, thereby, to poverty. Unfortunately, in recent decades, motivated by some well-meaning individuals willing to help others and others motivated by the wish to belong to a privileged caste, the main leaders of the Western world have abandoned the model of freedom for different versions of what we call collectivism. We are here to tell you that collectivist experiments are never the solution to the problems that afflict the citizens of the world. Rather, they are the root cause. Do believe me, no one better placed than us, Argentines, to testify to these two points.

When we adopted the model of freedom back in 1860, in 35 years, we became a leading world power. And when we embraced collectivism over the course of the last 100 years, we saw how our citizens started to become systematically impoverished, and we dropped to spot No. 140 globally…

Since there is no doubt that free-enterprise capitalism is superior in productive terms, the left-wing doxa [public opinion] has attacked capitalism, alleging matters of morality…They say that capitalism is evil because it’s individualistic and that collectivism is good because it’s altruistic—of course, with the money of others—so they, therefore, advocate for social justice.

But this concept, which in the developed world became fashionable in recent times, in my country has been a constant in political discourse for over 80 years. The problem is that social justice is not just, and it doesn’t contribute either to the general well-being. Quite on the contrary, it’s an intrinsically unfair idea because it’s violent. It’s unjust because the state is financed through tax, and taxes are collected coercively—or can any one of us say that they voluntarily pay taxes? Which means that the state is financed through coercion, and that the higher the tax burden, the higher the coercion and the lower the freedom…

Unfortunately, these harmful ideas have taken a stronghold in our society. Neo-Marxists have managed to co-opt the common sense of the Western world, and this they have achieved by appropriating the media, culture, universities—and also international organizations. The latter case is the most serious one probably, because these are institutions that have enormous influence on political and economic decisions of the countries that make up the multilateral organizations.

Fortunately, there are more and more of us who are daring to make our voices heard, because we see that if we don’t truly and decisively fight against these ideas, the only possible fate is for us to have increasing levels of state regulation, socialism, poverty and less freedom, and therefore will be having worse standards of living. The West has unfortunately already started to go along this path. I know to many it may sound ridiculous to suggest that the West has turned to socialism, but it’s only ridiculous if you only limit yourself to the traditional economic definition of socialism, which says that it’s an economic system where the state owns the means of production.

This definition, in my view, should be updated in light of current circumstances. Today, states don’t need to directly control the means of production to control every aspect of the lives of individuals. With tools such as printing money, debt, subsidies, controlling the interest rate, price controls and regulations to correct the so-called market failures, they can control the lives and fates of millions of individuals. This is how we come to the point where, by using different names or guises, a good deal of the generally accepted political offers in most Western countries are collectivist variants, whether they proclaim to be openly communist, fascist, Nazis, socialists, social Democrats, socialists, Democrat Christians or Christian Democrats, neo-Keynesians, progressive, populists, nationalists or globalists.

At bottom, there are no major differences. They all say that the state should steer all aspects of the lives of individuals. They all defend a model contrary to that one which led humanity to the most spectacular progress in its history. We have come here today to invite the rest of the countries in the Western world to get back on the path of prosperity, economic freedom, limited government and unlimited respect for private property—essential elements for economic growth. And the impoverishment produced by collectivism is no fantasy, nor is it an inescapable fate.

But it’s a reality that we Argentines know very well. We have lived through this, we have been through this, because as I said earlier, ever since we decided to abandon the model of freedom that had made us rich, we have been caught up in a downward spiral as part of which we are poorer and poorer, day by day. So, this is something we have lived through and we are here to warn you about what can happen if the countries in the Western world that became rich through the model of freedom stay on this path of servitude. The case of Argentina is an empirical demonstration that no matter how rich you may be or how much you may have in terms of natural resources or how skilled your population may be, or educated, or how many bars of gold you may have in the central bank, if measures are adopted that hinder the free functioning of markets, free competition, free price systems, if you hinder trade, if you attack private property, the only possible fate is poverty.

Therefore, in concluding, I would like to leave a message for all businesspeople here and for those who are not here in person but are following from around the world. Do not be intimidated, either by the political caste or by parasites who live off the state. Do not surrender to a political class that only wants to stay in power and retain its privileges. You are social benefactors. You’re heroes. You’re the creators of the most extraordinary period of prosperity we’ve ever seen. Let no one tell you that your ambition is immoral. If you make money, it’s because you offer a better product at a better price, thereby contributing to general well-being. Do not surrender to the advance of the state. The state is not the solution. The state is the problem itself. You are the true protagonists of this story, and rest assured that as of today, Argentina is your staunch unconditional ally. Thank you very much and long live freedom, damn it.

