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Javier Milei: the West is heading towards socialism

Javier Milei speaks at Davos this afternoon. Credit: WEF

January 17, 2024 - 5:15pm

Western leaders have abandoned freedom for collectivism, Argentinian President Javier Milei has claimed.

In a special address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Milei warned that “the leaders of the Western world have abandoned the model of freedom for different versions of what we call collectivism,” before adding that “collectivist experiments are never the solution to the problems that afflict the citizens of the world.”

Milei, a self-described “anarcho-capitalist” who won a surprise election victory in November last year, warned that collectivism was the cause of world poverty, and that free-market capitalism is the only solution. 

In an ominous message, the Argentinian President told the Davos audience that “the Western world is in danger”. “Those who are meant to defend the values of the West have been co-opted by a vision of the world that inexorably leads to socialism,” he said, “and therefore poverty.”

The meeting of the world’s business and political elite in Davos comes in the shadow of three ongoing or potential conflicts: in Ukraine, the Middle East and Taiwan. Among the other speakers scheduled are France’s President Emmanuel Macron, and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

Milei, who has a background in economics, used his Davos platform to argue that capitalism was responsible for global wealth: while the world’s GDP per capita stagnated before the 19th century, it rose suddenly during the Industrial Revolution to a compound annual rate of 0.66%, before soaring from 2000-2023 to 3% per year.  

Later in the speech, the President railed against a “radical feminist agenda” that was encouraging greater state intervention, condemning government ministries for women, subsidies and price controls. 

He claimed that those advocating collectivism saw themselves as morally right when in fact “social justice is not just”, and that instead the free market was the only fair system. It is only ridiculous to think about the West as socialist, he said, if one thinks socialism is just an economic system. Milei went on to claim that socialism murdered “over 100 million people”.

Ending the speech without taking questions, he told the audience: “You are social benefactors. You’re heroes. You’re the creators of the most extraordinary period of prosperity we’ve ever seen. Thank you very much, and long live freedom, dammit.”

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Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago

Geez, the Davos crowd must have been choking on that speech. We need way more of this at the WEF slumber parties. Of course, it is entirely possible that the Davos crowd is deluded into thinking it opposes collectivism.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

No doubt Useless von der Leyen was reaching for the ‘misinformation ‘ button.

Champagne Socialist
CS
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I really doubt that anyone cares too much about what this clown has to say. I doubt he drew much of crowd and nobody would have been “choking” over this standard far right garbage.
Don’t get too excited, Jimbo.

Alex Lekas
AL
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

How original – ad hominem disguised as argument in a sad attempt to mask the lack of a genuine argument.

Champagne Socialist
CS
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Argument about what, slick?

Alex Lekas
AL
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

Exactly. You don’t have one. It’s why you resort to the language of a 12 year old. If you’re gonna troll, up your game a bit and at least be interesting.

Champagne Socialist
CS
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Why so sad, bud?

Alex Lekas
AL
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

Not sad, disappointed. Maybe I expect too much of trolls.

Champagne Socialist
CS
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

You come across as very sad and tremendously confused.
Continue to follow me. It will definitely help your sadness and you’ll learn a lot.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Agreed. If he’s trying to be a troll, he’s doing it wrong. The idea is to say something that’s interesting or novel or at least so extreme so it prompts a response and derails the discussion. All CS does is throw out a disrespectful and generic statement of disagreement with no supporting information, and then engage in low level name calling. I haven’t been even mildly provoked by this sort of nonsense since I last encountered it in middle school. After that age, such tactics were considered childish. Where I went to high school, confrontations that consisted of ‘hey stupid’ followed by ‘i know you are but what am I’ would have been followed by raucous laughter at both parties by everyone within hearing distance. If one wanted to participate in schoolyard conflicts and trash talking, one was expected to be more creative than that.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

That’s the thing. CS has zero credibility because he says stupid things. The only time I respond is when his insults cross the line. He’s such a nothing burger. Sad really.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

And yet here you all are, hanging on my every word!!!

