Yesterday Argentina voted a rock-singing libertarian outsider candidate into first place in the race towards the presidential election in October. Libertarian economist Javier Milei won 30.5% of the vote, far higher than pollsters predicted. The conservative opposition trailed with 28% and the ruling Peronists were in third place on 27%. His rock-style rallies appeal to voters angry with 116% inflation and rising poverty.
According to the Economist, Javier Milei is
A self-styled professor of tantric sex and one-time frontman of an obscure rock band, he claims not to have brushed his hair since he was 13, preferring to let “the invisible hand” do the work. His five mastiffs are named after economists, including Murray Rothbard, an anarcho-capitalist, and Milton Friedman, a more conventional one. To “make Argentina a great power again”, he wants to reduce regulations, lower taxes and eliminate the central bank. He dislikes abortion, believing liberty to be unattainable if one cannot first be born. But same-sex marriage should be legal, as should most narcotics.
Milei rails against the “political caste” of the other parties – he says his mission is to “kick Keynesians and collectivists in the ass.” The self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalist wants to abolish the central bank and dollarise the Argentinian economy. His party, La Libertad Avanza, appeals to younger voters tired of the failed politics of the Peronists. “We are coming to defend against the looters of this system, which only benefits the political thieves,” he shouted at the joyful crowd last night as they chanted “freedom, freedom”. Argentina voting Javier Milei for president would be as big a shock for the global technocracy as Brexit.