The star of the Argentine neoliberal firmament, Javier Milei, has become the living reflection of Trumpian incongruity, managing to make up for his lack of experience in public management with the media impact of his public interventions, while at the same time becoming a “rara avis” that manages to disrupt any minimally rational opposition strategy. Likewise, Milei would be the carrier of a dangerous political virus that could devastate the principles of Argentine democracy, since he has a DNA endowed with the triple DXH enzyme (soft dictatorship, xenophobia, and heteropatriarchy), the first visible effect of which was the end of “political correctness”.

Towards an illiberal democracy?

The qualitative change or discontinuity that occurs when simple quantitative changes become something else and the system is radically transformed internally into a new reality that modifies its internal equilibrium situation and creates a new situation (illiberal democracy), a thesis defended by Milei, consists in the implementation of illiberal democracy, following in the footsteps of Hungary’s Viktor Orbán.

Such a regime would draw on the sources of paternalism of soft dictatorships and neoliberal economic theses, and would inevitably become an autocratic regime, a form of government exercised by a single person, a kind of endogenous parasite on other systems of government (including so-called formal democracy). Thus, starting from the chrysalis of a partisan candidate elected through free elections, once in power he metamorphoses into a presidential leader with clear totalitarian overtones (xenophobic, neoliberal, and authoritarian), confirming Lord Acton’s aphorism: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

Milei’s neoliberal economic paradise

According to the Central Bank of Argentina, inflation in Argentina will continue to be rampant in 2024 (over 130%), which will lead to the loss of competitiveness of Argentine products, with a consequent reduction in exports and an increase in the trade deficit, leading to a devastating unemployment rate of 13% predicted for 2024. Uncontrolled inflation means a loss of purchasing power for workers and pensioners, a contraction in domestic consumption, and a disincentive to save and seek income outside productive activities, which could lead to productive desertification and an inability to meet the demand for basic products.
Similarly, the Argentine economy will be more exposed to a possible appreciation of the dollar and the associated reversal of capital flows, which could lead to a repeat of the “lost decade of Latin America” (1980s). This will lead to a marked increase in social instability, with the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) and the Central de los Trabajadores de la Argentina de los Trabajadores (CTA-T) leading the street struggles, an increase in poverty rates (around 40% of Argentines are close to the poverty line) and a serious setback in democratic freedoms.

Is Argentina in the US orbit?

Faced with the IMF’s political short-sightedness in not writing off Argentina’s debt inherited from Macri’s neoliberal era, President Fernández initiated a rapprochement with Russia and China to stimulate mutual trade and attract investment, which seems essential to revive Argentina’s ailing economy.
Thus, during her visit to Putin, Fernández offered him the opportunity to be “the gateway to Latin America”, and in her meeting with Xi Jinping she confirmed Argentina’s accession to the Silk Road and Belt project, which could mean a staggering $24 billion in investments for Argentina and the end of its pivot to the United States’ orbit. This set off alarm bells in the Biden administration, which expressed its serious concern about the growing presence of China and Russia in the country, and in particular the possibility of China setting up a joint military base with Argentina in Ushuaia, in exchange for Chinese financial support to install a gigantic logistics hub in the province of Tierra del Fuego.

Thus, Milei announced a “new Argentine foreign policy doctrine based on a special relationship with the United States” after meeting with the head of the US Southern Command, General Laura Richardson, to discuss the installation of a joint US-Argentine base in Ushuaia to control the traffic of mega-containers through the Drake Passage.

Thus, after Milei’s triumph, we will witness the distancing of Argentina from the Brics countries, following Argentina’s entry into the non-violent alliance and the veto on Chinese investments, which, together with the future installation of a British pseudo-scientific base in the South Shetland Islands, will ensure the maritime control of the Anglo-American axis of a route that will be the alternative to the Panama Canal.