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
3 months ago

Speaking for myself, I’m not hanging on your every word, I’m fascinated by your odd behavior, trying to figure out what motivates you and what, if any, purpose you have in mind. I’m a curious sort of person. I see something that doesn’t seem to fit and I wonder why it is the way it is and try to solve the mystery. You’re not a troll. You’re not really adding anything to the debate, yet you keep commenting. Your attitude leads me to believe you’re a fairly typical run-of-the-mill socialist. You fit the pattern of a follower of an ideology whose understanding of the ideology is fairly shallow. That’s not particularly noteworthy in itself. You’ve got plenty of company in that respect. What I can’t figure out is why you’re here and why you feel it necessary to leave terse, unimaginative comments of the sort generally found on some political twitter post or a Youtube rant. Your choice of venue to proselytize for your ideology is rather bizarre. If you’re looking for socialist or socialist leaning publications, might I suggest Jacobin or Vox would better meet your expectations.

David Morley
DM
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Time will tell. I expect that this will be another failed south American experiment – but I’m happy to be proved wrong.

If it does all go wrong I’m curious who the scapegoat will be.

Sensible Citizen
SC
Sensible Citizen
3 months ago

Pulling a nation out of poverty and despair used to be the purview of center-left liberals. Now it’s far right garbage?

Right-Wing Hippie
RH
Right-Wing Hippie
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Of course they oppose collectivism. They don’t want the collective running things, they want to run things.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I wonder how many people were choking on their several hundred dollar alcoholic beverages and trying not to be the one everybody noticed. Clever of him to praise the people of Davos as champions of capitalism, subtly highlighting how it was capitalism that made them rich and put them in their current position. He knows very well that a significant part of the collectivist drive comes from the very people at the event and rather than criticize them, he takes the high road and damns them with false praise. I want to vote for this dude. Maybe I should learn Spanish.

Champagne Socialist
CS
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I suspect that most of the Davos attendees ignored this clown completely and continued enjoying their very expensive drinks elsewhere.
I’m sure being mostly ignored and occasionally laughed at is something that you are familiar with.

Paul T
Paul T
3 months ago

You would know.

Jim Veenbaas
JV
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I thought I read somewhere a couple years ago that a bunch of prostitutes fly into this slumber party every year.

Champagne Socialist
CS
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Same way they show up when the fleet is in town, bro. Those boys and girls know their business.

Andrew Dalton
AD
Andrew Dalton
3 months ago

First hand experience?

David Morley
DM
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

That’s no way to talk about the EU delegates!

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Quite astute of them from a business perspective. Supply and demand capitalism at work. Prostitution is a big business, and the big players in the industry are bound to be competing for clients at an event like Davos.

Brian Villanueva
BV
Brian Villanueva
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The Davos crowd was already aware of this. They’re the ones driving it. Real socialism exacerbates the very wealth disparities and power imbalances it pretends to eliminate, thus elites have always tried to use it to enhance their own power and wealth.

Flibberti Gibbet
FG
Flibberti Gibbet
3 months ago

The more interesting question is whether Argentina is heading east to Port Stanley.

David Lindsay
DL
David Lindsay
3 months ago

He has already asserted Argentina’s “non-negotiable sovereignty” over the Falkland Islands, thereby simply declaring himself an Argentinian. That will not bother anyone anywhere but Britain, and it already does not. But it does make him an impossible figure to the British Right. The one place from which its hero of the hour can never come is Argentina.

Flibberti Gibbet
FG
Flibberti Gibbet
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

I am on the British Right and yet I admire Argentina’s new president.
I also know that the Falklands are the Achilles heel of our national defense.
If China or Russia want to cripple our military, physically or reputationally, they just have to give Argentina a couple of fighter-bomber squadrons and air-air refueling capacity and its game over for the defense of the Falklands.
Given the deep economic and structural problems of Argentina it will be difficult for the President to deliver results in a single term in office. Now is the perfect time to swing a favourable 99 year lease deal.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago

Well, Milei seems to be a big fan the West and the US and certainly not of Russia and China. So I don’t see that happening (I doubt Russia has too many usable spares right now either).
Milei is just saying what he has to say. Chinese leaders have to say the same about Taiwan.