Read his full speech here.

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WJS
WJS
1 month ago

Boy he is spot on. This article should be posted in all US newspapers so all could read. Hopefully he will get Argentina back on track and our next president will do likewise.

Kim
Kim
1 month ago

“…the higher the tax burden, the higher the coercion and the lower the freedom…”

This is the thinking that many of us Conservatives are trying to bring a louder voice to, so all Americans can hear what happens when freedoms erode and government bureaucrats steal more power than the Constitution allows them. Our hard-earned tax dollars end up in “progressive” programs that rarely align with our values or the ideals of a free society. And then, when those efforts don’t pan out, politicians ask for more money to “finish what we started”. But there’s no bottom to that trough, and the national debt clock keeps ticking… and ticking…. When it comes to my money, I’ll spend it in the way that best benefits me, my family, or my community. That’s what give me the power and the freedom to run my own life.

If the good citizens of this or any country sit out the elections process, then they have lost their voice. We deserve what we vote for…or what others voted for. I beg all Americans to vote in November, and vote in a way that preserves our freedoms…in other words, for Conservatives, or at least for Republicans.

I’ve seen a few of President Milei’s interviews. He is quite a character! His strong message is the one that is so appropriate for this century, when free societies are in great peril. I wish him and the citizens of Argentina a peaceful and successful transition back to normalcy and prosperity.

Jerry
Jerry
27 days ago

Finally Argentina has a leader with some common sense. Hopefully in November we will have one back.

Jack
Jack
1 month ago

Viva Argentina!

anna hubert
anna hubert
27 days ago

That speech should be nailed to every church door in every town and also be the required reading of every student on every level

Robin Walter Boyd
Robin Walter Boyd
27 days ago

Maybe liberal minded American citizens who are being deceived so badly by hateful Progressives will listen to Argentina. Progressives have liberal minded citizens so convinced that anything approaching being moderate that is left of moderate is somehow bad. We are being forced into a Communist form of Socialism that is tearing the U.S. and other Western nations apart. Free capitalism is the only way the U.S. can start to get back to being the great nation it became in a relatively short amount of time.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
27 days ago

Boy, Democrats must hate him but then they hate anyone who talks of individual rights, limited government, and free enterprise

Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
27 days ago

I like President Milei more every time I here from him. he is going to make Argentina great again.

Thinking
Thinking
27 days ago

This is what Trump has been saying all along that this is happening in America and the rest of the world. Europe is made broke by the war in the Ukraine. Thereby taking the money from the people under the guise to save the people of the Ukraine. Really? Or is it to keep the elites in power with our money. I think the latter. What is said about Argentina in this article is what is happening here in the US and in Europe. The left is following the WEF elites to totally dominate the people and the only way they can do that is make everyone poor. Dumbing down the people. The more amoral our culture the better the left likes it. There is tax money to mutilate our kids. Not educate our kids. We have DEI people in ole Joe’s cabinet. Not qualified people. Throwing money at things seems to be their solution to all problems. Ole Joe says give me more money I will fix the border. If he was so hell bent on fixing the border he would not have fired border patrol agents. He ordered student loan forgiveness by executive order. The Supreme Court struck him down. He found a way around that, after all he is the boss. What do the judges know. He could have done the same at the border. Only he doesn’t want to. He wants more and more voters and mindless followers. Who are these pesky MAGA people. He doesn’t know what MAGA means otherwise he would not call us terrorists. He can’t stand it that we keep on supporting Trump. Only to save America from you and your government.

Steven
Steven
27 days ago

This was one of the best summaries and arguments to go back to our roots as a capitalistic country again. The government, which is supposed to represent us and make our lives better, is only out to makes our lives more difficult. Government’s incremental intrusion into our lives is very obvious. Many of us read the book 1984 but this is 1984 on steroids! The Western culture with it’s freedoms created the highest standard of living and innovation. It’s not the governments job to intrude on our freedoms or to pick winners and losers in our economy. For example let’s look at the automobile market. People want SUVs and Pickup Trucks not electric golf carts. If the government had its way we would all be using public transportation. The electric car market, despite generous government incentives to the car manufacturers and tax breaks to those who can afford the electric cars, is failing miserably. Electric Cars: A plan that doesn’t work to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Government needs to be reduced in size and made to do it’s only job, protect the American people through a strong military, closed borders, innovative education, common sense environmental and energy programs that enable us to become energy independent again and to keep us out of unnecessary wars.

