Javier Milei, the anti-caste ultra-liberal rising to become Argentina’s next president

In June 2022, an unidentified congressman named Javier Milei called his first major rally on the outskirts of Buenos Aires to launch his candidacy for Argentina’s presidency. Hardly a thousand people came and they call failed It earned him the ridicule of the few who commented.

A little over a year later, Milei is the favorite to win the next presidential election on October 22, after surprising in last Sunday’s primaries, in which he came out well against the forecast Sergio MassaPeronist candidate, and Patricia Bullrichby the former President’s moderate right Maurice Macri.

Their main message seems to have reached an Argentinian electorate fed up with the years of economic crisis, inflation, ineffectiveness and corruption of traditional parties with astonishing speed. To politicians, says Milei, “You have to kick their ass.”

Adapting the concept they popularized in Spain Pablo Iglesias and the founding leader of Podemos, Milei denounces the existence of a “caste” of “politjets” (thieves) in Argentina He promises to banish her from her chair when, as is becoming increasingly likely, she reaches the Casa Rosada.

There is another parallel to Iglesias. Milei also became famous for her participation in political analysis programs on television. He is an economist and his appearances commenting on the problems facing Argentina’s economy on popular shows such as Animales sueltos made him a familiar face for a country fed up with the constant devaluation of its currency, constant renegotiation of government debt, etc The cost of living has skyrocketed, reaching 100% inflation in the last year.

Milei’s speech was full of anger. But if you analyze his biography, Anger seems to be old. Born 52 years ago, he grew up in a home where he says he suffered physical and verbal abuse and was doomed to loneliness. He has only recently resumed his relationship with his parents, a transporter and a housewife.

He studied in one Catholic suburban school in a Buenos Aires suburb, where he took his first steps as a goalie on a local soccer team and earned a reputation for being grumpy. In the end he completed his studies in economics at private universities in Buenos Aires.

There he began to believe that whatever national problems the state could not solve, the market could solve them promotes radical economic proposals that seduced many voters but made academics’ hair stand on end, such as the abolition of the central bank, the introduction of the dollar as a currency in Argentina, or enable the free sale of weapons and organs.

Milei is not a typical conservative. Just as he is radically opposed to abortion, so is he supports gay marriage because “it’s a contract between private parties” And although he proclaims himself a Catholic, his compatriot Pope Francis has one of his favorite destinations. He accused him of being “a Jesuit who promotes Communism” and “even that he was “an agent of evil on earth”, leading to angry attacks that motivated him Vatican Complaints.

Perhaps aware that some of the support it has received comes from those who opposed the legalization of abortion in December 2020, Milei drew the subject as one of her red linesbut in everything else his approach is radically libertarian, advocating the deregulation of almost everything, to the point that he defined himself as a Interview as “anarcho-capitalist” because he is “against the state”.

This reluctance led him to promise a drastic downsizing of the state apparatus. “The job of politics is coming to an end”, he promised, and in his usual theatrical style, detailed what his cuts would be. In a TV show he tore out the names of all those he would oppress if he were elected president in front of a cork with the ministries’ organizational chart. The areas of health, education and social development would be grouped under a single ministry called the Department of Human Capital.

And his ultra-liberal postulates have even led him to campaign for the abolition of compulsory education. He would limit himself to handing out a voucher only to families that those who wanted to study could choose which school they wanted to go to.

His unorthodox proposals have set off alarm bells for many, particularly on the economic front. Economists warn that without an institution like the central bank it would be impossible to do this and doubt that dollarization like that carried out in Ecuador is feasible in Argentina.

His ideas are so radical that it seems they could only be his. He is not married or known to have a partner and his true love is his five English Mastiffs, which are refers to himself as “his four-legged children”. He didn’t deny this hired a medium to communicate with the Sixthwho died years ago. For many, these are delusional traits. Also for many Argentinian voters the ideal man to put their country back in order.

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