Hugh Bryant
HB
Hugh Bryant
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lindsay

Have you ever met someone on the ‘Right’? You haven’t, have you?

Alex Lekas
AL
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

Milei went on to claim that socialism murdered “over 100 million people”.
if you prefer to use communism, that’s fine, but this is more of a fact than some idle claim. The broader point is that the West is increasingly becoming anti-freedom, and not everyone is a dutiful little sheep that takes every govt official’s words as gospel.

Champagne Socialist
CS
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Says the sheep who worships a fat, orange clown.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

Show me on the doll where the facts hurt you.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Did Trump tell you to say that?

Alex Lekas
AL
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

Your Trump obsession is not healthy. Go ahead and book a few counseling sessions now in case he wins.

Champagne Socialist
CS
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

He won’t.

Katalin Kish
Katalin Kish
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Don’t feed the troll please. Vile drivel erodes the value of discourse.

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago

I often wonder why the right seems to explicitly choose stupid and ridiculous people as your leaders. Milei, Trump, Johnson, Meloni – there are so many examples.
Does it make you feel better about yourselves when you see someone who is just as stupid and incompetent as you are somehow rising to high office?
Its very weird.

David Lindsay
DL
David Lindsay
3 months ago

It must cost them a fortune in ever-changing wigs.

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
3 months ago

Trump is Far-Left

Champagne Socialist
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago

Go back to sleep, dopey.

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
3 months ago

Are you far-Left like Trump is?

Martin M
MM
Martin M
3 months ago

I don’t think the Left-Right thing applies to Trump. I consider Trump to be “Far-Trump” (although not as Far-Trump as it’s possible to get).

Peter B
PB
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Exactly. Trump leads the “Trump Party”, just as Boris Johnson led the “Boris Party”. They just happened to be the Republican Party and the Conservative Party. But in reality they were just there to serve Trump and Johnson (rather than the other way round).

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago

You’re forgetting that it’s actually the voters who choose these people and not “the right”. You know – the “deplorables”. The funny thing is those are the same people that voted for people you didn’t strongly disapprove of 20 years ago. So here’s the question: did those voters also become “stupid” during that period ?
And where’s your evidence that Milei is “stupid and incompetent” ?

Paul T
Paul T
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

From his crib sheet.

Steven Carr
SC
Steven Carr
3 months ago

Milei at Davos is a bit like Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes.

Champagne Socialist
CS
Champagne Socialist
3 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Milei was probably a lot funnier, if unintentionally so!

Katalin Kish
KK
Katalin Kish
3 months ago

Talk is cheap though. Milei is a new kid, yet to deliver.

Katalin Kish
Katalin Kish
3 months ago
Reply to  Katalin Kish

… and long live freedom, dammit!
I so wish him success!

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago

I’m not sure I’m entirely sold on the guy, but he does make some interesting points.

j watson
JW
j watson
3 months ago

You can’t get more capitalist elite than Davos, so an irony here Milei lambasting them for insufficient capitalism. He’s not exactly presenting to the TUC c1970 is he. That aside his analysis a bit 6th form student and you worry he’s potentially more clown than clever.
Of course there is something in the argument capitalism has helped lifted millions out of abject poverty, but he misses that it’s also needed considerable moderation to ensure the inequity it can also drive and perpetuate doesn’t explode societies too. The question is the where we find the balance.

David Morley
DM
David Morley
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Yes – surprised he didn’t slim in a “how dare you” for good measure. They love that stuff at Davos.

Hugh Bryant
HB
Hugh Bryant
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Davos is more about corporatism than capitalism. The Young Leaders programme, for example, is mostly a means to foster connections between corporations and future political leaders. It’s about rent-seeking.

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
3 months ago

This!!!

I am now convinced that any thoughtful Leftist now understands that more socialism will reduce the standard of living overall and for the poor especially but they are still ultimately concerned with difference and would rather make the poor poorer if it also lays the “rich” low…