Martin Plecki
Martin Plecki
27 days ago

I am going to copy and paste this in full on my FB page. Also the Catholic Pope is from Argentina….He needs to read this very carefully and search his soul about his beliefs.

Robbie
Robbie
27 days ago

Hear, hear!! This man speaks the truth. We should all stand up and take notice and raise our voices to freedom and capitalism.

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
27 days ago

Hooray for Argentina AND Hungary–two countries with common-sense leaders. That’s why the globalists hate them so!

Melinda
Melinda
27 days ago

Do not ever give up hope for the future! This country has been through tough and turbulent times before. It seems worse now because of instant communication, but we haven’t lived in any other time, so we can’t know what it was like. Life is still good if we can shut out the political noise.

Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
27 days ago

I agree with him.

A Voter
A Voter
27 days ago

So when do we schedule all of our so called conservative politicians to make the trip to Argentina for a training class hosted by Milei? Maybe they can learn something and come back and fight the push to communism here.

Steve Greenwell
Steve Greenwell
27 days ago

Dear Javier Millei:
Do de name ‘Ayn Rand’ ring a bell?

A Voter
A Voter
27 days ago

First we need to start a Go Fund Me page for so called conservative politicians. We need to buy most of them a spine. The truth of the situation is that we have way too many wet noodles who call themselves conservative.

Donald King
Donald King
27 days ago

Capitalism, while certainly not perfect, is far, far superior to any form of socialism or communism. During my working career before retiring, I traveled and resided in a number of countries in Europe, South America and Asia and have seen the contrasts between capitalism and socialism. Some of the differences were mild while others were very great, the worst being Venezuela.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
27 days ago

Hooray Victory

NELSON R ROTH
NELSON R ROTH
27 days ago

Excellent case for capitalism and freedom. Sad that it was signed with an in appropriate destructive profanity. He should be thanking Almighty God for their blessing and prosperity.

BEA
BEA
27 days ago

Yes, Argentina and Hungary know how to be great leaders. These leaders want to take care of their own citizens first and look for ways to help families with good jobs and schools. A MERIT system.

Bjn
Bjn
27 days ago

Notice that the WEF site didn’t end the same as what you said. Think they purposely deleted it? Or did you add it?

John Shipway
John Shipway
27 days ago

One might best be served to stand back a while before providing Milei with the weird political sainthood the media seems intent on coating the man with. He is don’t forget a product of well funded members of the so called western hegemony, as in the man was all but installed by the Washington power elites. How he performs is of course still up in the air and if he truly is as anti socialism as he continues to remind the cameras, well being Argentina, how many times have we heard that tune?
Lets not piss in the mans Post Toasties quite yet but all this rather tacky praise heaped upon this man, irregardless of his stated position being the polar opposite of his DC supporters……it does seem a bit suspicious thus my plea to stand back for a while so we can see where the thrown spaghetti truly sticks.
If I were to lay a bet it would be on there being another leader of Argentina that will sell his country out by enslaving it even further into western debt and turning over the substantial resources of Argentina to the evil corporate-governmental agencies based in Washington. Argentina has been on this treadmill for decades…many decades.

Gil
Gil
26 days ago

Nicely said and so very true. Unfortunately, our education systems have been teaching differently and we have two or more generations of socialists. Most media publications and newspapers are behind it also, although they will loose their freedom also. Maybe we should change the name “capitalism” to something more positive. freedom-ism??
Most people today are too lazy to investigate how capitalism works. Our government has made so many dependent on taxpayer money that they want more and more but don’t realize that it will all vanish because too many will be collecting – with no motivation anymore to work, and so everyone will be poor.

johnh
johnh
26 days ago

I wonder if Trump realizes that the entire world is watching his actions & not just the people that he considers his foes. He is acting like a grade school bully the way that he attacks people like Nikki Haley & calling her the highly intelligent name of “Birdbrain”. And then to top it off, yesterday said that anyone that donates to Haley campaign is not part of MAGA camp! He is being a bully to other members of his Republican party & just what is his definition of a MAGA camp ? If you want to be POTUS again, then quit acting so childish to fellow Americans! Act like an adult………….

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