By Tom Woods
November 22, 2023
From the Tom Woods Letter:
You've surely heard the news: Javier Milei, a member of Argentina's Chamber of Deputies, was elected president of Argentina — and it wasn't close.
The circumstances — a poverty rate at 40 percent, and inflation at a crippling 140 percent — were ideal for someone like Milei, who holds ideas some people might have considered "extreme" just a few years ago. But as one of my daughters put it as we discussed the news, if the "normal" ideas are clearly not working, what's the harm in trying the so-called crazy ones?
Milei describes himself as an anarcho-capitalist, and one of his dogs is named after Murray Rothbard. He's made no bones about wanting to shut down one department after another. And yes, I know we've heard that one before, but the point is this: he pledged to make radical changes in a good direction and a considerable majority of people in effect said they had no problem with it.
It's appropriate that he should have a dog named after Rothbard, because not only does he believe in Rothbard's ideas when it comes to liberty and economics, but he also adopted the strategy of libertarian populism that Rothbard recommended. As Fernando Chiocca pointed out on the Mises Institute's website, instead of politely debating the ideas of the other side as the well-behaved libertarians would have had him do, Milei roundly denounced them in ways that awakened the public instead of putting them to sleep.
And let's put it this way: he is not exactly naive about the left.
From a recent media appearance:
"If you think differently from them they will kill you!… You can't give sh** leftists an inch. If you give them an inch they will use it to destroy you…. You don't negotiate with trash because they will end you!… We're not only superior economically, we are morally superior, we are aesthetically superior, we are better than they are at everything. And that triggers them. And since they can't beat us with real arguments, they just use the repressive apparatus of the state, with loads of taxpayer money, to destroy us. And yet they're still losing!… Leftists are losing the cultural battle. For the first time ever, they are cornered."
On foreign policy Milei seems to hold conventional opinions — opinions I would consider disqualifying in the U.S. But I'm not particularly concerned about Argentinian foreign policy, so I can overlook them.
Now, to anticipate the black-pilled response, let me clarify: even if Milei were a complete phony, the landslide victory of someone who ran on an unmistakably libertarian and populist message remains significant. As Jeff Deist put it, "This is not about Milei or his views — but about the perception of his views and the willingness of millions to vote for him based on those perceptions."
So let's wish Argentina the best and hope that some good comes out of all this.
Two quick items:
(1) I have a reader with a site on traditional logic, which I think you'll agree is something that people in our day and age could stand to learn. It's AmateurLogician.com.
(2) Last call for my Christmas party December 9 in central Florida, with special guest Scott Horton. (Top supporters were invited to a private dinner with Scott on December 8; that dinner is full.) I have a chef preparing a fantastic meal for us — wait until you see the menu.
So, want to enjoy a nice evening with normal people, along with a delicious dinner? My party is open to all supporters of the Tom Woods Show, so hop on board before I close the party signup: supportinglisteners.com